Sorry it's been so long since I posted, but I don't think I have any blog followers anyway! I have taken some down time to let my "tennis elbow" heal. The physical therapy is really helping and I'm feeling SEW much better! It's been a 2-year struggle with the arm pain/weakness. And that's why I'm finally getting around to making my sewing room look better. I had a bunch of art to put up -- which I did yesterday! 

I now have a bird wall! For Christmas, I got a little poster that says "Put a bird on it" (from the Portlandia skit), and it was an irregular size. I couldn't find the right size frame for it. So I made a mat out of fabric, and I love how it turned out! You could do the same thing with scrapbook paper, but for my sewing room, I needed fabric. Here's the process:
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Step 1: This shows the extra space around the poster that I wanted to fill.

I taped the poster to the cardboard, which fits inside the frame I'm using.

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Step 2: I cut 4 fabric strips to cover the edges of the poster and cardboard.

Step 3: I folded and pressed the edges of the strips and stitched a line 1/4" from the edges.

Step 4: Using double-sided tape, I attached the strips directly to the poster and cardboard. 

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Step 5: I folded the 2 longer strips at angles to form mitered corners. I used double-sided tape to hold them down.

Step 6: I cut off any fabric that hung over the edge of the cardboard. 

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Step 7: I put the newly-matted poster in its frame -- voila! The colors really make the poster "pop!"

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Here's my "bird wall!" It has brightened up my sewing room a lot. I still have more decorating and reorganizing to do, but I'm loving this!

 
 
One of my best customers ordered a messenger bag from me, in a cute owl fabric. It was the second messenger bag I've made, and it might be time to add them to my Etsy shop.
I made the long, adjustable strap out of a natural-looking upholstery fabric. It's soft, very sturdy and non-slip on your shoulder. The bag can be worn across your body (left) or over your shoulder.
My customer wanted a safe pocket for her iPad, so I made a padded, stabilized pocket with a Velcro closure. In the photo below, I put a book in that pocket. There are all sorts of other slip pockets in the bag's interior.
If you haven't had the "pleasure" of installing a twist lock (also called a turn lock), let me tell you it's a pain! It took a good hour to carefully install it. I'm so glad for the book by Lisa Lam called "The Bag Making Bible," which has lots of photos of techniques like this.
Where did I learn to make messenger bags? From an Australian bag-maker named Nicole Mallaliew (see her blog You SEW Girl)! It just so happens that this owl bag is headed to Australia!
Here are the bag's little sisters:
I'm so grateful to my customers who give me so much practice at different types of bags! - Rene
 

    Rene Smits

    Welcome to my passion! 
    I specialize in creating high-quality custom purses and bags. Feel free to contact me with your custom requests. I also sell my ready-made pieces on Etsy: Sew Much Cuteness.

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