Announcing the 2017 Spring Sew Along – A Rolled Sewing Case

At long last, the 2017 Spring Sew Along is here!
Join us in making a Rolled Sewing Case with an Exclusive Tin Tube made by the craftsman at the Genesee Country Village and Museum.

This rolled sewing case, also called a housewife or huswife, unrolls to reveal a hollow base which can hold spools of thread. The hollow section of this sewing case is large enough to hold period correct spools of thread. When I tested mine, I found it held three small wooden spools, two large wooden spools or one Coats and Clark with one Guttenburg spool.

Using techniques from Fanciful Utility, you choose whether to add a pocket, scissors pocket, needle-pages or other period correct storage spaces to your sewing case.

The base of this sewing case is a hand crafted tin tube and ends made by the tinsmiths at the Genesee Country Village and Museum. The tin tubes are available exclusively through the Genesee Country Village and Museum’s Crafts in the Village program for a donation of $5 each, plus $7.15 Priority shipping. Send requests and donation with shipping to: ATTN Deanna Berkemeier; Genesee Country Village and Museum; 1410 Flint Hill Road; Mumford, NY 14511. Please make check or money orders out to Genesee Country Village with Crafts in the Village in the memo line. Locals can email dberkemeier at GCV dot org to arrange pickup at. 

Please order by March 31st so we can all begin our Sew Along together in April. 

Comment below or message Anna that you will be participating. You may also wish to join the Fanciful Utility Sew Along group on Facebook.

 
img_20170310_162242.jpgRecommended materials (dimensions given with leeway for cutting.)

  • Your copy of Fanciful Utility
  • Tin Tube Kit from GCVM
  • Exterior material: Leather, oil cloth, painted canvas, wool, tapestry  – 6″ by 12″
  • Interior fabric: Silk taffeta, quilt weight cotton or tropical wool (also for end caps) – 6″by 14″
  • Interior pockets: Silk, leather, cotton as desired
  • Hand full of wool batting
  • 2 yards of 5/8″ cotton sateen ribbon img_20170310_163346.jpg
  • Thin cotton or wool batting. Felted wool will also work. – 6″by 12″
  • Wool flannel or felted wool for needle pages

 

Published in: on March 14, 2017 at 3:49 pm  Comments (18)  

Sew Along – Work Bag (week6)

This week we are finishing our work bag by decorating with ruched ribbon, adding the ribbon handles and the wool needle pages for the cotton bag and adding a handle & draw for the silk bag.

Cotton Work Bag

To cut your wool needle pages, take the template from week 1 and trace this on a piece of paper. Trim the piece of paper down along the curved sides to the size and shape you like. Be sure to leave enough of the flat side for the fold to be a solid anchor. I trimmed about a half inch in from the edge for mine. This becomes the template for  your wool pages.

Fold the wool in half. Place your template on the fold. Mark around your template. Cut with pinking shears or a pinking machine. (Note – With a pinking machine, you will loose a tiny bit of the size.)

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Place the fold along the inside crease of the flap and front piece. With the pages open, sew through the fold and crease.  I suggest a set of stitches in the center and at each end.

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Here is a set of needle pages in place:

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Cut 2 12″ sections of ribbon and set them aside for the handles.

Box pleat the remaining ribbon in small box pleats (about a half inch.) You will need the pleated ribbon to be flexible because it will need to go around the curves easily. (See how my box pleats like to flop below.) You can pleat enough to go around the front flap of your bag. You may have enough to go around the back as well. (The original does not have this.)

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Sew through the box pleats and the very edge of the flap. I like to catch the top center of each box pleat and the bottom center as well.

Here is the flap trimmed in box pleats.

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For the handles, fold under each end about a quarter of an inch. Pin in place at the very edge of the pasteboard center. Sew around three sides (sides and bottom) going through the lining and catching the decorative fabric hidden inside.

Repeat with both handles. (front to front and back to back seems to work better. Though some originals have handles going front to back.)

Here is my finished cotton work bag. (You will notice I opted for self fabric handles as I somehow ended up a bit short on my length of ribbon. I suspect I used a bit for another project and forgot.)

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Silk Bag

The silk bag has just a few remaining steps.

Remember this channel that was made when we attached the lining and silk? We are simply going to run a silk ribbon or cord through it.

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For each side, cut between 12″ and 18″ depending on how long you want your handles to be. (or cut one 24″ to 36″ long piece.)

Run the ribbon or cord from the inside where the bag meets the pasteboard, to the top of the bag’s channel and back to the base on the other side.

I prefer to work a small hole in the base of the lining to access the channel.

Also use a bodkin or stiletto to work a hole in the top of the silk. You may want to do a fine button hole stitch around this hole.

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I also use my bodkin to bring the ribbon/cord through the channel.

I anchor the ribbon/cord at the base of the channel. This could be done with a knot at each end or folding the end over and stitching down. Since I used a single ribbon, I tied one side and have a flat ribbon on the other side.

My finished version:

Published in: on February 7, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Sew Along – Work Bag (week5)

This week we are lining the bag and attaching the flap to the front. (only the cotton bag gets the flap)

Cotton Work Bag

Fold your lining fabric, right sides together, to roughly the right size for your work bag. Place the work bag on top of the fabric with at least a half inch from the top of the pasteboard. Mark around the edge of the fabric leaving enough space for a seam allowance.

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Cut out along the line you marked. (In my case, notice that the livingroom scissors are now not suited for any fabric after the wrapping of gifts.)2016-01-06-16.31.03-1.jpg.jpeg

If you wish to add pockets to your lining, do so now on the right sides.

With the right sides together, sew the curved edge of the lining fabrics together. Some may wish to do two rows of stitching for strength.

 

Fold and press about 1/2″ of the straight edge of the lining to the outside.

 

Slide the lining inside the work bag (right side out).

 

Line the fold of the lining up so it is just below the edge of the outer fabric and pasteboard. (1-2mm) Pin as needed to keep everything lined up.

 

With a blind stitch or whip stitch, attach the lining to the outer fabric and pasteboard.

Finished with the lining.

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The front flap attaches simply with a whip stitch through the flap layers of fabric and the front panel of the bag. You are just going through the fabric, not through the pasteboard. (I find it easier to start in the middle, work to one side > back across > back to the middle.)

 

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Silk Work Bag

Fold your lining fabric, right sides together, to roughly the right size for your work bag. Place the work bag on top of the fabric about a half inch from the top. Mark around the bag on the fabric leaving enough space for a seam allowance.

Cut out along the line you marked.

Cut a slit in from the top about 2.5″

 

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If you wish to add pockets to your lining, do so now on the right sides.

With the right sides together, sew the curved edge of the lining fabrics together. Some may wish to do two rows of stitching for strength.

Slide the lining inside the work bag (right side out).

 

Line the fold of the lining up so it is just below the edge of the outer fabric and pasteboard. (1-2mm) Pin as needed to keep everything lined up.

With a blind stitch or whip stitch, attach the lining to the outer fabric and pasteboard.

***As you attach the lining, you are also creating a channel you will use later for the ribbon/cord to go through.

Finished with the lining.

Published in: on February 1, 2016 at 6:00 am  Comments (3)  
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Sew Along – Work Bag (week4)

This week we are attaching the balloony section we gauged last week to the covered paste board.

Cotton Work Bag

We are attaching the long section we gauged last week to two of the the covered pasteboards (the ones that are backed with the lining fabric.) The gauged fabric will be attached along the curved section of the pasteboard. The flat side will not have fabric attached.

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We will attach the pasteboard and the gauged fabric right sides together with the decorative side of the pasteboard, using a whip stitch. Line up the center point you marked on one side of the gauged fabric with the bottom center of the pasteboard. Pin these points together. Line up the quarter points with just above the curve on the pasteboard. (I’ll get a better photo of that.)

On each end, fold a quarter inch of the gauged fabric under. Line this fold up with the top of the pasteboard curve where it meets the flat side. Pin both ends as well.  (sorry, I will try to get a photo of this.)

Using a whip stitch, attach the folds of the gauging to the pasteboard. Go through both the decorative and lining fabrics, but not the paste board.

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When one side is finished, it will look something like this. You may need to coax the gauged fabric to lay flat aligned with the pasteboard. (outside and inside shots.) (Yes, I make use of the salvege.) 2015-12-29-18.00.36.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-18.01.08-1.jpg.jpeg

Repeat the pinning and whip stitching process with the second covered pasteboard.

When finished, you will have two sorta horse shoes attached to the gauged fabric. Take some time to play around with how these fit together. It is a rather nifty combination. 2015-12-29-18.32.24-1.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-18.32.30.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-18.33.02-1.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-18.33.13-1.jpg.jpeg

Lay the workbag out flat to check your stitches.  2015-12-29-18.33.49-1.jpg.jpeg

You have completed this week’s step. (You can turn it right side out if you want.)

 

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Silk Work Bag

 

We are attaching the long section we gauged last week to two of the the covered pasteboards (the ones that are backed with the lining fabric.) The gauged fabric will be attached around the entire circle on each side.

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We will attach the pasteboard and the gauged fabric right sides together with the decorative side of the pasteboard, using a whip stitch. Mark each circle in quarters. (pencil on the inside lining is fine.)

With the first pasteboard –  Fold a quarter inch under on each end. Line these  up with the top point on the pasteboard. Pin. Line center point of the gauged fabric up with the bottom point on the pasteboard and pin. Do the same with the side quarter points. (Sorry for the lack of photo.)

Using a whip stitch, attach the folds of the gauging to the pasteboard. Go through both the decorative and lining fabrics, but not the paste board.

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When one side is finished, it will look something like this. You may need to coax the gauged fabric to lay flat aligned with the pasteboard.2015-12-29-22.03.08.jpg.jpeg

Repeat the pinning and whip stitch with the other pasteboard side.

When finished, check your work. Once you turn this one right side out, it will be be difficult to turn it inside out again.

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Published in: on January 24, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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2016 Sew Alongs

After test driving the Sew Alongs in two formats with making a Work Bag and a Pin Ball, I have decided to continue them through the year. I think a couple months for each will be a comfortable pace that will not overwhelm. (sorta like the fort-nightly challenges just spread out.)

 

This year’s Sew Alongs will include:

  • January thru March – a Work Bag and/or Pin Ball (in progress)
  • March thru May –  Purse (That which holds coin. This can include a miser’s style purse, an embroidered purse, a sewn purse, etc. The key is this is for holding coin.)
  • May thru July – Slippers (These slippers can be of needlework, braid work, knitted, quilted, etc.)
  • July thru Sept – Apron (of any type and purpose)
  • Sept thru November -TBD Head garment for the home or shop (This can include a cap, head wrap, etc.) or A “Carry In” (A type of bag or carrying device that could include a travel bag, pocket, etc.)

Sew Alongs are open to any historical era and skill level.

House Keeping: We will continue to use this blog and Facebook for sharing and support. For those not on Facebook or those who do not blog, please comment below and feel comfortable emailing me your project results so I can post them in the blog.

Please, share your progress as you work through your projects either in the comments section for that Sew Along or in the Facebook Group. Encourage each other as we work along. Remember, we are a mix of historical eras, skill levels and with different goals. (Yes, we have an assortment of site interpreters, reenactors and theatrical costumers.) The span of the Sew Along is a guideline, not a deadline. Continue to share your progress even after a new Sew Along has begun. Do not feel there is a firm deadline. We simply are going to encourage each other to work towards completion.

Upon completion of your project, which can be any time after the Sew Along starts, please share:

  • Photos of your completed project
  • The era of your project
  • Plans for its use (if any previously in mind)
  • Inspiration and/or documentation you particularly liked or found helpful
  • Your favorite part of the project
  • A self reflective accuracy rating (if this applies) (optional)
  • Total cost of project (optional)
Published in: on January 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm  Comments (8)  
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Sew Along – Work Bag (week3)

This week we are working on the balloony section of the bag.

For both the cotton and silk versions, cut and piece a 45″ long strip together — 6.5″ wide for the cotton — 4.5″ wide for the silk. This can be on the grain or on the bias. Press the piecing as needed.

Fold  and press 1/4″ to the wrong side along the length of both sides. Mark the center point and the quarter points with a thread or pin on each side.

Now, you get to practice gauging… well, sorta gauging since you really only need one thread. For my bag, I used a smaller stitch length on the front. This will help later when we attach to the paste board.

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***Do Not tie the thread to length yet. A knot at the end of the thread will be fine for now.***

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Here is one side drawn up to the half way mark:

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Here is the front side of the whole length drawn up. (approx 15″)

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The reverse:

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Silk Work Bag

 The process for the silk is the same as with the cotton. I didn’t take as many photos of the silk. (I got carried away with sewing.)

Before you begin, mark the half and quarter points on both long sides of the silk. (I marked mine with thread.)2015-12-29-19.47.15.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-19.48.32.jpg.jpeg 2015-12-29-20.16.03-1.jpg.jpeg

Published in: on January 17, 2016 at 6:00 am  Comments (1)  
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Sew Along – Work Bag (week2)

This week we are covering the paste board. If you are familiar with Fanciful Utility techniques, these are highly recommended.

Cotton Work Bag

You will be making 3 covered sets of paste board – One front, one back and one flap. The front and back will have the outer fabric on one side and the lining fabric on the other. The flap will have the outer fabric on both sides. 

 

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Silk Work Bag

The silk version has two covered sets of paste board. For both, one side will have the batting covered with the silk and the other with the lining fabric. 

*** You may wish to embellish the front silk piece prior to covering the paste board. This could be with needlework or with painting. 

Published in: on January 10, 2016 at 6:00 am  Comments (2)  
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