Sewing with Skinny laMinx

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Beautiful home decor-weight fabric I found while browsing at Modern Domestic – it’s from Skinny laMinx, a fabric designer based in South Africa.  Her nature-inspired fabrics are amazing, and you can buy them on Etsy 🙂  The print that I used for the table runner and the tote bag is Pincushion, in colors Humbug and Khaki.  I bought 1/4 meter of each (they’re pretty spendy, but the quality is really first-rate), even though I had no idea what I was going to do with them.  After letting them sit on my sewing table for a few weeks, I decided on simple projects, to highlight the fabrics themselves.

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First, I sewed a very simple table runner (backing it in a heavier weight neutral) and paired it with these cafe bowls from Heath Ceramics in San Francisco.  I then used all of the remaining yardage to make a tote bag, based on the Forty-Minute Tote pattern from Purl Bee.  I altered the dimensions a little and made the straps a little longer, so that it’s the perfect size and fit to load up all of my goodies at the Portland Farmer’s Market every Saturday.

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Next, I used a fat quarter meter of Solid Orla Fog to make two boxy pouches, using this tutorial.  It’s really well-done — especially in getting the details of sewing in zippers just right – and not at all complicated, but one word of advice:  DON’T follow the tutorial when it comes to boxing the corners!  The tutorial’s approach is very difficult – a much easier way to box corners is demonstrated on many of the Purl Bee’s tote bag project demonstrations, including the Forty-Minute Tote.  I boxed each corner by sewing my line at the point where the corner is three inches wide.  Then, to sew in the handle, I ripped out a few stitches in the middle of two of the exterior boxed corners, inserted each end of the handle, and sewed the corner back up.

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I used decor bond interfacing, along with the canvas weight fabric and cotton batting, so the pouches are very sturdy and hold their shape well.  I quilted the fabric, interfacing, and batting together before I started sewing – I experimented with quilting one horizontally and one vertically, just to see how it would change their appearance.  They are really cute – not that big, but the perfect size for make-up or sewing notions or tons of other things.

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