This Years' Gifts / Les Cadeaux Cette Année


Aren't these just the cutest? You need to be of a certain age to know what they were for back in the non digital days (hotel room key tags). 
I had them made to go with the key fobs I made for everyone. I thought this would put a dent in the leather and ribbons bits leftover but it didn't make a notch!
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C'est-tu pas cute √ßa? Il faut avoir un certain √Ęge, non-digital, pour savoir √† quoi servaient ces √©tiquettes plastique (cl√©s de chambre d'h√ītel).
Je les ai fait faire pour aller avec les porte-clés que j'ai fait pour tout le monde. J'ai pensé que ça m'aiderait à utiliser mes restes de cuir et de rubans divers, mais ça n'a fait aucune différence.


I also made some pin cushion key rings (tutorial here) and more of those little tweed pin cushions because they are so cute too.
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J'ai fait quelque bagues pique-épingles (tutoriel ici) aussi et quelques coussin pique-épingles en tweed parce que c'est ben cute ça aussi.


Then in the mist of my coat building, S√©bastien came over and asked if we could make a handbag for his mother with one of his old sail and I surpassed myself. This is the prettiest most professional looking handbag I have ever made. It's the same pattern as the Marni but with some Dacron and leather. Seb who rigs sailboats for a living made the handles out of black rope. His Mom was extremely happy. 
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Puis en plein milieu de la construction du manteau, S√©bastien est venu avec un bout de vieille voile pour voir si je ne pouvais pas faire un sac pour sa maman. Je me suis surpass√©e, c'est le plus beau et le plus professionnel que j'ai jamais fait. C'est le m√™me que le Marni avec du Dacron et du cuir, Sebastien qui sait gr√©er √† fait les poign√©es en bout d'amarrage noir. Sa maman √©tait enchant√©e.


CosmicCaro, Katrina and Mertxe left comments on my second giveaway post so I'll send a little something handmade to all three of them. 
Surprising people with gifts is a really good way to start the year.
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CosmicCaro, Katrina and Mertxe ont laissé des commentaires pour mon deuxième appel alors je vais leur envoyer à toutes les trois un petit quelque chose fait à la main.
Surprendre les gens gentils,  y'a rien de mieux pour d√©marrer l'ann√©e.

A Better Marni/ Marni en Mieux


Remember the Marni inspired bucket bag I made a while ago?
I didn't like it. The top stitching looked cheap and not well made, the handle was flimsy and I hated it! 
So I opened it up, re-stitched the top, made another handle and made it better. 
This, dear friends, is one of the great advantages of being a seamstress, you can customize everything, including your me made stuff. 
Happy Thanksgiving!
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Vous vous rappelez le sac cabas Marni que j'ai fait il y a peu?
Je ne l'aimais pas. Les surpiq√Ľres du haut n'√©taient pas belles, la poign√©e m√©diocre et √ßa m'√©nervait!
Alors je l'ai ré-ouvert, j'ai recousu le haut refait la poignée et il est bien mieux maintenant.
Ceci, chers amis, est un des grands avantages d'être une couturière, vous pouvez tout customiser, y compris ce que vous avez fait vous-même.
Joyeux Thanksgiving!

Marni Inspired / Inspirée par Marni

Marni €852

This bag has been on my sewing list since the summer, it's about time I made it!
I didn't quite make this bag, I made it much smaller, but roomy enough to put the iPad in it with some room for the big headphones. Basically, it's a 18"1/2x13"1/2 leather rectangle (this includes 1/4" seam allowance all around except at the top) pinched in the corner about 5"1/2.
The longest part was making the lining because I wanted a pocket for the said iPad and a zippered one for papers. The interesting detail here was the handle which I quite like and is very simple to make. I made it 3" wide.
My leather is not as nice Marni's, I mangled the top stitching on the top and had I thought about construction a bit more, I would have attached the straps before putting in the lining (duh!) but I like it anyway.
Proportion wise, it's a much better bag then my previous one which was off visually, remember?
I love, love, love this lining fabric. It's vintage acetate I got in Les Escoumins years ago when the fabric store closed, I interfaced it for a longer life and it's a real bright spot when I open the bag. 
This might help when I look for my keys!
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Ce sac est sur ma liste depuis cet été, il était temps que je le fasse!
Ce n'est pas tout à fait le même sac, il est beaucoup plus petit, mais assez grand pour y mettre l'iPad et les gros écouteurs. En gros, c'est un rectangle de 18"1/2x13"1/2, incluant les marges de 1/4" partout sauf en haut, avec une pince dans les coins d'environ 5"1/2.
La partie la plus longue c'était la doublure parce que je voulais absolument des rangements. Le détail intéressant c'était la poignée qui fait 3" de large.
Mon cuir n'est pas aussi √©pais que celui de chez Marni, j'ai rat√© la surpiq√Ľre en haut et si j'avais r√©fl√©chi 2 minutes de plus √† la construction, j'aurais attach√© la poign√©e avant d'assembler la doublure (euh!) mais je l'aime quand m√™me.
Les proportions sont bien mieux que le précédent sac qui visuellement était un peu bizarre, vous vous rappelez?
J'adore, j'adore, j'adore la doublure! C'est de l'acétate vintage que j'ai acheté il y a des années quand le magasin de tissu des Escoumins a fermé. Je l'ai entoilé pour plus de durabilité. C'est comme un petit rayon de soleil quand j'ouvre mon sac.
Ça va peut-être m'aider à trouver mes clés!

CarmencitaB €12 + 5h
iPad pocket / poche pour l'iPad
Zippered pocket for the precious stuff + leather phone pocket /
Poche zippée pour les trucs précieux et poche cuir pour le téléphone

Leather Bag Handles


I made some leather bag handles this week.
Because I'm poorly equipped to do leatherwork, I constantly have to find ways to make the stuff I want with the tools I have. This is not really a tutorial as I don't really know what I'm doing, it's just a method that worked for me. 


You'll need some leather, some plastic tubing (found in a hardware store), a large quilting ruler you can hold, a rotary cutter, a cutting mat, a zipper foot and a tiny bit of scotch tape. If you are on a home machine, you should use a leather needle.
You can sew thick leather on your home machine, it might be a little longer as you may have to turn the handwheel yourself so you don't burn the motor but it works, so don't let that stop you. 
Set your machine to the longest stitch length, adjust the tension on a scrap. 


Cut the desired length of plastic tubing, 35cm in my case. Cut a generous strip of leather, enough to go around the plastic tube plus a generous sewing allowance on the side and on each end so you can sew them in. Put the tiny bit of scotch under the zipper foot so it glides on the leather and sew as close to the tube as you can manage.


Put your ruler perpendicular to the table and cut away your seam allowance very close to the stitching line. Voilà! You have your own bag handles ready to sew into your bag whichever way you want.
Here is a sneak peek.






Stuck / Coincée


I'm stuck.
I have two sewing projects on the way and there is nothing much to show because it's not quite going the way I'd like them to be.
Above is a sweater refashion, where I just discovered I don't quite have enough material to work with and will have to find a workaround or bin the whole thing.
Bottom is a bag, the second muslin looks horrible nothing like the inspiration shot, I may have taken on more than I can chew.
I have to make lots of design decisions which I am not very inspired to take.
In the meantime, Ruth and I are working on the website redesign, it's starting to look swell. I've been streamlining my web presence, my feeble attempt at time management, goodbye Hellocoton, Linkedin, Kollabora and The Sew Weekly, hello Thread & Needles, Bloglovin' and Feedly, damn you Google Reader. I'm still on BurdaStyle and We Sew Retro and Facebook.
I signed up for Onswipe which is a really neat way to present your website, Twitter and Pinterest feeds on tablets all on one page. 
I know I'm procrastinating when I start tweaking code lines in Blogger. I'm not proud of it.
Choose your platform and stay tuned while I work this out.
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Je suis coincée.
J'ai deux projets en route et je n'ai pas grand chose à vous montrer parce que ça ne se passe pas comme j'aimerais.
Ci-haut, un pull que je recycle. Je viens de découvrir que je n'ai pas tout à fait assez de matière et je n'ai pas de solution, soit je trouve, soit je jette.
Ci-bas, c'est un sac. J'en suis au deuxième proto et c'est une horreur. J'ai peut être été trop ambitieuse?
J'ai donc plein de décision de design à prendre et je ne suis pas très, très inspirée.
Donc pendant ce temps, Ruth et moi travaillons sur le design du blog, √ßa commence √† √™tre joli. J'essaie de rationaliser ma pr√©sence num√©rique, je suis d√©sol√©e je n'ai pas le temps pour tout le monde, au revoir Hellocoton, Linkedin, Kollabora, The Sew Weekly, bonjour Thread & Needles, Bloglovin' et Feedly, soit maudit Google Reader. J'ai gard√© BurdaStyle et We Sew Retro et Facebook.
J'ai signé chez Onswipe, ça présente les flux du blog, de Twitter et de Pinterest sur une seule page si vous me lisez sur tablette, c'est très cool.
Quand je commence à trifouiller des lignes de code dans Blogger, je sais que je suis en train de remettre à demain ce que je pourrais faire maintenant, je n'en suis pas super fière.
Choisissez votre plate-forme et restez connectés pendant que je réfléchis.

My New Sewing Tool


I love my iPad and yes, I consider it my new sewing tool. 
It takes better close up pictures than any other devices in the house, I can watch my Craftsy classes in the comfort of my favorite recliner, read and prepare blog posts, comment on them, prop it up near the machine for complicated tutorials, do quick research on some techniques, pullout the stuff I have bookmarked for reference, make notions shopping lists, read your mail, photograph the back of pattern envelopes for yardage, it's endless! 
Next, somebody will come up with a application to do my pattern drafting and I'll just have to press print!
This device has reduced the back and forth computer shuffle I was doing all the time to zero which may mean I'll have to exercise more, but I do love it. I feel so put together and organized!
Should I need to bring it with me somewhere like a hypothetical sewing blogger meet up in a far far away country... because it doesn't look like there is going to be a reunion of anything anytime soon around here, I made a bag for it.

Map The Sewinists

It's pretty simple construction-wise, several rectangles put together, but I did want some features that I haven't seen much in iPad carriers, mostly a little bit more space to put in a charger, a phone, fabric samples and bits and bobs because, you know I'm a girl and need the extra space. I made two, the other one is going to a Pay It Forward recipient (you know that bit right? you make a handmade gift for five random people and they in turn make a handmade gift for five random people, I set it up on my personal FB page).


I quite like it actually and have been using it as a handbag, it's a good size, roomy enough for my knick-knackery, it's practical, it matches my coat and all the materials used come from either another project, like the blue bag, or the local Salvation Army. You can't be feeling bad about that!
Though it needs refinement and fine tuning solely for aesthetic's purposes, it's a good bag. And when I'm finished with using it everyday, it'll do a fine job of carrying an electronic device. 
The next bag is coming soon anyway!

Les Cadeaux / The Gifts


Les enfants français finissent l'école super tard ici, en juillet, donc j'ai pas pu vous montrer les cadeaux aux profs avant!
Pour la ma√ģtresse, j'ai fait une petite pochette avec des bouts de cuir argent, la doublure a √©t√© chin√©e l'an dernier, pour le prof de judo, une grosse besace pour transporter son ordinateur et ses papiers avec des restes des sacs √† voile et pour la prof de musique, un √©tui √† crayon avec des restes du tissu √† cassettes, mais j'ai pas de photo.
Je ne jette presque rien, √ßa devient g√™nant vu ma productivit√© actuelle, mais parfois √ßa sert. 
Je cherche une bonne idée, pour me débarrasser de tous les petits bouts de tissus que je garde, qui ne serait pas du patchwork. En attendant, j'accumule...

French children finish school very late here, in July, so I couldn't show you the teacher's gifts until now.
For the teacher, I made a zippered pouch with some leftover silver leather. The lining was thrifted last year, for the judo teacher, a huge messenger bag to carry computer and papers with leftover from the sailbags and for the music teacher, I made a pencil case with the cassette fabric leftovers, but I didn't take a picture.
I have a hard time throwing away stuff, which is starting to be cumbersome in light of my recent sewing productivity, but I manage to use some sometimes.
I am actively looking for a good idea to get rid of all my scraps that don't involve patchworking. In the meantime, it piles up...




Margiela Inspired


Trust me, I can make a simple project complicated.
Above is a Maison Martin Margiela handbag called the candy wrapper. When I saw it, I had a sudden urge to make one. I took everything from my stash so no driving around to find the right materials was needed which got bonus will-make-now points on Friday afternoon. 
I was even going to write a tutorial about it, but then, I ran into some troubles which turned a quick crafting project into a major headache caused amongst other things by : the nature of materials on hand, the leather from last year's Jill Sander must make bag which stretched under my industrial machine presser foot, a said sewing machine operator malfunction causing some thread breakage and unsightly leather seam ripping holes, both of which made me loose the will to document the making of the said bag. 


Basically, it's a lapped zipper inserted in a tube sealed on the side by 2 seams and some fabric glue strips. To facilitate the zipper insertion, I recommend using the separating kind. If you are using very thick material for a shell, I recommend paying attention to turn of cloth for the lining which is sewed in the side seams and trimmed. If you are using manmade plastic-like material, use another sort of glue because you will melt your project. And yes! these are my old pinking shears, not the new ones!
I will answer all of your questions in the comments if you want. 


The end result, after a good hour of stretching the leather on a table corner to straighten it is ok. I know I am reeling now because I just finished it and all I can see is the mistakes, but really, give me a couple of days of oversized metallic clutch carrying practice and I'll have forgotten all about the headache.

Inspirée par Margiela


Faites-moi confiance, je peux rendre un simple projet compliqué!
Le sac ci-dessus est de la Maison Martin Margiela et s'appelle le "candy wrapper" (l'emballage de bonbon). Quand je l'ai vu, j'ai eu une envie pressante de m'en faire un et comme j'avais tout sous la main, j'ai attaqué tout de go vendredi après-midi.
J'avais l'intention de vous faire un tuto, mais le petit projet facile et rapide s'est transform√© en mal de t√™te carabin√© et j'ai perdu le momentum de la documentation. Le cuir, un reste du Jil Sander fait l'an dernier, s'est √©tir√© sous le pied presseur de ma machine industrielle et il y a eu une grosse bourde d'op√©rateur qui a bris√© le fil et m'a forc√© √† d√©coudre, donc √† laisser des trous dans mon sac. 


En gros, c'est une fermeture √©clair assym√©trique mont√©e dans un tube ferm√© sur les c√īt√©s par 2 coutures et une bande de colle √† ourlet. Pour faciliter le montage, un zip s√©parable est indispensable. Si votre tissu ext√©rieur est tr√®s √©pais, il ajuster la doublure qui est simplement cousue dans les coutures du c√īt√© et coup√©e. Si vous utilisez du tissu plastique ou vinyl, il faudra une autre colle pour ne pas faire fondre votre projet. Et oui, ce sont mes vieux ciseaux √† cranter, pas mes tout neufs!
Je répondrai à vos questions, laisser un petit commentaire.


Apr√®s un bonne heure √† √©tirer le cuir sur le bord de la table, je ne suis pas trop m√©contente du r√©sultat. C'est aussi parce que je viens tout juste de le finir et je ne vois que les d√©fauts. Donnez-moi quelques jours d'entra√ģnement pour avoir l'air cool en ayant une √©norme pochette m√©tallique √† la main et je vais oubli√© mon mal de t√™te!


Un Petit Cadeau / A Small Gift


C'est bient√īt No√ęl!
Voici donc un petit cadeau.
Si il vous reste peu de temps pour bricoler, vous pouvez fabriquer ces petits sacs pour faire les courses en moins d'une heure. Il vous faut 50cm de tissu en largeur 115cm (45"), 2m50 de biais assorti et du fil.
J'ai mis le patron et les instructions dans un petit fichier .zip que vous trouverez ici
Joyeux No√ęl!


Christmas is coming!
So here is a small gift.
If you still have some time to craft, you can make this in less than an hour. You will need 50cm (20") of fabric in 115cm (45"), 2m50 (about 3 yards) of assorted bias binding and thread. The pattern and instructions are in this .zip file
Merry Christmas!


Licence Creative Commons
CarmencitaB Small Shopper de Carmen Bouchard est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Paternité - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale 3.0 non transposé.
Les autorisations au-delà du champ de cette licence peuvent être obtenues à http://www.carmencitab.com/p/contact.html.

The Cuben Fiber Laptop Messenger


With every project comes some kind of learning.
This recycling project was kind of long in gestation as it was fraught with all kinds of difficulties. The main one being I had to drive and hit all the fabric stores and all the haberdasheries in a 100kms radius to source all the whopping 27€ worth of materials needed to make it! I wanted to know what was available regionally and frankly it was a lot of trouble for not much. Next time I make one (I did put it for sale in my Etsy store), I'll order online.


Transparency was another problem, Cuben is see-through and a little limp so, I chose to back it up with white felting. I chose the zigzag stitch because it's a sail bag but, my sister who-will-wear-anything-I-send-her has asked for one and I think I'll try a little Chanel-like quilting with hers because I think it'll look good.


One of the things I chose to disregard in making this bag, it will be addressed in future editions, is the Cuben + felting turn of cloth, I cut the lining the same size it's not pretty. I'll have to cut and mark better as well, but that's not easy because I am using a sail, it has a shape so I can't count on the grain to help me visually. Cuben will destroy your scissors so don't take your good ones and have one of these little sharpening devices with you at all time. Cuben Fiber has absolutely no stretch whatsoever, this is why it's used in sailing and it makes it difficult to sew if you haven't been precise because you can't pull a bit to make it fit and iron it out, heat will destroy the fiber. I have to find another method to put in the piping as well, I don't like the result, but then I may need another kind of finishing ribbon altogether.


All in all though, I am pretty happy with this prototype and refinements will only make it better. You know what is the best thing about this bag though? It weighs just a little more than a pound. If we chose a lighter material than this black denim lining, I'm pretty sure we can come under it. This is pretty light for a waterproof, sturdy messenger.
Now I have to go buy a computer to test it myself!

Cuben Fiber Bags


There is some major thinking going on here.
Mr C brought home some Cuben Fiber sailcloth for me to play with. We are looking at ways to recycle a used up gennaker. So I made some bags. I did think about making rain gear with it, but this sailcloth is too stiff. I know some of the lighter fabric is used for mountain gear, if this sort of stuff interest you, Mr Ultra-Lite Skunk Works is the king as he sews all of his mountain gear himself.
I am not entirely satisfied with them but some bigger ideas are bubbling up so stay tuned. There might even be some Christmas shenanigans involved which you'll be able to read about on the Crafty Christmas Club. A great place to talk about our secret evil plans to shower our loved ones with handmade gifts.




Les Sacs en Cuben Fiber


L'usine à réfléchir fonctionne à plein pot.
Mr C m'a ramen√© un bout de gennaker en Cuben Fiber dans le but de trouver une mani√®re de recycler une vieille voile. Alors j'ai fait des sacs. J'ai bien pens√© me faire un imperm√©able, mais le tissu voile, c'est trop raide. Il existe des grammage plus l√©ger pour l'utilisation en randonn√©e et si √ßa vous int√©resse, le Monsieur Ultra-Lite Skunk Works est le roi du mat√©riel fait maison.
Je suis pas enti√®rement satisfaite du r√©sultat, mais j'ai de nouvelles id√©es qui bouillonnent et elles arriveront certainement juste √† temps pour No√ęl, mais vous ne pourrez pas les lire ici puisque elles sont secr√®tes. Mes plans diaboliques de d√©cembre seront donc expos√©s et d√©velopp√©s en long et en large chez The Crafty Christmas Club un endroit g√©nial pour discuter cadeaux sans que la famille le sache.

The Sewing Productivity Experiment - Bags, Bags, Bags

::verypurpleperson:: reversible bag - Madras and recycled cotton

I made it!
During June, I have managed to sew about 3 hours a day every weekday. I even squeezed in some weekend sewing time because I was on a roll and just couldn't stop!

::verypurpleperson:: reversible bag - quilting cotton in green

I mostly made bags as teacher's gifts and as samples for my Jil Sander's inspired shopping bag. I refashioned 2 dresses, 1 skirt, I almost finished the Calvin Klein and did some work on another dress. I learned to use a serger. I made a leather bag... and I feel fine!

::verypurpleperson:: reversible bag - quilting cotton in purple

I also filled my first order ever! Yeah me!

Large Market bag with pouch


I tried to keep real working habits and took a mid-morning break.


Market bag - Recycled advertising flag - Front

The hardest part was to cut myself off the Interweb in the morning and stop sewing so I could attend to other duties.

Market bag - Recycled advertising flag - Back 

I have hardly sewn for myself at all and was just as happy. Maybe I'm not that selfish after all...maybe the sewing part makes me happy. 

Small Market Bag - Quilting cotton

This is good and this is what I wanted to find out in doing this exercise. Can I discipline myself enough to work from home? Yes. Can I sew repeats without getting bored? Yes. Can I sew for other people than myself? Yes.

Small Market Bag - From scraps

It turns out I can, so I will. Stay tuned as I work out my evil plan to take over the world... in September!





L'Expérimentation Couturière - Des Sacs et Encore des Sacs

::verypurpleperson:: reversible bag - Madras et coton recyclé

Je l'ai fait!
Durant tout le mois de juin, j'ai réussi à coudre 3 heures tous les jours de la semaine. J'ai même cousu un peu les fin de semaine, parce qu'une fois partie, je ne pouvais plus m'arrêter.

::verypurpleperson:: reversible bag - Coton patchwork en vert

J'ai fait des sacs en majorit√© pour les cadeaux de fin d'ann√©e scolaire et pour les √©chantillons de Jil Sander. J'ai recycl√© deux robes, une jupe, j'ai presque fini la Calvin Klein et j'ai travaill√© sur une autre robe. J'ai appris √† utiliser une surjeteuse, fait un sac en cuir... et je vais tr√®s bien merci.

::verypurpleperson:: reversible bag - Coton patchwork en violet

J'ai aussi rempli ma première commande, petite tape dans le dos!

Grand Pochon et Pochette Assortie


J'ai même essayé d'avoir des bonnes habitudes de travail et j'ai fait une pause.


Petit Pochon - Drapeau publicitaire - Devant

La partie la plus difficile était de couper l'Internet le matin et d'arrêter de coudre pour vaquer à mes autres occupations.

Petit Pochon - Drapeau publicitaire - Dos

J'ai presque pas cousu pour moi et j'étais aussi heureuse de le faire. Je ne dois pas être si égoiste que ça....ou c'est la couture qui me rejouit.

Petit Pochon - Coton patchwork

Ce sont exactement les questions auxquelles je voulais une réponse en faisant cet exercice. Est-ce que j'ai assez de discipline pour travailler à la maison? Oui. Est-ce que je peux coudre des exemplaires multiples sans me lasser? Oui. Est-ce que je peux coudre pour d'autres personnes à part moi? Oui.

Petit Pochon - Chute de coton

Je peux, donc je vais faire. Restez √† l'antenne pendant que j'√©tablis un plan diabolique pour contr√īler le monde...apr√®s les vacances!





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