Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm baaaack, and I have vintage silks!

Wow, it has been a long long time I've had the time or motivation to blog.  So sorry I wasn't able to post in so long!  Teaching Algebra II was probably the hardest job I've had in a long time, and took up a lot of my time outside of school and was a general energy vampire.  Its a real challenge to motivate kids who just don't give a rat's butt about math and don't understand how important math skills are, and I'm not just talking about knowing how to rationalize radical expressions and factor polynomials.  I mean the thinking and reasoning skills you gain from math.  Of course it didn't help that they went for 2 weeks without a real teacher.  By the time I got them, they had lost all motivation to do well, and had missed some necessary skills we just didn't have the time to pick up.  But, enough about that... I'm back to blogging and crafting!  I’ll be posting more regularly now that its summer time and I have all of my important business squared away.  So, hello again!
The original collection of silk sleeves.
I’ll keep my first post back short and sweet, and talk about my newest project to use up the kimono fabric I acquired back in early march, and mentioned in my last post.  I got them from Kyoto Kimono, which has great deals on vintage, workable Japanese silks. Each sleeve that I got was about one yard by 14 inches after the seams were ripped.  My first project with the kimono fabric was okay, and I think it would make a great small purse for someone who wants something simple and lovely to carry around.  However, I decided that this wasn’t the best or most efficient use of this awesome material.  I was just having trouble coming up with something better, and became distracted by other fabrics and life in general.
The first project, it can be found on Etsy as well.

I rediscovered the kimono sleeves while I was reorganizing my working area.  I had moved my sewing cabinet to the opposite wall and was switching up my fabrics.  This was really just an excuse to take them all out and look at them, which is a great way to spawn inspiration.  That, and I just enjoy looking at them.  What can I say; I’m a fabricaholic.   

I pulled sleeves out and was ogling them, enjoying their varied textures and weights when the idea came to me.  What if I mixed them a nice sturdy, natural fabric (like the drill I already had a lot of) and made something bigger, with a bit more of a specific use…  I’ve been meaning to try making a laptop bag, and had already experimented with a messenger style bag before.

So dropped what I was doing, leaving a pile of fabrics still on the floor, and I sat down with a piece of blank paper.   I sketched out a simple, squared design in about 10 minutes.  The shape would keep me from having to cut out any curved pattern pieces and make a clean, geometric bag.  I liked what I came up right away, and just needed to pick which sleeve I wanted to use.  I decided on one I did because it looked simple from far away, but had a beautiful textured look up close.  Aaaand!  Here are the results:

So, the moral of my story is:  Spring cleaning can be an awesome source of new ideas from old inspirations.

p.s. If you want this bag, it can be yours!  Check it out on Etsy and give it some love.


  1. I like the colors of your fabrics. =) Love the little purse and the last bag looks super nice!=)

    You know on the teaching math skills my daughter doesn't care for math either but the thing is once she truly understands what she is supposed to do she does well it's just getting her to sit and really understand =/

    Anyway your fabricaholic comment is what I always say about myself and beads haha I'm a beadaholic. I sometimes have to tell myself in the store to step away from the beads....It can get expensive if I don't haha

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and I'm going to follow you back! =) Enjoy your summer off from school! =)

  2. Thank you for your kind comments!

    What you said about your daughter and math is definitely true for a lot of kids. I've found that getting them to just try and go through the steps is the hardest part. Once they try it, it starts to click. And I think a lot of kids have a mental block about math and how everyone else says its hard, so they take that to heart.

    I know what you about a craft-obsession getting expensive, my husband about has a cow every time I come home from the fabric store or tell him about what I want or bought online!