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Now that holiday sewing is behind us (whew!), it’s time to get back to some other projects I’ve had cooking in the back of my brain.

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First is a vest for my honey.  He saw this vest in the National Geographic catalog and fell in love with the idea of a warm, lightweight boiled wool vest he could wear under jackets during our cold winters.  The closest pattern I could find to what he had in mind was the one above, and I used it to make a muslin out of a cheap flannel from the stash.  At my partner’s request, I omitted the collar and upper pocket and changed the neckline to a V-neck.

(I might mention here that he looked TOTALLY FREAKING ADORABLE in this flannel with the hippos, giraffes, and elephants on it.  I did not share this information with him, however, as he was in the middle of struggling with a bike repair and perhaps not in the mood to discuss his adorable-ness.)

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So we received the boiled wool (black, since their charcoal gray boiled wool never seems to be in stock)  from Mood yesterday; a soft wool flannel lining fabric and a separating zipper are on the way.  I’ll be working on this over the weekend.

Second, I’ve been thinking for a while that I wanted to try to pack even lighter on our trip to France this summer.  Last time we went overseas, I was having serious problems with my back and a rolling carry-on seemed like the best option, but I sure got tired of lugging that thing around!  This time, I want to bring less and get it all into a smaller bag.  I might check it–we’ll have my honey’s bike with us and so will have to check at least some of our luggage–but I want to be able to carry my bag more easily when I do have it with me.

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So I’m designing a travel backpack that’s based on one I found online, but that has the features I want.  The plan is to make a usable muslin using stash fabric, use that for a few trips, then modify the pattern and make the final version of the bag before our trip in August.  (My stretch goal is to also make a tote and some toiletry bags to go with the final version, but I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself yet.)

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The fabric I’m using for the outside is this seriously beautiful, plush, high-quality flannel; the leaf print cotton will be the lining.  I just love the idea of traveling with a backpack that’s as cuddly as a big teddy bear–that just seems infinitely more pleasant to me than the usual nasty nylon or polyester.

I have some denim and twill I could use, but making a bag out of that stuff is probably more than my little sewing machine can handle.  The flannel won’t be as durable, but it’ll be plenty strong enough for a muslin I can use throughout the spring.

The goal is to have this done by the time we head to Seattle in early February.  I suspect I’m going to need every bit of that time, as this is a much more complicated design than I’ve tackled before.  It is some serious mental exercise translating a drawing into pattern pieces and sewing instructions for a complex bag like this!

Finally, I’m going to be participating in the Blogging 101 class/project/whatever that WordPress is beginning on Monday.  I’m hoping that this will mean that maybe I’ll finally be able to figure out how to set things up the way I want them!  Maybe my pictures will even get better!  So there should be some changes around here, hopefully all good, right?  🙂

STH

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