Sugar & Spice Bag Pattern Review

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Disclaimer: Unsolicited Pattern Review

I had so much fun making this bag from ChrisW Designs “Sugar and Spice” pattern.  The pattern is so easy to follow.  She provides both visual explanation as well as text-only.  I printed the text-only pages with the pattern pieces and used it literally as a check-list as I proceeded through the construction.  It was nice to be able to look at the visual instructions on the computer when I would get stuck which only happened twice and had nothing to do with the pattern instructions.  All me folks.

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What was great about this project is that I learned a few new skills along the way.  I have wanted to learn to place a recessed zipper for a long time (shown above).  I never even considered making a project featuring piping, let alone MAKING the piping first!  I was really nervous because I don’t even own a zipper foot.  Gasp, I know.  I really want to own a zipper foot and if I am going to make more of these bags (yes) I definitely will get one.  My little foot was literally riding on top of the piping the entire time so I could get in close.  Listen, you do what you have to do when you are working the right job with the wrong tools and you are too excited to wait and get a stinkin zipper foot.  That’s just how I roll.

image (2) - CopyThis pattern includes lots of great pockets and she even encourages you to adjust the interior pockets to your liking.  I made three pen pockets, an iPhone pocket, and a couple extras just for….stuff.

The bags I typically make don’t include much hardware outside of the occasional magnet or snap.  I opted out of the rivets but fell in love with the strap rings.  I didn’t want to over-hardware myself on the first try.

All in all, this pattern is SO well written and easy to follow.  The bag is stunning and I am really excited to make another one.  I might square out the bottom because I am not comfortable with sewing on the curves but we will see.  If it ain’t broke….right?  I highly recommend this pattern and am looking forward to trying out another ChrisW Designs purse pattern soon.  Enjoy!!

You Pin, I Do: Growth Chart

This new series is where I show you cool things I have found on Pinterest….and then I actually do them.  Crazy thought, I know.  Today I will show you how to make a custom handmade growth chart from things that are (potentially) lying around your house.  This project cost me less than $2 but I’m no fool.  Not everyone has ALL of this stuff just lying around but you can find most/all of it for free if you take the time to look around your local area.

Give credit where due!  Ashley from domesticimperfection.com is amazing.  Her charts are gorgeous.  Here is my inspiration post:  http://www.domesticimperfection.com/2012/12/custom-name-growth-charts/

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Hers are phenomenal but I am cheap.  If I can make it free/cheap, I am in.  Otherwise, I get overwhelmed when I spend money on a project and it doesn’t turn out right.  A few great places to find cheap/free materials for TONS of projects are Craigslist, Varage Sale (Craigslist-type app for local trade/sale), Facebook trading pages, Habitat For Humanity Restore (great source for building supplies), friends, neighbors, community boards, etc, etc, etc.  Look around – there is great stuff everywhere just waiting for you to turn it from trash to treasure.  It is great for our environment to reduce, reuse, recycle, UPcycle!

Instructions:

Take one privacy fence slat and paint it whatever color you like.  I used a light base color blue (leftover from my bedroom…free paint from CL) and then dry brushed over it with a darker blue which is also the same color as the boys’ walls (also free from CL).  Sidenote – get free paint from wherever and then take it to the hardware store and change it to the color you like.  My major chain hardware store does this for free.  I got a gallon of “bees wax” color (gold-ish) free on CL and had it tinted to a dark gray for my living room.  If you aren’t counting that is THREE ROOMS painted with free paint.  You can’t beat that….until I do the playroom which would make four.  🙂  So, once it is painted you then measure out your marks.  Remember to factor in however high it will hang from the floor.

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Next you can use stencils to add your numbers.  I free-handed mine because I don’t have stencils and when I decide to do a project I want it done yesterday.  No time for going to the store to search for the perfect stencil.  I like the imperfect handmade look of it in the end but I know there are great stencils out there if you like a cleaner appearance.

That’s really all there is to it.  Decorate it however you like.  My only cost was the little hanger I attached to the back to hang it on the wall.  Pick that up at your hardware store when you get your free paint tinted!  😉

Tell me what you think!  If you have a Pinterest project you’d like me to test out before you dive in, let me know.  I’d love to see what projects you have done as well!