Category Archives: Sewing

A Birthday Tote Bag

If you were reading here at the end of August, you may remember that I had plans to sew with some leather purse straps, linen, and fabrics that didn’t match each other.  I couldn’t show you what I was making because they were for a birthday gift and I had to wait for the birthday to occur.  The birthday happened while I was in Australia and now that I’m done telling you about my trip (whew!  aren’t you glad that‘s over!) I can show you the bag that I made.

A few months ago a little friend of SweetiePie’s was joking with me and she mentioned how much she’d like to have something made by me.  She’s a cutie and conveniently, her birthday was coming up, so I came up with a plan.  She lives in NYC and she walks a lot and she mentioned that if I made some sort of a bag it would be nice if it was big enough for her tennis shoes.  She also mentioned that she loves pink and aqua, and she loves to go to yoga classeses, so I decided to make her an over-sized bag with a yoga theme.

Thimbleanna: Tote Bag

I chose the Reversible Sunday Sling pattern by Amy Butler and I raided my little etsy shop and used Up Parasol by Heather Bailey, Surprise Birthday in Pink, and an essex linen in flax.  The biggest problem that I have with bags is that the handles wear out too quickly, so I replaced the fabric handles from the pattern with some leather handles.  Then, I highlighted some circles on the front of the bag – yoga symbols from embroidery library, a flower from Up Parasol and an M for her first name.  (I think the peace sign is my favorite.  Rumor has it that she liked the yoga girl the best.)

Thimbleanna: Tote Bag

I left the back of the bag plain, to save her some embarrassment, in case the front was too much for her.  I’ll admit, this bag didn’t turn out exactly the way I pictured it in my mind.  That aqua (teal?) fabric is a leeeetle bit bright (I think I would have liked a subtle lime green better, but I was trying to deliver on the aqua preference).  And, while I love that Up Parasol print, it looks like it’s screaming at you when you look at the bag.

Thimbleanna: Tote Bag

But.  I LOVE those leather straps and the style of the bag.  When it’s slung over the shoulder it’s SO comfortable.  So, I decided I could overlook the irritants.  Especially, when you consider it really hurts the eyes to look inside the bag.  The Up Parasol and the Happy Birthday REALLY don’t go together, but I HAD to use the Happy Birthday print.  It was a Birthday Present!  I figured my little friend is the only one who will see the inside, and I hope she smiles each time she looks in there and remembers that this was for her birthday.

Thimbleanna: Tote Bag

I also personalized the inside of the bag with a “This bag belongs to ____” embroidery.  The inside pleat gets in the way a little, but it’s ok.

Thimbleanna: Tote Bag

This was a really fun bag to make and I’m hoping to make another one sometime for me.  It’s such a comfortable bag to carry around and I love the little pleats here and there.  I hope my little friend will get lots of use out of it!

Thimbleanna: Tote Bag

XOXO,
Anna

Pink Shirt

Some of you may remember way back in the fall of 2011, I finished these pink socks and posted them with a picture of pink flowers in hopes that I would make a pink flower shirt the following spring.

Thimbleanna: Pink Shirt

Well, better late than never, as they say.  Luckily, I haven’t worn the pink socks out yet and I can now happily wear them with my new pink shirt.

Thimbleanna: Pink Shirt

I used my favorite shirt pattern and Sarah Jane’s Meadow print from her Children at Play line.  I’ve been hoarding some of this fabric — I just love those cute little pink flowers.

Thimbleanna: Pink Shirt

I’ve only used this pattern with corduroy before, so the fit seems a little looser with cotton.  I’m sure it will soften up with wear though, just like the corduroy shirts.

Thimbleanna: Pink Shirt

I love that little pleat in the back.  Someday I’m going to make a version of this shirt and put a little tag back there.  I also love MeMum’s clothesline.  I could take pictures of those pretty green wires and the weathered clothespins all day long.  Sorry for the distraction!

Thimbleanna: Pink Shirt

Happy Hump Day!

XOXO,
Anna

Her Name Was Nancy Wolfe

I took MeMum to an antique store for a few minutes yesterday.  I was worried about our trip — MeMum was grumpy and didn’t want to play.  Isn’t it funny how shopping is a lot more fun if you find something that interests you?  Just when I was giving up hope that she would enjoy our little outing, we saw a few things that caught our eye.  One of them was this train case that used to belong to Nancy Wolfe.

Thimbleanna: Train Case Sewing Box

It looks a little bunged up in this next picture, but it’s really in great shape.  I knew immediately how I could use this cute little train case.

Thimbleanna: Train Case Sewing Box

The makeup tray is perfect for sewing tools and little squares of fabric.

Thimbleanna: Train Case Sewing Box

And the section below the makeup tray is perfect for my growing quilt.  My little buddy case is tucked under there too, for times when I don’t want to take the whole case with me — I’ll grab the buddy case, quilt top, and go.

Thimbleanna: Train Case Sewing Box

I think it was $15 well spent.  I tried to get The Scruffster to show a little interest but he wasn’t having it.  He’s not an outdoor cat, so actually being outside was more than he could take.  He’s too rotund to run away from me, so I don’t worry about having him out there for a minute or two.

Thimbleanna: Train Case Sewing Box

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  We’re having a pretty downpour as we speak.  A perfect day to sew!

Thimbleanna: Rain

XOXO,
Anna

C’mon Get Happy

I’ve had that goofy song by Pharrell Williams running through my head all week. The Happy Song — it’s so, … um … happy haha. (Did you know they call that an earworm when a song gets stuck in your head like that?)  Google the Happy Song if you need an earworm too — it’s fun!

Anyway, the reason for all this Happy is the arrival of Surprise!, the fun line of fabric from Riley Blake.  I ordered it way back in February and I was really excited to see it at spring quilt market. And now it’s here and I’ve been having fun playing and making some gifts — because a fabric that says Happy Birthday on it is perfect for gifts.

Thimbleanna: Happy Birthday Pillowcase

I started with pillow cases. Sooo easy! And I included a little Happy Birthday Tag-It in the seamline. Next up, I want to make You Go Girl’s cute crochet-edged pillowcases with the pink Happy Birthday print. 

Thimbleanna: Happy Birthday Pillowcase

Then, I decided I wanted to make some little giftbags.  (I might be a little obsessed.  Like many of you, I love fabrics with words on them and the colors in these prints sent me over the edge LOL.)

Thimbleanna: Happy Birthday Giftbag

Each gift bag took a basically a fat quarter (split between a cute print and the Happy Birthday print) for the bag and a fat quarter for the lining, with a scrap for the binding.

Thimbleanna: Happy Birthday Giftbag

I threw in a little Happy Birthday Tag-it on the gift bag too (’cause they’re like Lay’s potato chips — you can’t stop!).

Thimbleanna: Happy Birthday Giftbag

Anyway, it’s been fun playing and I have a ton of other ideas for this fabric too.  Wouldn’t a pincushion or sewing accessories for your sewing buddies be cute on their birthday?  You’ve probably already guessed that I have fat quarter packs and some yardage in my little shop.  You can make a LOT of those gift bags with a fat quarter pack (free pdf pattern comes with the fat quarter pack). 

Thimbleanna: Surprise by Bo Bunny

(And speaking of the shop, if you missed the first order of the little Better Buddy Sewing Cases, they’re restocked and lime green is even an option now too.)

Ok, off to fondle happy fabric.  Have a great weekend — it’s almost here!
XOXO,
Anna

Peace. Love. Yoga.

Hello boys and girls!  It’s time to show you the super secret Christmas sewing project that was the most time consuming.  Here’s a little hint:

Thimbleanna: Yoga Mat Bag

Any guesses?

Ok, I’ll tell you.  All the ladies in the ThimbleannaLand family are planning a little yoga vacation this summer so I thought it would be fun if we all had matching yoga mat bags.  Altogether, I made 6 bags and it took me several full weekends to complete them.

Thimbleanna: Yoga Mat Bag

I think the girls really liked them.  CuteNiece2 (who is becoming a certified yoga instructor and will be our own personal instructor on our trip) told me this was her favorite gift, so that was pretty exciting!

I couldn’t find a yoga mat bag pattern that I liked, so I just sort of made one up by looking at commercially available yoga mat bags.  Each bag has one long zipper for the mat compartment in the middle and a smaller zipper on one side that opens into a pocket for wallet, keys, etc.  There is also an outside mesh pocket for a water bottle or towel or whatever.  Here’s a shot of what each side of the bags looks like:

Thimbleanna: Yoga Mat Bag

If you look closely, you can see that I personalized each person’s bag with their name.  The top bag in the picture above just happens to be mine!  ;-D  There’s a big long shoulder strap that runs from the top of the bag to the bottom of the bag.  It’s sewn down on the bottom of the bag, but on the top it’s left open so that it could be used as a carrying handle if someone wanted to carry their bag in an upright position but not on their shoulder.  There are also grommets in the bottom to provide ventilation for the mats.  Here’s a shot of the top and bottom of the bags:

Thimbleanna: Yoga Mat Bag

You can see that I used Sweetwater’s Make Life print on the ends of the bag.  I also used it for the bag linings.  It’s one of my very favorite prints ever and I’ve been hoarding a lot of it for a long time.  I think the little sayings in the print are perfect for a yoga bag.  Like the pencil rolls, I used the Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in Sand for most of the outside of the bags and then chose some scrap fabrics to match the Make Life fabric.

Thimbleanna: Yoga Mat Bag

The machine embroidery is a design from embroidery library.  We had a lot of peace signs this Christmas ;-D.  (They also have a cute Peace. Love. Knit. design that I think would be fun on a knitting bag.)

Thimbleanna: Yoga Mat Bag

And just to prove that I really did make six of them, here they are all stacked together.  This was really a fun project to sew!

Thimbleanna: Yoga Mat Bag

So, that’s the big project and the medium project posted. ;-D There’s still one other little project that I’ll save for next time. I hope you’re having a good week!
XOXO,
Anna

Ooooh, P.S.  I forgot to tell you that I got my shipment of Linen Mochi Dots by MoMo from Moda.  I LOVE this fabric and if it had been available before Christmas, these yoga bags would have had a very different look!  You can find them HERE, in my little etsy store.

Thimbleanna: Linen Mochi Dots