Finished – again

original capri pant leg

original capri pant leg

Yup, I finished the jeans purse.

I liked the process so much, I took it apart and finished it again. And again.

OK, so I exaggerated just a wee bit. Those two remakes had nothing to do with my love for my seam ripper. They had EVERYTHING to do with making this at midnight-thirty and beyond. I was going along just fine about 7 or 8 pm. It was when I crossed that line into the next day that all reason left me and went to bed, where I should’ve been 4 hours earlier myself.

First, after getting the entire purse put together, I hasted to fill it with all my stuff that I feel compelled to carry with me everywhere I go. Alas, though, when I unzipped the inner pocket to store certain treasures, I discovered that I’d sewn it into the upper seam. How did that happen?????? Ah, of course, I was half asleep and didn’t pay attention – so THAT’S why the top stitching felt so thick. Well, nothing to do but rip out the two rows of top stitching I’d just put in, free the zipped pocket, and restitch.

finally got it right!

finally got it right!

That accomplished, I gleefully refilled the purse, and held it up for inspection. AAAARRRGGGHHHH! What did I see? The flap hung lower than I’d anticipated, so when it was snapped, it made the flap bulge above the snap. Well, I couldn’t let that pass. That meant that the extra piece I’d sewn onto the flap at the beginning, before I’d ever put the purse together, was unnecessary. I’d thought at first that the flap was going to be too short. Obviously not – that’s what I get for doing my own thinking.

Anyway, this meant that I needed to remove the flap completely and remove that extra piece. I was NOT going to take the entire purse apart, no matter HOW much I love using my seam ripper on perfectly good seams. Nope, not gonna happen. I took out just the back seam and the previously redone rows of topstitching.

Remake #2 completed, I topstitched for the third time (minus that second row of topstitching – who needs it!!). Yeah, I know, third time’s the charm, right? Done!

What? It’s only 3 a.m.?? Time for a nap before meeting my friend for a girls’ day out at 7:30 a.m. And of course, I used my newly (re)completed purse! Whatcha think?

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My summer of discontent

Well, the summer hasn’t gone exactly as planned.

My big vision was to pare down the content of the sewing room to a manageable level by making lots and lots of cute, adorable, useful stuff. And not bring more fabric in than what went out!

Didn’t happen.

Instead of making all those aforementioned items and discontenting my room, I have instead recontented it. I know, that’s not technically a word, but it fits. I used up a whoppin’ 3 yards of fabric, and brought in at LEAST 10…maybe more. Let’s see now, how does that compute? Goal: get rid of at least 10 yards. Reality: used 3 yards, brought in 10 more. Difference: a whole lot!

About the only thing I’ve actually made in the last few weeks (other than a huge mess, which doesn’t count) have been some tea towels and a skirt/blouse ensemble. And naturally, I not only made that ensemble – I proceeded to remake it . . . and remake it again. I must love my seam ripper a lot!

This is what happens to me when I try to be smart and enlarge a pattern without making a muslin first. The waistline on the blouse (Simplicity #1364) was pretty close – but the shoulders?? Not so much.

and this was after the second remake!

and this was after the second remake!

The shoulder seams hung down at least 1.5 inches below my actual shoulder; but hey, I got the sleeve size right, at least. And the skirt (Simplicity #1369) hung a bit low in the front and hiked up in the back – no doubt due to my lack of military bearing. That only took one remake, and doesn’t look all that bad now, at least not enough to keep me from wearing it.

I don’t feel too badly about all this, though, since I’ve not sewn a whole lot of clothes for myself, and have not tried to alter a skirt/blouse pattern in the recent past. Next time I’ll know a little bit more and maybe do a little bit better.

Not to be dissuaded from my goal, there is a WIP on the sewing room table, which should remove another item from my fabric inventory. I have an idea for a messenger bag and a jeans purse, thereby using up one entire pair of jeans and at least a yard of lining fabric.

What have y’all been doing this summer? Hope you’re contented with your (fill in the blank) ________ room content.

It’s late, so I must go do my nightly inspection now. Gotta check the inside of my eyelids for holes. Good night………………………….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

same pattern, different versions

More tea towels

Ever since I made that first batch of tea towels, I’ve been wanting to perfect a pattern for the ‘dressy’ one. Well, this was the weekend to try it. It seems there is always a problem or ten with any pattern I try to develop, though. So what’s there to do but work through them. Which I did.

What’s the first thing I did when I tried out the pattern? Cut the fabric wrong! Yes, sad but true. But I was able to salvage it and actually make something out of it (I’ll just let you guess which of these was the mistake). That’s part of the process of pattern experimentation, I plumb reckon.

I started out by drawing a pattern on some craft paper. After about ten drafts, I came up with one that seemed to work.

But when I tried to take a picture of the pattern, I forgot to account for the glare from the overhead light. I had to get creative and redo the pattern to show here. I started with a rectangular piece of craft paper, about 6″ tall and 12″ long, and fashioned the pattern within those parameters.

Anyway, I thought I’d share how I made one of the towels from my experimental pattern. Just click on the gallery and follow along! If you’re able to make one from these pictures and explanations, I’d love to see yours.

I used a lot of scraps from my scrap stash in these, since I consider them all practice pieces. Once I get through all the humps and bumps of these practices, the next one should only take me about an hour. I’ll time it, though, just to be sure. :lol:

I don't think I can wait for Christmas. I'm going to use it as a pincushion.

Christmas in July? Yup.

I just got a wonderful gift in the mail today! It even included a lovely card, the kind that makes me wish I knew the second and all subsequent things about lighting for photos.


love the card and the gift…even the string’s got bling!!

Inside that cute package was a Christmas ornament (or pincushion), handmade by Del from Curls n Skirls, a blog I follow. I’d seen it on her blog right after we left for our three-week adventure. She was doing a giveaway, and it was so cute I had to comment on it. Well, when we returned from our vacation, I got an email saying I’d won it!

I don't think I can wait for Christmas. I'm going to use it as a pincushion.

Yes, that is indeed all hand embroidery, which I absolutely love.

I don’t think I can wait for Christmas. I’m going to use it now, as a pincushion.



Now, what state do we live in again??

We’re finally home, after three weeks, 19 states, and 7460 miles on the road. Some states were merely corridors to pass through to the next state. In some I only got a few drive-by shootings as I went, but at least those pictures tell a general story of the areas we passed through. The problem with many of those photos was that I don’t know the first thing about lighting.

Well – let me rephrase that. I do know the first thing about lighting: that you have to have it. It’s that second thing, and all subsequent things, that gets me bumfuzzled. I won’t quit my day job to be a photographer, but I enjoyed taking them.

We created memories every single day. And when anything went not exactly according to plan (like being asked to leave a restaurant), or didn’t quite meet our expectations (like the very next restaurant), or was just plain out-of-the-usual-routine (like that tarantula’s warning), we just said, “Oh well, it’s all part of the experience.”

We added quite a few “experience enhancers” to this trip, but overall it’s been a wonderful, once in a lifetime vacation.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was when my sister and I decided to visit an antique store in Corydon, Indiana. No, the store itself wasn’t an antique – it sold antiques. I found a piece of fabric there that I just had to buy. Hubby thought I might possibly be wasting my hard-earned $20 for this purchase.  But hey, what can I say? I like fabric.


the fabric I found in Corydon

My sister at first thought it was barkcloth (I didn’t hear a sound from it myself), but it turned out to be cotton jacquard. Since I’m not very good at fabric identification (I can usually tell the difference between cotton and silk, at least), I looked it up online. The selvedge had the name of the designer (Raymond Waites), the pattern name (Ancient King), and the fabric store where it was sold (Mill Creek Fabrics). I saw that it was selling for about $16 per yard (+ shipping) on eBay, so I thought $20 for 3 yards was a pretty good deal. See, honey – I WASN’T wasting my hard-earned $20!!

We probably took close to 2000 photos altogether, but I’ll only share a few of my favorites. Hubby was having a wonderful time, in his favorite type of landscape – rocks and trees. We saw LOTS of rocks and trees!

Anyway, we’re back to work and to our regularly scheduled programs. How were YOUR last three weeks??

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