Monday, February 16, 2015

January 2015 Swap Report and Finished: Swap Bags

The world postal systems turned out to be remarkably efficient at the beginning of the month, so I am the lax one in not reporting sooner on the results of the January 2015 Geek and Nerd Swap, themed Imaginary Worlds.  Let me put that right.

That time-consuming prima donna, the jade anna dress, became top priority in January because I had a competition I needed to wear it to and because it took far longer than I anticipated (see previous post for details on the most recent ripping and resewing).  The date of the competition happened to be the ship date for this swap.  It was not my finest example of time-management.  So in the midst of the ripping and resewing, when my sewing machine and serger seemed to have taken up permanent resident on the dining room table and green threads had attached themselves to everything in the apartment, I made a project bag.

The frog fabric was purposefully purchased for this bag, as my spoilee collects frog-related things.  The purple was part of the fat quarters/scraps I purchased to bolster my stash in January.  I followed Shannon's helpful tutorial, adapting it only to make the purple strip narrower and to have an opening on each side for the drawstrings.  The entire time I was sewing this, I remembered how pleasant sewing with cotton is.  It doesn't stretch!  It doesn't shift!  It doesn't bunch up!  It stays where you put it!

It frays.  This project bag is fully lined, so that isn't a problem here.

I finished this bag the night before I was supposed to ship this package, while my dear husband was stoning my dress and I had given up on finishing floats in time for the competition the next day.  I then took stock of my package.  I had purchased treats and yarny gifts, and I had the project bag ready.  I didn't quite have my handmade done, though it was close, perhaps if I stayed up a few more hours . . .

Spoilee, maybe it was selfish of me, but I opted to put down the craft supplies and go to bed at a reasonable hour.  I shipped two days late, but made you an extra goody, a World of WarCraft tote.

I already had the Wonder-under out for appliques for the jade anna dress, so I printed a copy of the Horde symbol that didn't have any extremely narrow parts, and made an applique out of some black quilting cotton and Wonder-Under.

Then I dug out some red fabric scraps . . .

 . . . which began life as the bottom of Ikea curtains.  I kept the extra when I hemmed the curtains to the right length for my windows, since there were a sturdy-feeling 100% cotton fabric.  I cut out two rectangles and two handles, edged them on the serger, and ironed on my applique.  Then I sewed around the applique with a tight zig-zag to hold down the edges.

I was shocked at how well this turned out.  I am an experimentalist in crafting, and a lot of the time things don't go according to plan.  I take that as part of the territory and try not to let it bother me.  But this time it all just worked.  Furthermore I felt so comfortably in control of my sewing machine.  I took up more serious sewing just a year ago, and at the time I often felt like I was wrestling with my machine to get it to a sew a decent seam.  Now I'm sewing around funny shapes without trouble.

My package went off to its new home on Monday, complete with the handmades I'll discuss in greater detail soon, and I was shocked to come home on Tuesday to find a package waiting for me!  A package from Australia!

It was exceptionally well wrapped.

 The fabric arrived separately a few weeks ago, and here it is joined up with two bags, one handmade, yarn, nail polish, jelly beans, yarn (I think it wants to be gloves of some kind), and a lovely card.  I felt so spoiled!

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