Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sewing Messenger Bags

I'd been obsessed with making messenger bags this past week.  Well, I should say I was more obsessed with trying to figure out the best way to do it than the actual bags themselves.

Based on the following must haves for me, I drafted the pattern and made the design.
1.  Not too many compartments. I hate bags with lots of compartments.  I'm too unorganized that I'd spend forever looking into different pockets for things.
2.  But, separate pockets for the 3 things I use the most, phone, keys, and wallet.
3.  Absolutely a zipper at the top that closes up the bag so I can just throw things into the bag.

So I designed a big pocket at the front that can be easily accessed under the top flap. A line is sewn down the middle to divide it into one pocket for keys, one pocket for phone. The bag itself has a zipper at top, and an inner pocket for wallet. Rather than rectangular looking bags, I also decided I wanted more rounded corner ones

The first bag was made with yellow canvas material.  I was happy, but when I was top stitching the zippers I realized another way to streamline the steps.  To prove me theory would work, I made the Chevron bright color one.  Because it took me some thinking during the making process, it didn't go super fast like I thought I would.  I then went on to make the third one with patterned upholstery fabric which came about smoothly with the patterns and steps finalized.  

I love my bags.  My favorite one is probably the zigzag bright colors one because I just love the fabric pattern. I totally did't need these many bags, but I simply couldn't stop making them.

Thursday, August 4, 2016


My new lace shawl pattern Diabolique is up!
The stitch design was based on shapes of bearded iris.

It's a crescent shape shawl knitted top down with plain Stockinette Stitch at to the top followed by lacy border.
It uses 475 yards of fingering weight yarn and US #5 / 3.75 mm needle

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Yup, It's Pink

This summer I made several trips down to Bay Area to take care of my dental work, including this past weekend.   Every time I went down to Bay Area, I vowed to go into SF and walk around.  Then I never did.  I simply didn't have the motivation to deal with the traffic there.  So I learned to bring some easy projects while I chilled at my brother's house.  I usually worked on socks during my trips, but this time, I brought a shawl project.

The yarn, Malabrigo Socks, was purchased at Fengari in Half Moon Bay when I last visited Bay Area a month ago. Half Moon Bay is the one place where I was always glad to drive to as the traffic there is much, much easier.  And I love going down to the coast and see the big Pacific Ocean.

I bought one skein in multi-color, and the other in hot pink, both were obvious impulse purchase. My town has no yarn store, so I buy most yarn online and make my color decisions based on what I would wear, etc.  But whenever I visited an actual store, I'd totally go crazy with the blings and brights.

With these yarn, I made a colorwork hat few weeks ago. However, the design looked lost in this combo.  This time I made a shawl with the left over yarn.

The design was exactly the same as Handspun Shawl  I made last year.  I needed a easy pattern for the road, and the simplicity of stockinette stitch for the the body of the shawl was a perfect choice.  Made most of the shawl the few days I was chilling at my brother's house, and finished the very simple border after I got home.

I'm loving the crazy color combo, because it was adventurous for me.  Now I totally want to venture out beyond the regular old reliable, aesthetically pleasing choices a lot more!

One note, I finished the border while watching day 1 of Democrat Convention on TV.  I was tearing up watching our First Lady Michelle Obama's speech.  She reminded me that despite all the hurtful languages that are thrown around, this is a wonderful country.  This is the country that elected an intelligent black president 60 years after civil right movements. This is the country where I can be myself and thrive as an individual beyond molds.  This is the country where people do acknowledge the problems we have so we can work on them.  I remember when Michelle Obama was campaigning for her husband in 2008, I said to my colleague,  I'd totally vote for her if she ever runs for president."

And, one more very BRIGHT note, the doctor's office just called a hour ago about my test result and said everything came back normal!!