I had put this project on hold for so many reasons. The first and longest part was because I just felt intimidated. Could I pull it off? What fabric should I use so that I would be sure to wear it and put it to use most often? It sat on my to-do list staring back at me for far too many pages in my planner. When Allie (Indiesew) released the pattern (Lonetree Jacket) I knew I wanted to make at least one of the options. In Wisconsin there’s always a need for a lightweight jacket especially in Spring and Fall. I even ordered lining for my vest because I hadn’t bothered to look to see if it was unlined or not – it’s unlined! So after worrying about it for so long, I was pleasantly surprised that it was such an approachable project.
I chose the vest because I like the idea of having an extra layer of warmth without the bulk of sleeves. So that in itself eliminated the need to cut out many of the pattern pieces. Again, something I let get in the way just because I hadn’t put enough thought into it. It only took a few hours to get the pattern prepped and the pieces cut. And even the sewing I did in very small chunks of time which is not my usual approach. I’m usually let myself get wrapped up in ‘having enough time’ to complete the whole project in just one or two sessions. I’d like to get better at changing my mindset about that.
The vest is really so fun to make. The detail Allie adds is perfect, plus there’s even a sew-along that has tons of great tips and suggestions. I had gotten the cord locks so long ago from Pacific Trimming that it was a relief to finally put them to use. The only modification I chose to make was enlarging the upper pockets just by a bit. I think I added one inch to both the height and width of the smaller upper pockets and then adjusted them a bit down from the pattern markings while sewing so that I could adjust them to where I thought they looked best on my frame.
I’m excited to sew some more cozy pieces before Spring is near. I feel like I say that often, but I have a nice stack of cozy fabrics that I’d like to turn into something to wear!
Pattern: Lonetree Jacket (Vest option) by Allie Olson of Indiesew
Fabric: Kaufman Hampton Twill (in black) from fabric.com
Zipper from wawak.com, metal snaps from my shop (sorry I’m sold out of the starter kits! hoping to restock soon!), twill tape from Bijou Lovely, and cord locks from Pacific Trimming
my hat is the Snoflinga Hat I made a while back
This project was a fun one! It started with a pile of fairly large scraps of fabric that I was going to gift to a friend. But my friend didn’t need the fabric at the time, so I stared at that pile of fabric for a while determined to make it into something useful! I had gotten ‘s Bento Bag pattern as soon as released it. I love her aesthetic and so it was a no-brainer to give her pattern a try.
The bags come together in such a fun way. If you’ve never sewn a tied knot bag this style before it’s a great use for leftover fabric. Since it’s such a useful design (pretty much anything that fits inside is a good candidate), it’s easy to use up whatever fabric you have when you’ve got a little bit extra from a previous project and can’t seem to part with it. There is a fair bit of hemming and pressing, but I think once you get going, it’s a sort of work that goes by quickly especially if you’ve got a good podcast or music to listen to.
I’m not super sure what’ll happen with these bags, maybe I’ll gift them to someone or maybe one of my kids will snap them up. They thought they were pretty cute when laid flat all together. It kind of looks like a strange shape when flat, that is, until you put something inside and tie a quick knot. Pretty nifty!
Pattern: Wholecloth Bento Bag by Kristi of Sweetkm
Fabrics: Euclid by Carolyn Friedlander, Arroyo by Erin Dollar, and a herringbone chambray by Robert Kaufman Fabrics
I wouldn’t recommend using waxed canvas (unless you can find some that is a bit lighter weight) for the Fika Tote however. It ended up being kind of hard to wrangle through the machine. The Fika is actually a fairly large tote, which is great, but difficult when working with a super stiff fabric like waxed canvas. So anyway, even though I wouldn’t make another one using waxed canvas I’d definitely recommend finding some beautiful wool to work with! I have some Pendelton (they don’t show it online, but if you call, you can purchase it that way I believe) that I snagged at Fancy Tiger Crafts when I was in Denver a while back for Sewtopia. I’m so tempted to make another Fika using that!!! I’m scared to cut into the Pendelton though, but maybe I’ll just have to bite the bullet and do it already!
Padded pocket, perfect for a small laptop!
While I was working on the pattern, I also thought the back of the tote would make a great front, too. So if you’re looking to cut down on some time and a few steps, feel free to use the back as the front and just make a plain piece for the actual back of the tote. That’s one of the most difficult things for me for making patterns, knowing when to stop with different options or variations! It’s so tempting to include all the ideas! There are plenty of pockets though, inside and out. So if you’re the extra organized type of person, I think you’ll really love the Fika Tote. Plus besides having lots of pockets, the main storage area is super roomy!
Zippered Back Pocket
Anyway, the lining on this one is one of my favorite lightweight canvases. I usually order mine from Drygoods Design or Fancy Tiger. Oh, and lastly, if you’re looking for the same top recessed zipper for your Fika Tote, I finally added some to my shop. Stop by and pick one up if you’re interested.
Pattern: Fika Tote
Fabric: Waxed canvas from AL Frances Textiles on Etsy, Lightweight canvas for lining (in grey), wool for accent (from my local quilt shop Olive Juice Quilts)