Trend in Reflective: Bucket Bag

All the fashion magazines are singing the praises of bucket bags as *the* purse to have for Spring, and in fact, some editors are predicting it’s popularity through Fall. Even my latest Lucky magazine repeated the news. So I guess it must be true – and something to pay attention to. And by “pay attention to” what I really mean is “interpret with reflective fabric.” So I did. Twice.

Even the Lucky magazine editors say so!

Even the Lucky magazine editors say so!

I didn’t find a pattern for one, so I studied as many pictures as I could, and looked some up online to read measurements. Then I just sort of made it up, using for the bottom the pattern piece from my niece’s American Girl Doll carrying bag (McCalls 6854).

McCalls 6854, with my Samantha modeling the bag. Props to my niece for picking the awesome fabrics herself!

McCalls 6854, with my Samantha modeling the bag. Props to my niece for picking the awesome fabrics herself!

The first one I made I already shared with you, made with the reflective orange on the bottom and for the drawstring, and a camo print for the rest of the bag. I lined it in blue because that was all I had enough scraps for, but I don’t think my friend minded. In fact, she was pretty tickled with it.

But I learned a few things while making hers and tried to improve on mine, although I’m not 100% sure I succeeded. This time I sewed the  loops on before I put the lining in, but I wish I’d added more loops. I might add them later, and just stitch through – at least the lining is a busy print, so the stitching should be as noticeable. Somehow I had less webbing for the strap, which ended up fairly short, but I guess that it’s a big deal.

I picked the color combination because I love this plum reflective fabric (which I am now almost out of) and it goes so well with the Liberty of London for Target duvet cover/fabric I have. My original thought was to get blue microsuede fabric, but JoAnns didn’t have a blue I wanted, so I picked a light denim. It looks fine but is more casual than I’d wanted. I was sort of hoping I could carry this bag with the dress I’m wearing soon to a friend’s wedding. I may end up making (trying to make) a zippered clutch, but we’ll see.

I used fusible woven interfacing on all the fabric, including the lining, to give it a bit of heft; on the bottom I used a really thick, almost felt-like fusible non-woven interfacing that created a pretty firm base. I wish I’d known about that interfacing when I made my niece’s bag. It still doesn’t hold it’s shape the way I imagine the high-end leather bags do, but theirs aren’t reflective, so there you are.

Now I’m in a purse mindset – I want to make all kinds of bags! Especially since I have this cool metallic printed twill, silver and gold. I think the gold would be lovely as a foldover clutch to match my floral dress, but I can’t decide if I should mix in some reflective fabric. But I also can’t imagine sewing something that isn’t reflective anywhere – quelle horreur!  Stay tuned to see if I attempt something this weekend.

Future gold clutch purse?

Future gold clutch purse?

Boots and Colorblocking

I’ve been hopping around this evening out of excitement, because Merrell has at last created bike-friendly boots! I want both pairs!

Merrell Evera Fade - this color is my favorite fall/winter neutral, so I love them even more!

Merrell Evera Fade – this color is my favorite fall/winter neutral, so I love them even more!

Merrell Evera Amp - a very work appropriate dressy black boot.

Merrell Evera Amp – a very work appropriate dressy black boot.

I love boots, and I love my Merrell Evera bike shoes, so I’m especially excited to see these two. And I love that wine color – it really is one of my favorite winter neutral colors. My beautiful big wool overcoat is that same color, and I just love it. Merrell has also come out with a cute Mary Jane style heel, which makes me a bit crabby, because I just this spring bought a pair of the basic black pumps, but the size is too small. A shoe that is not strapped around my ankle just doesn’t stay on, so I hoped that a smaller size would help. Not really – anyone want to buy a barely used pair of black Merrell bike heels?

The Merrell Evera Draft - I would much rather have these than the ones I have. I even love the color.

The Merrell Evera Draft – I would much rather have these than the ones I have. They have just enough of a strap to keep them on my foot. I even love the color.

These shoes are a reminder that I’ve started to see fall clothes pop up here and there, and now I’m getting my mental list ready for what I want to sew for the fall. I already have one very clear project, although it is a bit too hot these days to get excited about sweatshirts.

I’ve shared this pattern already, but I’m posting it again.

McCalls 6792

McCalls 6792

I’ve got two ways of altering it so the block is on the back as well as the front, and then I can put reflective piping on both sides. But what got me more excited about this pattern is my latest Lucky magazine, which had several color block tops here and there.

Colorblocked sweater - like these colors.

Colorblocked sweater – like these colors.

This is neoprene, but I LOVE the color combination! This is my biggest inspiration.

This is neoprene, but I LOVE the color combination! This is my biggest inspiration.

A few black and blue options. Like the one with the white shoulders.

A few black and blue options. Like the one with the white shoulders.

Then a friend posted this picture on some social media site, can’t remember which one. It’s a gown in the Bergdorf window in Manhattan.

Colorblocked gown in the Bergdorf window.

Colorblocked gown in the Bergdorf window.

It reminds me of this other pattern I have that I’d kill to make, but have nowhere to wear it.

McCalls 6755 - colorblocked skirt, which I love and is completely impractical for my life.

McCalls 6755 – colorblocked skirt, which I love and is completely impractical for my life. Too long to bike in, too dressy for the office, and I have no social life, so…

That, in turn, reminded me of an old Vogue pattern I recently rediscovered, this Issey Miyake pattern I bought in 1995 (I started writing the dates of purchase on my patterns for this very reason!).

Vogue 1563 Issey Miyake colorblock dress in two lengths.

Vogue 1563 Issey Miyake colorblock dress in two lengths.

I’m so tempted to make this dress right now, but I would have a hard time deciding which length. The short one is obviously very bike-friendly, but I love the longer one, and maxi dresses are very in right now. Besides, the shorter one just looks a bit awkward, and sort of like a maternity dress. No matter, I probably won’t get it done soon enough for summer anyway.

So I’m back to sewing the colorblock top for the fall, with some alterations needed to make it reflective fashion-perfect. Now I just have to pick out colors! I am so tempted to do the burgundy-aqua of the neoprene top, but I’m a bit worried that I won’t have anything to wear with it. I need it to be office-friendly, and what pants do I own that would be appropriate? Maybe I need to make new pants, too? I have noticed that the fall pants are a slightly different, more relaxed skinny leg (that almost scream the 1980s, which I’m trying to ignore…). It’s hard to balance fashion with office wear with sewing projects with what one already owns! And my closet isn’t that big. What do you do – shop for mostly work clothes, or mostly play clothes?

Yeah, I really want to make this dress...

Yeah, I really want to make this dress…