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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stumptown Comics Fest

Riding on Alec's coattails, I'll be in Portland this weekend at the Stumptown Comics Fest!

My Fluff Engine table will packed with lots of new stuffed animals and patterns. I will also have the first issue of my Terrible Movie Nights zine. Since I moved back to Oakland last year, I've been watching bad movies with friends and making custom watercolor paintings inspired by the films. I started a blog to share the paintings, but thought it would be fun to collect everything in a zine.

There will be all sorts of awesome comics and zine to check out so if you're in the Pacific Northwest come on by.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shelly the Tortoise

I just finished a new plush design, Shelly the Tortoise. I was trying to make a simpler pattern for the collection and I thought a tortoise would be a nice addition. For the most part, I choose a new animal based on how fun it would be to make. I really like the shape of tortoise legs, especially when they're walking, slowly of course. For my simplified version, I made the legs a little floppy so Shelly can strike a couple different poses.

I've made several different variations of Shelly the Tortoise and they're available for sale in my etsy store.  I'm currently working on the pattern instructions and I hope to have the pattern available for sale in a couple weeks.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bicycle Bag

Since September of last year,  I've been going out once a week to teach the fashion design club at Woodside Priory school. I take Bart to Caltrain, get off in Menlo Park and bike the rest of the way to the school, about 7 miles. When I first started I was just taking a backpack, but it was weighing me down and hurting my back,  so I had to figure out a better solution.  I already have a back rack attached to my bike so why not use it.

The first version I tried was just a tote bag that I strapped to the rack. I kept adding pieces to make it easier to attach, like velcro and buckles, it looked pretty funky but it did the job. I looked up some options on bags to buy, but they seemed more geared to hardcore bicyclists and tour cycling. I just wanted a bag that I could pop on and off my bike. I also didn't need two full saddle bags and I liked the feel of something that I could attach to the top of the rack.

Last week, the zipper broke on my funky bag, so it was time to tackle making a custom bag with my personal specifications.  The biggest factor was making it attach securely to the rack, while still being easy to remove. Every week I take a different amount of things with me, so I wanted a way to make it expandable to fit a variety of things.

I do have a fair amount of fabric in my stock so when I begin a new project I try to use some existing instead of buying all new materials. A friend's mom had given me this upholstery fabric a couple years ago for helping her get used to her sewing machine. It's feels like embossed vinyl with a fabric backing,  it probably has a real name that I don't know.

With the drawstring top it does expand a fair amount,  I haven't tested its limits yet. The interior is nylon, it's not waterproof but at least it's a little more water resistant than the cotton that makes up the outside.

There is a zipper pocket in the front for easy access to small items. There is a removable cardboard panel that slides into the bottom interior to give it some stability so it doesn't just flop over the rack.

The panels on the bottom wrap around the sides of the rack and snap to the back, it's actually really secure but still easy to get off again.

 The back has a reflective strip and a place to attach lights. The straps also have snaps on them so they're adjustable and they can be reconfigured in different ways to secure the bag.