Holiday Surprise Progress


I’m pleased to say that I’ve made a little progress on Tom’s Cooper backpack. Not much, but I’m trying to do what I can with what I’ve got!

My shell fabrics and magnetic snaps will arrive this Tuesday, so I’ll be able to really get to work later this week. Nothing like cutting it close, eh?? My webbing and hardware arrived this past week, so I went ahead and worked on the straps today. I expected the straps to be much more complex than they turned out to be, but hooray for surprises!

Lining and straps!

Lining and straps!

The webbing was very easy to work with; I even finger-pressed the required folds rather than mess with my iron, and it was all that was needed. I got my webbing from AGraffSupplies on Etsy; it’s cotton and feels very sturdy, and this shop offers various yardages of it in a very wide array of colors. I definitely recommend looking there if webbing is something you need for a project! (I also got webbing from another source after my post office said that this first package was returned to the sender. Imagine my surprise when this package showed up later that day, LOL! I had a good customer service experience with the other vendor–Strapworks–as well, but haven’t used their webbing yet.)

After I cut the two long pieces of webbing, I realized that I really ought to get a heftier needle in my machine before I started with the sewing. I had planned to do that once I got to the shell, but it was absolutely necessary for handing this webbing. I opted for a size 14 denim needle, and it had no issues punching through the straps. My machine did struggle a bit with three layers of this material (at one point, you sew through a folded section and the main strap section to secure that end of the strap), and my presser foot couldn’t really lower due to the thickness. As a result, the rectangle of stitching on one of the straps is a little, uh, off. 🙂 Fortunately, this appears to be the heftiest section of the sewing for this project in terms of bulk under the presser foot. From cutting to finishing, including the futzing around with changing the needle and thread and bobbin on my machine (and the digging for the correct thread color!) and walking to the living room to check the sewalong posts, I was finished in under 30 minutes. Not bad for a bag-making n00b, huh?

Unfortunately, this is all the progress I can make until my shell canvas and snaps arrive and get washed, etc. But I’m really excited for this project, and hopefully the end result is something that makes Tom very happy. I’m determined to finish this before xmas, since everything else I ordered for him is going to arrive after the new year; the company didn’t bother telling me that half of my order was out of stock until I contacted them this week to ask about shipping (which I paid to have expedited when I ordered at the end of November). Needless to say, I’m not happy about that, since that was everything I’d planned for Tom for the holiday. 😦 I’ve never been happier to execute an impulsive sewing project, LOL!

Hopefully I will be back with updates next weekend–wish me luck, and no broken needles!!

New Stuff at The “Mads” House

It’s my first post of 2014–yay! I hope everyone has had a good start to 2014, and that you haven’t accidentally written 2013 on any important documents. 😉

Things have been busy here, of course. I haven’t done any sewing yet this year, which is depressing. BUT: I have acquired several awesome sewing-related pretties that I can’t wait to put to use once I start up for the year. I’ve put photos of a few of them below, naturally. 🙂


New patterns and buckles


Close-up of the buckles!

The 1940’s dress pattern at the top right was a gift from Tom for xmas, but all the others I bought for myself. I’m especially excited about the cape pattern, because I have been obsessed with them lately. The 1930’s dress/cape pattern (as seen in the buckle close-up) is another of my favorites. I’m very intrigued by the measurements on this particular pattern; unlike most sewing patterns, there is not a vast difference in the bust and waist measurements in any of the sizes. For instance, this pattern lists a 28″ bust as having a corresponding 26″ waist–that’s very different to what I’ve seen on other vintage patterns, even from this era. Because of that, I’ll have to do some serious grading at the waist, I suspect (and no, 28″ is not my bust size–my ribs are a bit bigger than that, haha!). The Depew bra pattern is also really exciting, because I’ve never tried to make underthings before and Anna at A Few Threads Loose always has such beautiful patterns available at her Etsy store. I’ve got all the materials to make the bra, and I’m hoping to start it tonight after work. Hopefully it helps to kickstart my 2014 sewing mojo!