Sunday, October 3, 2010

Amy Butler...will you marry me??

Hello friends, I hope your weekend was as wonderful as mine. Great weather, fun sewing, good food and a visit from my son Sean and his gal Crystal. Perfect! 
Remember in my last post I told you about these lovely ladies and their great online fabric shop, Grand Bazaar? 
Well Elizabeth also gave me a tote bag pattern to critique for her. I'm not usually very good with patterns, I prefer to just get an idea, cut my fabric and sew. I thought it might be a good lesson in discipline if I could actually follow a pattern start to finish. So here we go!
The pattern is from KiWi Quilting Studio..sorry I don't have the ladies name as she does not include it on her website here. I looked and could not find a name reference..I have to admit that perplexed me a little. Why would you not put your name on your website?? 
This tote is lined and has four inside pockets. I used some of the new Amy Butler laminate I bought from Grand Bazaar for the exterior and some Michael Miller laminate for the lining. 
I have never worked with laminate before and immediately headed to Google for advice. I found fabulous help from Pink Chaulk Studios Blog. Lot's of great advice!
This is the laminated lining I used.
The pattern was pretty basic and easy to follow. It is almost identical to the totes I already create without a pattern. I did loose interest in the directions for the small elasticized pocket...way too much math and angle measurements for my meager brain. I just stick to the basic two rectangular pieces of fabric (right sides together) leaving a few inches unsewn to turn right side, sew turning opening closed and sew onto your bag....DONE! Her pocket would have looked great, but mine was faster.
She gave some good pointers about not pinning on Laminate, but to use blue painters tape. That made the construction much easier.
The instructions for creating the square bottom might be confusing for a beginner. I knew what she was talking about, but without a good photo it is not easy to understand how the flat corners are created.
The drawing that illustrates the step where you attach the lining to the exterior is a little confusing. It shows the strap ends when in reality you can't see the the straps at this point. They are sandwiched in between the lining and the exterior. It took me a little while to figure out what she was doing. 
Once all the sewing was completed, I inverted the lining..topstiched all around the upper bag and Voila!
I had a gorgeous Waterproof tote bag.
Isn't she pretty? I can't wait to take her to the beach or on a picnik. This fabric has so many great uses. 
I'm thinking wet clothes bag..beach tote etc..etc...
The new soft laminates are washable and dryable. This fabric is a little more expensive that plain cotton, but for these types of special projects, it is well worth it.
Also I was happy to discover that these new laminates are better for the environment than the Mexican oilcloth that many crafters are using. This new laminate does not contain Phthalates and are not made with vinyl or PVC(polyvinyl chloride). So you can feel good about sewing up snack bags and baby items.
I hope you will give this new fabric a try. I know I look forward to using it again. Many thanks to Grand Bazaar Fabrics and KiWi Quilting Studio and it's mystery lady  ;-)
Until next kind and stay creative.
Ok,  so Amy Butler... I purchased 4 four yards of your new laminated cotton and I have to say I am smitten! I am in love with the colors, the softness of the fabric and the ease in sewing with it. Marry me please!


Kathleen Grace said...

Oh Janet, that bag rocks! Gorgeous fabrics. I am the same way as you, a fly by the seat of my pants sewer, though I don't mind a pattern. I would have done the same thing with that pocket:>) lol

Annette said...

She did turn out very pretty!! Pattern instructions can be such a pain sometimes!

koralee said...

Oh I love that girl...I meet her at the Creative connection event and she really is amazing!

Your bag is to see if you have it listed in your shop. oxoxo