Friday, May 25, 2012

Swappy time!

Oh hey guys! So nice to see you again...have you been as distracted as me from doing anything BUT entering giveaways this week!? Kind of glad its over now so that I can get back to actual sewing, lol. (I can't only blame SewMamaSew Giveaway Day though...I also just discovered The One Stop Giveaway Shop, where Diane and Rachael find giveaways and post links to them, or if you are holding a giveaway you can fill out a form to be listed...I'm totally addicted...)

Anyway, I did manage to get some work done on my Modern She Made Swap item in between all the entering of giveaways and discovering LOTS of great new blogs, thankfully, cause this puppy's gotta get mailed out next week! I toiled for a while over what to make...the rules called for something with circles. Could be anywhere in the item, but had to include a circle somehow.  As this was my first big swap, I was feeling the pressure of trying to figure out something to make that my partner would enjoy, so it actually took me a few weeks until I felt comfortable enough to post anything to start with...

This is what I started with (without details as to why...because this hasn't been sent yet and my partner could be reading this!! ;-) )

Swap idea 1

Idea one involved an improv pieced circle supposed to be a tree...

Swap idea 2

Idea two was for some "port-hole" type things with some fun fussy cutting....

And I went with...


A combination of both!! I like the fussy cutting idea, but the port holes were too much within my comfort zone, and I really wanted to do this swap to push my boundaries a little bit.  I do not have much practice with improv piecing (to be honest the idea of it makes me mildly anxious...) so I decided to go that route.  At first I wasn't sure about it, I almost wound up scrapping the whole thing, but once it transformed more into the "tree" I really started to enjoy it. 

I appliqued it onto a tote bag (yes, I AM obsessed with making bags, so this part certainly wasn't out of my comfort zone...), made with a nice natural looking linen.  Turns out, linen is alot harder to work with that I had anticipated. I had the hardest time squaring it up and getting straight cuts, it kept getting all wonky on me! I love the look it has though so I will definitely be trying some other stuff with it (so ya know, if you have any tips on this stuff, help a sister out!!)

MSMS Bag complete

I ended up making the bag reversible, because I love items with multiple functions so it just had to be done...


I love the two sides...the outside is very fun and whimsical to me, while the reversible side is a little more classic and neutral. 

I also decided to add some hand stitching to the tree to add some interest. This was my first time hand stitching, and in true Jess fashion I started with absolutely no plan (ok...I had a plan to start with, but I totally did not stick to it what-so-ever)


I used some chain stitching to give the tree base some texture, and then just some straight lines around the tree in increasing size/ reminds me of a radiating sun and makes me have warm happy feelings about this bag!  I don't think my hand stitching is very accurate, but for a first time I'm pretty satisfied with it. 

I really hope my partner enjoys this, I wound up having a lot of fun creating it! By the end of the weekend I also hope to be able to share my item for my mini-swap with Rebecca (or at least a sneak peak of it anyway...) and, if all goes according to plan, I am also hoping to have a tutorial! (There, I announced it, now I *have* to do it...right?) 

I'm linking up this week with Handmade Parade at There and the button below to check out some other great handstitching projects! 

There and Back


  1. Well I just love your bag! I hope your partner does too!

  2. Please be sending this to me! I love the bird in the tree, it's just awesome!
    Thank you for linking up to The Handmade Parade :-)

  3. The bag is terrific! I love the bird at the top of the tree and all of the hand stitching makes this really special. Of course YOU went and made it reversable - you are really talented at making bags Jess! I do not have this talent but love watching what you make. Hope you won one of the giveaways!!