December 31, 2014

One Last Sewing Gift and the Year in Review

Christmas is finally over at my house... It makes me sad, but I am looking forward to the new year.  I know it is already 2015 for some of you but at the time of this writing I still have 9 hours and 7 minutes of 2014 left.

Our last Christmas was Monday and I found this sewing gift from my stepdaughter and her family under the tree.  Could you hear me making yippee noises from where you are at???  This Gutermann swivel tower holds 80 different thread colors.  I should be set no matter what fabric I choose.  Each space holds 4 spools so I will add to it as it goes on sale.

I, also, took a look back at 2014.  Even though I wasn't so productive in the last few months, I was pretty pleased with my progress for the year.

Happy New Year!!!!!!!  Thanks for all of your support all year long.

December 26, 2014

Sharing Some Sewing Christmas Gifts

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.  We have three Christmas celebrations at our house and we have just completed the second one.  The third one will be Monday evening.

Here are some of the sewing items I found among my gifts.

I got some small Clover clips.  I have had the extra large green ones for awhile and while I love them they are too large for some projects.  I can't wait to use them.

 I got a bobbin box to prevent thready chaos in my sewing drawer.

 I finally own a magnetic seam guide.  I have strips of tape marking some seam lines on my sewing machines.  They are really hard to see now.  Maybe my topstitching will even be straighter.  (Look out, Maria!)

There was a gift card to JoAnn's.  I'm sure that will be gone fast!  How fun!

I, also, got a pair of Gingher dressmaking scissors that are spring loaded.  So often with my rheumatoid arthritis, my hands ache from the motion of cutting out fabric.  The only motion I have to do is to close the scissors.  They pop back open on their own.  This will really help to save my hands.  I can't wait to cut out my January bag of the month pattern when it comes!

But my best sewing gift by far was to see my youngest grandchildren with their backpacks I made them.  They loved them and I think they look adorable with them on.  Do they really have to go back to South Carolina???  I will miss them so much.  Nothing is better than Christmas through the eyes of a child.  It was pure wonderment.

December 21, 2014

Bigger on the Inside Drawstring Backpack X 2 and Mini Bigger on the Inside Backpack X 3

OK, so here it is just a few days until Christmas.  I still have so much to do but I thought I would let you know about a few things that are making me very happy right now:

- I finally started on medication for my rheumatoid arthritis on Friday.  They will have to take it slow with me and they told me it will take 4 months to start working but at least I have finally started the process.  I think I will be really looking forward to Spring.

- I finally heard from the woman who ordered the Bingo bags in Bermuda (she had medical issues).  I shipped her bags and she received them on Friday and she loves them.

- My daughter, son-in-law and the 3 youngest grandchildren (4 1/2 yrs and 2 1/2 yr twins) will soon be here from South Carolina for the holidays.

- I finally completed all of my orders and took the time to sew those youngest grandkids something, too.

I might as well add that I am in need of sewing something new and different because as you will see in this post, I have sewn  a lot of the same things over and over.  So, I am taking part in the Bag of the Month Club again starting in January and have ordered my hardware for the first bag.  I am also taking part in a sew along on Chris W Designs Pattern Group facebook page starting sometime around January 11.

Here are the final Bigger on the Inside Drawstring Backpack bags.  This is a pattern from Erin at Dog Under My Desk.  You can find the pattern here.  The first two bags will go to 12 and 14 year old girls.  It took awhile for their grandmother to pick out just the right fabric but knowing these girls, I think she nailed it.

When I finished these, I decided to make them for our littlest grandkids but I knew I couldn't make them full size.  I printed the main pieces of the body at 90%.  I kept the zipper tabs, side tabs and width of the straps the same but did shorten the straps to 90%.  The size was perfect.  Here are the two bags next to each other.  

Yes, I succumbed to the Frozen fever.  Not once, but twice.

This one is glittery inside and out (what was I thinking)?  The other one is only glittery inside.

And finally a little boy's version (although my daughter says he might be sorry he is not getting Frozen too).  That is what happens when you are the youngest and your two siblings are girls!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.  Join me in January.  I'll be celebrating 1 year with my blog at the end of the January.  I am 1,165 views short of 20,000 for the year.  Can I do it?  With your help I can.

December 14, 2014

Completing Christmas Orders

I received a call from a woman who lives down the street.  She had seen a couple of bags that I had made for another neighbor and she wanted to buy a Christmas gift for her sister.  She knew what she wanted.  She wanted a Necessary Clutch Wallet, a pattern by Janelle at Emmaline Bags.  She wanted a wrist strap and a shoulder strap for it.  This is such a popular choice and I have made many of them.  She wanted to look at what wallets I had that were already made.  Well, I have been busy completing Christmas orders and I only had two of these wallets left.  I did give her the option to choose some fabric instead and I would get it to her in a couple of days.

She was certain she had found the perfect fabric.

It was a neutral gray fabric with gray, white and light blue flowers.  It is hard to see the light blue in the picture but the flowers on the top of the picture are light blue.  So, her decision was made ...but wait.
Her eyes got big and she said'"Wait.  That fabric would be the most perfect for her."  She was pointing to a completely different fabric.  She said that her sister had just returned from a trip to London and Paris.  She was right.  Her new choice was the most perfect fabric for her.  Here is her wallet.

Here is the inside.

I will deliver it tomorrow.  I hope she likes it.  I had just purchased this fabric.  I must have known.

You can get the pattern at Emmaline Bags here.

December 1, 2014

Bag of the Month Club 2015

2014 was the first year for the Bag of the Month Club.  Every month from January through June a new bag pattern showed up in my email on the first of the month.  It was so exciting to see what the new pattern would be.  The six designers that participated are designers I select anyway because of their clear, precise directions and their beautiful bags.  If you missed out last year, here is what you missed.  These are the bags I made this year from those six patterns.

Good news!  The Bag of the Month Club is back for 2015 with the same great designers.  Go to Christine's website at Chris W Designs to learn more.

Sign up in December at a discounted price and sew along with the group.  You'll love it.  I promise!

November 26, 2014

Bigger on the Inside Drawstring Backpacks for Boys

I finally am up to date with my orders after completing these two cute Bigger on the Inside Drawstring Backpacks by Dog Under My Desk.  They are for two young boys (can't say who because they were purchased as gifts) and I think they will love them.

I think it is so fun when you can find just the right fabric to showcase their interests.  Both boys love turtles so I think they both will love the first one.

Since I could only find this fabric online, I had to order 2 yards so I decided to use it for the lining as well.  Turtles inside and out.

The outside of the bag has a large zipper pocket and the inside has two smaller slip pockets.  There is an oval base that makes these drawstring backpacks really roomy.  I have safety pinned the straps onto the sides until I can fit them to each individual child.

The other bag is made from fabric with planets on them.  I love the look of this bag.  The fabric is so rich.

The back of the bag has no pockets.

The inside of the bag carries the space theme.  I was able to find a starry sky fabric that just had to be the lining.

How fun is that?  I purchased all of the fabrics at JoAnn's.

These bags are great for adults as well as children.  They are the perfect size for kids to stuff jammies, etc for an overnight at grandma and grandpa's house or for carrying their own toys to play with when going on vacation.

You can get the pattern for these bags here.  I used Pellon SF101 interfacing on both the outside fabric and the lining so they are very sturdy bags.  The pattern does say that the lining does not have to be interfaced if you want a lighter bag.

I'm sure you will see more of these bags in the coming weeks here.  I might even have time to sew for my own grandkids this year!

Since I am sure I will not have time to post tomorrow, I wanted to wish all of my US readers a Happy Thanksgiving.  I will be spending mine with family.  I feel so blessed and have so much to be thankful for this year.

November 24, 2014

Buttercup Evening Bags and More Get Carded Wallets

I have been busy getting caught up with some orders that have been piling up.  I needed to make 6 Get Carded Wallets from Dog Under My Desk.  This is a great pattern and you can get it here.  I can't tell you how many of these I have made for sure but they have been extremely popular.  It seems when I am making them, I am always doing 6 or more of them at a time.  Last night, I delivered 5 of them and then realized I hadn't taken any pictures. (Where was my head at?)  Here are some pictures of the one I have not delivered yet.  I always include a lanyard as well as the wristlet strap that comes with the pattern.

I, also, made 2 more evening bags from the Buttercup Bag pattern by Made by Rae.  You can find it here.
This link is to purchase the pattern that comes with the license to sell it.  It is also offered as a free tutorial if you are making it for yourself or as a gift.  I love this bag made into elegant clutches by being very selective in what types of fabrics I use.  I have a customer who has purchased many of these that she uses for Christmas and birthday presents after she took the one she bought for herself to a wedding and got rave reviews.  She loves blacks and silvers.

I hope she loves these, too.  Back to work...I still have more to sew.

November 20, 2014

Pattern Parcel #7 - My Selection, The Butterfly Sling

By now, I'm sure you have heard about Pattern Parcel #7.  If not, you better pay attention because your time is running out to get this great parcel of fantastic handbags.  I know they are great because I have made three of them (some multiple times)...all winners.  First let me tell you about Perfect Pattern Parcel if you are not familiar with this concept.  Here is their description.

How Pattern Parcel Works: Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel. We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Its our goal to raise over $20,000 for Donors Choose this year.

Here are the bags that are included with this parcel.  Parcel #7 includes: Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo, Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns, Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs, Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White and Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns.
Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

 BONUS PATTERN:  Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #7 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That's just over $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the brand new Daphne Bag pattern from Clover & Violet. The Daphne is a slouchy satchel that can be worn cross body or as a shoulder bag. The zip top keeps your gear secure and the internal pockets keep your accessories where you need them. This is a brand new, never been seen before pattern and is an exclusive opportunity for Parcel #7 customers!

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

If you like handbags like I do, you have to hurry.  This is the last parcel of the year and it ends tomorrow, November 21.  Press the button below to make your purchase and follow the tour listed below.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Let me show you the Butterfly Sling that I made.  I have had this fabric for awhile and wanted to use both sides of it.  One side is navy with natural color nubs on it and the other side is natural with the navy hue to it.

This is a fun bag  to make.  This is my fifth one!  The bag is designed to be able to reach the things you need most often without opening the bag.  Your ID, charge card or money and phone are easily accessible.  There are 12 other card pockets for all of your other cards.

This bag is from Janelle at Emmaline Bags and I am sure you will love it like I do.

I can't wait to try some of the others.

Parcel #7 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, November 7 Stitched || Sew Exhausted

Saturday, November 8 Made by Sara ||Oliver's Fancy || Strawberry Patch Ramblings

Sunday, November 9 from a box || Mia's Creations || MOMENTS

Monday, November 10 owen's olivia || While she was sleeping

Tuesday, November 11 Nutta || Radiant Home Studio || La Pantigana

Wednesday, November 12 Sew Fishsticks || Stacy Sews || Stitching Insane || GnomeAngel

Thursday, November 13 Needle and Ted || Patchouli Moon Studio || Sprouting JubeJube || The Crazy Tailor

Friday, November 14 Casa Crafty || A Jennuine Life || 'So, Zo... What do you know?'

Saturday, November 15 Stitches by Laura || Rebekah Sews || Serger Pepper

Sunday, November 16 Blogs Like A Mother || Vicky Myers creations || Blossom Heart Quilts

Monday, November 17 Shanni Loves || So Sew Easy || GYCT Designs || Tiger In A Tornado

Tuesday, November 18 The Nosy Pepper || Keep Calm and Carrion || There & Back || Sewing Sober

Wednesday, November 19 Sew Like My Mom || Knot Sew Normal || Stacy Sews || sewVery

Thursday, November 20 Mimi's Mom || Our Family Four || shades of BOLD || Modern Handcraft

Friday, November 21 Shawnta Sews || Lulu & Celeste || Amanda Rose || Robin's Fabric Nest || House of Pinheiro

November 18, 2014

Serendipity Hip by Chris W Designs

I was a tester for the newest bag by Chris W Designs, the Serendipity Hip.  I know that it was released a couple of weeks ago, but now that I am feeling better, I am finally getting around to showing you my version.

I love this bag.  It is the right size for when you don't need to carry everything that you own.  It measures 
8" x 10" x 1.75".  It has an adjustable strap and a curved zippered top that gives you plenty of room to get inside this bag.  The front of the bag has a zippered pocket,  a large slip pocket, and in that slip pocket, a phone pocket.

The back of the bag has no embellishments.  You could certainly put another pocket there if you wanted to.

The inside of the bag's main compartment has multiple pockets, too.  There are two card pockets, a slip pocket and another zippered pocket.  This is the true sign of a Chris W Design bag.  You are sure going to get multiple pockets to keep everything organized!

The bag is listed as intermediate because of the curved zipper on the top but it really is not that difficult if you take your time.  My only problem came with the type fabric that I chose.  I loved this piece of home decorator fabric that I had but it just kept unraveling.  I had to zigzag stitch and fray check all of the edges.  It was not fun to work with but I love the look.

This pattern has 37 pages of instruction loaded with 76 step by step photos.  I am sure most of us are visual learners and these photos help to clear up any questions you may have.  I know you may feel intimidated by the length of some directions, but here, they make this bag pretty easy to accomplish.  You can get this great pattern here.

November 17, 2014

First Snow of the Season

Well, look what happened while I was sleeping.  Our first official snow of the season.

It is still so overcast this morning that the pictures look like they were taken in black and white...but no, this is full color.

The fir tree outside our sunroom window is so heavy with the snow that the branches are drooping.

It is actually the same with all of the fir trees.  That is some heavy snow.

I love how the trees are frosted with the snow.

The Canada geese have been enjoying the sun the last few days.  Now you can see how they are navigating in the water to keep it from freezing.  They are usually farther south by now.  They should have left yesterday!!

The first snow is always so special.  Don't expect me to still feel the same way at the end of February....

November 13, 2014

Thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers......time to start sewing again!

I know it has been a while since I have posted.  Many of you know that I have been going through some health issues that have taken me away from my peaceful place.  I am back and ready to start sewing again.

It has been a whirlwind week.  I finally made it to my rheumatology appointment last Wednesday.  I was so looking forward to that appointment to finally get some relief from all of the joint pain I was having.  Every joint in my body was affected except my elbows.  I had trouble walking, sitting, laying.  By the end of the afternoon on that Wednesday I was in the hospital.  My kidneys had started to fail from the high dose of ibuprofen I was on combined with my being dehydrated.  All is good with my kidneys now.  My blood work was troubling too.  The rheumatologist wanted me to have a consult with hematology/oncology because of my high white blood cell count.

As of this morning, I learned that I have two issues.  I indeed have the auto immune disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but they found that I also have chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).  For a while they did not know if the joint pain was just how I was presenting with the leukemia.  This type of leukemia is not usually treated until other symptoms show.  I still would not have known about it without the workup I had for the RA, so it was found early. Hematology is running one more test to determine if I should start treatment for the leukemia and rheumatology will decide on their treatment after that so the treatments don't interact.
In the meantime, I am on prednisone and feeling 90% better.  Still having trouble with my ankles but that won't keep me from sewing.

I just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.  This online sewing community is so special to me.  Your kind words helped me and seeing all of your beautiful projects helped me too!

So....I have orders waiting to complete, a blog to do on the new Chris W Designs bag, and a post to do for Parcel #7 on Nov. 20.

Here is the pile of fabric that has been chosen for all of those things.  I better get started!

I always say I don't use enough blues.  It looks like it is all blue and black for a while.

November 4, 2014

He's Back ....

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted.  I am feeling about the same.  Rheumatologist appointment is tomorrow finally.  Maybe there will finally be a plan of action.

I have been pushing myself to sew even when I don't feel like it.  It takes me so much longer and that is frustrating but I have always found a peaceful place when I am sewing.  I am behind on my orders but all of them are for Christmas so customers have been so understanding.

I have accomplished a few things.  I finished a Bigger On the Inside Drawstring Backpack in black and white fabric with blocks of cities on it.  It was delivered before I took photos.  How did I let that happen???

I, also, finished a test bag for Christine at Chris W Designs.  But I can't show you that yet until it is released.  So far you haven't had to look at too many pictures yet, have you??

Finally, I just completed an order for a customer .  It is the Convertible Bag from Sewing With Mrs H.  And she wanted it frog.

I love this bag.  It is fun to make and not only is it a cross body or shoulder bag, it can be turned into a backpack.  You just unhook the strap, thread it through the fabric tunnel on the back of the bag and hook them on to the d rings on the bottom of the back of the bag.  You can get the pattern here.

October 24, 2014

...and then life throws you a curve ball...

This is my first post in several weeks and I just wanted to update you on what is going on with me.  It is not unusual for me to post once or twice a week to show you what I have been working on.  That is the problem.  I am an everyday sewer.  I was an everyday sewer.  Up until 2 1/2 weeks ago.  I have always had the usual aches and pains, but they were getting more frequent and occurring in more parts of my body.  When the pain got so bad that I was having trouble walking and could not get up from a seated position, I knew it was time for the doctor.  My hands hurt so bad, I could not even hold a scissors.  I had only sewn a couple of days out of the last 2 1/2 weeks.

I got the results of my blood work back on Wednesday.  All of my inflammatory markers are off the charts.  The doctor believes it is the auto immune disease, rheumatoid arthritis.  There are still others things it could be but she feels this is most likely.  The goal is to decrease the inflammation and control the pain until I can get in to see the rheumatologist on Nov. 5.   Some days I feel like I have been hit by a car, other days are better.  My sewing days will pick me for the time being, I will not pick them.  I tell you all of this so that you know where I have been.  Be patient with me.  I will fight to sew even on days I don't feel up to it.  I know that once I get put on a treatment regimen from the rheumatologist , I will have more good days than bad.

That is enough about that!  Let me show you one of the things I made before all of this started.  I have sewn several Swoon Bag patterns and saw that they had a new free pattern called Ethel.  Ethel is a teardrop shaped open tote with a large slip pocket on the front.

The back of the bag is one piece, great to display large prints.

The inside has a zippered pocket on one side and a slip pocket on the other.

This is a fairly simple bag.  The hardest part might be the gusset but it is a large gusset so if you take your time you should have little problem with it.

Trying to sew today...I am behind in my orders and I need to start a tester bag that I am doing.  Hands don't fail me now!!!

October 8, 2014

Bikes and Firemen Drawstring Backpacks

At the last craft fair I did, I sold the one and only Bigger on the Inside Drawstring Backpack by Dog Under My Desk.  You can get the pattern here.  As holiday bazaar time is approaching, I felt like I needed to make a few more of these.  And make them equal opportunity.  Boys should have something to choose from, too.  So, I chose bikes and firemen!  I had interest from all age groups with my last one but it went to a girl that was about 8-10.  You can see that bag here.

I didn't get a good picture of the inside but it is the same fabric as the straps.

The inside matches the straps here, too.  The fabric has ladders on it to go with the firemen fabric.  The color is more vibrant than shown.

The bottom of these backpacks is where the difference comes into play.  It allows you to get a lot of things in these bags!

I want to make a couple more but first I have to take a trip to the fabric store.  I don't have enough SF 101 to make even one more thing.  Does anyone else go through a whole bolt of interfacing as fast as I do????????

October 6, 2014

The Necessary Clutch Wallet X 5

The first time I made the Necessary Clutch Wallet by Emmaline Bags, I fell in love with this pattern.  I have made several of these wallets in the past but it has been a while since I made the last one.  A couple of weeks ago, I sold the rest of the wallets I had left at a craft fair.  Time to make more.....

As I was preparing to cut out a handful of these wallets, I got word that the person that I made the flame bag for (you can see it here), wanted a wallet in the same flame fabric.  OK, so I'll cut out 5 of them.

The wallet goes together fairly quickly compared to a full sized bag.  The instructions are clear, concise and accompanied by great photos for all of us visual learners.  And then I find out there is a facebook page dedicated to this wallet.  It is a star!!! And many people think so.  So here they are.






I made a wristlet strap and shoulder strap for each wallet and used one of the new placements on the facebook page to attach the small D rings for the strap attachment.  I am done for now but if I get my inventory up in other areas, I may be back to make more.