Tuesday 25 April 2017

    Hi.  I'm Natalie's husband and I'm guest posting for Natalie, as she's knee deep in material at the moment.

    Natalie wanted a Chrysler PT Cruiser from the day that the first concept car images were released.  She had it as the background on her computer for years. She bothered bugged badgered convinced me that a PT Cruiser would be the ideal replacement for her ailing but beloved Sherman (blue Nissan pickup).  Like any intelligent husband, I crumbled under pressure and agreed.

    We ordered ourselves a PT Cruiser, silver, manual shift in May 2000.  No arguing over pricing, MSRP was the rule from the get go.  It arrived in October 2000, so fresh off the assembly line, the cargo bin under the passenger seat wasn't available (we never did get it).  Over the years, Natalie collected PT Cruiser stuff.  Coke cans with a PT Cruiser on it.  A PT Cruiser Hot Wheels car, silver. A superb die-cast model of a silver PT Cruiser.  A pink fairy pig that hung from the rear view mirror.
    Did we say that it snowed today ?
     Natalie loved her PT Cruiser.  It bought both our sons home from the hospital, as my car only had 2 doors. The first time we had my in-laws in the car, we took it through the car wash with them, and laughed when my mother-in-law accidentally opened a rear window.  For 14 years, that car had been part of our family.

    This year however, marked the end of that relationship. As a 14 year old model of a car with limited desirability, a quarter of a million on it, and manual shift, we knew we wouldn't get much selling it and no dealer wanted it as a trade.  We wanted more than just to drive it to a wreckers.   We decided to do something special with the car. 

    Fourteen years is a long time in car years.  We considered my nephew who just turned 16, but as we have to stay on speaking terms with my sister, we had to rule that out.  We tried to donate the car to the automotive program at my nephew's high school, but that didn't pan out either.  Then we saw the Kidney Foundation of Canada advertisement in this month's CAA magazine.

    The Kidney Foundation has a program where you can donate a car, truck, or even a boat. You get a tax receipt for a minimum of $300 (depending on the ultimate value of your donation) and proceeds from the Kidney Car funds medical research and patient services for those living with kidney disease. Although we've been fortunate enough not to have a family member with kidney disease, this solution felt right.  It felt very right.

    As it turns out, this world is a small one.  We learned just after making arrangements to have the car picked up by the Kidney Car folks, that a friend of Natalie's has a relative that has just received word that a kidney is available.  You can't imagine how powerful this felt.

    The driver who picked our car was wonderful !
    So we watched the Kidney Car tow truck arrive in the snow this morning.  The cheery driver, who had already picked up a Volkswagen Cabriolet earlier today, handled the paperwork and hooked up our car.
    As we watched the car get taken away, we were pleased to hear that the transplant surgery went well, with the expectation of kidney function within the week.

    Karma ?  Carma ?  Seriously, you just can't make up stuff like this.
    Link to the Kidney Car Program

    Bye Car !

    BTW, did you notice that the first picture was of the model, not the actual car ?

Thursday 28 May 2015

The Better-Than-Basic Bag Patten Testing

I was happy to be able to Pattern Test for Jodi of Sew Fearless. She has just released a new Pattern called The Better-Than-Basic Bag.

This pattern is very well written, the instructions are clear, and the pictures will help you if you need any further clarification.  Jodi has added instructions on matching interfacing and interlinings to fabric.  This is a great idea to add at the front of the pattern it gives you a chance to decide how firm you wish your bag to be before you go shopping for your leather and fabric. If you haven't worked with leather she explains about choosing your leather.

I love this bag, it has a leather  lower body and handles. With a centre zippered pocket that is fixed to the lining of the bag, at the side seams.  I like the way the pocket was designed, as it helps to keep your bag organized.  As well as a secure place to find your wallet and keys. I can see this being a great bag to use for a day of shopping, or a trip to the gym. In case you're like me you don't go to the gym, your knitting will fit in nicely.

I had no problems with sewing this bag from the pattern. I'm very happy with the way it turned out the size is good.  I will have to make some more of these in the future. If you haven't sew with leather before this is a perfect pattern for you to start with.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

The Manhattan Bag Pattern Testing

I was lucky enough to get a chance to Pattern Test The Manhattan Bag  for Emmaline Bags 

Janelle has released a new pattern as part of the Bag of  the Month

I Love this pattern, I had so much fun making it. Janelle has come up with another great pattern.  The Manhattan comes in two different sizes the Mamma and the Miss. It has the coolest zippered pouch in the flap.  A great place to put your sunglasses, and it has the pattern for you to make your own glasses case.  Janelle designed it so you can attach the glasses case into the flap, making for an easy way to store you glasses.

I found this pattern to be very well written with lots of pictures to go with the written instruction.  I always like the fact that when you print out her pattern pieces, she has the 1" block so you can measure it to ensure that you have print the pattern to scale.  I didn't have and problems following the pattern and everything lined up beautiful even the magnetic snaps on the front of the bag.

The Mamma is big enough to hold my iPad and wallet, where as the Mini holds my wallet and anything else I think I need.
 I will be making more of these bags in the future. These ones are already spoken for, the Bird Mamma will be heading to my Mom for Mother's day.  The Miss will be heading to my Sister, Jennifer.

 I decided to use Black Denim for this bag, it is from Ikea ,and use to be a couch cover.  I need some cream fabric to go with the feed sack so I had to tea dye checked tea towels, as all I had was white ones.  I love trying different things with fabric, it worked  out as a  perfect match.   I used a flour sack on this bag, it is from the S. J. Bellamy Flour Mill at Upper Canada Village.  My Great, Great, Great Uncle S. J. Bellamy Built and owned the Mill before it was moved to Upper Canada Village.  So since my maiden name is Bellamy I thought my sister would love it. 

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Bonnie Bucket Bag by Swoon

Since I finished sewing all my Christmas Presents (yes I was still sewing on Christmas Day) making some lovelies for other people. I needed to get back into my sewing room and clean up.

I came across my Bonnie Bucket Bag by Swoon Sewing Patterns that I hadn't had a chance to finish last year.  I needed a new purse so I thought I would finish it for me.

If you haven't tried any of Swoon Sewing Patterns you should give them a try.  Alicia has a lot of different types of bags, purses, and totes.

The patterns are well written and come in PDF's or as a printed pattern.  I love using PDF's from Swoon as I can leave the directions on my computer and just print out the pages that have the pattern pieces on them. 

On the Bonnie it called for a zipper to close the bag, but for me I usually don't zip it half the time.  So I used a magnetic snap for the closure. The pattern also called for a welt pocket on the outside, I didn't really have a need for the pocket on the outside so I didn't add that to the bag.  I did add a zippered pocket on the inside lining to carry my phone in.   I took the time to add a second line of top stitching on the front band and added top stitching to the side seams. To add a little more structure to the bottom of the bag in the lining and outer bag I top stitched down the seam to the bottom of the bag.  It gave it the more structure I was looking for and also gave it a more professional finish.

Of course since I like to add some my "Bling" to my bags I tried a new-to-me piece of hardware from Emmaline Bags. Janelle is always coming up with something new to add to my collection. Handmade with pride.