It’s finished! Last summer I took a class for hand stitching a leather tote up at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN with instructor Candace LaCosse. It was such a great experience and I’m so glad I jumped in and grabbed at the opportunity.
I was researching classes to take and happened upon the North House Folk School’s website. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t too far away and in the same small town as my friend Brienne. I reached out to her for me to join me and it ended up working out for us to take the class together.
Honestly, I was super nervous on the first day of class. Once we got started though it felt really comfortable and I was happy to be learning some new skills. The major part of this tote was the hand sewn leather handles. I definitely got my practice in for saddle stitching! Stitching them together took almost all of the two days of class time plus I sewed a bunch the night between class as well. I left the end of class with a few seams on the body of the tote to finish up and it took me almost a year to finally pick it back up and finish. It feels great to have it under my belt and I’m excited to keep moving forward and trying new things.
I would definitely encourage you to try any hands on classes that interest you! Nothing can replace being in a classroom setting with a knowledgeable teacher and other students who are learning side by side. It’s something I hope keeping pushing myself to do! I know there is so much out there, so many ways to connect, and so many crafts I want to try and learn.
And a huge thank you to my friend Holly for snapping the pics of me! yayyy!
Yess! Bring on the fun and simple summer projects please!!! I don’t think I’ll ever tire of a simple and useful sewing project like these king size pillow covers for my kids. It was actually their idea, which is a nice twist. Natalie had hers for quite a while with a different cover, but Emily was able to make use of a king size pillow that I had stored away. I can’t even remember what I had bought it for, but it was nice to have it on hand.
I think this makes such a great gift for kids and I’m storing it away at the back of my mind for the next birthday party my girls get invited to. It’s of course not as big as a body pillow (which is kind of nicer in my opinion) and still makes for a great pillow to read or get cozy with, especially for kids! The other part is that it takes so little time and just a few supplies so that makes it super friendly for gifting and fun for kids to help with or even make on their own with a little supervision.
So we sifted through my stash and found the cutest prints. It was definitely the best part! We came up with all kinds of options and then finally decided on these. Aren’t they so cute?! Lucky for me I always keep a few invisible zippers on hand. I buy mine from Zipit on etsy but you can always pick one up at your local craft store. What’s really a game changer is having a invisible zipper foot. For just a few bucks you can have perfect invisible zips every time, no joke. Many years ago I followed Sew Katie Did’s invisible zip tutorial which I definitely recommend. I’ve done so many now that I’m sure I have my own little tricks and twists and am happy to show my kids, too. We had a great time sewing them up and I’m sure we’ll be making more soon!
Fabrics: Water Land by Jessica Neilson for Cloud9 Fabrics, backed with Summersville by Lu Summers for Moda (yes, we busted into the good stuff!)
Sleep Tight by Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel, backed with Carolina Gingham by Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Emily’s quilt is in the background, you can read about it here.
Here’s a project I finished up last week, a 241 Tote for my friend’s sister. I don’t usually take on projects like this one, but I had helped pick out the fabrics a few years ago for it so it was fun seeing it come together.
It’s summer and it means that there’s even less sewing time than usual. My girls are involved in a bunch of activities, so I’ve been jumping from place to place without taking much time to get creative in between. I’m trying to fix that a bit because I know that sewing and being creative just makes any day better. The other day I was cleaning up my sewing table and couldn’t move this project aside anymore. I had successfully ignored it for a few weeks. The 241 Tote can be such a quick sew especially without the zippers, and this one was. I did check the clock and I think I was finished in about 2 hours. I’d say that’s definitely a great summer project recipe: being creative + a little bit of time = fun finished project.
I thought it was kind of fun to make the strap have a rectangle ring. It was a fun little detail I don’t think I would have thought of until I decided I wanted the strap a little longer. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation this is a fun solution. It’s also a great place to hook a key ring to as well.
After I was finished with the tote I was gathering up the scraps and decided to put together a quick zippered pouch, too! Can’t resist a zippered pouch!
My sewing list keeps growing and growing. And getting projects like this 241 finished up definitely lets me move on to something new. I actually ditched my sewing list a few years ago, but within the last six months or so I’ve started using one again. It’s nice to check over the list and feel inspired to get something started at least. Do you have a summer sewing list?
Pattern: 241 Tote
Fabrics: Momo for Avant Garden canvas for Moda,
Kokka lightweight canvas (similar here),
Urban Chiks Nomad for Moda
(these are all a few years old unfortunately, so they might be difficult to track down)