Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not Without My Handbag

One of the best perks to both of my children being over the age of three is that there is NO MORE DIAPER BAG!!! I can once again carry a cute handbag. And although I wouldn't consider myself a "bagoholic," I do like to change it up every once in awhile and switch handbags or even pick up a new one.

Since I've become friends with Tracey, handbag expert extrodinaire, I've gotten into making my own handbag. In the fall, I made myself this bag from the Amy Butler "Frenchy Bag" pattern. I LOVE this pattern, and actually made a couple of other versions of that bag for gifts.

Well, it's spring now. And we all know that you just can't carry the same bag in the spring as you did in the fall....that violates one of the sacred rules of accessorizing. {{rolling my eyes}} So I wanted to make myself a cute bag for spring. Since I had such great luck with the Frenchy Bag, I was planning on making another one of those, but with some cute spring fabrics.

Then one day while surfing some of my favorite craft blogs, I stumbled upon the blog of U*Handbag, a small, handbag supply business out of the UK, run by Lisa, a self-professed "bagoholic." On the U*Handbag blog, there are several great tutorials for different bags, purses, pouches, etc. But the one thing that really caught my eye was her new pattern for purchase: The Highbrow Hobo.

I had to have it! I purchased the pattern and then started the search for the perfect fabrics. I really liked the look of the bag on the front of the pattern....the contrast between the black & white fabric and the bold solid. At my local fabric store I came across this black & white print:

I really like the kind of "vintage" feel of it. I decided that nothing says spring more than pink, so I went with a nice, bright pink solid for the straps and the lining. After a few hours over the course of four days (having both kids home for spring break has cut into my sewing time), I managed to finish my Highbrow Hobo.

I love how nice and roomy this bag is. The darts on the bottom give it a good width (about 3 inches).

And I love all the nice little touches she has given this bag....the exterior pocket with the contrasting edging, the illusion of piping around the top, the use of O-rings on the just makes for a great looking handbag.

This pattern was fantastic. It was clear, concise, and had great pictures. I only made one change to the bag...I added a couple of really basic interior pockets. Just somewhere to put small items like my cell phone and keys.

I am very happy with my new handbag and can't wait to load it up with all my junk!

Happy Sewing!

Monday, March 9, 2009

In Like a Lion....

March is here! And here in Arizona, that means it's the beginning of a new season: the warm one. We basically have two seasons here: "cool" and "warm," with varying degrees of "coolness" and "warmness."

With all the trees and shrubs beginning to bloom and the explosion of the "unofficial Arizona flower", the weed, I'm beginning to work on warm weather projects. Out come the capris, sundresses, shorts, and summer-y favorite things to sew! Right now, I'm in love with this great, retro-inspired round neck dress.

The dress and matching headband in this photo was made using two coordinating fabrics from the "Midnight Kisses" collection by Heidi Grace.

This dress has a rounded yoke at the neck, button shoulders and a contrast band at hem. It can be layered over a short or long sleeve shirt........

....or worn alone as a sundress!

This dress was made using the "Daisy Dot" fabric from Jackie Shapiro's "Sweetpea" line, paired with a light-weight denim.

One of the many great things about this dress design is that it can also be made into a cute top.

This outfit was created with the popular Alexander Henry "Kleo" print and coordinating "Bangle Dot" in the very Spring-like pink and green colorway.
I paired the round neck top with khaki, wide-leg capris with an elastic waist and a single ruffle trim in the "Bangle Dot" fabric.

This outfit, with matching headband, is available now in my Etsy shop!
And other round neck items will be available over the next few days, so check back often!

Now time to go and tackle those weeds!