Sewing Finishes 2014-2018
This is the second in a series of "catching up" posts to bring my blog up to date with projects from the past several years. (See my recent Blogoversary 2020 post for an explanation)
Included in this longish post are photos of sewing projects that I have worked on since 2014, both personal projects and selected SewAmazin custom orders (excluding dog bandanas and ruffles). They are organized chronologically, beginning with the earliest completed items. Some of the pieces have had machine embroidery added, but they were constructed using conventional sewing.
Westie Embroidered Essential Wristlet - PDF Pattern by Dog Under My Desk
November: This was a SewAmazin custom order. My recollection of this purse is that my customer needed a way to carry two cell phones (one personal, one business) as well as keys, credit cards and a few other essentials. It needed to be padded to protect the tech and of course, it had to have a Westie on it.
The front zipper pocket is padded to hold one of the cell phones securely.
A slip pocket inside the purse is also padded and could hold the second cell phone secure.
The interior is roomy enough to hold keys and other items; slip pockets hold onto to credit cards and cash.
The embroidery design on the front was stitched prior to cutting out the fabric for the purse. The filled Scottie mini terrier design was purchased from Embroidery Boutique in 2012 (it appears to be retired and no longer available). I used this design previously instead of an initial on some coffee cup sleeves made with in-the-hoop embroidery designs from Embroidery Garden; I used my embroidery software to copy and stitch it on the cover fabric of the purse.
Gadget Guard Tablet Case - PDF Pattern by Dog Under My Desk
January: This was a SewAmazin custom order for a Westie fan who got a new tablet for Christmas. I blogged previously about the Gadget Guard Padded Tablet Cases I made in 2014, and this one was constructed very much the same as the others.
Additional photos can be seen in my Google photo album Tech Cases & Notebook Covers.
Two Zip Hipster - PDF Pattern by Dog Under My Desk
February 2015: I made this bag for myself in blue medallion fabric, it was meant to be a sample. I originally thought I might make more of these bags for my SewAmazin shop, featuring Westie and doggie fabrics. But in 2015 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so this is the only Two Zip Hipster I finished. It was a great cross body bag and I used it for several years before being able to make a new bag for myself.
Zebra Print Fabric Reusable Shopping Tote Bags: Brown and Black
August 2015 - I've made lots of these reusable shopping totes and blogged about them here over the years. My recollection on these zebra print bags is fuzzy because of the time frame, but I believe they were originally requested by a family member to give as a gift. At the time, I decided to use up all the fabric and made an extra set that later sold in my SewAmazin shop.
Additional photos can be seen in my Google photo album Tote Bags, Reusable Grocery Bags
I was recovering from chemo, surgery and radiation for most of this year, so I did not accomplish much sewing. I had lost my fingernails as a side effect of chemo which made it very uncomfortable to pin fabric. I also developed neuropathy in my fingertips that still makes it difficult to grasp small items even today. I also have it in my toes, which affects my walking. I recall making some chemo caps for myself and pockets for holding my drains after surgery. By the end of the year, I was finally able to make some dog bandanas and ruffles for my SewAmazin shop and a couple of fall dog collars for Keli and Penny (sadly, I have no photos of them).
Screen Pet Gate
May 2017: I spotted a fabric baby gate somewhere online and thought it would be a good substitute for a pet gate on our deck. For years we used a metal exercise pen and left it up year round to keep the dogs from running down the ramp ahead of us or so they could sit outside and sun themselves unsupervised for a few minutes. Eventually the metal pen rusted out and we disposed of it.
I had screening left over from making my DIY Screen Curtain in 2012, and decided to use it. Besides using up my stash, it's easy to see through, so the added benefit is that Keli and Penny could sit at the top of the ramp and still look out over the yard to watch the squirrels and bunnies. The edges are wrapped with marine vinyl and the attachments are made of velcro strips. I took lots of photos in-process, so am planning a separate blog post with details. We used it through 2017 and part of 2018; we haven't really needed it for Penny since Keli's been gone.
Fabric Elizabethan Collar for Keli
Encore Clutch - PDF Pattern Dog Under My Desk: Watermelon Westie
Zip Around Town Wallet - PDF Pattern Dog Under My Desk
June 2017: In 2016, Keli had a lump that started growing on her nose, between her eyes, and it became quite large and would bleed frequently. It required constant cleaning and became even larger through 2017. I finally convinced my vet to remove it despite her age (15 at the time) because she was in relatively good health and the lump was becoming a quality of life issue for both of us. The lump turned out to be malignant, so I have no regrets for putting her through the surgery.
To keep her comfortable post surgery, I made her a fabric e-collar to replace the plastic one. I used the plastic collar from the vet to make a template and constructed the collar with batik fabric and Peltex firm interfacing, with velcro closures. I plan to write a separate blog post with more photos and instructions.
The fabric e-collar was a hit with my vet and we used it frequently for the rest of her life. We've since used it for Penny, although it's a bit loose on her.
Take Off Totes - PDF Pattern by Dog Under My Desk
August 2017: I was contacted through my SewAmazin Etsy shop to make a tote bag using the Pink Scotties fabric as a custom order. After going back and forth on the customer's needs, we agreed on this bag design. Since it was rather large and used foam batting, I decided to work up a sample first, to get a good understanding of the pattern directions. So I made it using this brown paw print batik from JoAnn Fabrics. I liked the way it turned out, so continued on to the custom order.
This Pink Scottie fabric is discontinued and I have very little of it remaining, so I had to be very careful cutting out the pattern pieces. The inside lining and straps were made in coordinating fabrics. I think the finished bag is adorable, if I do say so myself!
More photos of this bag can be seen my Bags, Purses, Wristlets, Wallets Google Photo Album
Encore Clutch - PDF Pattern Dog Under My Desk: Watermelon Westie
September 2017: This clutch was donated to WestieMed's Facebook Fundraising Auction.
The feature fabric is a scrap of Watermelon Westie fabric, designed by Kim Niles, purchased from Spoonflower.com. I've used this fabric on numerous projects for my SewAmazin shop. The rest of the little bag was made in black herringbone print cotton fabric and was embellished with a terrier charm on the zipper pull.
Halloween Chef's Hats & Dog Bandanas
October 2017: Custom Order SewAmazin
Bailey and Charlie have been frequent customers for custom bandanas and are therapy dogs, so when their mom contacted me to make them chef's outfits for Halloween, I accepted the challenge. I searched online for instructions to make the chef's hats. Essentially they are a big circle sewn to a band; the poof and ruffles are formed by easing in the edges of the circle. The hardest part is to determine the headband and circle size.
I made the bone appliques using red fabric and a machine embroidery design from Planet Applique (I think it was a freebie design that has since been retired) and fused them onto the headbands after the hats were completed.
The chef's jacket bandanas were a little more challenging. I used my basic scrunchie bandana pattern and adapted it to look like a jacket front. The names were embroidered prior to constructing the bandana and I added extra interfacing to stiffen them a bit to hold their shape. The neckbands were made separately out of red and white check fabric and the ties were added on later; I had to figure out how to attach them so the elastic neck of the bandana could still stretch.
Customized Fleece Pet Blankets
November/December 2017: SewAmazin Custom Orders
Another customer contacted me to ask for a custom blanket for Lucy, also a therapy dog. I hadn't really worked with fleece in a while, but it seemed like an interesting project.
I made a small sample blanket for Keli first, to test the embroidery font, determine the appropriate topper and stabilizer to use and to test the trimming needed for the fleece bone appliques. The bone is the same one used on the chef's hats above.
Lucy's blanket was made to her custom size, one side is a doggie print no-pill fleece and the other side is a solid red. I embroidered the name and appliques first, then constructed the blanket on my sewing machine. The two right sides were pinned together, I sewed all the way around, leaving an opening for turning right side out. Once it was turned right side out and flat, I top stitched around the edge to finish it. I think I hand-sewed the opening closed so it would be invisible.
After Lucy's blanket, I received a few other requests for similar blankets. You can see them in my Google photo album Fleece Dog Blankets
Daytripper Purse and Get Carded Wallet - PDF Pattern by Dog Under My Desk
February 2018: This is the bag I made for myself to replace the worn out Two Zip Hipster from 2015. I had already cut out this blue medallion fabric shortly after the first bag, but wasn't able to make it until I really needed a new bag. As the name indicates, the Daytripper is a large size bag, designed to hold everything needed for a day out exploring. I resized mine down to 88% to make it similar in size to the bags I usually carry, and it is still big enough to carry everything I need and more.
This has been a great cross body bag for the past few years and I'm still using it as well as the matching Get Carded Wallet.
Quick Zip Lunch Bag - PDF Pattern by Dog Under My Desk
March 2018: This is a sample insulated lunch bag I made, intending to make more for my SewAmazin shop in various doggie themed fabrics. I bought a small bit of this fabric at some quilt show and was holding it for just the right project. When it was finished, I thought the paw print snap tab was the perfect accessory! I was pleased with the size of this bag and was getting ready to make more and then I got busy with other things. And Keli started declining around mid-2018, her care was a higher priority, so I had to cut back on new shop listings.
Zip Around Town Wallet - PDF Pattern Dog Under My Desk
September 2018: I made this wallet for myself using fabric from Spoonflower in this Westie floral fabric by petfriendly. The wallet appealed to me because it has a zipper pocket inside for coins, holds cards and cash and I could carry my cell phone inside in a slip pocket. However, the first few times I went out shopping, it turned out to be too difficult to unzip quickly while checking out groceries and I kept dropping things. So this is another lovely wallet in my collection. It's perfectly usable and I will probably get some use of it eventually.
I have most of the yardage of this print still in my stash, so hopefully I will get to use on another bag soon.
Garden Westies Essential Wristlet - PDF Pattern by Dog Under My Desk
September 2018: This is another wristlet I made to be sold in my SewAmazin shop. I've used the Garden Westies fabric designed by Kim Niles, purchased from Spoonflower.com on many items for my SewAmazin shop and made this wristlet to use up some of the remaining yardage, using coordinating fabrics for the lining and adding a paw print charm to the front zipper pocket. I didn't have time to make any other wristlets for my shop because of Keli's declining health in September and October. This bag has been sold.
You can see more of my Westie creations in my Westie Sewing & More google photo album
More photos of the bags and wristlets in this post are in my Bags, Purses, Wristlets, Wallets google photo album
On a personal note: Losing Keli was devastating for me and I closed my SewAmazin shop immediately. It was just too hard to think about sewing bandanas or ruffles anymore, she was my muse and inspiration, my best friend and furry soul sister. I'm finally starting to feel okay about sewing again, but given my current health status, I don't know if or when I will be able to do this type of sewing ever again.