Day twenty: say 'queso'

I always bring my camera along when I go hiking and it is very important for me to be able to reach it quickly and make a shot whenever I feel like it, so I often wear a waist bag - it may not be the classiest accessory in the world, but it's very convenient for a person like me who likes to keep their hands free. The only problem with this arrangement is (or should I say - was) the high risk of getting your camera scratched by other random objects in the bag. One day I got really fed up with muffling the camera in a shawl and I came up with an idea of a simple protective pouch. For the lining I used the softest fabric I could find (it's very cute, too, with birds and cows and stuff). The bag was quickly finished and it serves very well.


Day nineteen: a crocodumpling

'Let's make dumplings,' Michelle said, and adventurous me thought 'Let's indeed'. Great was my astonishment when I printed the pattern and realised that it's much smaller than I anticipated, but I didn't mind too much since it was my first attempt anyway. Then I discovered that this XS creature requires a pretty long zip (yep, 30 cm), but the longest one in my stash was a sturdy 28 cm (and red!) - maybe not the best option, but just to keep my spirits high I decided to proceed :) The zip length was more than sufficient, but the sewing turned out to be rather tricky. Two hours and one bent needle later I ended up with this funky croco[dile]dumpling. I still cannot believe how tiny it is!


Day eighteen: oldtimers' parade

I really like this fabric, so I made another tote. This one isn't supposed to be reversible though, because I added an inside pocket with a zipper. Took me a while to figure out the most logical way to insert it, but I managed somehow (and will manage even better next time). 


Day seventeen: who's gonna drive you home tonight?

I got my driver's licence when I was 26 and I really considered it a big achievement, since my first attempt in the age of 18 was a complete disaster. Basically, it took me 8 years to get over it, but I did thanks to my amazing driving instructor Vladimir who really deserves a monument somewhere because he managed to pull me out of the 'ditch' my first instructor had left me in and it turned out I am capable of driving after all :) 
Now I'm a proud owner of a 10 years old Citroen and I'm totally cool with that, but I won't deny that fast cars excite me a well (from afar of course). I'm a huge fan of Formula 1. Just this weekend all the petrol-heads will be turning towards Singapore and I will be keeping fingers crossed for my team.


Day sixteen: rustle of leaves

So I received my first 'order' :) After seeing the family portrait of the make-up bags I've created, my mum asked me to make a small pouch for her cell phone. Well, why not? After googling the model of the phone I made a prototype from paper to have an idea about actual dimensions - looked silly, but helped a lot. What a perfect mini-project for an evening when one doesn't feel too inspired for 3 hours of sewing. The One is pleased :)


Day fifteen: serious business

A while ago, I promised to make a toiletries bag for my husband and today just seemed like a perfect day to keep the promise.
OK, no time for flowers and bunnies - let's get down to serious business. I decided to use a piece of leatherette for this project, hoping the end-result will be masculine enough. The material is very stubborn, but thankfully I am too :) It took me quite a while, but I made it work. Here we go.


Day fourteen: chasing rainbows

Feeling a bit grey(-ish)? I might have just created a cure for that. I am deeply disappointed every year when I see shops introducing yet another grey-black-dark-boring-and-depressive autumn collection. Instead of following this disturbing trend, I got busy and created a small (35x40 cm) fabric tote bursting with joy. My rabbit friend R┼źdis was kind enough to take part in a quick photo shoot to capture all the colours of my home-made rainbow :)


Day thirteen: floral blues

Apparently, my love affair with different shades of blue is ongoing :) I'm still using Dana's pattern with minor adjustments: this is a more compact version, just 35x40 cm. Today I felt a bit cheeky because of my recent success with previous bags and decided to make it a liiiittle bit more complicated and to add a pocket. Since the tote is reversible, the pocket can be either a functional bit (when inside) or a decorative element (when outside). Looks fab to me.


Day twelve: your friend giraffe

So I went hunting (like women do) and returned home with a pile of delicious fabrics and 100 ideas for new projects. The safari-themed fabrics had 30% discount and I just couldn't resist the giraffes - such adorable creatures. I decided to dedicate my next reversible tote to them :)


Day eleven: a horse with no tail

This is a story about amazing women and somewhat unconventional animals.
Soon after becoming a proud owner of a sewing machine I came across this website: it was the first page I bookmarked in my "Sewing" folder and I keep revisiting it. The amazing lady behind this site is Dana from Austin, Texas and I truly admire her energy and way of doing things with such ease and creativity. Her tutorials are splendid as well, so I decided to make this reversible tote. It sure needs more fabric than a cosmetics bag, so I looked critically at my thinning stash of sewing materials and chose two animal-patterned pieces of fabric. This is where I must mention another wonderful woman: my friend Irina who has been an amazing help and inspiration to me since the very day I decided to buy the sewing machine. She is Mrs Crafting in our circle of friends, so she gave me a very good advice about the machine itself and provided a pile of fabrics from her collection for me to start with. Thanks a million, dear!
I specifically remembered having a piece of linen with horses which would be just perfect for my fist tote. And it was only after I had already cut it when I suddenly realized: wait a minute, those are no horses... where are the tails!? And then I leered at the other part of the bag featuring blue and orange deers and decided to go for the psychedelic zoo theme :) The result is goooood and reversible.


Day nine & ten: good morning, sunshine fog!

Since there was some fabric left after my success in the nightdress department, I decided to embrace my innovation skills and to sew a matching gown. Or as Mr Jeremy Clarkson would say: how hard can it be!? Well, it was a living hell :) The fabric is like water: it's all over the place. Also at one point I discovered a serious flaw in my pattern that led to revisiting geometry classes in my head and a great deal of patience from yours truly. Finally, it took me two days to sort out the mess and to come up with something I could actually wear. Mission accomplished this time (never again without a proper pattern and guidance!)
In other news: autumn is coming, yes it is. Every morning starts with a fog: foggy scenery, foggy minds and foggy gowns to slip in quietly.


Day eight: dreaming in circles


My dear husband has been very supportive of my sewing routine :) I even received a lovely piece of fabric as a gift for my name's day (this reminds me I promised to make a cosmetics bag for him, too. I just need to find the right fabric: flowers and kittens are out of question). So, I got this fabric and it was directly clear I will make a nightgown from it. It's soft and stretchy: just perfect. I used one of my nighties as a pattern and added a bit of lace on the edges to make it a bit more romantic. This turned out to be a surprisingly easy project, I'll certainly make some more of those.


Day seven: no small talk

I decided to finalize the make-up-bag-week with a mini version of the same pouch (plus I went through my stash and found a tiny red zipper and a little scrap of fabric left over from the ladybug's project). The result looks much nicer in reality as it does in photos (oh, sweet daylight, where art thou?) and I'm actually pleased with the result: the size is very handy for occasions when we are going out and need just a couple of things. And these wallets nowadays:  jeez, they're huge! Sometimes light&easy is all we need. Just like some people eagerly engage in small talk with strangers and think this is the easy level of communication. This might be it, but I honestly struggle to see the added value of any conversation - either significant or small - leading nowhere and feeling like a complete waste of time. I prefer making small things to talking about the ones we cannot change :)


Day six: send me a postcard

A postcard - what a marvellous invention and what a thrill it is to find one in my letterbox! My friends travel a great deal and spoil me with lovely cards from all over the world. I have tried to figure out the magic of postcards and I soon realised that since I'm not dealing well with the concept of globalization and digitalization, something as simple as a photograph with a personal handwritten message makes me believe there is still hope :) It means so much that a person has thought about me for a little while in between their adventures and is willing to share their happy moments with me. And I most gladly do the same (after spending half an hour at the postcard stand and buying far too many cards, but it's just so hard to chose!) I display the most recent cards on the cork board in my kitchen and later on they all go in a shoebox - not too glamorous, I know, but I'm determined to come up with some sort of crafty postcard storage solution in near future.


Day five: taste of blueberries

Have you ever wondered if it is possible to organize your stationary that is otherwise scattered all over the place and be able to actually find a thing you need just when you need it? I'm sure there are plenty solutions, but here is one of them - a lovely pouch large enough to hold all the essentials.
So it's day five and I'm still into Deby's cosmetics bags: the pattern is perfect for a beginner like myself and I love the outcome every time, so I decided to continue with them for the whole week. I fancy this one very much. Blue is another colour which I absolutely adore, it dominates my wardrobe and I often cannot resist the temptation to combine it with my greens. But not this time: today it's all about blueberries, cornflowers and Indian summer blues.


Day four: pocketful of grasshopers

I have a confession to make: I am a greenaholic. Green is my favourite colour and it never leaves me indifferent, whether I see it in nature or in interior, and fabric shops are no exception. The lovely boutique I have discovered even has a separate stall bursting in all shades of green: sea, forest and mint, bottle, moss and olive... oh my... I found a little corner of a meadow in the box of fat quarters and it melted my heart instantly. So here goes another make-up bag. This one is complemented with a tiny inside pocket just for fun, I thought a grasshopper might find it useful.


Day three: bed of roses

I had a feeling this pattern might work for a cosmetics bag, but I could never imagine a result as charming as this. It amazes me every time how a fabric comes to life when used for the right purpose and this just confirms my suspicion that one must be a genuine visionary to become a professional dressmaker or designer. And a hopeless romantic :) 
Even the bag itself exudes romance, don't you think? The size is just perfect for slipping in a couple of toiletries to grab with you when packing for a last-minute getaway to an exotic island with your sweetheart or heading for a classy week-end in Paris with your best friend.  
Bon voyage!


Day two: ladybug's treat

After a relatively successful test-drive and a short visit to the local fabrics shop I was eager to make another cosmetics bag. This one is a birthday present for a very special friend of mine - the bug, that's how she often refers to herself - and this should keep all entomologists awake because she's indeed one of a kind :)
Hand-made gifts have always been my hobby-horse, but let's be honest: it takes time, skill and a great deal of inspiration to come up with something original in the right moment. All that in combination with my stubborn determination to offer a gift with both, sentimental value and practical use often results in a creative headache. But no hassle here this time: the idea practically fell into my hands just along with a perfect fat quarter of a vibrant fabric featuring birds, which is as good as it gets since my friend is very much into birdwatching and learning their names in at least 4 languages. I'm certain that this cute bag will be a sound travel companion wherever the bug chooses to go or fly.


Day one: spindle ballet

In true spirit of upcoming International Sewing Month I accepted the creative challenge of sewing something every day. Being well aware of my limited needle-spinning capacity (due to lack of experience, not that there has ever been a shortage of ideas on my part...) it was clear I shouldn't set the bar too high and begin with something easy and practical. 
By a chance I came across Deby's cosmetics bag: the pattern was free and instructions seemed pretty straightforward, so I decided to give it a try. 
Click below for more pictures.