Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sew busy...and I keep adding projects!

It doesn't matter how many projects I have going on, I just seem to add more and more, even though the others aren't finished! It's like books for me, where I routinely have at least 2-3 that I'm reading at the same time.

This week I finished monkey's Shopping Cart Cover. I used a McCall's 3-In-1 Shopping Cart Cover Pattern that I bought on I will say that, while the pattern is fairly easy to follow, there were times that I was a bit confused, and as a result the finished product is SLIGHTLY messier than I would have liked. 

I disappointed myself in a couple areas. I cut the leg holes too early...therefore they were a bit too big and the space between them narrower than I would have liked. 

I misunderstood the instructions for the casing for the elastic, and made the space too narrow. As a result I had to rip out sections of my casing seam and re-sew it so that there was enough room for the elastic to slip through...not fun.

I would also suggest a couple of modifications to this pattern:

  • When cutting the material for the binding, I would suggest making it slightly wider (by about 3 inches total...prior to cutting it would be 9 inches wide, and when you cut it down it would be a 3 inch wide strip). That would make the finished binding about 3/4 inch wide, which is easier to work with, especially if you cut the leg holes too early like I did and they are uneven. I would also add about 3-4 inches in length to the binding, just in case.
  • I would wait to cut the leg holes until all the layers are sewn together and right side out, that way you can be sure the placement and size will be where you want it on the finished product.
  • Make the casing for the elastic about 3/4 inch wide instead of 1/2 inch makes it easier to thread the elastic through, especially because you will be fighting with batting. 
  • If you choose to cut the holes and make the strap, note that the pattern doesn't tell you when to do this, so you just have to know to do it yourself. I did that step last. Also, I would suggest NOT sewing the male end of the buckle onto the strap, that way you can tighten it around baby and keep him/her more secure. I'm going to rip out that part of sewing so that I know Monkey is REALLY in there.
I do love that this comes complete with an attached stuff bag, 2 interior pockets to place a wallet or bottle, and loops to hook toys to...It REALLY helps to keep baby entertained! I'll try to post a picture of it in action when we use it and I remember the camera.

The next project I tackled is Amy Butler's Everything Bag from her book Little Stitches for Little Ones. I wanted a second diaper bag that was a little more neutral in print than the Modern Diaper Bag I made last year. I love that bag, but sometimes it's either not big enough or the print just isn't really what I'm wanting that day. Plus, there's a slight, minuscule, infinitesimal chance that Ben might be willing to hold it for me, which would be a huge bonus!

I had a MUCH easier time with this one than I did with the Modern Diaper Bag.For one, I think that since I had already worked with a pattern from this book I was much more prepared for how it is written, and I knew to pay specific attention to every detail in each step. I also knew to get heavy duty needles, so I didn't have to deal with nearly as many breaking. I love that this bag has both exterior and interior pockets, and that the interior pockets have elastic at the top...nothing's going to fall out of those easily!

The only difficulty I really had was in attaching the lining sides to the bottom. That's because the dang murtherf*rking stupid a$$ very stiff center divider makes manipulating the ends of the fabric difficult...I just couldn't get it to lay flat enough to get a nice, straight seam. At least it was only the lining!

Suggestions for this? Not many. 
  • I would consider making the divider slightly shorter. That way not only is it easier to do the edge and top stitching at the top of the bag, but it just seems like aesthetically it's more pleasing.
  • I would also make the straps longer...easier to get over your shoulder. Although it's very functional this way...I just think that, with how large the bag is, it will be on my shoulder more than just in my hand or over my lower arm.

Now I just have to finish a couple crochet projects. Oh, and the sunhat for Monkey (since his is too small). and a Crochet Clutch to hold my crochet hooks and notions. And then a few more crochet projects...

I'm doomed. My list of projects keeps getting longer...For every one that I finish 2 pop up in it's place!

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Thanks for reading! I welcome and appreciate all helpful/funny/generally polite comments and questions!