front with beading. under the lower row is a zipper pocket

Back by popular demand

Yep, my computer is back! All fixed. My son put in a new hard drive and fixed the lighting problem.

And I actually got something made in the meantime. Remember that curtain?


Well, part of it now is a backpack purse. Yes, I finally used the Butterick pattern #B5505 that del (CurlsnSkirls) gave me, but I didn’t make the version (version C) I’d originally decided to make. I looked at the pattern for that one, and found that it’s a circle pulled up with a drawstring. Instead, I opted for version A.


There were a few things about this version that I liked, and a few that I didn’t like. So of course, I made changes. What I liked was the overall look when it was finished. I also liked that it wasn’t a hard pattern to follow at all. And I like the way the lining is attached – it’s whip-stitched in at the top, which for me was pretty cool, because I didn’t have to sew the outer and lining together and then try to turn it through a little opening, and then stitch up the opening.

What I didn’t like was the one (count ’em!) pocket included. Now, anybody who knows me knows that ain’t happenin’. It’s a nice pocket, with two darts at the bottom and flared out at the top, but just not what I wanted inside. But it didn’t go to waste. I made two of them from the pattern and added them to the outside. Could I leave it at that? Nope. I had to add flaps – I mean, they’re on the outside of a backpack purse. They need flaps!! Right??

I used a bright, cheerful, springy looking skirt that was too small for the lining. Since it was the type of fabric that likes to ravel, I used iron-on interfacing to make it less likely to fall apart at the seams.  I also added a plain pocket (no darts) and two zipper pockets. Love zippered pockets.

inside pockets inside pockets

The outside, in the original pattern, is just a plain purse with no pockets or embellishments. Well, this version has a zipper pocket under the lower row of beads – which had decorated the bottom of the curtain in its former life.

My friends came over the other night, before the purse was finished. Their daughter is having a birthday – a significant one (16th, I think) – and she invited us to her birthday party. Her mom saw the purse and said it looked just like something her daughter would love. So guess where it’s headed this weekend!! Perfect timing I’d say.

So…..whatcha think?? I saw that version B was actually made from leather in the pattern pictures, so I may try that one with this fabric too. It’s not actually leather, just a wannabe, but it looks enough like it to pass muster.

version B - hmmmm....oh the possibilities!

version B – hmmmm….oh the possibilities!

Another thing I might change in the future, if I make version A of the pattern again, is to make it just about two inches wider, and make the straps adjustable. What would you do with this pattern? Have you used it before? What do you think?


Did you miss me yet?

Well, hello there! Has anybody missed me yet? It seems that I will have to wait much, much longer than I thought to get my computer back. In the meantime, I’ve discovered that I can use my voice activated posting skills! Yay!

However, my voice activated posting skills do not include voice-activated photos. Oh, wait! I do have one or two pictures!

The brown fabric with the tassel looking things on it was a curtain. Yes, a curtain! It’s going to become – what else – a purse. The fabric with the palm trees – well, that will probably be the lining for the purse. It actually has more brown in it than the picture shows, so it does match the other fabric. Well…fairly well anyway.

So, what have you been doing with your time lately?



The Render

Well, my computer is back in Dr. Son’s Computer Clinic. It’s going blind. Doc says the back lighting is gone and he must discover the cure. In the meantime, I am reduced to one-finger typing on my phone.

I haven’t been totally idle during this forced down time, but I’m not entirely happy with my ‘accomplishments’ these last few weeks.

Yesterday hubby was reading in Ecclesiastes 3:7, “A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”

Well, as I said, I haven’t been entirely happy with my work. My render has been in high demand, and is still in need of a workout today. I attempted making a cross-shoulder bag from the red kimono. Meh. Maybe I should just rend it entirely and start over.

Maybe now is the time to keep silent about that.

I’ve not posted photos from my phone much (if at all), so I’m not sure how this will come across. But hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? There isn’t a lot I can do to adjust photos on the phone, but I did the best I could.

So, what do you think?? Leave it as is (smaller than I intended, a bit stiff on the top part), or take my render to it and start over?? Would you carry this purse??? I’m asking myself these questions in the bright light of the morning after finishing it.







Well, Happy New Year, y’all.

The year 2014, overall, was a good one – lotsa stuff a-happenin’. There were a few downers, as everyone will have in their lives. For instance, I didn’t reach the goals I’d set for myself on this blog (I really wanted to do at least one really smokin’ tutorial), but things were mostly very positive. We had wonderful times with friends over the year, had fun get-togethers, and got in some road trips – especially that cross-country one in June. What a blast!!

I also finished more projects than I thought, which was pretty cool. I sold a couple of things and gave a bunch more away, and still have a bunch left. I thought I’d share a few of the latest ones. The backpack purse was a challenge – naturally, no pattern, so I had to make one up. My coworker wanted one like hers, only a little bigger and with an outside phone pocket. I took pictures of hers, and used the photos to create a pattern. It actually turned out pretty good, all things considered – now I just need to make the backpack purse from the REAL pattern I have, that del from Curls n Skirls gave me. Thanks del!!


Then there were the dressy tea towels that were so fun to make. I even did one with a little collar! I kept that one, and gave some to our neighbors, and these four to my friend as a Christmas gift. She’d told me she wanted a complete wardrobe of dressy towels, so this is a good start. :-)


the ones that went to my friend’s house

two of the ones that moved down the street

the ones that moved down the street

the one that stayed at my house

the one that stayed at my house

I made a couch pillow for another friend, from the sleeves of a kimono I got at the Humane Society Thrift Store. It was a HUGE kimono. I somehow don’t think it was made for a Japanese lady…it looked more like it would fit her sumo-wrestling brother. But very, very lovely fabric, and I’m sure glad it’s big. I think it must be about 2 yards or more of fabric, and all I used were the sleeves. Woo hoo!!

for another friend who loves red

for another friend who loves red

Speaking of Christmas…we had a very busy, blessed one. We had a houseful of family and friends, and a HUGE meal, and spent time sharing Christmas music. I also have to share my favorite Christmas present! This is what my hubby blessed me with:

Davis sewing machineMy brand new toy – and it’s only 100 years old! It has all the attachments, and the original (and very fragile) instruction book. I figured out how to wind the bobbin, which is a pretty interesting procedure, I just gotta say. Yes, I have sewn on it – not much, but I have. And I plan to do more; there’s quite a trick to making sure the treadle goes the correct way.

How was your 2014?? We’re looking forward to 2015. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do have a goal or two. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually reach my goals this year. Hey, it could happen.


It’s beginning to look a lot like………

Projects. That’s what it’s looking like around here. Lots of projects.

This year I really wanted to make more Christmas gifts than I buy. So far I’m ahead of the game; I’ve made a few and bought a few, mainly because my sons don’t really want handmade gifts. I haven’t figured out yet how to make electronics, so reckon I’ll be keeping some electronics store in business for another 20 minutes with a couple of meager purchases. No, I’m not related to the Grinch – I just don’t spend a lot of time in electronics stores. Nor in any other store lately (unless you count the grocery store and home improvement centers).

We’ve had a round of Christmas parties that were a lot of fun to attend. Only a couple of them had gift exchanges. One turned out to be an opportunity to do double-duty: bless a friend and try out a new purse-making idea. Her husband passed away almost two years ago (been there, know the feelings she’s going through), and last week she decided to bring his ties to church to share with anyone who wanted them. Well, hubby does not wear a tie if he can get out of it, but I’ve always wanted to try making a purse from ties. This was the opportunity! I took 3 of them, thinking I could find a good tutorial online to make a purse for this lady, as a memorial to her husband. The tutorials I found didn’t really fit the image I had in my head, so I just got down to it and figured a different way, using only one tie. The other two didn’t really fit into the scheme; they may become another bag in the future though.

I used this particular tie because I remember seeing him wear it on many occasions. He was quite fond of patriotic things. The tie was wide too, which is a good thing when making purses. I took it completely apart, removed the padding, and cut the two ends off. I had one little swatch of complimentary fabric to use to square the ends off and make a lining and pockets. Believe me – there wasn’t enough left of that swatch to sweep up. Love it when I can use an entire piece of fabric like that!

The long middle part of the tie was used for the handles, the keyring, and the itty-bitty card holder. Again, not enough of the tie left to sweep up. I tried an idea for the handles that I’m sure is yawnworthy to all you well-seasoned sewists, but it was an AHA moment for me. That tie fabric, being cut on the bias, doesn’t really make for good handles because it wants to stretch out of shape too much. And I didn’t have any of the fabric left that I’d used for the lining, etc. What to do??? Aha – I remembered I had some rope I’d bought several months ago. Ya just never know when you’ll need that stuff. Anyway, I cut that tie fabric right down the middle lengthwise and folded each piece in half, ironed it, and then folded the ends into the middle where the crease was. Then I wrapped it around the rope and sewed in down, using the zipper foot on the machine. I got as close to the rope as I possibly could with the stitching – kind of like making piping – leaving about an inch on the ends with no rope, so I could sew the ends to the purse back and front pieces. Whatcha know, it worked!! The handles kept their shape very well.

The zipper didn’t come out exactly as I’d envisioned, but in the end I think it gave the purse a better look than what I’d originally planned.

My friend loved the purse. I loved making it. Now when I see her and she’s carrying it, I will think of her husband and her together, and it will make me smile. What makes you smile this Christmas season?