Talk to me

I wanted to take part in this week’s photo challenge about dialogue, in which we are to show two photos that speak to each other in some fashion. Well, I indulged in two marathon sewing binges, with very little gab-time (if you don’t count all those conversations I had with myself). ‘course…I coulda been done a whole lot faster if life hadn’t interjected a certain amount of influence on my time. There were groceries to buy, chores to do, people to visit, places to go, dogs to scold…

And here is the final product of a long and happy weekend, narrowed down to only two photos. Remember that vintage fabric I found while visiting my sister? It was not just talking to me – it was screaming at me, “I wanna be a purse! I wanna be a purse! Make me into a purse!!” So I did.

fabricthe purse

What are you?

Sweeping my sewing room floor can be a boring, tedious exercise in futility, or it can be an exciting trek into another world. Today was that other-world experience.

I delved into realms hitherto unknown (behind the trash can) and discovered the mysteries of the miniverse (under the sewing table). It felt just like being a space explorer! Of course, that’s only conjecture on my part, since I’ve never actually BEEN a space explorer, other than the space right around me.

There are creatures down there that are quite fascinating. I found this one and brought it back to the light of day to examine more closely. What could it be? I had to ask!

are you a bird?

are you a bird?

not likely!

 a little horse? cough cough

a little horse?

cough cough

a bat?

a bat?


an alien, then -  you must be an alien!

an alien, then – you must be an alien!

are you kidding me??


Well, aren’t you ANY of these things?

What did he answer??

Wait for it…………………..

No, I’m a frayed knot.

a frayed knot

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: