Monday, January 14, 2013

FLORAbella Bag

It all started with Pinterest. I saw this post

and I knew that I really wanted to make one! I followed the link and found myself here. A blog in - I think- German. It's translated and I found the link to the site that sells the pattern. After much translating I realized that I could get my hands on an english e-book pattern and voila... it began.

I spent about an hour to two cutting and pasting the pattern pieces, adding seam allowances to the pattern and cutting it out again. Then I had to figure out how much yardage was required as the patten only told you what each piece measured.

I spent at least an hour at Fabricland choosing fabric. I am almost convinced to stop going there and just to purchase online. I LOVE choosing fabric online and I hate choosing it in person.

The pattern itself should really be called a tutorial (and honestly not the best tutorial) as the instructions are sparse. Thankfully anyone who has sewn as many bags as I have can figure it all out. In the end there would even be more steps that I would change or do differently if I make it again another time. For example, there are exposed seams inside. The only solution offered in the pattern was to serge the raw seams and/or cover them with bias tape. Not a great solution, but a solution. I left them serged.

I had to re-cut the flower on the front as the pocket didn't cover it properly and it was super tricky to work it out, but in the end, I see the flaws that most people won't.

Features I love about this bag... the flower edged pocket, the ribbon cinches on the sides and the straps. I used to hate sewing straps. I am learning to really enjoy a meticulously sewn strap. Crazy? Maybe, but it's true. It's nice and roomy and I finally have a zipper closed purse that is functional and cute.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Checking In 2013

Hello, January! Welcome, 2013. I am sure looking forward to a year full of new adventures. We do need to look back a bit to catch up, though.
  •  We have a shelf in our bedroom that I put a few things on, but hadn't really settled on what to use it for. I found my David styling it with significant things in our marriage. I LOVE this man!

  • We did make some handmade gifts that I love! David made and bottled coffee syrup. I made labels and we included bistro bottle pour spouts. We made almond and vanilla...yum! If you're not a coffee drinker, you can still use syrups for drinks like steamers or tea mistos (a London fog is a common misto). We used this recipe for the basic syrup and just changed the extract.

  • I made Abigail and Malachi giant reading pillows. They like to drag it around by the handle and stuff the pockets with treasures. They both got new books with their pillows for Christmas. Tutorial here.

  • I whipped up some mulling spice packets for my girlfriends at my Ladies group. I had shared this crock pot punch as one of our family favourite recipes at Christmas and then gave the recipe with the spice packet. We love brewing this over the holidays.

  • I also made obi style hot/cold wraps, but forgot to take pictures. I made them two for friends, but I'm sure I'll be making myself one at some point. They look something like this.
  • My David hunted long and high for the perfect snow globe for me for Christmas and he NAILED it! Love this. It's a simple Christmas tree in silver on a pedestal with a light and a fan that blows the snow inside. It's so beautiful. Truth be told, i am a picky snow globe person and he totally got it! This picture doesn't do it justice.

  • New fabric! New project in progress... any guesses? 

  • Road test tomorrow...finally! I am excited and nervous, but as my friend said yesterday, the worst that could happen is I fail. If that happens you try again. I am looking forward to little things like taking my littles one on one for dates and sneaking out for little Mama breaks.
  • We got a new camera for Christmas... thanks to our family for the Christmas money. I am still learning it, but you can see it here.
  • Micah was sick over Christmas and quit the soother. This is new ground for me. Learning.
  • We cut down our Christmas card list. Postage is brutal! Sorry, if you didn't make the cut, it's not because we don't love you. You can print it out if you like. I got the inspiration here.

  • Oh, and here's our return address label. Actual address not included. I like the maple leaf, not that that is a surprise.