sunrise 6

Hello, good morning! Hope you are enjoying outdoors and getting some color in your cheeks :)

We visited New York for the weekend.

Everywhere we looked the contrast of hard and soft was very apparent in the city,

nature mingling with architecture in a patchwork of green, gray and brick orange.

The High line public park built on historic rail line especially feels like a mini example of this contrast.. grasses, shrubs and trees growing out of concrete and iron surrounded by apartment buildings.

This mile long walk way was almost floating in the air and felt pleasantly surreal. 

During one of these city walks, we came across a dog park unexpectedly.. from neatly groomed poodles to neon collared pugs,  there were all kinds, tagging along their owners or playing catch.

We forgot about the ticking clock and sat there until it was dinner time.

I think all that walking has worked up our appetite. We ate our fill of pastries and pies before the trip was over. I highly recommend 'Four and Twenty Blackbirds'  located in Brooklyn if you are fond of sweet and savory pies. We would have loved to try all the items on their menu if our tummies weren't already bursting!

I hope your day is just as sweet as the honey shoofly pie we tasted ( ' v ' )


Bear's garden bag

When I came across 'a day in the park ' backpack tote pattern by Liesl Gibson two years ago, it gave me perfect pretext to make a new bag for my daily use.

 But it took longer to find the fabric I had in mind for this bag. This fabric by Megumi Sakakibara is like a sweet poem about passing clouds, flying birds, wild flowers and various cuddly creatures who like to linger under fruit trees.

This is the back side of the bag. It has funny phrases that say 'ru.ru.ru...' which must be the cooing of birds in their chirpy voices. A sketchy butterfly reaching for the clouds, a faint hint of rainbow starting to form after rain showers and some distant trees waving lightly in the wind makes me wish this peaceful scene is not just a painted picture.

I wanted the whole feel to be like a real garden where we catch glimpses of life in the most unexpected places. There are lot of hidden surprises like this bird.. it was fun to figure out a spot for everyone including a cunning fox while cutting the pieces.

Every tidy garden must have a hard working gardener. Let me introduce you to Mr.Bear who is doing some inspection in his garden after the rain has stopped. Can you tell that his favorite color is green?

I like the convenience to convert this bag into a backpack or a tote. While going for a walk or running errands it allows me to keep my hands free and stays out of the way. But at the same time, it is nice to have the option to use it as a shoulder bag on days when I need quick access to the pockets or things inside it.

This is my first time using rivets, I bought the hardware of these O-rings and rivets as a kit along with the pattern at Purl Soho shop. The instructions are very clear about every small detail, even how to put these rivets on. But Kalyan took care of this part for me as I got nervous about putting them myself :/

The girl on the pocket is Megu. It is so nice to have her around keeping me company during my outings. She also reminds me of my school days when I use to wear two pigtails like her :)
This is another fabric by the same designer and has a cheater print. Instead of using the measurements given in the pattern, I fussy cut this piece to get three pockets and followed the lines in the print to do the outline stitching with matching thread.

As we know spiders love taking naps in dark corners more than anything, but I didn't realize a zippered pocket can make for a comfy home. I feel sorry for startling this spider from her sleep. Next time I have to be as quiet as possible.

Another thing I needed was a place to hang my keys. I fused a Shinzi Katoh linen tape with a cotton ribbon on its back to make this strap and slipped in a clasp.

Since my fabric was somewhat thin, I used a fusible fleece for the handles which was not suggested in the pattern, so when I double folded the edges to make holes for the rivets, it became too thick for their size. I again trimmed the edge for a single fold and it was a good fit. I finished the raw edges by some hand stitching to avoid any fraying later.

I used a fusible fleece interface 987F by Pellon for the outer fabric and a thin 'SF101 apparel interfacing' for the inside lining instead of using canvas recommended in the pattern as I love the soft squishiness in bags rather than being stiff, but still holding their shape.

There is a button closure for the outside pocket, but I felt a button would distract from the scenery, so I opted for a hidden magnetic snap that is stitched into the interfacing and appears invisible to the eye but still functions very well in keeping the pocket closed. I came to know about this product through an awesome tutorial by Michelle.

I made a simplified version of this bag for a friend last year and wrote about the changes I did in this post. Even though there are lot of steps involved in making this bag, I couldn't be more happier with the way the pattern guides you through each step carefully. If you are interested, it is available as a digital pattern in Oliver + S shop.

Thank you for reading through this lengthy post! Happy May! ( ' v ' )