Lightbulb Moment and Trail Tote

While I’m a tad paralyzed with how to move forward with quilt making (I have so many stinking ideas that keep coming up while driving or in yoga, I can’t decide which one to start next) I’ve been distracting myself with some more bag making out of leather.



I have a friend who lives in Silicon Valley and is the poster child for online innovation having been recruited and moved from Apple to Google and now Youtube all in this last year. (Of interest we met online through a political discussion group organized by a common ex-high school teacher friend.  In response to the gridlock in Washington, she included contacts across the country and world with a wide range of political ideals and we discussed everything from the validity of the “American Dream” to gun control-fascinating stuff!  Nic, this friend brought hilarious much needed levity to the group.)  In any case I wanted to make Nic who appreciated my handmades a manly bag that spoke to him being an “idea man”.  The problem was that after I made it, in my husband’s words it looked a little too “uterus” not lightbulb.  That might be OK for some but I didn’t figure my openly gay friend would be much interested in a female anatomy bag.  🙂  With the help of some Instagram friends I had a “lightbulb moment”.  I added gold metallic pen to the bottom and . . .  So much better, don’t you think?.

Another one of Noodlehead’s bag patterns, the Trail Tote kept me distracted as well ( Trail Tote Free Pattern: Robert Kaufman Fabric Company. ).  I decided to make my tomboy daughter a purse using the pattern for Christmas.




I adapted the bag pattern to fit my own plans trading out the front zipper for a large suede star and also replacing the  simple inner pocket with a zippered one.  I added an inner strip of leather to match the outer bag on the lining.  I think this concept keeps the lining fabric from peaking out and looks more professional.  This leather was so thick, I also bailed on the side piping. Donated repurposed leather and suede were the stars of these bags and I am very grateful to my crafty friends (Thanks! I made them!. and Spontaneous Threads.) for sending them to me.



A Tote for my Cargo

Oh my, in between a full work week and my daughter’s birthday with family party, friend party and special dinner all orchestrated by her, I have had very little free time for creating. Fortunately today before I start more work this weekend, I squeezed in a couple hours to work on my Noodlehead Cargo Tote. I have been sewing along with Sophie and several other crafty women here: C’est la vie: { CARGO DUFFLE SEW ALONG: PART I: choosing fabrics / choisir les tissus }.

It’s been really fun to see what fabric combinations other folks are coming up with and Sophie is giving some much appreciated details in her posts.  I have three bags cut out and with limited time on my hands today, decided to forge ahead with my Lotta Glimma and Carolyn Friedlander fabric combo.  As I am still trying to get used to my new industrial Juki machine, I opted to add some repurposed leather to the mix donated generously by Bianca (Thanks! I made them!.) and sew most of it with this machine.  I was a little intimidated as I know how unforgiving leather can be but thankfully this suede hides my mistakes fairly well.





What’s that you say?  You want to see the inside?  Let’s just say that I’m super psyched that Kristen from Skirt as Top has a tutorial for lining that I will be trying out. (catnap cargo duffle (with mini tutorial on how to add a lining) | skirt as top.)  Halfway through quilting the sides I realized that the beige bobbin thread looked pretty darn ugly on my brown interior canvas.  C’est la vie.  I’ve decided also to skip the snaps as I made this one for myself and I like having my pockets open and easily accessible.  My hat is off to Anna who designed another great bag.  A bag’s success or failure for me often ride on whether the handles are beefy enough to hold the bag and gear (I tend to overstuff bags) and whether the weight of the body is hefty enough to keep it from seeming too homemade.  This bag rates well on both.  Free pattern here:noodlehead: Cargo Duffle Pattern for Robert Kaufman.

I’ll end with a picture of my girlie taken a little over a year ago on a trip to Venice.  At now 13, she is still thankfully uninterested in makeup, clothes or getting her ears pierced but can almost always be found with a book in hand.  BTW she requested and I made this cheesecake for her birthday dinner: chocolate peanut butter cheesecake | smitten kitchen.