Explorer Tote – Waxer Canvas

I finally tried out Robert Kaufman’s Waxer Canvas! If you’ve followed along here you’ll know I love a good waxed canvas. The Waxer Canvas is a bit lighter weight (8.2 oz/yard) than what I’ve usually been using (10-12 oz/yard). I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but the more I used it, the more projects I thought would look great using it! I can think of all kinds of projects that aren’t going to need a heavier canvas, they might have curves or too many layers for sewing with something thicker.

Interior (optional recessed zipper omitted)

I sewed up the big size of my Explorer Tote pattern first. I knew it was going to look great using all one fabric for the exterior. Clean and simple yet still interesting to the eye! I used two layers of the Waxer Canvas as the contrast bottom and I think it worked beautifully! For the lining I used Big Sur Canvas in Unbleached. I just love how it turned out! I didn’t add any interfacing to any of the pieces (total time and money saver!). The tote would be great for an overnight bag and can still easily pack up if you needed to fold it flat for storage or an extra take along bag for traveling.

To make things easy on myself I used leather for the handles and strap. I’ve been thinking about adding a leather kit like this to the shop if there might be any interest? Let me know in the comments below! I’ve considered attaching the crossbody strap to the swivel hooks just for the sake of convenience, that way you wouldn’t have to set any rivets.

I love how this bag turned out! It’s perfect for fall! Some other ideas for projects I would try using the Waxer Canvas would be: Crescent Tote, Minimalist Wallet, Fika Tote, Traverse Bag just to name a few!

Exterior Back view

Pattern: Explorer Tote (Large size)
Fabrics: Waxer Canvas (Olive) for exterior, Big Sur Canvas (in Unbleached – my fave!) lining (both by Robert Kaufman Fabrics)

Here are some links to shops that carry Waxer Canvas (includes Etsy and Also, I did some more digging and found more at the following shops: Jones & Vandermeer, Bijou LovelyThree Little Birds, Sewtopia., Crimson Tate, Bolt Fabric, Sew to Speak

If you are a shop owner or if your local shop carries Waxer Canvas please let me know! I’d love to add the links to this post. Thank you!

Leather and turn lock from my shop (let me know if you’d want pre-made leather handle/strap kits).



My Studio

Finally! I know some of you have been waiting for me to post the last update on my studio space. I’ve been working in the finished space since October of 2018, so almost one year! I keep getting sidetracked with projects plus I had a few minor things to finish in the space, so it has been getting put on the back burner! I’m so happy to have this space for my work. No longer is every crevice in my house filled with work things. My daughters can each have a bedroom, and I get a space that is separate from my house. Of course there’s both good and not so great things about both working at home and having a separate space. But I’ve made it a point to have this studio be a happy space where I can let my creativity flow.

So my last post I shared just up until the drywall phase, I know, I’m such a tease. But this is the fun part now! I’ll share some pictures and then go into a little bit of detail on some of the specific spaces. Sound good?

Here’s the sewing desk and my computer area setup. All desks and parts are from Ikea, shelves, too. I’ll write a separate post of the framed quilt blocks, so look for that coming up (I’ll share all the details including each quilt block, etc.). I made them, and it’s pretty easy! So if you’re looking for some fun decor this might be the ticket!

Up front of the building is a lounge type area. We exposed the brick on the one entire wall by taking off all the original plaster. That took us dayssss to finish, but I think it really makes the space. So the one side has a couch with the brick wall and the other has a white wall with a couple of lounge chairs and side table. I’ve been loving using this space for taking photos. The light in here is amazing and getting a nice photo doesn’t take ripping apart my entire living room any more!

The center island is one I made after I spotted this one on the Studio McGee blog (it’s the first image in the post). I made mine from four Ikea dressers put together to form an island. I had a my friend make the island work surface of reclaimed wood. We added some different drawer pulls to make it less Ikea and more like my inspiration image. I use this as my main cutting table. Inside the drawers are interfacing and hardware as well as some empty for work in progress stuff! Still getting the hang of having extra space. I also have a roll up cart from Target that holds a lot of my hardware tools.

Opposite my desk and across from the cutting table are some Ikea Pax closets that hold my fabrics and other random things. For now it’s mostly unorganized. I do have my fabric fairly neat in one of the cabinets. The rest is a work in progress. Maybe once I get them more organized I’ll share some pictures of the insides. Does that sound okay? I also need to add some long handle pulls to the doors themselves. I also use a NORRÅKER Ikea table for a pressing station. I made a topper for it using plywood, a few layers of batting, and some linen I had laying around.

I also have a small kitchenette and dining table and chairs. These have both been super handy spaces. The table is from Ikea and the chairs from Target. My friend Heidi also made these amazing floating shelves from more reclaimed wood and I love them! A couple of lights and a plant and I’m all set!

Exposed the original brick chimney in the back bathroom.

Hoping to add some wallpaper or color to these bathrooms, but for now they work and I’m happy.

The back area is where I keep my inventory. I have a large work table we built from Ikea kitchen base cabinets and some plywood for a top and beadboard (from Home Depot) to finish the back. I had to have two bathrooms to be up to code, so I have a summer and winter bathroom! Just kidding really, but it has been nice the few times I’ve had larger gatherings here. I recently added a shaker style peg rail that exists between the two bathroom doors which is also handy for photos! Last, there’s the mechanical room full of the boring stuff, at least it’s clean.

Closeup of interior windows.

That’s about it! I tried to link things within each area. If you have questions please ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them there!

Oh and here are a few shots of the finished rear exterior of the building. I can’t even explain how much was done to this wall to make it like this! It was a completely new wall that we built because the original had collapsed. I also spent so much time chipping the old crumbling plaster off that brick wall! eeek!

Thanks for your endless support and encouragement throughout this process. Here’s a couple of posts if you want to read more about the construction: Studio Update, Studio Update (2), Studio Update Drywall. We purchased the building in December of 2017 and spent from then until October 2018 completing the project.


Chambray Spring Shorts

Chambray Spring Shorts - NoodleheadThis is almost the last of the summer garment sewing I’ve done. It filled a nice gap in my summer outfits and I’m very happy with how they look and feel! These are my second pair of Spring Shorts (pattern is free by Pattern Runway for Peppermint Magazine).

Chambray Spring Shorts - Noodlehead

I made one small modification to suit my own personal preference and also make them slightly different than the first pair I had made from linen. The paper bag waist style of the first pair was/is fun, but for these I adjusted the waistband piece to accommodate only one piece of the 1″-wide elastic without doing the paper bag style. It worked out pretty well I think, and I’m glad to have it be slightly different from the first. It’s also a little bit nicer to have less bulk at the waistband for when I wear shirts that are longer.Chambray Spring Shorts - Noodlehead

It was fun to pair the shorts with my Shirt No. 1 (pattern by 100 Acts of Sewing) that I made a few years ago. You can read the full post on that here. I love being able to pair two handmade things together for a fun summer outfit! I’m usually a jean short wearer in the super hot part of summer, but these chambray shorts felt so great on the hot humid days.

Chambray Spring Shorts - Noodlehead

I bought the khaki colored twill tape at my local Joanns and the wooden beads were in my stash of craft supplies (probably got them at Michaels many years ago). I love that little extra bit of detail to an otherwise simple silhouette.

What did you make and wear this summer? Or for my Southern Hemisphere friends, do you have plans for making these shorts this summer?

Pattern: Spring Shorts by Pattern Runway for Peppermint Magazine
Fabric: Chambray Union Light in Indigo from Robert Kaufman from my stash, it’s a few years old but I believe you can still purchase it (here’s a quick google search)