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?

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