Lina and Vi: October 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Organic Tote

It's been a busy month around here, but I'm happy to share that I'm back sewing for Lina and Vi with a brand new tote bag to share today. Please welcome the Organic Tote to the Grounds family!

This bag is a medium-sized shoulder bag with a bonus large exterior pocket. Because this bag is mid-sized, it's light and perfect for carrying on all day adventures without the added weight of a heavy bag. As a quick sidebar, when I was in San Francisco, I carried a bag that I had purchased from a store several years ago. I didn't use my own handmade bags as I didn't have time to make a tote especially for the trip, and I wanted something that could be held both on the shoulder and cross-body, which this store bought bag was designed to do. It was easy and convenient to just grab it and move on with packing. I noticed that as days grew on, I had a sore shoulder and had to move the bag around to balance the weight on my body. The bag itself (without contents) was heavy, which didn't help, as it added to the weight of the travel documents, bus routes, and the camera I was carrying. So in sum, a light-weight bag is definitely a good idea, especially if you are traveling on foot most of your day.

Ok, back to the bag. The exterior has a large slip pocket to make it easy to access necessities like keys, cell phones, and toiletries without needing to open and dig through the entire contents of the bag (and keep digging and digging and I do). There is one smaller slip pocket on the inside, but overall the bag is a fairly simple design with the wide open space on the inside to carrying whatever needed.

The printed burlap used for this bag is a black text on one side of the bag featuring the USDA organic label and blue coffee bean graphic on the other. I did not mix and match these from different coffee burlap sacks - these designs were all on the same coffee sack. I love that you can flip the bag to one side and have one look and flip it to the other for a slightly different variation. Oh the options, just by carrying it in a certain direction!

Lina and Vi // Organic Tote // Grounds collection

Lina and Vi // Organic Tote // Grounds collection

Lina and Vi // Organic Tote // Grounds collection

The overall color scheme is neutral. The bottom exterior of the bag is a heavy weight (duck) tan cloth, and the interior is a two tone design with that same tan cloth and a cream and beige print. I think the interior is visually interesting, but it doesn't overdo it with a lot of colors and different prints.

This bag is truly a perfect, mid-sized tote bag for the everyday. It's neutral so it doesn't require a certain style or outfit. And (most importantly!) it keeps your items organized in a fun, unusual upcycled material.

The Organic tote is now available for purchase in our Etsy shop here! The listing contains more details on dimensions and features that described here, but always feel free to email, comment, or message me on Facebook/Etsy if you have any questions.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Vacation: San Francisco

This past weekend, my husband and I traveled to the west coast for a bit of R&R and celebration of our one year anniversary as a married couple. Things have been relatively quiet in the sewing sphere for me in October as I've been busy with work and preparing for this trip. I'm excited to share a few photos of my life outside of sewing. When I visit other blogs, I tend to gravitate more to the posts and photos that are about personal life. We're all playing the balancing game, and I also love a peek behind the I wanted to share a bit about my trip because I'm not always in front of a computer or sewing machine around here!

We visited San Francisco for a long weekend last week. We chose to use AirBNB to book a studio apartment within walking distance of many of the downtown attractions. Honestly, I had some hesitation with this as we had originally booked a place back in June and it was cancelled on us by the homeowner a month before our trip, so I had little faith it would work out, but it ended up being a great choice for us. Of course, the apartment was small, but it was great for two people and likely larger than any hotel room that we could have afforded for the same price in the downtown area. Although we didn't meet our hosts, they were so kind and left us a bottle of wine to welcome us as they knew were on vacation for our anniversary!

We spent the first few days wandering the city mostly on foot, and I was clearly unprepared for the number of hills and steep inclines. As much as I had my moments of complaining about my feet hurting, it was so fun to see these houses and parked cars located on the crazy inclines. Through our wandering, we saw the Embarcadero area by the Bay Bridge, Coit Tower, Russian Hill and the infamous Lombardo winding street (although it was dark by the time I made it up the last incredibly steep hill to get there), Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, Japantown. Haight & Ashbury, and Golden Gate Park including the Japanese Tea Garden. We spent a day touring Alcatraz and watching the Blue Angels perform at Fleet Week. To wrap up the trip, we spent the last day in Sausalito visiting the redwoods and sequoias in Muir Woods.

I don't think you can take a bad photo in this city! The bay area is beautiful and full of creative, friendly people.



We were total tourists the entire time, maybe with the exception of going to a restaurant I really wanted to visit - Foreign Cinema. Or maybe that is a tourist thing to do now that it has been highlighted on the cooking TV shows? I enjoyed our dinner there, and the ambiance and movie was a nice treat for something different.

We arrived back in Michigan after a long and arduous travel day on Monday and several days resetting our internal clocks back to Eastern time. It was a great getaway and would recommend it to others.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Off the Record: Flannel Pajama Shorts

Flannel lace PJ shorts - Lina and Vi

Today I'm sharing a few photos and details about a recent sewing project that I embarked on this past weekend. And, since this project has absolutely nothing to do with the Lina and Vi collection of products, let's pretend I'm sharing this off the record since there's no burlap to be seen anywhere in this project.

I learned via the sewing blog-o-sphere over the weekend that the last week of September was named "Selfish Sewing Week". You can find the details here if you are interested in reading more about it. I just so happened to purchase some soft, pale pink and gray colored flannel a few weeks ago that was on sale (and of course calling my name). I had been thinking of making myself some flannel pants to prepare for the Polar Vortex 2.0 (or whatever they call, aka winter). I sewed some green flannel pants for my husband last year, but I wanted something warmer for me this year since I'm always the one about twenty degrees colder than everyone else in the house.

I modified a Simplicity pattern to make shorts rather than pants. I've used the pattern many times before, and you can likely find it on the 'easy to sew' or 'super simple' 2.99 rack at Joann's. They aren't a perfect fit, but they are PJ pants, so I didn't find it necessary to tailor the pattern. I suggest this project for any beginner sewer; it's only two pieces and pretty basic hemming and seams.

Flannel lace PJ shorts - Lina and Vi

I added trim to my shorts using some gifted stretch lace from a friend who gave me a box of lace trim that was previously left over at a high school sewing room and looking for a new home. I wanted to give the shorts a bit of a feminine look in contrast to the flannel, masculine print. The waistband will be encased elastic. I am out of elastic, so this part is not yet complete and not shown in the photos. Eventually, the waistband will be gathered from the elastic, and the shorts will be complete.

You might be thinking, well what's worth using flannel to keep you warm if you only have shorts and not pants? Good question. I didn't have enough flannel to make pants (I purchased the end of the bolt), so shorts is what I went with. I am going to use the remaining flannel to make a top so I have a pajama set for this. Not sure yet where to find a pattern for the PJ top. Let me know if you have any pattern recommendations!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

La Florida

If I had it my way, I would be in the sunshine all day every day. But, since I live in Michigan, I must endure the dark winter season when it can seem like we haven't seen in the sun in weeks. Well, this newest bag in our Grounds collection was inspired by the bright days and warm sun of Florida. Say hello to the La Florida large shoulder bag.

Designed with a colorful, one-of-a kind burlap coffee sack, this bag towers above the rest at about 18" by 16" and 30" fabric-covered rope straps. This beauty features a faux, beige suede which provides structure to the bottom of the bag, and a colorful accent to the strap handles and the detailing on the inner slide pocket. The bag features a cream, heavy-weight top stitching thread and a deep brown interior lining.

La Florida burlap bag -

La Florida burlap bag -

Last post, I promised to share a bit of the back story about how I discovered this fun burlap print. When surveying a recent purchase of a coffee sack at the local coffee roaster (and my vendor), Espresso Elevado, I noticed some colored ink appearing on the outside of the original coffee sack that did not appear to be part of the exterior printed design. After some snooping around, I turned the coffee sack inside out and discovered this beautiful print used on the La Florida bag. It was completely hidden on the inside of this coffee sack. I couldn't believe it when I turned it inside out and discovered this design that I had never seen before. I designed this bag to feature as much of the full print as possible because it is so rare of a print. For those who are new to Lina and Vi's Grounds collection, I do not print on the burlap used for these bags. These designs are original and are woven or printed by the coffee companies used to store and transport coffee beans.

You never know what you might find if you dig around. Welcome this newest addition to the Grounds family, and visit the Etsy listing for additional details and to purchase this lovely bag.