Sunday, October 8, 2017

sewing: pyramid bags

I decided I wanted to try making some dice bags, maybe even sell them. However, selling them requires bags to sell, which meant, finding some bag types I can make.

I decided to try making pyramid bags - maybe I'll make a big one for a knitting bag sometime; they seem to be quite popular. All three bags have fusible fleece fused to the outer fabric, and quilted in straight lines lengthwise at ~2.5cm intervals.

Because I have a hard time understanding what's going on with sewing (or knitting) until I've actually done it and seen it with my own eyes and hands, I chose a tutorial that looked reasonable (probably because it was one of the first hits on a Google search). The bag went together well, but was both smaller than I expected (despite there being measurements... but again, this goes with my difficulty visualizing the end product) and the lining had exposed seams. I was also not terribly pleased with the top end of the zipper. Rectangle size: 10x20cm. That's two full sets of standard gaming dice (my dice!)

So I went searching for something that would explain how to do a lined pyramid pouch with no exposed seams. I could really only find one that looked clear.  I increased the bag size (rectangles 15x30cm), added a bottom pull tab as well as the top pull tab (which was bigger than necessary but only so that the owls could be whole!). I should have done the fabric zipper stops as shown in the tutorial (her pink zip bag), but at the time I didn't really realize how useful it would be. I was happier with the second effort, but the top of the zipper is messy, and both top and bottom look like they are straining the fabric a bit and I expect those to be the points that give way eventually. G dumped a pile of his dice and tokens in there to check capacity.

I then hunted around for a better zipper solution. This tutorial, as well as this one from Threads suggested a cleaner top edge, but the first one has raw seams, and the second one is (I think) unlined. I went to bed thinking about bag construction and how to do a lined pyramid with the folded zipper on the long edge while still having no raw edges on the inside. I put it to the test this morning. Fabric was again 15x30cm, and it came out about the same size as the last one. The bottom of the zipper does have a bit of strain; I did a double seam to reinforce it, but I'll need to see if I can figure out a way to add in a fabric stop on this folded style of zipper.

I'm really very pleased with how this worked out. Now that I know how it goes together, I can play a bit more with directional fabrics. G thinks I should appliqué numbers on the sides to mimic tetradonal dice (and he also had even fancier plans of animal faces and such), or make one with googly eyes on either side of the zipper, and the zipper pull a tongue, to suggest a D&D monster, the Mimic. We'll see.

First I need to get more zippers.

Monday, February 27, 2017

weird and wonderful colors and shapes

The Natural History Museum in Paris is a collection of associated museums (they're not apparently actually one entity; you have to pay separate to get into each section, though there is a discount for having been to another). They consist of a large garden with buildings around the perimeter, plus a zoo. Of course, in February, the gardens are perhaps not at their best.


Last time we were in Paris, the closest we got to Le Palais Garnier was across the street. This time, I insisted we go in, since I'd heard it was interesting. We expected to spend maybe half an hour or an hour... we were there the whole morning.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

shiny gold

We went to Versailles without much of a plan. We knew, because I'd looked it up beforehand, that there was some kind of equestrian performance, and that tours existed.

Friday, February 24, 2017

arrival in paris

(It is now the beginning of April, and I am finally getting to writing up our trip to Paris - I've backdated the posts.)

This time, we decided to fly to Paris, instead of taking the train. This was not a bad idea. We took the RER and metro into the city, and when we emerged, the first thing both of us did was be tourists.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


A few weeks ago, I was with some friends, and the conversation turned towards things in the general region that should be seen/done/visited. My contribution to this, as always, was the flamingos of the Camargue - a good three-plus hour drive to the east of Toulouse, but I think it's worth it to see wild flamingos. I mentioned to one of my friends that maybe G's parents would let us stay with them to allow us to go on a field trip. I asked G, who asked his parents, and after a bit of discussion, a date was set.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

food we have consumed

Just a roundup of some of the tasty things we've eaten in January.


We've decided that we need to eat out more, and one place we discovered (thanks to a recommendation on Ravelry, and a test run with G's parents a few months ago) is Chez Marcel. They're pretty much a lunch place - open late morning til 8pm most days - and very tasty. It might be our new favorite restaurant. The decor is nice, the plating is quite attractive, the food is usually a little creative and very tasty. The sides tend to be the same on all the dishes, but it's neat to see how they go differently with each main dish.
My appetizer - something with salmon with shrimp on top

G's appetizer - 3 vegetable soup with goose rilletes

My lunch - filet of bream on polenta

G's lunch - pork loin and something else tasty

The "gourmande" that came with the café gourmand. Lemon meringue pie, a chocolate cream thing on a cookie type thing with strawberry, a canelé, and strawberry bits with cookie crumbles and whipped cream


I made a meat pie. I added frozen carrots and peas because I could. It was tasty. I'm really becoming a fan of the lard/butter crust I've been playing with lately.
Blurry cut pie. It was less blurry in real life.

St Aubin's Sunday market has a butcher that sells the most flavorful chicken you have ever tasted. Also, tasty rabbit, duck, and a bit of turkey. We decided to splurge on their pre-made rabbit roasts - one with Italian herbs and one with Chorizo, if I recall. G asked for apple-thingies for dessert; I made mini apple-blueberry pies. With fun shapes cut out for the top. Camille helped with setting the table.


At the end of January, we had G's friends L&E with children W&I over for snacks and hanging out and stuff. I may have gone a little crazy. Lemon bars, blueberry muffin-loafcake, Great-Granny's spongecake as cupcakes with frosting, and chocolate chip cookies. Apparently, frosting isn't a thing that the French do, to the point that I apparently kind of blew E's mind with the idea. The kids liked the cookies. The grownups liked the lemon bars. I actually kinda liked all of it.

Monday, August 24, 2015

cats are full of grace...

Yes. Completely and totally full of grace. Always.

(sorry bad photo quality... we were sitting on the couch watching a movie, with the adjustable lamp turned down to half light, and Perry settled down and the only photographic object I had was my tablet, and the flash photo was really terrible :) )