Monday, February 22, 2010

Two New Blogs I Found This Week!

Last night -or early this morning, depending on how you like to look at it- I'm pretty sure I mentioned that I wanted to continue my post, however my thumbs were getting tired.  Well, it was more like my forearms and biceps.. I'm probably gonna end up buff from all of the thumb typing I've been doing.

So, the first blog I found was a blog I came across on either Thursday or Friday, called "Made By Rae".  I was discussing bag making with my friend Nay -who now has her VERY OWN blog!- and she somehow was able to give me the link to Rae's blog.  Her blog is sewing themed, and I immediately started following it.  She has a few various patterns on her blog, free as well as ones to purchase the licensing to make bags from her pattern and then to sell them.  She has some free patterns but they are personal use only.  I liked the look of her Buttercup Bag, but of course before I commit and spend the $10 for the license fee, I wanted to take the pattern for a test drive!  So I did!   I realize it's not the best quality picture, but since I wanted to finish writing the blog, rather than waste time nitpicking the picture of the bag, I went with this one.  As you can tell, it's quite different than her bag.  I used a solid brown color for the top part of the bag, and the straps have tabs on them -not sure why I did this actually- and the strap is made with the same fabric as the inner lining, and features a knot since it's in two pieces.  I also added some decorative stitching on the top part in variegated pink thread.  Since I was just experimenting with the pattern to see if I could do it, the fabric is quite wrinkly.  My favorite part of the bag is the green fabric I used as the lining and the straps, but especially how the fabrics don't really match, yet somehow it works out.  I adore the green fabric and I do plan on going back and purchasing more of it.  The neat part about this bag -in the smaller size anyway- is that it can be done with two fat quarters and a little extra.  I highly encourage you to check her website out!

The next blog I found was in the wee hours of Sunday morning, just after midnight.  I went searching for a tutorial on pleating.  Now, before you get any crazy ideas in your head that I don't know how to pleat, get them out!  I DO know how to pleat -otherwise I wouldn't have been able to make the bag you see above- but I wanted to find out if there was any magic mathematical formula regarding pleating and reducing the inches down.. something like this... x size pleat * times y pleats = total inches reduced to equal new width.  That actually makes more sense in my head...  Anyhoo, the first thing google popped up was this tutorial.  I knew enough that smocking was kind of in the other end of the spectrum for the type of pleating tutorial that I was looking for, but I didn't care.  I always had an interest in smocking, but it wasn't until I came across Marie Grace's blog that I was hooked.  Her blog isn't really about smocking exclusively, it's actually a blog primarily about knitting, but she also shares stuff about her family, sewing, quilting, and smocking projects as well as her goats and other animals.  I was instantly drawn in, and I laid in bed  reading her blog for about 2.5 hours (or more) before I looked at the time, realized it was after 3 in the morning, put my phone down and went to sleep.  I recall having a pleasant dream, and despite only getting 5 to 6 hours of sleep -I need at least 8 or 9 so I'm not a grumpy ogrette- I woke up quite refreshed and spunky, something I highly attribute to reading her blog right before falling asleep.  Don't misunderstand, it didn't BORE me to sleep, but I knew if I didn't stop where I was, I was going to be up until 5 trying to finish reading her entire blog.  I know I got as far as May of 2008, and I plan on finishing reading her blog.  I left a comment on her blog, and woke up to a very kind email to which I responded to.  She's awesome!

Oh, and I never found a magical formula for pleating.  I decided to dart the fabric instead, which is the shell for a purse I'm designing.


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