Akram's Ideas

Christmas Sewing

For Christmas I wanted to give everyone a chance to witness how well my sewing skills had become. Thus, I decided I would make sew some purses for my sisters. I had already taken a sewing class back in October at Joan’s on how to make a purse using Simplicity pattern 1905 and made myself a really nice cupcake back. I thought that since it wasn’t too hard I would make the same bag (version C) for them. The first thing I needed to do was to decide on the fabric.

My sister Zaynab (middle sister) is kind of, a goth chick in heart. Her favorite color is purple and she likes creepy things like skulls. So, during Halloween I came across some skull patterned fabric that I knew would be prefect for her. I already had some jersey purple that I had bought like 5 yards at a ridiculously low price at an antique store, to use as the lining and trim. When I got the skull fabric home I realized it was super thin and wouldn’t be appropriate for a purse, but I also had previously bought some black canvas so I sewed the skull fabric to the black canvas for support. The jersey material was a little hard to work with and I broke a needle when sewing on the straps, because of the thickness, but I still felt that it came out really good.

Photo By Akram Taghavi-Burris
Photo By Akram Taghavi-Burris
Photo By Akram Taghavi-Burris
Photo By Akram Taghavi-Burris

Narges, my baby sister (the youngest) has varied tastes so I asked my Mom for help when choosing a fabric for her purse. She mentioned that Narges was really into an owl theme at the moment. Owl’s have really become quite popular lately, though I do notice a lot of owl knickknacks from the 60’s/70’s at antique stores the modern use of owls are more whimsical and cuties. Almost kawaii in style. My Mom helped me pick out some really cute owl fabric at Hobby Lobby. Narges’ favorite color is pink, but since there were already a lot of pink owls on the fabric I thought I’d use a happy apple green color (my fave color) for the accent and trim. I liked the look of the owl fabric so much I decided not to add the contrasting band on top and make the fabric go all the way up. The lining, bow and straps would still be in the green. Thus I modified the pattern and used the lining pattern piece to make the lining and outer shell of the purse.

Photo by Akram Taghavi-Burris
Photo by Akram Taghavi-Burris

My sister Fatemeh (right after me) is kind of tacky in taste, or I would say anyways. After all only she would by the following shoes

Photo By Fatemeh Bennett
Photo By Fatemeh Bennett

So anyways I came across this psychedelic patterned vintage fabric at an antique store and knew that it was so her. I didn’t really know what color to use for the lining or accent but since I had some left over green fabric from Narges’ purse I used it, I was lazy and it seemed to match. Since I didn’t know how she’d like the green accent I only used it for the bow and lining, opting this time to make the straps in the same fabric as the purse, and like with Narges’ purse use the same pattern piece for the lining and the outer shell.

Photo by Fatemeh Bennett
Photo by Fatemeh Bennett

The purses took way longer than I expected, mainly because it was the end of the semester and I’d been busy with student grades.  In fact I was still finishing them up the day we had planed to exchange gifts. Needless to say I never got around to making my Mom’s purse. One thing I ran out of time and two she’d never say what color purse she wanted, so I agreed to make it for her birthday in March.

I thought about making a purse for my Mother in law, but my husband, knowing how long it was taking on the other purses, suggested I do some thing quick and easy. We went down and bought some Mary Engelbreit fabric at Hobby Lobby ( I just love those 40% off coupons) and a single full size pillow at Wal-Mart. I decided to make some accent pillows for her sofa. My husband had the idea of using the pillow, because it was cheaper and quicker than buying filling, though he thought I’d just use the stuffing. I decided instead to cut the full size pillows in half and then sewing the cut end back together using the sewing machine. This way I could make a removable pillow case for the pillows that could be washed, if needed. I had gotten two different fabric patterns put one on each side of the pillow so they could be turned on different sides, depending on the mood. I also had the opportunity to work with invisible zippers which I feel I did a good job on. My favorite thing about these pillows is their size and shape, instead of being typical square pillows they look like a miniature bed pillow.

Photo By Akram Taghavi-Burris
Photo By Akram Taghavi-Burris

We’ll that was my Christmas sewing. I had also started a dress I was going to wear for Christmas, but other than cutting out the pattern I didn’t get very far, so it will have to be next Christmas’ dress.

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Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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