Sunday, December 11, 2016

I'm not OK.

I was at an event today. I started to congratulate myself for being at a place like it was and for handling it well but before I could even think the whole words out, I started crying. 
All it took was looking around the room at the young mothers with their newborn babies and toddlers standing in line to see Santa. The event took place at a hospital. 
Suddenly I felt like an odd ball standing there alone. The harder I tried to keep the tears back, the more they flowed. It was embarrassing. 
I was able to find a corner to sit in while waiting and compose myself. I thought I was OK with it all, but I guess I'm just not there yet. In fact, I don't know that I'll ever be OK with it. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Wallets for the kiddos

I sewed these for my niece and nephew. Not the best pictures but they are gone now. I can't wait for them to get the wallets!






This is one of my favorite wallet patterns to sew. I am hoping to sew some soon to put in my etsy shop. 

Upcycled rice bags

When I visited my mom last week she gave me a pile of empty rice sacks that she'd been saving for me.

She asked if I would make her a bag from one of them.

Here is the bag-


It was tricky to make because she wanted fleece as the liner. It stretched when I sewed with it. 


Here is the back with the pocket. The front had a zipper to open.

I also sewed a simple tote bag with another bag. I found this awesome video that showed me how to sew it. I can't wait to make more of this style.


I'm excited to try it out next time I go grocery shopping. I will update soon!

Update- It tore along the seams. Won't be making another one anytime soon.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What to do with fabric scraps?

Ever wonder what to do with all those squares of fabric you've been saving?

Here are some of my favorite free pattern links to share:

2 inch squares.

The Sewing Chick

4 inch squares.

Baby soft blocks

4.5 inch squares

Inverse heart coasters

5 Inch squares.

Mini Log cabin bag 
Fold and turn coasters

6 inch squares 

Nine patches (I've been making a bunch of these lately, sew much fun!) -- Only I use 8 inch squares and cut them 2.5 on each side.

8 inch squares and larger.

The fold and turn coasters can be made into potholders. Just by using larger squares. Half a yard each of two fabrics can make two potholders if you use a 10 inch square and an 8 inch.

I will add more links as I find them! Until then, happy sewing! :-)


Monday, November 21, 2016

Pot holders

I made these for a friend that likes browns.


It took a yard of material to make. The first one used 10 inch squares. The second one 8 1/2 inch. 

They were fun to make. I used insulbrite inside with a layer of cotton batting. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Dino wallet

Made this for a friend's son.



I love this simple wallet pattern. I have already made 6 of them.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Cross body purses and more completed

The first big project involved 37 pouches, but I won't share pictures of that until December.

The second project was sewing three cross body purses, four keychain wallet zippered pouches and four wallets.

The fabric was all chosen by the mom who is giving these to her kids, with the children's favorite choices in mind.

Here they are-


The liner of the frog purse is grumpy like cat. The fabric came from spoonflower. It was my first time ordering from there. I chose the cotton poplin ultra. Happy with it, though I wish the black had not turned out so grey.


 The liner for the Darth Vader purse is the sugar skulls.

                                    for the boy.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Homemade pancake syrup

If you don't like fake pancake syrup but can't afford the real stuff or simply don't like it, try this recipe.

We like the taste of this syrup. It's not real maple syrup but it at least has maple flavoring, unlike the store stuff that contains corn syrup, chemicals and fake flavors.

1 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup water

Place in pan and bring to boil. Stir to dissolve. Cover and cook 1-2 minutes. Cool slightly.

Add:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring

Cover as it cools. This will prevent sugar crystals from forming during storage.

It will thicken as it cools. Store in refrigerator.

Tastes great!

Better than a mix pancakes

I wanted to share my favorite pancake recipe here before I lose it.

I try to make as much as I can from scratch and these pancakes are delicious! I like to mix up the dry ingredients in bulk and set aside for convenience later.

1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
Dash of salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup skim milk
2 teaspoon vegetable oil or butter

I like to beat the egg, add the milk, and in a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients together and slowly add the dry to the wet beating well.
I use a 2 Tablespoon cup to measure out the pancakes. Makes 10 small pancakes.

89 calories each.

Pour syrup on top and enjoy.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Yummy spaghetti sauce

I hate buying spaghetti sauce from the store because most of it contains high fructose corn syrup. I found a really yummy recipe years ago. I wish I remembered where I found the recipe.
It makes 12- 1/2 cup servings.

It's so easy to make.

First cook one pound of ground beef. Drain and set aside.

Then mix in big pot-
1- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1- 6 ounce can tomato paste
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper (I used half that)
Three fresh basil leaves or pinch of dried
2 cloves garlic minced
1 large onion chopped

Simmer on low until thick.

Add ground beef halfway through.

Before it's done, add a pinch of baking soda. It will fizz. It gives the sauce a sweet taste and takes out some of the acid taste. Taste and see the difference. Add more as necessary. But I don't think more than a tablespoon is needed.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Larger boxy bag sample

I was able to replicate a larger boxy bag this week. Yay!

It is 12 inches long, 4 inches tall, 5 inches wide approximately. I'm hoping to have some made in this size for my etsy shop in January. I don't dare try and make some now. I've got way too many projects going right now.




Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Sample #3

I've been racking my brain all week trying to sew a shawl sized project bag. Not complaining as I love these challenges.

I'm still lost.

Here is sample #3.







Friday, September 30, 2016

Cross body bag 1 of 3

A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked if I'd sew her daughter's some cross body purses. I love a new project. I searched all over for a free pattern but did not find what I was looking for, so I bought a pattern from Etsy that looked easy. It wasn't! Each purse had over 30 pieces to cut out and four zippers per bag! (I thought there was only one). So I set that pattern aside and looked again for another one to buy. Then, I came across a FREE video tutorial for a bag I really liked. Simple. Just a few pieces to cut out. Sewed similar to bags I've already made.

I quickly made a sample bag. Easy peasy. Then yesterday I sewed the real one. It took me a little while to figure out how to do the adjustable purse straps but I found a helpful video for that. And here is the finished bag-

The back has a pocket for a notebook and pen. 

                           Inside polka dot liner




I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I may have to sew one for myself. :-)

I plan to sew a zippered pouch to serve as a coin purse/wallet to match in the pink polka dot print. 

Two more bags to sew...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Flat scrubber

One of the places I sell my scrubbers at, someone requested I make flat scrubbers. I've been making these round ones for years and this isn't the first time someone comes up with a new way for me to make them.

I've actually tried a wide variety of different styles and like the round ones best. But not just any round ones, but the double thickness ones. I like that they last for around 6 months or longer depending on how hard you use them. I actually had a lady tell me that I made them last too long and that I needed to make them with cheaper materials and more flimsy so people would have to buy more often. What!?? I refuse to do that!

I don't care that people will buy a handful I've or twice a year for themselves and friends and family. These take time to make whether made poorly or not. I like my scrubbers just these easy they are.

But to humor the lady that asked me to make a flat scrubber because she claimed food got stuck in the center hole, I decided to make her a flat scrubber. Now first of all, I've never had trouble with food getting caught in it. I will throw the scrubbers in the washing machine when they are dirty and air dry them. They can also be put in the dishwasher. Second of all I don't think she actually used them, but saw the hole and assumed food would get caught inside.

Anyways, here is the scrubber I made her. I used the same netting in all my scrubbers. Same width cut, six strips because I've actually been using only 6 per round scrubber as I like the size they are.

What I did was-
I followed the same instructions for the first 2 strips. Then for the 3rd strip, I did this- *SC in next 3 chains. 2 SC in next chain. Repeat * until you add next strip. Then with 4th step- *SC in next 4 chains, 2 SC in next chain. Repeat as before. I followed this pattern adding one sc per each strip as the number I was on to keep track of what strip I was working on.

It is a nice scrubber but I prefer my thick ones. When these get wet. They flatten out quite considerably. There just isn't much to hold on to, when using these flat ones. I'm not impressed, lol!




Friday, September 16, 2016

Finished sample bag

Well, the pattern I bought proved to be way to difficult to figure out at the moment. And I found a free tutorial after I bought the pattern. Ugh. Anyways, the free tutorial was great and I made this-


I didn't have enough fabric to make a proper strap so I used ribbon instead. I'm happy with how easy the pattern was. Now, to sew the real bags...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Purse construction to begin

I'm gathering some fabric and getting ready to cut in hopes to make a practice purse for a friend. I needed some hardware. So I went to the thrift store and found two purses that had just what I needed. They were $1 each, not bad since the hardware can cost me $7+. I don't mind paying that much for the real purse, but for practice I need cheap stuff! Lol.

Wish me luck! I'll be posting up pictures as I go along.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dehydrating



I joined a really neat group on Facebook called "dehydrating for divas and dudes."

I've learned so much about so many things I can dry that I never thought about before.

When I got my dehydrator, I dried mostly fruit leather, smoothies, and dried bananas.

The above picture is strawberries and apples. I never knew how delicious dried strawberries could be! And I've dried apples before but only peeled ones. These have been sliced whole with a mandolin. The seeds pop out when dry and the core center looks like a pretty star. I thought the center would bother my teeth, but they don't.

I found that I like to eat the dried apples while out on a long bicycle ride. It is just the thing I need to energize myself.

I dried tomatoes this year. Two friends gave me gobs of free tomatoes so I ate as many as I could fresh and dried the rest.

I dried watermelon too. What a tasty treat!

One of the fun things I learned about was zucchini gummies.

This is the last of them and boy are they delicious! Chewy, sweet. Tastes like apricots or apples. You cook the zucchini in fruit juice and then dehydrate them. Such a great way to use up those hidden surprise gigantic zucchini in the garden. 

I never knew you could dry egg shells for... Come join the fun to find out what it's for. 

Tea wallets

Finished these for the kitchen store this week.


Reusable reversible shopping bags

My friend asked me last week why I don't use cloth bags for shopping knowing how much I hate the plastic ones. I told her we did use cloth ones years ago before it was "popular". Cashiers had a fit and customers behind us got mad at us for taking too long. Then we just quit and didn't use them anymore. 

She was surprised with all the sewing I do that I've never made any for myself. I told her I would make some this week. 

I've been looking just the right bag pattern, but didn't like any that I had seen. And I had been looking for quite some time long before she mentioned it to me. 

One search led to another and I finally found these. Google - The chilly dog reversible grocery bags. I like that these did not need any interfacing. While I like bags that can be stood upright, I was out of the stuff and wanted something easy to do without much thinking involved. It took me awhile to figure some things out, but once I did, I was hooked! I plan to sew a set of 8 from the bed sheets I used. 

See, I had sorted through my fabric stash determined to make a bag or two before I saw my friend. But I didn't have enough material. Then I remembered two vintage bed sheets that I had gotten with the purpose of using them for a cool craft project. I was thrilled when I liked the look of them together and was happy that I had enough material. 

This bag fits perfectly in my bike basket and will hold a lot of groceries. I do worry though about the bottom seam, so I think my next bags I do, I'll cut the material 20 by 40 and fold in half so there won't be a bottom seam. 

Here are the bags. The liner is the opposite color. 


One thing I've come to enjoy is to find material that I can repurpose. 

Boxy bag for bicycle basket

I just got a new bicycle basket so I wanted to sew a boxy bag to fit exactly inside. I wanted to make a practice one first as I wasn't exactly sure it would turn out.

I found a formula that tells me what size I need to cut to get the finished product.

I used a fusible fleece to help hold its shape but it's still pretty floppy. I hoped to have enough material left for a handle but didn't. But I'm going to take it apart to put one in so I can carry it with ease.





This is what it looked like after cutting out the corners. I was convinced I'd messed it up, because I'd never cut such a large corner before, but it came out exactly the size I wanted it to be. 

I got to try it out today as I rode my bicycle to knitting group. It fit great inside my reusable reversible shopping bag. 

Crayon bags

I picked out some material last week to turn into crayon bags. I'm pleased with how they turned out.


I've made these before but decided to do the handles a little differently this time. They are so much fun to make! 

Chicken project bag

I'm still plugging along and sewing like crazy! I forget that I can blog without the app.

This morning I went to meet a lady outside the quilt shop but was early so I went inside to look around. The owner there had some things for me to go through. After sorting through some bias tape and netting, I watched her work awhile before volunteering my time. I love to iron and helped her press some material. She was going through it as it had belonged to a lady that had passed away. It was interesting to see her fabric stash and her unfinished projects, but weird feeling too. I wonder what people will think when they go through my things. This lady had a lot of stuff!

One piece of material caught my eye as it was adorable!


I just had to take a picture of it as I've never seen anything so cute! The owner mentioned giving it to a friend who loved chickens. I asked her if she happened to sell any that I would love to buy a fat quarter worth to make a boxy bag. She asked me if I would make a boxy bag for the friend in exchange for the material. She offered to pay me for the bag too, but I declined. I just love sewing! I said sure! She found some interesting material that kind of looked like bird feathers for the liner.

When I finally got home after visiting some other shops, I started to sew the boxy bag. I decided to put in a handle, something I'm just learning to do.

I just love how the bag turned out!




Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

Blessing bags completed.

The first batch of blessing bags have been completed. Here are the last of them. Next challenge is to make 25 more in a Christmas...