Have Sketchbook, Will Travel

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gretchy1My Favorite Art Geek turns twelve next week and she is a bugger to shop for.  There are only three things on her wish list and all are quite generic:

  1. art supplies
  2. anything red
  3. anything camo

Since this kid has more art supplies than I do (and that really is saying something), I decided to take a grab at #2 on her list and hopefully hit the other two in the process.  My starting outline was just about a vague as her wish list: a red bag, large enough to carry a sketchbook and a few other necessities.  So, I grabbed the measurements from a standard sketchbook and started pattern making.  I ended up with a simple four piece pattern that wasn’t quite handbag and a bit more stylish than a tote, it was exactly what I wanted.

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I’ve been the owner of a salvaged red, leather seat cover for several years now and I dug it out of the closet. The piece had always been tagged for my Art Geek, but up until now I hadn’t quite put my finger on the perfect project.  I had to spend about 30 minutes cleaning the old leather and flattening out the worst of the creases.  Then I was ready to sew.

My new machine handled the leather with ease and (not counting the times I was interrupted) the sewing was complete in another 45 minutes.  The only hiccup came when I wanted to add the handle (previously my favorite belt-army green is close to camo) and realized that I should have done that as the first step instead of the last.  I get ahead of myself some days.

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For the finishing touches, O helped me apply an asymmetrical clasping system created from  a vintage necklace I’ve been piecing out for years and a spring clip I salvaged from a defunct suitcase.  The dangly charm is a string of beads from broken necklace.  (Some days, my husbands theory about me being a hoarder doesn’t sound so far off.  Who else has all of this laying around the house?)

 

To Kick Things Off

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Here are a few of my previous, unconventional projects. In the past I haven’t been very good about getting photos of my work, so there isn’t much to see.

A skirt for my gypsy girl.  This garment was created from thrifted cotton fabric and trims.

A skirt for my gypsy girl. This garment was created from thrifted cotton fabric and trims.

Newborn dress and bow created using a hand-me-downs.  The original garments were a long sleeve onsie and a pair of girls leggings.

Newborn dress and bow created using a hand-me-downs. The original garments were a long sleeve onsie and a pair of girls leggings.

A tote bag made from the leftovers of a resized thrift store table cloth and thrifted trims.

Tote bag made from the leftovers of a resized thrift store table cloth and thrifted trims.

Baby booties made from upcycle scraps.

Baby booties made from upcycle scraps and lined a scrap of thrifted fabric.