still dressin’ up

Seems like I just can’t stop making these little dressy tea towels. I’ve gotten rather fond of the little cuties, so much so that I’ve about decided to give them all names. I mean, after all…they ARE part of the family, and family members have names, don’t they?

The idea was to make a whole bunch for a Christmas bazaar at a friend’s church in November, so I made several…some of which I sold at the July Fourth sale, and many of which I just gave away. Time to make more! So I had several cut out and ready to put together, when another friend asked if she could take the ones I still had from the Fourth and show them to her coworkers.

I figured they might buy one or two. Sewwwwwwwwwwwwwww………..how many did they buy, you ask (you didn’t know I heard you ask that, huh?) I started counting on my fingers, went to the toes, and decided I needed to count on hubby’s fingers & toes too. I ran out of fingers & toes. They bought all but about three of the ones my friend took, and ordered more. I’ve counted up to 27 so far, plus a whole bunch of the tortilla warmers and microwave bowl wraps. Whew!! That’s a lot of little dresses. And I still need to make some for the November sale. I’m lovin’ it!!

As I worked on all those little dressy tops, it occurred to me that there might be a better way to sew the front and the sleeves. I’d found the fix here for the neckline that had given me such trouble before, and I found her instructions for doing the sides of great help. But I wondered if I could just pull the front through one of the arm openings and put a seam in before sewing the sleeve areas shut. So I tried it. it worked! I don’t know if these photos will help or hinder, but here’s a snapshot of how I pulled them through, put the front seam in, and pulled them back through. I did the sleeves the same way, after sewing the front. I simply pulled them through the back side (it doesn’t get sewn shut until the towel is inserted). It seemed to be a lot faster doing the seams this way than pressing and top-stitching them shut.

So, here are the little girls I just finished and sent home to their new mamas. I’m not getting rich from making these (moneywise, at least), but I am paying for the materials, and I’m having a BLAST making them. That in itself is getting rich, to me. What makes you feel rich?

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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?

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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.

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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?

The Saturday Sewing Circle starts Thursday

I am forever putting things down and forgetting where I put them. Thursday about 10 p.m. I was feeling kinda lost, and I wondered where I put myself. There I was, wandering through the house – Spencer at my heels, helping me look. He thought he’d found me in the kitchen, right near his doggy dish. But no . . . I found me in the sewing room, making a cute heart mug-rug. I found the idea for it on a new blog I just started following, called annearoundthecurve2. She has a link to the tutorial for these, if you’d like to try them also. I love her coasters! They’re done with reverse applique, a technique I’ve tried on purses in the past, but didn’t know it had an actual name. I used some of the lining fabric from the tote I made last weekend, and a piece of flowered fabric in my scrap bin. The little blue coaster I made in January; the heart one is bigger – more a mug-rug than a coaster. I like big mugs, what can I say?? These are so fun to make, and so quick, that I think I’ll make a pile of them when I’m feelin’ all scrappy and sewy but don’t want to start a big, involved project. Hey – I might even personalize them and embroider a name or something!!

Well, it’s Saturday, and I found myself back in the sewing room at 6 a.m. I thought to myself, “Lubby ol’ girl, why don’t you just start a Saturday Sewing Circle?” Which is what I did. I went around in circles in my sewing room, remaking things I’d already made. Why can’t just do it right the first time! Ah, but that is one of those deep, dark mysteries that rule my life. I decided the tote I made last weekend needed a flap added. I didn’t have any of the flowered fabric left, but I did have quite a bit in that keychain. So I took the keychain apart and used it for a flap.  I even redid the coin purse – just did not like those pulls, so I took ’em out and sewed them together to make a bigger loop on one side, and had a tiny piece for a pull on the other side. Yup, I was going in sewing circles, but I don’t think all this remaking was a total waste of time, because I do like the tote, the coin purse, and the keychain much better now. 

What are you doing this weekend?? Got any big makes going? Got any big remakes?? I’m going to make myself scarce now, and find something else that needs done/redone around here.

Did you hear that? I hear my name being called . . . .

What? What’s that? Oh, I need to make some bibs now? OK, be right there!!

Gotta go now, y’all. Have a wonderful, blessed weekend!! 😆

I’ll make a note of that

OK, so I’m a copycat.

I see things others have made, and it flings a cravin’ on me. I gotta try that too! Last week it was the Bubby apron (which I love, by the way, and am keeping for this ol’ selfish gal). The week before that it was the ironing pad – which I also love very, very much.

Well, this week I wanted a small magnet note board for right behind the sewing machine table. Wall space is at a premium in my sewing room – not much to choose from. Whatever I make for hanging stuff on has to be small but useful. I’d seen an idea on Pillows-A-La-Mode, and . . . well . . . yup. I copied. Shamelessly. But not exactly like hers, mainly because I have to work with what I’ve got, and what I’ve got is an old Christmas cookie-tin lid. No cute metal serving trays (gave them all away when we moved), no cookie sheet (yup, gave them away), not even a cooling rack (hubby wouldn’t let me touch that!).

So I worked with what I have, and since I didn’t really care all that much for the picture, I decided to cover it with cloth. And since this is an experiment, I wanted to use something that wasn’t all that special to me, just in case it didn’t work out so well – kinda like making a muslin when you’re trying out a new dress pattern.

Well, folks, here is my little round note holder, as yet unnamed.

HEY – I could call it Tuit, and then I could say I finally got a round tuit.

*groan*

Even I didn’t think that one was funny – and I’m easily amused.

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Why You Sew and Sew – Round Three!

Update time on the sewing projects!

Remember the first purse I made from this material?

first one!

And the second one I made for my friend?

second one!

Well, purse number three is in the works, as we speak, getting ready for the REmissionary Tithing In REverse (RETIRE) Sale of the Year!  That’s a mouthful, if ever I spoke one.

Yes, it has begun.  Prep work is moving along, and the goal is to have several projects ready for the big Fourth of July street sale in a little burg near us.  Any money raised in this endeavor will be for one of the missions we support – we have three at the moment that I’ll be working on helping . . . one at a time if not much is earned, and all three if I actually sell some things for a good price.

I have to rely heavily on other people’s experience for this, since I’ve never actually set up a street sale booth before.  My partner in prime (sales location, that is) will get the booth reserved and I will share the cost.  She knows what she’s doing in this, and I feel very blessed to be able to kind of horn in and partake of her generosity.

Well, so far there isn’t much made, but some big ideas are floating around in the murk I fondly refer to as my brain. One cute little thing I just finished is another tater sack, aptly named Levi Tater – for two reasons: (1) cuz I used a piece of hubby’s Levis for the tater applique, and (2) cuz he likes to levitate up into the microwave and raise that sumptuous aroma of baking potatoes high into the waiting nostrils of us hungry humans.  His parents are embroidered on the back of the sack, so the whole Tater family will fit right in. There’s Momma Common and Papa Spec!

the whole Tater family – with room for more!

Well, there you have it – my first entry for the RETIRE Sale of the Year. I’ll have that third purse done any day now – as soon as I stop making changes in my murk – er, mind – and git ‘er dun. Updates forthcoming on the purse – and another item I have gotten a bit excited about too, but first I gotta make the . . . uhm . . . no, I’ll save that for another day.  Check back soon!