Thursday, March 31, 2011

Elegant Travel Duffle

Don't you just love the internet!  You can just brouse and browse until you happen upon something you've just got to have; and the internet is so accommodating that you can order in real time......and if its a PDF pattern or other data, you can have it in minutes or just a few days for regular stuff.

Browsing last week I found this cute duffle bag pattern.  Not that I travel a lot; I'm just bored with the same pieces of luggage I've had since 2000.  Thought I would try my hand at this one:

A Travel Duffle

Travel Duffle PDF Sewing Pattern
Travel Duffle PDF Sewing PatternTravel Duffle PDF Sewing PatternTravel Duffle PDF Sewing PatternTravel Duffle PDF Sewing PatternTravel Duffle PDF Sewing Pattern

This pattern from an independent pattern maker was purchased on the Etsy site and is "A Travel Duffle By Studio Cherie'

My version is as follows:

The instructions were very easy to follow especially since, with the exception of one beginner quilting class, I only sew with paper patterns.  I took my time and made sure I understood the instructions and it worked out well; don't you think?  The instructions call for quilting the body of the bag.  I chose not to because of the weight of this wonderful piece of upholstery fabric.  I used 60" felt and quilter's spray to add body.  The instructions do not recommend lining the bag, but my OCD (lol) insisted that I line it.  I also added pockets to the lining as well.

My plan was to use it as a really upscale health club bag, but upon completion it may be a bit too large (20" x 12"), however it is perfect for a weekend trip.

I almost omitted the pull rings (shown in middle picture) and I'm glad I didn't.  They help in zipping up the bag (I used double slider zippers) and the puills would be perfect if you wanted to add a shoulder strap.  I was really annoyed because I could not find dark brown double slider zippers anywhere not even online.  Consequently, I used black.  The side pockets have pleats and a zipper and should prove to be very useful.  See picture below:

And finally the straps.  The Jute Webbing adds strength as well as a great design detail to the straps.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yet Another BAG

I really enjoyed making this one.  This is the first pattern I've tried by this designer.

This is the Scottsdale Satchel from Purse Strings.  I've had it quiet  while.  I probably ordered it from Henrietta Bags.  All of the instructions were very clear.  Yet, I struggled mightily with the grommets simply because in my infinite wisdom gained by sewing for many, many years I decided to do something different.  I just didn't want to get my fat self down on the floor of the garage to hammer grommets as instructed by the designer who clearly stated that through trial and error she found that doing it on a cement floor was the best way to attach grommets.  I tried and tried and just couldn't figure out why I couldn't attach the grommets on my butcher block island in the kitchen.   So just as I was about to cry and curse, I decided to just go into the garage and get down on the floor and hammer the things in place.  It worked right away and I could have just kicked myself.  Oh well we live and learn; don't we.

I picked up this fabric Friday when I went on a Senior Citizen's day trip to the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival in Fairhope, AL. (2.5 hrs away).  I'm a new senior and really felt that I was just too young for this crowd. (lol)  We traveled on a nice chartered bus and I didn't have to stress myself with driving.  Although I did get a little anxious when I noticed the driver was turning his head away from the road when talking to the lady in the seat across from him.  So I just turned it over to the Lord and put on my headphones and closed my eyes.  And besides I was tired of listining to the conversations around me about who died, what kind of meds they're taking and what's hurting.  I guess I talk about the same things; just not on a trip.  

So here it is.  I'm very pleased with this project,

I purchased the fabric from a cute little Interior Decorator's shop,  It is some sort of blend and the design is woven to make the frogs look wrinkled.  Yes, those are frogs with orange spots.  When I first looked at the fabric I saw stars or trees.  Oh well, I'm old whats your excuse?  I made the grave mistake of telling my daughter and grandaughters and they just went on and on about how on earth could I see stars in this design.  The can really get on my last nerve sometimes.  LOL

PR Weekend?

Have you been before?  Are you planning to go this year?  I'm considering attending....would like to know other's experiences.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Road Trip - Original Sewing and Quilt Expo-Atlanta

When the flyer and email reached me a couple of months ago, I knew this would be the year that I would indulge myself in the best time ever for a sewing fanatic and a fabricaholic once again.  I figured I would brave the six hour drive and avoid at all cost Atlanta's rush hour.  However the more I thought about the trip, the more I could feel driving panic raise its ugly head.  As I grow older I don't have the same confidence in my ability to drive in large Metropolitian areas, rain, night driving on unfamiliar roads and about a million other things.  I guess this is what happens as we age.  I investigated flying and it seemed rediculous to pay over $400 for a round trip flight to Atlanta from Biloxi/Gulfport.

I mentioned the trip to a couple of my water aerobics buddies and they were excited to go with me.  So for the third time I went to the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Atlanta, GA.  It was quite the road trip.  The weather was awful thunderstorms and tornadoes.  The weather channel broke in to the program and advised everyone on I-65 between Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama to take cover immediately.  We  exited the interstate and to our surprise the exit was just outside the Wind Creek Casino.  Heh, heh, heh.  We ate lunch and played the slots (lost of course).  The weather advisories indicated that the weather would remain stormy all day.  When the tornado warnings lifted we drove on to Atlanta.  Luckily, my friend from Los Angeles had no fear of driving and pushed ahead all the way to Atlanta.  We shared expenses (3 tanks of gas @ 65.00 each and a nice hotel suite).  We arrived the day before, shopped, ate, drank and were quite merry yet refreshed for the beginning of the Expo on Thursday.

It was fabulous as usual.  Hundreds of classes, exhibits, fashion shows, demonstrations and yes FABRIC, FABRIC, FABRIC.  Vogue Fabrics had the largest selection of fabrics and patterns.  I didn't linger too long viewing all of the fabulous machines that seem to do everything except clean and cook to free up more time to sew.  I must say that I restrained myself and didn't overdo the fabric and pattern purchases.  Here's what I bought even thought I needed nothing:

Three sheer coordinating pieces from Vogue Fabrics.......Maybe Linda Lee's shapes and flowey pants.....Hmmmmmm

Beautiful but pricey linen from the Wool House, exhibitor from Canada.  They remebered me from the last trip and gave a nice discount.  Jacket and striped pants planned.

Pattern and the excact linen from the Wool House.  

This is the sample.  Counterpoints Jacket by Gail Patrice Design.  This is absolutely georgeous.  The trim is varigated silk ribbon with beads woven through the linen and lined with contrasting print fabric and bound with yet another fabric.  Beautiful not quilt-tee.

I loved the fabric on top, a sheer floaty chiffon-like (Vogue Fabrics)  for a top that coordinates with the three knits shown belowfrom my stash.  

A nice krinkle poly knit from Vogue Fabrics that will join my fall stash.

Now, if I can just get myself in gear and get to sewing all of this wonderful stuff.  I'll keep you posted on  my progress.


Sunday, March 6, 2011


I haven't mentioned my boys in a while basically because I've been in this sewing and reading frenzy.  I was watching the boob tube and got up to get a bottle of water and as I walked into the dinning room this is what I saw on the floor.

OK so maybe I accidently knocked this off my sewing table.  But, someone picked it up and had a lot of fun with it.  I just don't think it was PJ because he was sitting on the couch with ne when I got up.  The other two were not where I could see where I could see them immediately.  When I pointed to it and asked "Who did this", every one slunk away and looked guilty.  So like any good parent I gave everyone a time out without a snack.  The good had to suffer with the bad.  (I give them snacks to go into the kennel without any trouble)......Think the punishment fits the crime?

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I'm soooooooooooooo excited about my next project.  (Sing this like the Pointer Sister's song, "I'm so excited" and you'll feel how really excited I am about this.  But (furst!)....The back story.  This is where my daughter and grand daughters start to roll their eyes and say under their breaths'....."Not another story".  I just ignore them and continue....most of the time they end up enjoying the story.......Hope you will too.

I was thinking I wanted to make a dress since all I wear are tops and bottoms since I've become a full figured woman as opposed to being a little plump in my younger years.  Well, I decided that I would make a simple dress with princess seaming in front and back.  I chose Vogue 8665 as I thought should ok on my full figured body.  (I'm laughing here!)

And here's what it looks like in real time!

It fits nicely at the neckline and sleeves but the rest looks like it was made at home with loving hands by Omar, the tent maker.

I decided that what I really needed now in order to fit my new body (this new one that I didn't realize had changed so drastically) was a dress form.  I had contemplated this over the years  but just didn't purchase one as the things I made looked ok on me.  So I was off and running with a new project.  I had looked at the ones at Hancock fabrics and always thought they looked cumbersome and didn't really look like my body.

So off to the internet to google dress-forms.  Ta-Dah!  Pages and pages of dress-form stuff.  After several look sees with prices ranging .from $86 to over $800 I was totally confused and I knew I didn't want to invest what seemed like a ridiculous amount of money into a dressform.  A few hours later I tried again and went to this site: and called for more information.  Much to my absolute amazement I found myself speaking with a woman who identified herself as Jill.   Jill was a jewel of a person.  She told me about her dressforms and quoted prices.  I told her honestly that I was a hobbyist sewer and didn't want to invest so much money.  Based on so many conversations I've had with people on the phone, I expected her to just say ok and hang up.  Jill went on to advise me that I could get a very good dressform from Amazon under $100 and told me that they also sold the pads that could build out the form in the shape of my body.  She told me to purchase a smaller size and go from there using the pads.  She still wasn't finished with me, she also suggested a book about fitting with dressforms, Fit Made Easy...Catch 22" Dress Forms & Fitting Secrets Revealed, which she thought would serve me well through this process.  I can't begin to tell you how warm, generous and forthcoming with information, and just plain old nice she was.  I thanked her and and followed up with an email and referenced my blog.

I quickly pulled up Amazon and ordered the $86 dress form, the $69 pads and the book $14.  I received the book yesterday and read it today.  This book is so descriptive with text, pictures, instructions for what ifs and just about anything else you could want from this type of book.  She was right, its just what I needed having no experience with dressforms.  I finished it in less than an hour and highlighted pertinate paragraphs so I can easily find what I need when I get started.  And to top it all off I find that Jill Ralston is one of two authors of this book and PRESIDENT of Fabulous Fit.  Hot d_______!  I opened the computer and to my amazement she actually read and commented on this blog.  You don't find 'em like this everyday.

The doorbell just rang and it was Fed Ex with the pads.  Can't write any longer to go play with  the pads and read the instructions.

I'm soooooooooooooo excited.

Blessings and Light