Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lead Free!

So you care about Mother Earth, and you use reusable shopping bags at the grocery store to avoid polluting the planet with countless plastic bags. But recently, you may have discovered that your current shopping bag is made with potentially harmful lead. What’s an environmentalist to do?

Get this slim, fashionably designed tote. The contrast colored handles bedecked with houndstooth ribbons make this tote environmentally friendly and truly a great value. I thought custom market totes were on their way out. Then, the breaking news that the mass-produced ones had the possibility of being dangerous hit. Now I know totes are here to stay. They are great as presents or for your own personal lugging around. This budget tote looks expensive and is made from 100% cotton in home dec weight and has strong handles with reinforced stitching.

Simple interior, 3-compartment pocket keep mobile and keys within reach.

Approx. Dimensions: 15" x 15", excluding handles.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Roomy enough for an overnight bag, stylish enough for your daytime carryall. The great thing about this stylish case is that it's very light. If you have to put in the overhead, it won't hurt your back, unless of course you packed the kitchen sink.

Fabric is a little uncommon, two fabrics from the same season and designer... but different lines. The pinks and yellows are exact matches. But the pink bubble fabric introduces some burgundy and sage. I'm happy with the combination -- but you know I like surprises. The interior layer is quilted this time around. I also changed the handles to be longer -- earlier versions are a little hard to sling onto your shoulder. I also made them with welt so they are soft and a bit more comfy than past models.

Kept the exterior side pockets, which really are perfect for essential items like your handheld or the car keys.

Additional Information:
Heavy-duty brass zip closure. Bag measures about 22"L x 6"W x 14"H. Handwash or dry clean recommended.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wedding Gift of The Year

Some folks think that is just for babies. Wrong! Sophisticated, stylish, and so so so so soft.

Look at these amazing blankets designed for a couple to snuggle under at 60"x60". They truly are the perfect wedding gift or housewarming gift for a young couple. And don't forget your college kids, this is perfect for warming up those dorm rooms!

More mature patterns, but still fun and whimsical. Get yours now!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Leftovers Must Go Somewhere, II

I made an insane amount of bias tape for this project. I get carried away when it comes to bias tape. And it had to go somewhere, right? It's too cute not to do something with it.

Then I read this blog, African Kelli, and cringed because I knew she was somewhat speaking to me and so many others who are faithful fans but have just not sewn from the book we all bought months ago. (This is an excellent sew along, but I have been way too busy to really sew with them this year.)

So, with the freedom they "assigned" to this month's challenge I flipped through my crisp new book that has literally collected fuzz-dust. With an eye toward fulfilling my Christmas shopping/gift list I settled on pp. 83, The Sewing Tools Trio. I'm telling you right now I would have none of the trio business, because I am WAY too busy for that. But the sewing machine cover was a very good choice for me. More specifically my mother-in-law because I happened to use her machine on a recent trip and know for a fact that her current cover is disintegrating. She has the same machine that I have so I felt confident that if I made the thing to fit my machine it would fit hers and I jumped right in. I also hope she doesn't read this blog or she will know what she is getting for Christmas.

Anyway, I jumped right in to changing the pattern. I like the cover featured, but I like to have a handle hole. I also knew I needed an extra pocket for the monster instruction manual that comes with this basic machine (seriously someone needs to tell Bernina that the manual is a bit thorough.)

If you would like to sew the cover as I have sewed it: follow along for my updated pattern -- which includes the general idea of that designed by Sarah Hunter. Snaps to Sarah Hunter -- whoever she may be -- but this new and wholly different pattern is specific to fit the Bernina 1008.

To begin with let me just say that I just cut, I don't measure and I'm not exactly sure how much I started with.

- 1 yard of 44/45" fabric (I used quilted and I think a heavy-duty fabric is necessary.)
- Some matching thread, but don't panic if it doesn't match, I never do
- A shitload of bias tape

I feel I should disclose that I am not a pattern writer, but I used to write instructions for software. This could be dry. Also I used a 1/2" seam allowance on all seams.

1. Measure and mark the following pattern pieces on the wrong side of your fabric (the fabric you intend for the body of the cover). Two pieces 15x13" (front and back panel), two pieces 16x8"(side pieces), two pieces 4x9" (top handle pieces).

2. Cut those and set aside.

3. Measure and mark the following pattern pieces on the wrong side of your pocket fabric (if you don't want contrasting pockets you don't need to.) One piece 13x13" (lateral slide pocket), one piece 10x15" (drop in pocket).

4. Cut those and set aside.

5. Get out that bias tape you're about to have some fun! Sew bias tape per generally accepted instructions (good luck with that) to one side of each of your pockets, the 13" side of the lateral pocket and the 10" side of the drop in pocket. Also sew bias tape along one of the 8" sides of the long side pieces. Lastly sew bias tape along one 9" side of each of the top handle pieces. Confused? Yeah, me too.

6. Pin pockets in place on panels lining up wrong sides of pockets with right sides of panels. Loosely stitch around edges.

7. Center the top handle pieces to the front and back panels with right sides together. Pin and then sew the top handle pieces to the center-top of both the front and back panels.

8. With right sides together, take care to line up and pin the side pieces to the bottom corners of the front panel on each side. Stitch from bottom to top along side and up around the corner so that the bias taped ends of the side panels meet and then overlap slightly on top of the top handle pieces.

9. Pin back panel to sides with right sides together and follow the same instructions of step 8.

10. With cover inside out, or not, try to pin the edges of the side panels on top of the short edges of the top handle pieces. Then sew what will appear to be a top stitch along the side of the bias tape that isn't already stitched down. This is a colossal pain in the ass and you'll feel like you're looking down a deep hole at your project while trying to sew it at the same time. Not a good time for a glass of wine.

11. With cover inside out, attach the bias tape to the bottom edge. Once you're ready to make the final stitch line of the bias tape it will be time to turn the cover right side out.

12. Iron. Now, if anyone could tell me how to get wrinkles out of pre-quilted fabric, that would be great.

copyright notice: I appreciate that these pattern instructions might suck ass, but they are not to be reproduced without my consent, nor sold without me getting a cut.

Monday, November 8, 2010


It's that time of year in which I don't sleep. I sew.

Last January a friend of mine requested an apron. And I -- can't believe I'm going to confess this -- put it on the backburner until now. It was totally an accident. You know how it goes, "I'll start that just as soon as I finish this order." Then the next invoice comes and you don't do it, but you say, "I'll start that just as soon as the pool closes." Then the weather gets chill and you're still not even started, you gasp, "Oh gosh, I have to do my Halloween costumes, first." Next thing you know, the gal turns 40 and you're faced with a deadline.

Good things happen when I'm under deadline, that's all I'm saying.