Monday Motivation · photography · repurpose · sewing

Monday motivation

reversible carry-all bag

I have lots of this leftover fabric (this pink pattern and orange fabric are actually former bedsheets that I am repurposing into some other wonderful new things – I just love these colors!) that I am making into some wonderful new things, this reversible bag being one of them. I bought a book on bag sewing projects, that are pattern free, so I can modify the sizes to fit whatever I need. This is another test run project of the reversible bag that I made for a friend of mine. (sorry about the wrinkles, I am not big on ironing)

The pockets are bigger than what the pattern calls for, but who cares? You can fit your phone, wallet, and keys in these pockets without any worry. I also added some padding to the handles. I am starting another project in making a skirt out of mens ties and I am taking the ties apart so that I have more material to work with, so I take out the inside padding of the ties and you know how I hate to be wasteful, so I saved the tie padding and used it for padding inside these handles. It makes them stronger, softer, and more durable to use. I also added some soft iron-on interfacing to the orange fabric for a bit of structure to the bag. All in all, I think it turned out pretty good. Only took me about 2 hours to complete, from cutting to finished sewing.

The next time I make this bag though, I will alternate the material, in that I will have a main fabric and contrasting fabric sewn together, so that either inside or outside, it looks like the same bag. I have so much fabric I’m going through it all and just being crafty.

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Anna loves looking out the window

All the snow here has melted and today it was sunny, breezy, and pretty temperate. And since it is getting darker later, I am feeling more motivated to do more things. I know this sounds like an excuse, but this cold winter weather and change in savings time makes me lethargic and unmotivated. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but it makes me feel sluggish. I suppose that this is normal, since it has been going on since the begging of time, this change of season, and I should just get used to it and accept it, but after being in hot and humid constantly for 30 years, this is an adjustment. Next year I will be more prepared and will make my exercise/sleep/eating/crafty adjustments and deal with it. I’ll be fine, it’s not forever, right?

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Crochet hook roll up organizer

I have become obsessed with crochet hooks and having almost one in every color, size, design, and material. I didn’t realize there are ergonomic ones, wood ones, some made from bamboo, some out of plastic (of course), and the old school ones made from metal (those I inherited from my grandmother and mother). They were starting to take over the bottom of my bag and in not a very orderly fashion. So I decided to make up a roll up organizer stash for my hooks. I think the next one I make will have either some batting or lightweight fusible interfacing. I love the one I have, but I think it needs some more texture to it.

I tried making one with heavier material, for more texture, but it turned out too bulky and didn’t roll up very nicely.

I need to make one for my knitting needles, but in a different pattern so I don’t get them confused.

I’m trying to use up some of the stash of material I have accumulated over the years. I find material that I either love the pattern or the colors or it’s on sale or make up any old excuse it’ll do so I buy it and keep it like it’s some prized priceless antique, which is just ridiculous. I need to start purging. And making. It’ll do my soul (and my husband’s blood pressure) some good.

Although he’s one to talk, he’s lost count of how many fishing lures he has.

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Monday Motivation

Been hard at work cleaning up and organizing the crafty room in the basement

YES! I finally have a basement!

I have my desk set up for cutting material, I have my sewing table set up with my heavy duty machine and the serger is cleaned and oiled and working, my mannequin is at the side of the table ready to model my wares, and the steamer is anxiously waiting some work.

This is great! It’s been over 6 months since I’ve done any sewing, and just in the last week I’ve sat down to work on some bead work. Next up: doing something with all the metal I have and making some simple earrings.

SO ready.

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Almost closing time

This has been a whirlwind week, with cleaning and purging and donating and updating and just plain throwing out, I get totally sidetracked and forget about other projects that I care about and have time invested in, like this writing. 

But these distractions in life are temporary and life returns to its new normal, whatever that is at the moment. 

I’ll tell you what, all this cleaning and purging and donating has been so awesome  for me. I’ve learned what I need and what I don’t, what I can live with and without, how to do with less, and how to say goodbye to those things that no longer serve me, even if there is a sentimental attachment

There are many, many things I will miss about Orlando; seeing a momma swan and her ducklings every spring will be one of them, and there really is so much more to Orlando than the theme parks.

It’s been a wild ride, and an interesting one, and one I will never forget. 

Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.

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What’s up Saturday 


Thinking about all these beautiful things today and how lucky I am to have them in my life.
All is well here, keeping very busy, and some personal life changes happening. It’s all good stuff though.
I hope you are well.

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Wordless Wednesday 

material · photography · repurpose · sewing

Handbag/gift bag tutorial 

I’ve had this fancy pattern material lying around, looking all pitiful, wondering when it was going to find a new home, a new use, a wonderful new life…

So I found some matching remnants and decided to make some small handbags. I’m using these as part of holiday gifts this year. Check it out:

Find yourself some material you like – any size, doesn’t matter – some complementary fabric in the same size for the lining, and a complementary small swatch for the inside pocket. Also find some webbing or cording or something you can use for handles. For my bag, I used a 14″ W x 25″ L piece for the bag and lining, and a 6″ x 5″ for inside pocket. I cut two straps, each 20.5″ long.

Before you forget, the first thing you want to do is sew the inside pocket to the lining. Position it where ever you like, and stitch into place.

Next you’re going to sew the right sides together of both the bag and the lining, but not to each other, separately. (above)


I wanted my bags to have some depth to them, so at the bottom of the bag, I put together the side seam and bottom seam (or where there would be a bottom seam if you are using one whole piece), so now I have a corner (left photo). From that corner I measured 1.5″ and marked a line for sewing. Keep in mind that whatever you measure at this corner will make the depth of the bag twice what you measured. That’s just mathematics folks.

Sew across at the line you just measured and cut off the excess. This is the base of your bag. I like bags with some depth and base because it gives you some room to move around. Straight, flat sewn bags with no depth just aren’t my thing. I need to be able to reach my hand in there without having to fight with the material.

Also, if you notice in the photos, I use a complementary thread to the material, and my top thread and bobbin thread don’t always match. I really don’t care as 1.) I make sure my thread(s) always match the material I’m using, and 2.) I am using what is available to me so I’m not wasteful. In looking through all my thread and other notions, I’m finding that I have lots of nicely colored thread that I normally don’t use. So I’m using up that stuff. It still works and I don’t have to leave my house to get more (you know how introverts are about shopping in stores.)

Position the raw edges of your handles centered on your bag with the raw edges of your material. Put the right sides of the bag and lining together with the straps in between those 2 pieces of material.

Leave an opening so you can turn the bag inside out once you’re done sewing the bag and lining together.

Once you’ve sewn the bag and lining together, turn the bag right side out through the opening.

Once right side out, pin the lining and bag together around the top edge and sew together. You can use an iron to flatten out the material before pinning and sewing, that helps to keep it in place.

And VOILA! your finished bag!

Inside pocket view

What’s great about this pattern is you can use any piece of material, and make the bag any size that you want that fits your needs. This is an excellent way to use up pieces of material that you just don’t want to get rid of, but that you still want to find a use for; you know I’m all about the recycling and repurposing.

I think I’ll make one for myself. (It’s not like I don’t have enough bags, but I’m just saying…these turned out great! and I love the colors.)  Handy, cute little bags. and with a pocket! Who doesn’t love pockets?

Now your turn! Enjoy!

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Trash2Trends 2017- applications are open!

Hey everyone! Applications are open for the fashion event of the year – Trash2Trends 2017! Go to this link for more info and to sign up! I’ll see you there! Woot Woot!!!

crafty stuff · photography · repurpose · sewing

Wordless Wednesday 

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Monday motivation 

I learned a trick from my dog sitter about easy functional clothes for the dog park – hospital scrubs! They are comfortable, durable, easy to wear, easy to clean, lots of pockets (very important) and best of all, I don’t care if they get dirty. The one problem I had with this particular pair (pictured above) is that I didn’t have a pocket on the left side.

What genius came up with that idea? Only pockets on one side? Now when I put my keys and my phone in my pockets, I feel like my pants are falling down on my right side. What the hell? 

So I decided to fix that. Over the weekend I found a fabric remnant for the pocket (the striped one). 


I ironed the piece, folded over the one edge, and sewed the folded ends together to finish. I centered the new pocket over the side seams at the same height as the pockets on the right side and sewed in place.  

I thought that pocket was kind of boring and wanted something a bit more colorful. The thought of going through all my remnants was kind of a drudgery, when lo and behold – yes, people still say that – staring right at me were swatches from Spoonflower

Underneath this very colorful swatch is the one that I used:


It’s a very soft stretchy material I sewed in place using a zigzag stitch, overlapping the striped remnant pocket.


And now my pants don’t fall down!

So much…on the one side…