Monday, October 28, 2013

The Things I Do For My Friends....

One thing that I seem to complain about the most is how hard it is to be a friend of Sara Lawson's. She has a habit of "forcing" me to make beautiful bags and then keep them stashed away out of the public's view until she says it is time. The bag I made for her book was definitely hard to keep a lid on. Although I must say that since I had to send it to her, it did keep my mind off of it!! (The whole out of sight, out of mind thing!)

The process of making this bag was a lot of fun! We had to pick the bag style that we wanted to make and then the fabric that we wanted! Sara received some wonderful fabrics to use and it was hard to pick! I was super happy when she sent me the Robert Kaufman Brrr fabrics!!! I fell in love with the polar bear once I saw it!

The pattern itself- like hers always are- was great and detailed and a joy to make. I don't have a lot of pictures of the actual process but I did sneak in a couple pictures of the bag before I sent it away.....shhhhh....I probably wasn't supposed to do this!

How can you not love a polar bear holding flowers??

And ignore the mess in the

In case you were wondering, here is what the cover of the book looks like...

You can pre-order it on Amazon or order a signed copy direct from Sara

Once you get your book, head to the back of it (she saved the best for last of course) and you will see the pattern for my bag- The Sound Check Bag- and look for this picture of my bag-

Love the white chair!

I also stumbled upon this picture from Quilt Market in Houston where Sara was talking about her book! 

Not really sure who I borrow this pic from on FB but thank-you! See my wonderful bag??!! And of course the amazing Sara Lawson!!

So in all honesty, if you want to try and make your own bags, Sara's book is the book to own. She puts her heart and soul into every pattern and she doesn't stop until everything is perfect. She has been known to sew and rip apart seam after seam to make sure that the instructions are clear and the end result is amazing. I am blessed to have her as a friend and if you ever have questions about her patterns or bags, she is more than happy to help you out!!

Take care, stay warm and sew on!!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

More Catch Up!!

Here they are! Things are craazy here with a closing date set for the house and all the tons of paperwork and 3 weekends of craziness!!


Sara is still doing her link-up for all the blocks....I don't know how she keeps it all together! Especially with Purse Palooza going on!!!

We will be closing on the house in Mid-November so things will be getting even more crazy. Here's where we are at now! Outside is mostly done and they have drywall up. Soon they will be adding the interior fixtures!!


Monday, September 30, 2013

My Purse Palooza Bag!!

Announcing Purse Palooza 2013!!

I am happy to be participating in Purse Palooza this year with a special purse sewing pattern review! Here's how the event works:

1. Every weekday from September 30th - October 25th, there are 2 amazing guest bloggers scheduled to share with you a purse sewing pattern review. None of the purses reviewed from the event last year are being reviewed again, so these will be fresh sewing pattern reviews! The review will contain detailed information about what I thought about the sewing pattern, modifications I made, what kind of interfacing I used, and more! Get inspired!

Aeroplane Bags


3. At the end of the event, you will get a chance to show me your purse in order to win some amazing prizes! Of course, international entries are welcome too!

Dot Dot Dash Bag

Pattern Review Schedule
All About Bag Interfacing

September 30 - Sara - Sew Sweetness (Serendipity Studio - Media Frenzy Camera Bag)
                       Kim - My Go-Go Life (Sew Sweetness Lilium Laptop Bag)
October 1 -       Samantha - At Home with Mrs. H. (Chris. W. Sugar and Spice Bag)
                       Rachael - Imagine Gnats (Bari J. Green Living Bag)
October 2 -       Anna - Charmed Liebling (Studio Kat Tandem Tote)
                       Mary - Mary on Lake Pulaski (Primitive Pieces Ewe Old Bags)
October 3 -       Lindsay - Lindsay Sews (Diaper Bag)
                       Joanna - Tutinella (Oliver + S Messenger Bag)
October 4 -       Andrea - Mouse in my Pocket (Michelle Patterns Pleated Wristlet)
                       Elena - Hot Pink Stitches (Sewing Rabbit Tote)
                       Angela - AngelaB (Amy Butler Sophia Bag)

October 7 -       Tiffany - This Crafty Fox (Two Peas Ava Bag)
                        Lana Parks - Moments of Sanity in a Crazy World (Dog Under My Desk Two Zip Hipster)
October 8 -        Allegory - A Thousand Needles (Sew Sweetness Aeroplane Bag)
                        Gina - Gina Pina (Echino Gathered Bag)
October 9 -        Katy - Imagingermonkey (Made By Rae Lickety Split Bag)
                        Ali - a2w (Melly and Me Sleepover Bag)
October 10 -      AnneMarie - Gen X Quilters (Michelle Patterns Strap Clutch)
                        Jaye - Art Quiltmaker (Oliver+S Day in the Park Backpack)
October 11 -      Kim - Kim's Krafts (Charlie's Aunt Anglia Bag)
                        Kerry - very kerry berry (Carolyn Friedlander/Noodlehead Social Tote)

October 14 -      Katie - Swim Bike Quilt (Style Stitches Origami Bag)
                        Amy - Diary of a Quilter (Noodlehead Divided Basket)
October 15 -      DeeAnn (Rebecca Lambert Corduroy Patchwork Bag)
                        R0ssie - Fresh Modern Quilts (Lotta Jansdotter Gardening Tote)
October 16 -      Elizabeth - Don't Call Me Betsy (Noodlehead Super Tote)
                        Laura - Quokka Quilts (Moonshine Designs Bella Bag)
October 17 -      Cindy - Raspberry Sunshine (AMH Right Turn Bag)
                        Emily - EmmmyLizzzy (Pleated Beauty from Bend the Rules Sewing)
October 18 -      Jess - Elven Garden (Emmaline Necessary Clutch)
                        Brenda - Pink Castle Fabrics (Green Bee Vera Bag)

October 21 -      Katy - The Littlest Thistle (Momma Hear Me Roar Tohoku Tote)
                        Joanna - Shape Moth (Emmaline Boyd St. Bowling Bag)
October 22 -      Penny - Sew Take a Hike (Patchwork Bag by Akemi Shibata)
                        Corinna - Another Thing Off the List (Amy Butler Belle Bag)
October 23 -      Teresa - Crinkle Dreams (Drop Top Messenger Bag from Stitch Magazine)
                        Natasha - House Full of Nicholes (Dog Under My Desk Daytripper)
October 24 -      Kay - Miss Print (Amy Butler Birdie Sling)
                        Terri - Sew Fantastic (Michelle Patterns Inset Zipper Clutch)
October 25 -      Emily - Mommy's Naptime (Duffle Bag)
                        Julianna - Sewing Under the Rainbow (Studio Kat Gadabout Bag)

Lapin Noir Bag

Contest Rules

1. Check out all the purse pattern reviews throughout the month and get inspired to sew up a purse of your own!

2. Link up your completed purse on the Purse Palooza 2013 page BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 30th AND NOVEMBER 11th. Your purse must be created and photographed between those dates; purses made prior to September 30, 2013 will be disqualified. The purse may be of your own design, or made from a sewing pattern. You can link from Flickr, your blog post, or wherever else you host your photos.

3. There is no limit to how many purses you may enter, as long as they were made between September 30th and November 11th. Only one link-up per purse please.

*Note: Besides bags and purses, for this event also acceptable are clutches, backpacks, wallets, etc.

Greenbacks Wallet Trio
This year, there will be 1st-4th prize winners chosen from all those that submit a purse during the event. There will also be a randomly-drawn winner out of everyone who enters!

1st prize - 4th prize will receive an AWESOME prize pack courtesy of Pat Bravo, genius fabric designer extraordinaire! The prize packs will each include 3 Pat Bravo sewing patterns (La Boheme Skirt, Barcelona Bag, and Capri Bag), a pack of Pat Bravo Aurifil Threads (thread pack may vary, as there are 3 different packs), and 10 Pat Bravo fat quarters (fat quarters may vary).

In addition, the 1st prize - 4th prize winners will also receive a copy of Sara Lawson's new book, Big-City Bags!! The book releases November 5th, and you can pre-order your book now!

Retail value of each prize pack: $127.

There will also be one randomly-drawn winner out of all purses entered, and this winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to my publisher, Martingale (as well as a copy of Big-City Bags!).

Retail value of prize pack: $77.


Purse Palooza will be judged this year by Kay Whitt of Serendipity Studio. Kay writes the most stylish and fun-to-sew clothing patterns and bag patterns out there.

Thank you to all of the wonderful sponsors that are supporting this event!
Pat Bravo  //  Bari J.  //  Emmaline Bags  //   V. and Co.  //
Chris W. Designs  //  Betz White  //  Amy Butler  //  
Dog Under My Desk  //    By Annie's  //  Studio Kat  //  

Grab a button!!
Sew Sweetness
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Sew Sweetness"><img src="" alt="Sew Sweetness" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


So when Sara asked me if I wanted to join in on this I was super excited! Of course I said yes and then came the hard part.....choosing a bag that I liked and that hadn't already been done before. Sara passed on a list with a few links in it and I came across a shop that I loved!! It is on Etsy and is by Emma Brennan and is called Charlie's Aunt. She makes vintage inspired purse patterns that are super cute!! I picked the Anglia Bag and love it!!

The next challenge was to find the fabric to use. It calls for wool or other heavy fabric. I wasn't sold on that type of fabric- nothing wrong with it but not quite my style either. I came across this wonderful fabric from Hawthorne Threads and knew it was what I wanted to use. It is called Stamped Flowers in Lime and Leaves in Lime and Navy from the Pure Collection by STOF House Desinger. I then matched it with some Nautical Blue Kona and Aurifil #2784.

This is quilt weight cotton, so to make up for not being as heavy I interfaced it with Pellon 911FF which is my go to for bags. It is a heavy weight interfacing and gives it body. I also used Soft and Stable by Annie instead of the quilted batting to give it extra stability. I used this in the straps, front and back body of the bag, pocket, flap, and tab. I also didn't feel the need to use a false bottom because of the soft and stable.

For the button I used one from my local quilt shop. It was bright red and by Confetti. The snap I used was one I had on-hand and it is in an Onyx finish and is by Everything Mary.

So let's talk about the actual pattern. One thing I liked was that she has a page dedicated to equipment and terms (she uses abbreviations through-out the pattern) and directions for snaps and interfacing. I find it better to have this all in one place instead of in the middle of the pattern. It is easier for those that have more experience to skip over. 

I know that a lot of people really like the full color pictures for each step but I am not one of those. Occasionally I find them helpful but I hate having to use the ink to print them off. Instead of the pictures, she has very simple diagrams that are clear and useful. They are numbered so that they are easy to reference back to. There were actually only 3 pages of directions for the entire bag and they were clear and concise and great. 

The bag itself was really easy to make even though it looks like it might be complicated. It was a little rough flipping the bag ride side out since the top is smaller than the bottom but the Soft and Stable is flexible enough that it can be smooshed up and then ironed back out with no wrinkles! I did have trouble sewing the button on at the end since it was going right on top of the magnetic slap. Not sure how to get around this. I did the best I could and will hope that it doesn't fall off!!

(Note: the first sew-on of the button lasted about a week. I then re-sewed it on with more stitches and some fray check and glue in intricate places and this seems to have worked. I checked in with the author about this issue and she said that she usually uses a button with a shank on it, which prevents this problem and/or she moves the button so that it is off of the snap area!)

Here is my bag:

I am very impressed with how it came out. The snaps and tab lined up perfectly which is always a plus. I love the colors and the pop of the button.

I am definitively going to have to try some of her other patterns out. When I see them I think of Jacki O. using these bags. 

Thanks for playing along with Purse Palooza! I hope that you have enjoyed seeing everyone's takes on these wonderful bag patterns- I know that I have. And I can't wait to see what everyone makes!!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sewing Selfishly....

So when I tell people that I sew they seem to think that all I do is make myself stuff....while this is sometimes true, a lot of the stuff that I sew is custom ordered (which I love to do!) or is made for a gift. When I heard about Selfish sewing week being co-hosted by my pal Rachel over at Imagine Gnats, I had to join in. 

My first concern was that I would have to make clothes....I have done a dress or 2 and they really aren't my when she said it didn't have to be I told her to count me in!

Like almost everyone I know, I have sore back issues, whether it's from being hunched over my machine all day or working at my "real" job all day, nothing feels better than a nice hot pad on my lower back. I have been meaning to make a rice-filled one that can be reheated in the microwave and I figured that this was the time to do it!

Now, to be honest, I didn't have the time to start from scratch, so I used the tutorial from Sew4home to base mine off of. 

Some of the things that I did different was that I add to the length and width to make it a little bigger for me. I also declined to use the rick-rack....I'm not really a rick-rack kind of person  

I scrounged in my stash and found some grey duck cloth and a pre-quilted white with a little padding to it. My original idea was also to make a cover for it but I couldn't find anything I like, so I think that I will just use a spare pillow case for the time being.

It is really a simple process to make this. Sew a rectangle from the 2 pieces (right sides togethee) with an opening in one end and turn inside out. I decided to reinforce the stitching by sewing along the 3 edges (not one with opening for right now) with a 1/8 in seam

I measured in half and drew a line and then measured the 2 halves in half and drew lines. That way I have 4 sections to fill and sew. I used 3 cups of rice for each section. 

Practice definitely made perfect on this project. On the first section I used my regular foot and just a couple of pins.....not good. As I did more, I changed to my zipper foot and pinned the heck out of each line. I also used my fav Aurifil thread #5004 for it's strength.

This helped the rice stay where it belonged and not escape. As you can see, by the end I was able to sew a nice straight line! lol

I wasn't sure how much rice I would need, so I bought a 10 lb's what was left....

I definitely used over half of it.....

Then it was time to test it out. It was recommended to start low and work your way up- time-wise- in the microwave. Also to be sure to keep it as open and possible and to flip in over. Mine is kind of big and the microwave here is kind of low on the wattage end of things, so I had to keep it in there for a few minutes to get the right temperature. Just be sure not to keep it in too long so that you don't burn the rice!!

This was super simple to make like 30 minutes if the rice behaves itself.

Thanks for following along and hope you have a wonderfully selfish week!!


Time to play catch-up!!

My goal since the beginning of the year is for one post a week......which sounds easier than it actually is! We have been running full-speed ahead on the house the past couple of weeks. We thought we had a couple weeks before framing started but that wasn't the case. I think that we have been at the house almost everyday!! Here is where we are at right now!

This week they have people doing electrical and plumbing and soon the outside will be all sealed tight so that they can work inside. FYI- the double windows above the garage are my sewing room and the small window is a window in my closet!!

So lets get back to the blocks....

45 was the last one I did so we will start with 46!!








And don't forget to link them up to win some awesome prizes!!

Well that's all for watching for my 2nd post day coming out in a couple hours for Selfish Sewing Week!!