Sunday, September 23, 2007

Spinosaurus tote bag

Bookbag for Sunday morning Chinese school.


Teeth added by special request.
Straps had to be adjusted longer after the "try it on" photo above.
Made from 70s green corduroy, cotton print, and $3 thrifted Alexander Julian men's shirt.
(Notes to self:
1. Interfacing is good!
2. Stitch in the ditch at upper few inches of each side seam, to help keep lining inside.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Laughing baby (video)

This video made me smile big time (found at It's Knuttz)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pink is for boys too

We took Little M to Staples the other day to get a loose-leaf binder for Chinese school. He chose a pink one. I tried to steer him to a green one instead. Was that wrong??? It felt wrong. But I'm willing to bet that at least one of the other 4-year-olds in his class has been told that "pink is for girls." I didn't think fast enough to explain that it's cool that he likes pink but that there might be some narrow-minded people who don't agree. "I like pretty colors," he said. We ended up with a red one and he seemed OK with that. Red's his favorite color. sometimes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Crochet-bottom bag (how-to)

This is how I made the little oblong-bottom bag. (Picture of bottom, above.)

For the crocheted bottom, I used Lily Sugar 'n Cream and a size G (4.5mm) crochet hook (Clover soft-touch hooks are great if like me you crochet til your hand starts to cramp).

Foundation chain. Chain 14 (for a foundation chain of 12 chains, plus 2 chains for turning--the last 2 chains constitute the 1st stitch in round 1).
Round 1. Hdc (half double crochet) in top loop of 3rd chain from hook (12th chain of foundation chain) and next 10 chains. 5 hdc in last chain.
Now, turn your work upside down (so that you can crochet back over the foundation chain, through the bottom loops this time): Hdc in first 10 chains. 3 hdc in next chain. Slip stitch to connect to 1st hdc of this round. (The 1st and last chains of the foundation chain each have 5 hdcs in them.)

Round 2. Ch 2 (this is the turning chain & the 1st hdc of this round). 2 hdc in the stitch directly below the turning chain (together with the turning chain, this makes the 1st "corner"). 1 hdc in each of the next 12 stitches. 3 hdc in the next stitch (2nd corner). 1 hdc in the center stitch at this end. 3 hdc in the next stitch (3rd corner). 1 hdc in each of the next 12 stitches. 3 hdc in the next stitch (4th corner). 1 hdc in the center stitch at this end. Slip stitch to connect to 1st hdc of this round.

Round 3. Ch 2 (turning chain & 1st hdc of this round). 1 hdc in the stitch directly below the turning chain. 3 hdc in next stitch (the middle stitch of the 1st corner of round 2). 2 hdc in next stitch (1st corner of round 3 completed).
1 hdc in each of the next 12 stitches. 2 hdc in next stitch. 3 hdc in next stitch (the middle stitch of the 2nd corner of round 2). 2 hdc in next stitch (2nd corner of round 3 completed).
1 hdc in the center stitch at this end. 2 hdc in next stitch. 3 hdc in next stitch (the middle stitch of the 3rd corner of round 2). 2 hdc in next stitch (3rd corner of round 3 completed).
1 hdc in each of the next 12 stitches. 2 hdc in next stitch. 3 hdc in next stitch (the middle stitch of the 4th corner of round 2). 2 hdc in next stitch (4th corner of round 3 completed). 1 hdc in the center stitch at this end. Slip stitch to connect to 1st hdc of this round.

Round 4. (Start crocheting up the sides.) Ch 2. 1 hdc in back loop of each stitch (this makes a subtle edge around the base). Slip stitch to connect to 1st hdc of this round. Don't turn.

Round 5. Repeat round 4.

Round 6. Ch 2. 1 hdc in each stitch. Slip stitch to connect to 1st hdc of this round. Turn.
Round 7. Ch 1. Single crochet in each stitch. Slip stitch to connect to 1st hdc of this round. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

To determine measurements for the cloth part of the bag, fold crocheted piece in half and measure the width (W) across the top. Cut 2 pieces of cloth measuring (W+1) inches by the finished height you want the bag to be.

If you want to add a pocket, best to do it now. (wish I had.)
Sew the side seams, to ~2" from the top edge. (Zigzag seams and lower edge to prevent ravelling.) Press seams open. At lower edge, press ~1/4" under (you will sew this to the crochet bottom).
Make casing for drawstring by pressing the top edge under ~1/4", then another ~5/8". Stitch along the first fold.
Hand sew to the crochet bottom.

For drawstrings, crochet 2 chains each a little longer than the bag's circumference (or use ribbon). Thread each length through the casings and tie the ends together to make loops.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Gifts for a little girl

I've sewn quite a bit, though not terribly well, and other crafts are fairly new to me. (Hence the name of this blog, so-so crafter.) So it still amazes and exhilarates me when something turns out as I envisioned it, such as this bag.

These gifts are for a little girl in M's preschool class whose favorite colors are pink and neon green. I wanted to make a bag with a crocheted, oblong bottom, but I couldn't find a pattern so I made it up myself. (My very first, very own crochet pattern! I'll post it next time.) My inspirations for the bag were this pouch (which has a round, knitted bottom), and a classic oval-bottomed Coach purse I've had for 20 years.* I made the mouse and her bed from this really cute tutorial, and they fit cozily in the bag. It was really fun making something for a little girl for a change.

* I used to have such an obsession for Coach bags. Remember when it cost excactly nothing to have your Coach purse repaired? And they would repair almost any condition (even worn binding)? You could almost justify paying hundreds of dollars for a purse.