Friday, April 30, 2010

More crocheted bags!

Ok, I know I said I will be spending some time sewing, but there was a pile of finished crocheted bags lying there waiting for lining...and then I got the most awesome new crocheted bag patterns...This is my latest creation. Just finished it last night, including lining. As always, I started making a bag from a pattern and then changed the bag completely halfway through! I saw a picture of a crocheted bag in black with white crocheted circles sewn on in a French pattern book and started making it two nights ago.
Then I saw another bag where the entire bag was put together with crocheted circles. I used some O-rings to give the circles some strength and crocheted them together, then to the bottom part of the bag. Then I started to crochet the top part of the bag above the circles. Very easy and oh, so pretty! Took a few minutes to decide on colors, but I like the combination of colors I ended up with. The handles are my pride and joy! It is really difficult to find bag handles locally and if you do, they are almost always bamboo handles. I bought some cheap wooden bead necklaces a while back and had this idea to make my own handles with wire bought at the hardware store. Armed with some solid advice from my DH, I went off to the hardware last week and bought 2mm wire. I showed DH a picture of the handles I want and he twisted the wires while I added the beads. The orange bead handles were originally intended for another bag, mentioned in a recent post, but looked too good on this bag to not use it! Finally I used plain black cotton lining to show off the colored circles. Love the result!

This is a very plain bag because I wanted to show off this magnificent color. It is called Grape and the yarn is Elle Toy Story. A very thin, and inexpensive yarn. I used double strands for this bag in single stitch to make it firm. The little charms are from one of my Japanese Craft Books and really easy to make, stuffed with cotton wool.

Not easy to see the nice lining fabric, but it is a soft green with little purple flowers on. I have had this fabric for years.
My pink and grey spike bag all done.

Soft pink polka dot fabric for the lining and I love the end result!

I found this cool "old-fashioned" sewing tin at Chamdor over the weekend. It now holds all my "eye candy". That is little fabric flowers, cute buttons and other sweet little embellishment ideas for my bags.

This bag is a quick project I completed in one afternoon over the weekend. The lining still needs to be sewn.

My completed Gardening at Night bag from Debbie Stoller of Stitch Nation fame. Mine is of course very different from the pattern, but I am beginning to like it a lot. The hexagons were fun to make. I lined this bag with plain black cotton fabric and pockets inside.

I have not started a new crocheted bag yet. I plan to sew my winter coat this weekend and maybe work some more on my crocheted orange coat as well. Who knows what else I might feel like making this weekend? I prefer to "go with the flow"...Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Crochet Bags

The crochet bag "factory" is certainly still open here with production going full steam ahead! I finished my Multi-colored spike bag and started a new crochet bag last night! (We will forget about the 10 or 20 WIP's all over the room for now!)

Just need to cut out the lining, iron on the interfacing and sew it. Love how this bag came out. I changed my mind about the handles at the last moment and I am really pleased how this looks. A nice, sturdy bag with lots of room allowing for lots of pockets in the lining.
On Monday I popped into Arthur Bales, my favorite fabric and yarn store, to replace my crochet hook. I snapped it in half whilst crocheting the Multi-colored Spike bag above! They sell these sets of 3 plastic crochet hooks in 4mm, 5mm and 6mm sizes in one pack. Just love these hooks. I left with enough cotton yarn to make a pink top and the fleece fabric above. They were busy unpacking a new shipment as I walked past...Bad...All these gorgeous colors and soft, warm fabric for Winter, which has officially arrived in South Africa this past weekend.
My Burda Style magazine just arrived in the shops a few days ago and this flared coat caught my eye immediately. When I saw the cerise pink houndstooth fleece fabric, I knew I must make this coat! The matching plain pink fleece was in my stash from last Winter and a perfect match too! I see BIG buttons and a large collar. Now I just need to put my crochet bags down a bit so I can trace and cut the pattern from the magazine and start sewing!

Here is a sneek peek at the bag I am working on now. Started last night...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Completed WIP's!

I had a lazy weekend, starting a (another) new crochet bag, reading, preparing lining for all the finished bags...Sunday late afternoon I realized the weekend is almost over and I have not even made a dent in all the WIP's. A frenzy of sewing activities and by 1am (yes, I know, that's crazy!) I had accomplished a lot.
I started this crochet bag last week and finished the handles and lining on Sunday night. I had different plans for finishing this bag, but changed my mind at the last moment.

I used one of my favorite Amy Butler fabrics to line this bag. I attached the lining at the top with hadsewing, not my favorite way of doing things. I suck at handsewing, but I find that PATIENCE makes it better. Not a virtue of mine...The black heart brooch is from a top I bought years ago.

This little felted bag I must have made about 6 months ago. The lining was cut and ready about 2 months ago. Terrible, isn't it? Anyway, this bag was my first attempt at using Cascade 220 yarn and I was horrified at how much this yarn shrunk in the machine! It was so small I could not even fit my purse inside. The idea to make it bigger using fabric was born and Sunday night I finally sewed the bag. I am quite pleased that I managed to save this little bag!

This is a enlarged version of the Gelato Bag from Fibertrends. It is a mixture of wool and mohair. My what a lot of fluff this own gives off! Found this gorgeous large pink flower button at Arthur Bales last Saturday.

Now I have lined felted bags before, but never an odd shape like this. What a struggle the rounded edges at the top were! Can you see the creases in the corners from all my efforts? Well worth it though. Love the bag and wearing it today!

This bag I crocheted about two weeks ago, just a random bag with no pattern. Love the final effect. It just needed lining and handles sewn.

Handsewing the lining in this bag posed a problem. The lining is a light lime green and the bag black. I cannot use black thread because it will look so ugly on the inside. Green thread showed on the outside. So I decided to machine-sew the lining using green thread on the top and black at the bottom. Work well except I stretched the bag a bit and the lining ended up scew. Urgh! The bag is back in the queue and one day I will undo the lining and re-do it.

My hexagon bag all sewn together. LOTS of handsewing here! Took a whole evening with the black wool! Must admit, most of that time was spent trying to figure out the shape. I am not so pleased with the final result. I don't like tall bags, but I do like the overall look of it. The handles are not sewn on, neither is the black lining done yet. I am still deciding...

The bag I am busy with right now. I saw a picture of a bag with this pattern on a designer's website and worked out the pattern from the picture. Hopefully it will be finished this week. Love the grey and pink and the effect of the spike stitch. From far away it looks like little blocks.

Autumn arrived over the past weekend. There is a decided chill in the air and I had to look for my light jerseys this weekend. I am not a fan of winter, but at least ours is very short and the sun still shines every day. Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Crafty Update

I know I have been very quiet lately, and that's not because nothing is happening in my craft room, it's because I have so many WIP's and nothing finished to share! I currently have a zillion bags in my craft room with handbags I started crocheting or knitting, tops I have cut out that needs sewing and a pile of finished crocheted bags that just needs the lining sewn.
Does that stop me from starting more new projects? No way! Soon my room will be dominated by WIP's. I have to do something fast. This is one of those new projects I started in the last week. I just love this bag! My first try at hexagons. Great fun and my bag is finished, just needs lining and handles now. Of course, I did not make it like the pattern. I changed the shape completely and I'm not sure if I am happy with the result. I'll share next week.

This is my progress on the orange designer crochet coat I showed in the previous post. I started on it last Sunday and am halfway with the back panel. I am just smitten with this pattern and can already picture wearing my gorgeous coat! It will however take me weeks to finish this project. I normally only take on small, quick projects and this is the biggest yet. To avoid boredom, I only work on it a few hours a week.

I hope to finish some of the WIP's this weekend. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 9, 2010

New tops and WIP's

There has been tremedous activity in my Craft room the last week! I wanted to share a few things I have completed and some WIP's. First, I have decided to enter the Spring Top competition hosted by Rae (madebyrae) this year. This top will be my first entry. Just love the colors. I will share more detail on this top soon as part of my entry.

Another top in lilac and black, based on the same pattern. Lilac and purple are my favorite colors at the moment. Does it show?
Yes it does! Another lilac top I made this past weekend.
I also cut out another 5 tops this past weekend, ready to be sewn if I feel the urge one night during the week. Last night I whipped up two tops from this pile. No pics at this stage as they are in the wash.
Another project waiting! I found this fabulous crochet coat pattern on Ravelry. It is by designer Vickie Howell and is not as complicated as it looks - I hope! I bought my yarn and hope to start soon. I can just see myself in this fabulous coat! I think the orange looks great, so decided on orange as well.
This Rowan 100% cotton was on sale at Arthur Bales recently. Only two balls left in this awesome pink. I took it thinking I will use it for crochet flowers, but then I bought a lovely bead book and found a simple granny square bag pattern inside. I will have more than enough yarn for this bag. Bummer working with such a thin crochet hook and even thinner yarn! Each granny square takes forever to finish! I need to crochet 29 of these granny squares and I have only managed to complete 8 so far.

My completed lilac bag with crochet flowers sewn on. I plan to make a few more in different colours and slight variations. Another crafty weekend ahead! Hope you all enjoy your weekend!