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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.


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.)


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.


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.)


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?  🙂