Monday, February 28, 2011

Pattern Review: Folklore Bag

I've made the Folklore Bag from One-Yard Wonders a few times now, and I love love love it!  

 But I can't say I love how the pattern is laid out.  So, I thought I'd share a few tips with anyone who is thinking of making this cute bag, and hopefully I will save you some time & frustration!  

1.  I've found with a lot of  craft books & magazines, there are bound to be pattern corrections.  You can find a pattern correction for this bag here, under "Folklore Bag."  Basically, you need to move the outer pleat markings for the bag front/back farther to each edge 1/2", so there is 1-1/8" between each set of pleat markings.  

2.  When the publishers fixed the pleats, they forgot to fix the size of the Top Band.  From the written pattern piece, I cut just inside the seam allowance on either narrow end, so the straight edge measures 13".
3.  Don't bother topstitching around the side/bottom as they tell you to do in step 4, unless you really feel like doing extra work.  I can see how it would reinforce the seams if it was a big bag, but I don't think anyone will be carrying bricks in this little purse.  

4.  When attaching the Top Band to the bag (step 6), they tell you to press the bottom raw edge under 1/2", position the band over the bag with the pieces overlapping 1/2", and then topstitch.  WHAT???  It would be impossible to preserve that bottom curve, which is really a nice detail of the bag.  Also, such a pain to pin in place! Instead, this is what I did:  
*Pin 2 top band pieces right sides together.  Stitch both short sides to make a circular band. 
*Line up the bottom raw edge of the top band with the raw edge of the exterior bag, centering the top band's seams on each side.  Right sides should be facing.  Pin and stitch 1/2" around the edge.  
*Flip the top band upwards, press seam allowances up toward the band, and edgestitch along the bottom edge of the band, making sure you preserve the curved edge.  
*Do the same for the lining.

5.  For the straps, they tell you to press under both long edges 1/2", fold in half lengthwise, and edgestitch (step 8).  I suggest doing this instead:
*Fold strap in half lengthwise, right sides together.  Stitch 1/2" seam from the raw edges.  Turn right side out.  Press.  Edgestitch each length of the strap.  

And voila!  A much easier Folklore Bag!  I hope this helps!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Roses are Red

A skirt in memory of my grandmother, who loved her rose garden.

 "Flirting the Issue" skirt
pattern by Anna Maria Horner, found here

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


My to-do list seems to be working, as I have actually been quite productive this week!

As you already know, I can cross #2 off of my list- the little gnome is stitched up & riding dinos.

I've been working on the custom work for my friend Nicole, and am slowly seeing progress.  It's a cat bed in the shape of a fish.  Well, it isn't right now.
But it will be.

From my work today, I thought I'd share with you a few tips for sewing fabric to foam:
#1  Use a heavy-duty needle.  Foam is thick!
#2  If you are sewing fabric to only one side of the foam, you need to put something on the foam side also.  If you don't, the foam gets stuck & won't feed through your machine.  My pattern suggested tissue paper.  I didn't have any in the house, so I used wax paper which seems to be working fine, though tissue paper might tear away a bit easier.
#3  Just don't do it.  You will get frustrated.  You will want to hit a wall.
(Or do.  But don't say I didn't warn you.)

So that's that.  At least it's getting done!

Instead of sharing a pic of the fish which is not yet a fish, I will leave you with a previous project that was a success:  
a sweet little towel made from Melody Miller's newest line of fabric:  
don't you just love the pom-poms?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Gnome Story

One day, Mr. Gnome was creepin' around when he saw a 
lovely gnome girl through the bushes.
 Mr. Gnome tried to approach Miss Gnome, but she ran, 
as young gnomes are known to do.  
 Mr. Gnome finally caught up to the young girl at the end of a beautiful rainbow.  
 The day was coming to an end, so they hitched a ride on a dinosaur.
 And they lived happily ever after.  On a bench.  Outside the post office.

*no gnomes were harmed in the making of this blog*  
Mr. Gnome was stitched by the B.F. (as a Christmas gift)
Miss Gnome was stitched by me!  (as a Valentine's gift)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

pattern & supplies from Mama Said Sew, a wonderful fabric store that I work at in downtown, Fort Collins

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Get Your Craft On

One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog is to keep myself excited about crafting.  I'm moving soon to sunny San Diego for a really amazing Music Therapy internship.  It'll be a lot of work and a lot of fun but....I need to make sure I make time for sewing, which in the past year or so I've found to be a great creative outlet for me.

Here are the things I'd like to get done before loading up my life in a tiny little car and driving 3 states away:

1.  Finish up a custom item for my coworker.  (Sorry, Nicole...this has taken me forever!)
2.  Stitch up the BF's Valentine's gift.  I'm cuttin' it close.  It may or may not involve gnomes...
3.  Add 5 items to my Etsy shop.  There are none.   This is sad.
4.  Did I mention finish some custom work for Nicole???  It has taken me months!  To be fair, it is for her cat.  I don't like cats.  But I do like Nicole.
5.  Finish my Amy Butler Sophia Carry-all bag!  I'm using Moda's It's a Hoot twill in cherry.
    Its A Hoot  Tonal Cherry
6.  Make some custom headbands. 

7.  Make some more headbands to sell in San Diego.  (hey, look!  They're reversible!)

8.  Make this awesome Built By Wendy Top- Simplicity #3964!
photo belongs to Built By Wendy
9.  Try Anna Maria Horner's newest free pattern- the Flirting the Issue Skirt, which I have been anxiously awaiting for's the perfect excuse to get some of her voile!
photo belongs to Anna Maria Horner
you can find the pattern here
10.  Most importantly, cuddle with my mom.
11.  Oh yeah, read and practice pretty much everyday before my internship.  Best get started...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Taking Flight

Welcome to Sparrows & Spools!  After perusing crafty blog after crafty blog, I have decided to launch my own as a way to create, share, and inspire.  Thanks for stopping by!