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?

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.






no more vested interest

I finally finished using up that huge reversible vest, just about the time I lost interest in the whole project. That thing was big enough to get four purses and a clutch, with very few scraps. Not bad for a Goodwill find, eh? 🙂

Here are the last two purses I invested my time in, and the clutch made from the last little swatch of the fabric. The only ones I have left at home are the green-lined one and the clutch. All my other purses are gone begging; my friend is taking them to a Christmas bazaar at her church to try and sell them for me. I can’t be there myself because of other commitments, so she is a sweet friend to do this for me. I plan to give 20% of anything made from these to missions, and 10% to my friend for helping me out. The rest will be for Christmas gifts this year. Lord willing, they will ALL find a home. If not, then they will become Christmas gifts – so either way, they’ll find new homes. 🙂

You may need to click on these to make them more easily viewed. The gallery didn’t show them up very well.

The third one:

the fourth one:

. . . and that last little scrap:

exactly big enough for a clutch with 2 card pockets

Now on to other projects – like that backpack purse I’ve been meaning to make. I hope to have one done before Christmas. A coworker asked me to make her one, so I really need to make a prototype first so she can see if it’s a style she likes. Hey, no pressure, right?

a mindful thing

I’ve been kind of following (in the loosest sort of use of that word) the WordPress Daily Prompts. This one is about just sitting down and writing for 10 minutes non-stop. Well, I think I can do that, but it all comes out in a gobbledygook sort of mess and lands at my fingertips, ready for cleaning up and redressing. Or is that re-dressing? Sometimes the English language gets in the way of what I want to say.

So here I sit, thinking about what I want to write. Not many thoughts worth hanging onto long enough to write down. I had one thought that just came in and spooked all the others away and took over my mind. I was SO HAPPY to receive a package in the mail this week, from a gal whose blog I follow, called CurlsnSkirls. She shared some patterns with me. I have GOT to try one of those jackets! She also sent me a lovely crocheted heart. I put the heart with the pincushion (it’s actually a Christmas tree ornament) she’d sent me before. I use that little boot ornament to hold my hand-sewing needles, and now it has a heart! Thank you so much, del, for thinking of me!!

Guess what else I was thinking? I’ll tell you anyway. I was thinking about the other day when talking to a friend. She was relating a story about her grandkids. One of the littles, age 4, asked her mom why Grandma always called her pants ‘britches.’ Mom explained that it was a generation gap. Oldest son, age 7, piped up, “What’s a generation app? Should we download it?”

Well, time’s up. It’s been 10 minutes and I guess I don’t have fast thoughts. Only two had time to develop in my mind and I’m OK with that. It gives me time to get photos to go along with the thoughts (well, at least the one I have photos to accompany!), and time to fix all my typos that I really don’t want to show you. What I DO want to show you are these great patterns and the heart. I just love this blogging community!!!!

I cannot WAIT to try that pocket pattern!

I cannot WAIT to try that pocket pattern!


I have both denim and leather to try this on...which one, which one???

I have both denim and leather to try this on…which one, which one???

what a lovely heart - makes me feel loved just to look at it

what a lovely heart – makes me feel loved just to look at it

these two go together like a bird and a feather

these two go together like a bird and a feather

What’s black and white and red all over? A fashion statement, of course!

Fashion statement purse, that is.

This is the second in a series of black/white purses I’m making from that reversible vest. There’s enough fabric for another one – and maybe even a small zip clutch. Besides all the scraps (just about zip-clutch size), almost the entire back of the vest is still there. That was a BIG VEST!!

I see another purse coming!

The doll gives an idea of how big this vest was

I used Simplicity 2201, view D. This pattern calls for reversible quilted fabric – bingo! There were a few things I liked about this, and a few I didn’t. I like the size and style: not too big, with a pleated front, lace & ribbon accents, and a cross-body strap. I don’t like the no pockets and the partial lining. And what happens when I don’t like something about a pattern??? Yup.

the pattern

The instructions had the zipper installed after the lining and outer were sewn together. Only the upper part of the front/back and the side/bottom pieces were lined (see the illustration above). The pleated bottom part was unlined, according to the pattern; I think that was to show the reverse side of the fabric on the inside. I wanted it completely lined, and I wanted pockets.

How to do that? Well, first of all, I scrapped that top lining piece, but kept the one for the side/bottom. I finished the outer front and back pieces per the instructions, and traced around one of the completed pieces to make a new lining pattern. I then added a zip pocket to one lining piece and a phone/pen pocket on the other.

I decided to just follow the original instructions, as though installing a partial lining. According to the pattern, the lining pieces were sewn directly to the outer pieces, and then the purse was assembled – with the seams encased in bias binding. That worked; since the lining is black, the seams really aren’t noticed.

Overall, I really like this purse. I love the red accents, and the fact that it keeps its shape well. And it holds all the stuff I usually carry!  Can’t wait to get the next one started now – just need an idea. Whatcha think?? Any ideas?

Oh, and that first purse? I liked the red on this one so much, I added a tiny pop of color on it too. Today a button, tomorrow a ribbon – the next day, who knows!! It’s a fashion statement in the making.