Saturday, November 24, 2007


Ok, I have to admit that I just LOVED that cute little pleated purse. I had a little bit of material left over and decided to make another artsy clutch to go along with it. I also included the embellishment on the clutch that I put on the bag itself. I love how it looks. I used a bit of red to spice it up a little...some red rick rack for the closure along with the red buttons. Love It!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Sylvia!

I'm not even sure if she even reads this blog or not...but how cool is it that my sister in law has the same birth date as I do? I'm telling you...November 21st was THE DAY to be born people!!! For Sylvia's birthday I made her a little girly purse. This was before I got my way cool "Bend the Rules - Sewing" book. This little purse was a design that I made myself without the aide of any pattern. After I finished sewing all the sides together I realized that I forgot to add the thicker interfacing to make the bag a bit sturdier. I"m telling you, I'm learning as I go along! I also decided to try using the already made purse handles for a different look. I liked how they looked but didn't like the clasps where they connected to the purse so I made a few fabric yo-yos's to place on top of the clasps. It looks like a very feminine purse and I like how fresh it looks. Hopefully Sylvia will like it too.
Happy Birthday Sylvia! I hope you have a really great day!

A simple tote

Again, I must be pretty bad with measurements. After I made this cute bag and turned it inside out, the handles just seemed to be way too long. For one, the handles are supposed to be different sizes so that the longer handle can loop through the smaller one and act as a closure. But these handles were longer than they were supposed to be so I had to get creative and figure out how to shorten them. (It's all about the process for me. I'm learning so much every single time I make a bag that it helps me make my next things much better.) This bag is truly simple - it has a simple pocket on the inside and no other embellishments. It's also a very small bag. Perfect for holding a lunch or perhaps keys and a wallet on the run.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I've got the sewing bug...

Yep, it's true. There isn't a single day that goes by when I'm not thinking about something that I could be making. I've been busy over the past week or so making something for a dear lady that has volunteered her time to watch the boys every once in a while so Mike and I could go out. She doesn't ever ask for any payment and the boys love her so. I decided that I was going to make her something. I picked out some beautiful blue paisley fabric and after I had started the project I got a little jealous because I really liked how it turned out! I wanted it! But I really wanted to give her something in I'm going to part with this lovely "Pleated Beauty Handbag." There were actually a few surprises to this bag when I started making it. I had a really difficult time getting the pleats to turn out just right. I sat on the floor for several nights holding the fabric and trying to pleat it every which way, and finally on the third day the lightbulb went off and I knew what I had to do. So, the front of this bag has some very unique touches to it. I hand embroidered a flower and some "loops" on the side along with using a new foot on my sewing machine made for free quilting. I had so much fun making this quirky little loopy design that I ended up making an "Artsy Clutch" in the same fabric just so that I could use that new foot again. As I was putting the bag together I thought to myself how much it looked like a cute little cheerleaders skirt...and it made me think of how much I had always wanted to be able to wear one of those...but that's another story for another day! And finally when I was ready to turn the bag inside out, I realized that the bag was extremely large. I think that I must have had my measurements off by a bit. This bag was like a large suitcase! So I trimmed off what seemed like more than half of the bag and got it down to a much more reasonable size. I love this bag. I love it, I love it, I love it! I can only hope that she will love it too.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Happy (early) Birthday to Me and More projects!

First of all, here is my new sewing machine! After looking around a bit I decided upon this one, a Brother CS 6000i. So far, I love it. It has many neat features that I am still learning how to use.

Tea Towel Aprons! Two, to be exact. I found the towels at IKEA and thought they would make nice Christmas aprons.

This is called a "Charming Handbag" and making it wasn't quite so charming. In the book a few measurments were left out so I ended up making up a whole bunch of them! It turned out ok but next time I think I'll make the bag larger, with larger handles. I love the velvet ribbon!

More coasters...why in the world am I making so many is beyond my reasoning, but they are easy and don't take too much time.

Here is another small zippered pouch. I found this cute bee fabric at Joanns and lined it with a yellow-ish fabric with circles. I really like how it turned out.

This is called an "Artsy Clutch". Very simple idea - and here again I used the same bee fabric and yellow circle fabric on the inside.

Here is another "Artsy Clutch" that I made with some fabric I forgot I had, it was kind of funky but I like the end result. I ended up giving this one to a friend for her birthday.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's a love/hate relationship

Last night my beloved sewing machine started playing tricks on me. Or maybe it was just that I was tired. I have been working on a really cute little purse, complete with a velvet ribbon and am this close to finishing it. I stayed up way past my bedtime in hopes of finishing this wonderful little project. My sewing machine had other plans. I decided that in my state of being I wasn't the best person to try to fix it so I would wait until the morning to see what would need to be done. When morning came I did try to fix it by changing the needle, and the tension, and the thread...but nothing worked. In fact, the machine has started to act up even more than last night. I'm not that happy with my machine right now. In fact, if you asked me I'd probably tell you that I would like to throw it out the window...I know that with this little glitch I will be required to take it in to the repair shop...and wouldn't you know that my warranty from my last repair expired a mere two weeks ago??? Agh! I'm not a happy person. How I had wanted to finish this little purse. I even have plans for more projects...I even have the fabric for those projects. I've already decided that I'm not going to go back to the same place and have it repaired. I just can't afford it. This will be the third or fourth time of my taking it in for a repair. I could probably buy a machine for the amount I've put into fixing it. It makes me sick. I want to finish my projects! I want to finish on this machine! But at some point I have to ask myself is it worth it? It's a love/hate relationship I have with this machine. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel differently about the situation.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Busy Bee

I've been having so much fun going through my new sewing book. Just in the past few days I've finished two handbags, two sets of coasters, and a cute little zippered pouch. I am by no means an expert fact if you look close enough you'll be able to find some mistakes. But I don't mind them so much. I love what I've done so far and that's all that matters!

These are the two sets of coasters. I found this cute and playful material of dragonflies at the fabric store but only had enough fabric to make four coasters. I wanted more than that. After rummaging through my fabric stash I came across this zig zag fabric that was super close to the colors in the dragonfly material so I combined them and got eight coasters out of the two! I like how they turned out.

And this is the cute little zippered pouch I made just this afternoon. I really liked the flower fabric and the yellow checkered fabric on the inside makes it so cheery. This was my first time trying to sew a zipper on. Good night, Nancy! This little thing took me nearly (I'm almost embarrassed to say just how long it really took...) three hours!!! I guess I had a few interruptions but still...perhaps if I made a few more I'd get the timing down to a more reasonable number. Anyhoo - I really like the small details on this pouch...I used a little green velvet ribbon and made a bow in front. Pretty, ain't it?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hooray for Bacon!

Today for lunch was all about bacon. We love the stuff. So in honor of bacon, we cooked it and ate it and enjoyed ever little bit of it. A few years ago I had purchased this neat looking cookbook for Mike geared towards grilling. There were lots of great looking recipes and we even tried a few then. But ever since we tried out the first few recipes, the cookbook has been sitting in my cupboard untouched. Today we pulled it out. We found the recipes we came to love the first time around and decided that it was time to try them out again. We made a delicious Chicken with herb and ricotta stuffing and grilled some asparagus wrapped in bacon. We also enjoyed some grilled onion and some freshly baked bread along with our baked potatoes. Can you say yum? Here are the recipes. Enjoy!

Chicken with Herb and Ricotta Stuffing
4 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons mixed chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, and mint
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
8 chicken drumsticks
8 slices of lean smoked bacon

Combine the first four ingredients. Season well with salt and pepper. Carefully loosen the skin from each drumstick and spoon a little of the herb stuffing underneath, smoothing the skin back over firmly. Wrap a bacon slice tightly around the wide end of each drumstick to hold the skin in place over the stuffing during cooking. Cook on a medium-hot grill for 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Asparagus wrapped in Bacon
1 pound of asparagus

Take four or five spears of asparagus and wrap in one slice of bacon. Continue until all asparagus spears are wrapped. Season with salt and pepper. These are good grilled and are excellent cooked in the oven when drizzled with a little EVOO.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Introducing my new line!

Ever since I got my new sewing book, I've been itching to make some new things. I finally finished some very cute coasters and decided to move onto something else. Flipping through the book I came across this very cute Woodland Elf Hat. Jonah said he wanted a hat to play in so I went about making this hat. I wasn't sure it would fit him. After I had finished I had him model it for me. Rats! The ties were way to long. He looked like Little Red (and orange) Riding Jonah. So I went about trimming the ties to a more manageable length. The results? A cute little elf hat. I laughed my head off so hard trying to sew this together. It's almost hideous - I can just imagine there being a funny pom-pom on top of the pointy end. But I wouldn't do that to my son. Not me.

Front view - my son is a good sport!
Side of the hat
This is how it looks in the book. Pretty cute on girls, right? For boys you omit the little flower decal on the side. I tried to make it a little more boy-ish by using louder colors. I'm not so sure that it worked.

So...any takers? I'll be taking orders starting tomorrow. Price negotiable.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Favorite Things...

...about Fall (in no particular order!)

1. The cool and crisp air you feel against your face when you walk outside in the morning.
2. Hot Apple Cider
3. Making Applesauce
4. Enjoying a pleasant walk with those I love
5. Settling back into a "schedule" after a busy yet fun summer
6. The trees changing colors
7. Drinking the first Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks when the air does turn cooler.
8. Squash. Pumpkins. Harvest Time!

What are some of your favorite things about the fall?


I am so excited. I can hardly contain my enthusiasm. I received a new book in the mail over the weekend and since then have been poring over ever little detail in it. The book is Amy Karol's Bend the Rules Sewing. (Amy Karol blogs over at Angry Chicken - don't worry, it has nothing to do with being angry or anything about chickens!) Anyway there are so many neat little projects that look all too enticing. Here are some of the projects listed in the book:
~The Zip Pouch ~ A Simple Tote ~ Heidi Headband ~ The No Cash Wallet ~ Artsy Clutch ~ Charming Handbag ~ Pleated Beauty Handbag ~ A Dog Collar ~ Cat Tuffet in a Basket ~ Clever Coasters ~ Mixy-Matchy Napkins ~ Tea Cozy ~ Table Runner ~ Place Mats ~ Easy Lap Quilt ~ Pillows Three Ways ~ Semi-simple Pillows ~ Painted Pillow Buddies ~ Sugar-sweet Curtains ~ Cafe Curtains ~ Amazing Tea Towel Apron ~ Vintage Apron ~ Apron Pockets ~ Woodland Elf Hat ~ Simple Bib ~ Scalloped Baby Blanket ~ Soft Turtle Buddy ~ Puppet Theater with Matching Case ~ Sweet Wee Jacket ~ Swing Swing Smock ~ plus all the patterns and templates!
I can not wait to get started on some of the simple and easy projects. I'm thinking I'll start with some coasters -that is, after I finish my other two projects!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Something new is coming!

I'm trying to get back in the creative's not showing itself like it did in the summer. On Monday I went to JoAnn fabrics and came back with a few "fat quarters". What, oh what will I be doing with these? Only time will tell! I'll update again when I get a chance.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Button Cookies

One of my absolute favorite cookies right now is this great little butter cookie with M&M candies. Give them a try!

Button Cookies

3 sticks of softened butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a mixing bowl cream the softened butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Add the vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture. Roll dough into balls, the size of a tablespoon. Flatten the balls out. On each piece, place 3 M&M's. Now, put one flattened ball on top of another flattened ball, so you are stacking two pieces together. Each piece should have the M&M's on top. Put the cookies on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 17-18 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet before moving to wire racks.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Something fun from Flickr

A M A_McElman_070718_2972 N letter d A

Try it out here!

Odds and Ends of every kind

I've had it with the tomato plants. I threw them out a week or so ago...they just weren't doing anything. Besides, who wants to eat an itty bitty tomato the size of a dime (or in some cases, even smaller than that!)? The plants were looking a little sick and I thought that our view out the kitchen window (as if it could get any better...) would look much nicer if we had some actual flowers. With that being said, I took the boys to the Home Depot and we looked and looked and saw some very beautiful mums, but the mums that are being sold now are gigantic and wouldn't fit in my little window. The only other option at that point was to purchase some pansies. We got three - and they look so cheerful! I wasn't quite ready to announce to everyone driving by our house that I was ready for fall yet. These pansies still tell me that it's summer (or perhaps the end of summer) and that's all I need.

I've thrown in the towel with sewing. I suppose that I got out much of my need or desire to sew during the summer. I've lost a lot of my momentum coming up with ideas of what to make, how to make it, cutting and pinning the material, not to mention the actual art of sewing while wiping snotty noses, wiping a 4 year olds rear end after he poops, washing hands, drinking coffee (because we all know I'm not sleeping through the night yet and any bit of caffeine helps me so much!), stepping on toys, watching my son's planes taking off and landing on our carpet "runway", and taking him to school three times a week...gee whiz that just make my head spin! No wonder I can't come up with anything creative to do on my machine.

Speaking of trying to be creative, I have made a few new scrapbook pages but I have no desire whatsoever to try to post the end results. I guess my thinking is that why would anyone want to see my page layouts? They certainly aren't anything to write home about!!! I'm not asking for a pity party. I guess I started off with this blog posting the scrapbook pages as a means of me to get it done. It gave me a goal. But I'm just not feeling it right now. Maybe later.
WOW started back up last week and I'm looking forward to the group I'll be in this year. We'll be reading a book entitled "Every Thought Captive: Battling the Toxic Beliefs That Separate Us from the Life We Crave" and so far it looks really interesting. I think it's really good timing too. The past few days have been a little hard for me. I've been having lots and lots of thought swirling around in my head like "I'm not good enough," "I'm not that great of a friend," "I could be a better mother/wife/person and why am I not trying?" I don't want anyone worrying about me...I'm fine but just a little bit worn out. And I want to be honest and up front about my feelings and not act as if I'm always happy or upbeat all the time. That's not life.

A little over a year ago I stumbled upon a blog of a person I didn't know at all but have come to really admire her. Amy Wilhoite was diagnosed with AML or
Acute Myelogenous Leukemia and was blogging about her struggle with day to day life, with treatments, living and even with her own death. She lost her fight against leukemia last week and I felt so bad all week long. She was only married for four years and had a one year old little boy. It made me want to hold onto my little ones a little bit longer. If any of you have the chance to look through her posts, I promise you it will change you. It might take a while if you start from the beginning, but well worth your time. I have to admire her. She always looked to God and was ready to meet her maker. I'm sure she had quite the homecoming last Monday. This is from her very first post:
I wholly believe my journey through leukemia began from the foundations of the earth. The Lord has had this fully written in His plan for my life. Though we will never know the exact moment a single cell of my DNA acquired a problem, the doctors feel my body has been under attack for months. As I look back, I see the many ways God has been preparing us for this -- He has truly gone before, and for that I must be grateful.
And so my day today begins...lots to do around the house - laundry, cleaning, keeping the boys entertained, outings, and whatever we can fit in! Tonight I will be going to Jonah's "Back to School Night" and I'm not sure what all I'll find out since I didn't go for the previous two years, but I'm looking forward to spending time with his teachers and finding out just what he does in class. Whenever I ask him he simply says that he played and he can't remember the other things he did in school! I laugh. I know he is having fun and making new friends.

Happy Thursday!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My Sisters Birthday Presents

This tote was made for my older sister who has two kids...the pattern is nearly identical to the black and white tote I made earlier, with a few minor alterations. I didn't have any other quilted fabric so I attempted to quilt the fabric I purchased by hand. I added a pocket inside, and while it's not perfect, it turned out ok!
This purse I made for my younger sister who has no children. It's a bit funkier in design, in fact, I made the design up myself. This purse probably turned out the best out of all the totes/purses I have made thus far - I'm slowly realizing how to make each one a bit better than the last. I also tried something new with this purse - D rings. That's how I attached the strap.

Another look of the two side by side. Happy Birthday girls! I love you!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


That's the total amount of inches I have lost since joining Curves in the middle of July. Don't be fooled though. I have a few little doubts that I've actually lost that many inches...for instance when I was first measured, I wasn't wearing my sports bra, like I was this morning. So really, add back a few more inches in bust category. Also for some reason when this gal was measuring my waist, the measuring tape rode up higher than I thought it should I'll add another inch and a half in the waist department. The reality is that I probably lost somewhere between 10-14.50 inches in a little over a month. Yay! Go me.
I don't normally talk about my achievements like this but I am so proud of this. Ever since Jackson was born, I've needed to lose that baby weight. And it wasn't coming off. At. All. I tried putting myself back on the weight watchers program without actually rejoining but I really needed the accountability so it wasn't working. After convincing my mother to check Curves out, she did and joined. Then she told me that I would love it - so then I joined. I don't expect the following months to be quite as dramatic as this first month has been, but I'm so excited. Now, my weight hasn't really changed but I'm trying to convince myself that it's muscle that I gained so it's not really that bad. Hopefully. Inches people...think less inches!!!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Back in business

It's been a while since I posted here. My family just got back from SD earlier this week, and we had a great time seeing our family, and house hunting. It's hard to be here in Baltimore when we know what is waiting for us.
While in SD I finished reading The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers, and all I can say is WOW. I loved the first two books, and the third was pretty great too. Thanks to my mother in law for getting me hooked on Francine Rivers writing! Today I ordered two more books by the same author. I can't wait for them to arrive!
I have been pretty frustrated these past few days and I figure it's due to the lack of sleep I'm getting. Last night Jackson woke up three times again (he seems to be doing this very frequently) and sometimes he wants to nurse and other times I think he wakes up from a bad dream. I'm tired of not being able to sleep through the night. I'm tired of feeling like crap the next day. And most of all, I'm tried of being cranky with the kids and my husband! I'm sure a full night's sleep would help me quite a bit. Today I decided that I'm going to wean Jackson...and he is not happy with me one bit. I'm tired of it and ready to move on. He would say otherwise. So wish us luck. Any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
Looking back on the summer I can't believe that it's nearly over. I mean, I didn't even take the kids swimming yet! What kind of a mother am I? Anyway, I do feel like I did some neat things to stretch my mind a little. I scrapped a few pages, and made a few purses/totes (5 so far - two I made with my very own made up pattern!), and I also made a skirt. Now I feel like I've lost some sewing momentum so I don't know when I'll get back to the machine. of the levers came off last night. The lever that tells you how many stitches per inch, and whether you are going forwards or backwards - it just came off. I managed to put it back on but it came off again. This machine doesn't like me. Oh, how I wish it did! Anyway, I sent off two purses today for my sisters birthdays and once we get past those days, I'll post pictures of the completed items.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Skirt on a whim

Saturday was our 6th wedding anniversary! We planned on going out to eat without the kids so I thought it would be the perfect occasion to sport something new. No, I didn't buy something. I decided that I'd make myself a new skirt. Without a pattern. It would be easy. I have this linen skirt that has a drawstring around the waist and just two other pieces...the front and the back. So I thought I'd just cut around the skirt and go from there. I admit that I didn't really have a clue as to what I was doing but I needed to challenge my brain. So after pinning the pieces together and making the drawstring, I began to sew. After all was said and done, I only ended up ripping out one seam. Not bad, I said to myself. When I had finished, I slipped it on, and marched downstairs to show my husband the wonderful things I can do with my sewing machine. He had to hold his tongue to keep from laughing! I turned this way and that, and after we both had a good laugh, we decided that it was just too wide. So I marched myself back upstairs to take it in on both sides. After that, I slipped it on again, and showed my husband. I asked him what he thought. His reaction still makes me laugh. He said..."Well, it looks really yellow..." The size was better this time, but the right side of the skirt was doing this funny poofy thing, so I went back to the sewing machine to try to fix it. I came back downstairs and he said "Maybe you should get somebody else's opinion on this" we took some pictures and I emailed them to my mother. Thank goodness for mothers who know just what to say! The end result turned out ok for my first attempt. I did end up wearing it out to eat, and I'm very proud to say that it didn't fall off or even fall apart while I wore it!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Not to be taken lightly

Last night was rather exciting around our house. The weather was nice so we decided to grill for dinner. As Mike was coming and going, in and out of the house, Jonah and I started hearing sirens. This is not unusual. In fact what would be unusual is if we didn't hear any sirens during the day or night. They have become something that I rarely hear anymore. Jonah, on the other hand, will race to the kitchen window to see what kind of vehicle is driving by...every single time we hear a siren. He gets so excited to see them. It's almost a game to him I think. It's hard for him to think that there might be somebody who is hurt inside the ambulance, or that there is a fire that the firetruck is going to. He just sees lights and a fast truck and he's giddy. So last night was really quite extraordinary to say the least. And I say that with all respect to those who keep us safe here in Baltimore. I was cutting up some veggies to put on the grill when it began. Jonah raced into the kitchen when he heard the first siren. Then he ran back out to the living room where he was watching a baseball game. Not a minute later, there was a group of sirens headed our way. In this grouping were several cop cars. Another minute passed and still more sirens were heard. Jonah was in and out of the kitchen just as fast as these cars raced by our house. This spectacular show lasted for nearly ten minutes...and it seemed that with each minute, there were more cop cars, more ambulances, firetrucks, helicopters, armor trucks, you name it, and they passed by our house. I decided that I would try to count the trucks that passed by after the first ten minutes went by. Of course we had no idea what was going on, where it was happening, and the rest of the logistics. I could tell from the beginning that it was probably something very serious. I had never seen that many rescue, cop, and firetrucks zoom by as I did last night. After a slight pause in the action, it began again. This time the trucks were all moving in the opposite direction (towards the hospital.) At that point I realized that someone was hurt and I figured it was somebody in uniform, given all the activity that took place (we probably saw nearly 40-50 cars, vans, armored vehicles, firetrucks, ambulances...all within this time period). We were itching to learn what was going on because the helicopters were right above our house, hovering. I finally was able to see what happened online. Two female police officers were driving in a car, only blocks from our house, when someone opened fire on them. The driver was shot in the arm and the other officer was shot through the abdomen. From what I hear they are both fine but will be needing more surgery. (To see the complete story, click here and check out the video footage.) Pretty crazy, right? I was really starting to feel more comfortable in the city, especially the place where we live but this brings things back into perspective. I can not allow myself at any point to feel safe in my city, my neighborhood, and my home, because this is part of city life. No wonder why I've been keeping my kids inside lately. It's not the humidity, it's not that I'm lazy, it's because I fear for their safety - and mine. As I was trying to figure out what happened last night I came across something else quite scary. This truly makes me afraid. I will be more than happy to walk away from this part of life without any hesitation in less than a year.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It. Is. Done.

The repair place called on Tuesday and told me my machine was ready to be picked up. I picked up the two boys and together we drove out to get it. I was glad to have it back. It wasn't until yesterday that I was able to jump back into my tote project. It wasn't easy mind you. Both of the boys were in a state of mental anguish yesterday and so there were many tears and a lot of screaming throughout the day. But I persisted. I. Had. To. Finish. My. Tote. So, without further it is (in all of it's not so perfect glory!)!!!

This is the front of the tote, otherwise known as the side I goofed up on. If you look closely at the bottom white band you'll see that it's not exactly sewn onto the black part of the bag. I decided to just make this part up. On the back side of this front are the inside I couldn't destroy those by sewing across them. So I turned this white band into two very small, very useless pockets, unless you call a pocket specifically for two pieces of gum useful. Oh well. Sometimes gum gets lost at the bottom of a purse why not have a pocket just for that keep the gum from getting lost? I'm actually pretty brilliant.
This is the back of the tote, otherwise known as the way the front of the tote should look. I actually altered the top white band on both the front and back sides. I wanted the inside of the tote to look a bit more finished so I turned over the white band.
A picture of inside the tote. If you look closely you can see the two pockets (on the left hand side).
Another view of inside the tote- because it deserves another angle!
And lastly, a side view. So all in all I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. It's not exactly the Vera Bradley bag that I had envisioned it being, but it's a good start. The overall size of the bag was a bit larger than I had intended it to be, but it's decent. Now if I could only find some cheap and funky already quilted fabric, I'd be making a bunch more.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My tote

So, the sewing project has been put on hold. I am quite upset about this, seeing as how I was smack dab in the middle of the project! For some reason unknown to me my sewing machine stopped sewing. I've checked the manual and double checked the threading...I can't figure out what happened! I had my hopes that I would have been able to finish it this evening. I guess that won't happen after all...

Anyway, I'm having quite the time making out the directions and adding a few things of my own to the bag. I think I must have stared at the first instruction for about 45 minutes...reading it normally then slowly as to make it soak into my tiny brain better...then I would think about what I read then decide that I didn't really understand it. I'm one confusing person. I fully admit that. So once I got past that first part, I thought I was on a roll! I cut out all the pieces for the pattern and couldn't wait to start putting them together. As I was assembling all the pieces I realized that this bag didn't have any pockets inside the bag. I would have to remedy that problem. So last night I thought it would be easy enough to just "put" in a pocket. Sounded easy. Looked easy. Except my thought process was probably ahead of itself, and I failed to read the instructions for putting that side of the bag together...I'm such a doofus. So, without reading the instructions, I went ahead and sewed in the pocket where I wanted it. I even divided it in half so that I would end up having two pockets. I thought I was pretty good. It was sewed in place. It wouldn't move or budge. It was a sturdy pocket. And then I hit my forehead with the palm of my head because as I was reading the instructions this morning I realized that I had a serious problem on my hands! You see, I had to sew the handles on the sides of the bags and if I were to do that, it would ruin my inside pocket people! I was sweating bullets. Plus, I forgot about the "bottom band" that needed to be sewn in as well. My entire plan of making a cute and cheap purse was starting to just vanish into thin air. Augh! I think I figured out a way to get around the pocket while sewing the handles and bottom band in...but then my sewing machine just quite working, so it seems I've lost some momentum with the whole project. It's all rather frustrating.

I have taken a few pictures of the bag in progress. I think if I can ever finish it, it will be a nice bag. Not entirely perfect by any means but it will look nice. If only I could just chill out and try to bring my blood pressure down a few notches...

This is a rough idea of what the front of the bag will look like. The main "band" is the black middle section, with two white bands on either side of it. The bag has black handles. Supposedly if I do this correctly, the inside of the bag will pretty much be in reverse of what you see. (Except for the side with the pockets) this is the inside of the bag, the side with the pockets. The black strip you see towards the bottom are the pockets already sewn in. (Go me!) I found a way to sew half of the handle on, but then the machine broke down so the rest of the handle is just hanging on for dear life.

Side by side view. Outside/Inside...

All in all I think this bag might turn out to be a bit larger than I would have liked. Oh well. At least I'm trying to use and improve my brain and thinking skills a little bit. I can feel it expanding as I type this post. The pressure is killing me!