The Red Dress is languishing – I was steaming ahead with it and it seems that a needle change plus the use of newspaper has solved the problem with the stretch fabric so I am back in love with the old Husqvarna.  The current issue with The Red Dress is that I stupidly sewed up one of the shoulder seams on the WRONG side – i.e. the seam was on the outside!  See what a novice I am :).  Can’t seem to find the Quick Unpick but I am beginning to dream about it so I think it will turn up soon…

Knitting birthday gifts is taking up most of my craft time but I promised a library bag and art smock for Sophie and the girl down the road (who I knitted the Rainbow Dress for) who both start school next month.  I had initially decided that I would sew an art smock from scratch and found a tutorial on Sew Mama Sew which showed how to make a pattern and then smock.  I bought some fabric before Christmas on sale at Spotlight for about $3 per metre – Sophie and Sam chose it – and typical of my style it has sat on the window sill in the study.  In my defense here I was busy with Christmas, spending time with the kids and family – I didn’t even spin (but I did knit quite a bit :)).

I showed the fabric around a bit and on the last day Pete’s sister, who is a teacher, sat down with me and gently suggested that smock made from old shirts are best and that while the fabric I had chosen was lovely, it was too lovely to use for such a project.  The school had suggested old shirts were best but I like to make things complicated don’t I.  So, I am heeding the advice and going back to shirts but I am going to applique the girls names on the back in the lovely fabric I bought.  But that it for another day (in the next 3 weeks).

Yesterday, I pulled out the fabric and the Pellon instructions on set to making the applique letters for the smocks.  Then, because it was all out, I set to making up the library bags also with appliqued names.  I remember my library bag as a kid – it was red – or was it green and my chair bag was red – with hobby text that Mum had done, a simple rectangular bag with a draw string.  That is what I wanted to create – sans the Hobby text that I have no idea about – but lined and with the appliqued names.  I have never attempted applique but there are so many tutorials online and friendly advice on the end of the phone and when it all boils down I am making a library bag for prep kids so it doesn’t need to be perfect.

I Googled “how to make a lined library bag” and, while the tutorials were great for totes, they did not show the simple thing I wanted so I had to use my wit and just go with it – we are not striving for perfect here, just get it done and enjoy the process.

So, the first step in my process was to iron the Pellon onto the first piece of fabric, download the letters from here, play with the scissors and cut out the letters, trace them backwards onto the Pellon and then cut them out.  Feels like I am doing prep art a bit!  However, the results were awesome:
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Next step.  My SIL told me to make the bags at least A3 sized to fit in the larger books from the library so I cut 4 pieces in each fabric about that size plus seam allowance.  I then stitched on the letters for Sophie’s bag and sewed the pieces together – put a ribbon in for a drawstring and it’s done!  Simple as that…..it took me all day to do one though!  I need to do the second bag ASAP but I need to be in the right head space and after two days at work I am a bit tired today….  I don’t know who people work full-time and run a house with kids!

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