Summer spoils

I'm very happy to have some projects finished before school begins and The Madness ensues.

I made Mia this Dragon Backpack (by request in blues) using Kristi's geometric dragon paper piecing pattern, combining it with Essex linen in gray to help it pOp. The backpack pattern is Edelweiss by my BFF Sara over at Sew Sweetness. You can pick up these patterns and support Indie designers while also learning a trick or two and feeling pretty awesome in the process. I mean, it's nearly as good as building a rocket (I imagine).  

Every time I have a request from the kids, I take them through the process so they know this sh*t doesn't just magically happen. We start with a storyboard of some sort, inspiration colors/images/Google searches/etc...  It takes them some time, which buys me some time. Win / win.  Know what I'm sayin'?

Inspiration pic for backpack:  

I then sometimes haul them to Target so they can see what is available for $10 (you know, lunch bags made in China and the sort)--complete with showing them the crap seams and sewing execution. I know--it's totally NUTS. But they should know quality, they should realize craftsmanship takes wErk, (attitude with work ethic)--and then appreciate the discipline it takes to complete the job.  

I think a lot of this has been lost in the last 30 years, starting with "more is more" in the 80's. 
Just my 2 cents. You can take it or leave it. LOL!

Mia also will carry her new lunch bag I pieced together crazy style:

It's the Peas and Corn lunch bag by Sew Sweetness
Can you tell I kinda have a girl crush on Sara? LOL  
I can't help it, all her patterns WeRK!

Ahhhh cue Ru Paul!!

Meanwhile Ruby will carry her Cumberland Backpack:

This is Sara's newest pattern release. It's AWEsome, the shape, the pockets everywhere, everything.

Please for the love of God do not feel any twinge of guilt if you don't make your kids their bags. OH MY GAWD nooo. Just don't go there. I only have done this because I have the patterns and I love to sew--A N D I took a break from "selling" my wares this summer. I didn't do anything other than what I wanted to do. It was luxurious and rich, and I think quite possibly the ONLY way to live.  LMAO


Do what you like. Period.  And if that means buying Target products made in China then do it. Ok? Are we clear? We still good?

Speaking of Target... I went there last night after seeing BAD MOMS with my friends and I went NUTZ-O. I was like---high--- or something. I suddenly felt free from all the "perfection pressure" that plagues Mothers. I try to bake home made granola bars, and make my own laundry soap, and infuse oils rather than use medicine but DAMN Yo...sometimes I'm just super sick of that sh*t and go rogue. 

Am I the only one who does this? 

In other news, I think I have Olympics Depression.

I'm not kidding. It was so inspiring and exciting to watch those amazing athletes every day--their stories-their triumphs... I was soaking it up! Not to mention the commercials. Those b*tches gave me goose bumps or had be near tears. "We are all made of Gold...." yeah yeah...I can't go there now, but I know you know what I'm saying.  Here is a link to some of them: Gold is  feeling, Rise, & A refreshing finish.  Not to mention the Galaxy Note 7 advert. Christoph Walz has me in every movie he's in- German born but he can do ANY accent perfectly--- I love him! The message was loud and clear too----Americans DO over task. It's our culture.

This one really hit home- the disconnectedness she describes is right on.
"...you start believing what the world has to say about you, whether it's the world in your head or the world outside"...
In today's hyper connected world I often have to take breaks from social media to feel "right" again. It's a love hate relationship, 100%.

August issue 2016  

Don't get me wrong, there are lots of pluses to social media too. I am loving the Quilt-Alongs I'm participating in this year, and the facebook groups I joined (never knew they were a thing!)..

Finding like minded crafty people is FUN.

Week 15 of the Summer Sampler and I'm not sick of it! That's a reason to have a box-o-wine party right there!

Did you know the Posh magazine REAL SIMPLE listed the top 10 best boxed wines? Well honey I saved that to my Pinterest! Here you go, and you're welcome. 

Which speaking of wine in a box....
I had lots of it while finishing this String Quilt made with all scraps 1" to 1.5" in widths. I'm pretty pleased with it---but I'll let out full disclosure here (embarrassingly)---....
I started this while still living in England. That's almost 2 years ago now.  Geesh!!!!!

I started the blocks (each one has four sections) on a whim one day, and just made a block or two here and there. Then this summer I thought-- this needs to be finished or else it's going to be out of style by the time it's done (in 2 decades)... So I went full blast for about two weeks and there she is.

Never again.
BAhahahahaha Just kidding. But no, she's not for sale and I AIN'T makin' ya one, no matter how long we've known each other! bahahahaha


I've finished a lot of clothes this summer too- thank you Rae!! 
Your patterns are the bestestest! Here is a "Ruby top" in voile, and there are more pics of other finished on my IG feed if you fancy a look. XOXO

I've rambled enough for now, let me know what you're up to, would ya?!


How to sew a clear vinyl bag

I'm always looking for clever storage solutions, and see-through is my ultimate fave because I'm a child of the 80's. Well-----sort of.

 I mean I was born in the 70's but have no recollection of that bad ass decade... so..the 80's. 
 Know what I'm sayin?!

 Those jelly shoes were to die for. Those glitter bracelets? I had 100.

My Confetti Clutch PDF pattern was inspired by my love of jelly too.  ;)

Anywho, I searched for a clear tutorial on making see-through vinyl cases but everything I found had the wrong side of the fabric showing on the inside. So here's my rendition with the pretty fabric on both sides.

It's been done before I'm sure--so please don't get your knickers in a bunch over this. Just sayin'.  After the whole MQG hoopla on "derivatives" I'm just OVER drama.   #don'tcare  #doyourthang

Put your Crayons in there, your tape, washi tape, stickers, zippers, lady things, markers, whatever.

 You're the boss! Like Tony Danza. 

Pink hair dye.
Sewing trinkets.
It all goes.

Yes I bought pre-sharpened pencils for three times the price for my kids.
I just
sharpening ten trillion pencils.

It will make you crazy, guaranteed.

UNlike my tutorial, which is written in ultra clear mode.

(I hope/wish/crossing fingers....)

If you have trouble just IG me! I'll answer as quickly as possible. 
Unless I'm eating Doritos while watching the Olympics, because that has me in a trance! Those athletes are amazing, just draw dropping every single one. 

OK! Let's do this.


20 gauge vinyl (available online here or at your local craft shop in a giant roll). If in doubt, ask. It's usually by the table cloth vinyl section in fabric stores. 
Leave it on the roll--it will wrinkle easily, so store it on the roll until ready to sew.  Get a half yard to play with.

Teflon sewing foot (also called nonstick foot). OR Put scotch tape (cello tape) on the bottom of your regular sewing machine foot so it will slide over the vinyl.  

Zipper Sewing foot - skinny to help sew zipper on.

Fat quarter or remnant of fabric + interfacing scraps. I like SF101 or Craft Fuse by Pellon.

Zipper- 10" or larger we will trim to size. Don't freak out if you have a 9" zipper-just make the zipper tabs bigger. No biggie.  

Scraps for zipper tabs 2 pieces at 2" x 3" approx

Wonder clips or clothes pegs

Cut & Prep:

2 pieces of Vinyl: cut at 7 1/2" (tall) x 12 1/2" (wide)

2 pieces of Fabric: 6" x 12 1/2"

2 pieces of Interfacing: 3" x 12 1/2"  

You have 2 zipper tabs at 2" x 3"

Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric pieces now.


1. Sew vinyl to fabric along 12 1/2" edge, right sides together.

Put on your vinyl-seeing goggles for this photo:
Like SuperMan/Woman.

Close up 

2. Press fabric and seam allowance up, away from the vinyl. Top stitch, catching the seam allowance that is tucked behind the fabric.

......two rows of top stitching because that's what Bey would do ok? 

3. Fold the top raw edge of the fabric in 1/4" and press. Repeat these steps to make the second side of the bag.

 Arrow is pointing to the top edge that we folded down a quarter inch.

Fold down the top edge to meet with the seam allowance, like photos show. Pin in place and carefully sew along this edge, catching both sides. 

I put several photos of this step so you get me. ;)

4. Make zipper tabs for the ends of zipper.
Fold 2" x 3" fabric in half and press. Open, then fold ends back in to meet at the original pressed line. Press again. Fold again so it is now like a taco, and fit the end of the zipper inside. Stitch along these folded edges, catching both sides. Trim.

5. Attach zipper to sides.
Place zipper right side down on top of side panel.

 Pin in place and switch to the zipper foot for your sewing machine. Sew along this edge at 1/4" seam allowance.

Fold zipper away, finger press. If you choose to, top stitch along long edge catching seam allowance. 

6. Place remaining side panel on work surface. Lay zipper side panel on top, right sides together. Match the remaining free edge of zipper to top raw edge of panel. Pin in place and sew along zipper tape 1/4" seam allowance..

7. Lay piece flat and press both sides away from zipper. Top stitch if you haven't already. 

UNZIP the zipper.

Unzip the zipper. Don't make yourself unduly crazy by skipping that bit.

8. Place right sides together and wonder clip all around.
You have your zipper unzipped right?

Sew all around perimeter. (Dashed lines.)

9. Trim corners if you like, and trim seam allowance if you have HUGE ones. Sometimes I space out and do giant seam allowances (like one sews in garment sewing) --- so here's a reminder in case you're like me ..  LOL!

Turn right sides out, carefully. It will be sticky-ish and crinkly at first, but the vinyl will smooth everything out once warmed --so pOp it in some sunshine and watch it magically look fantastic again.

Yay it's done!

Time to fill it with pretty stuff. Just because.

I'm thinking Simone could totally use one for all her medals. . .

What do you think?

She needs to organize them, am I right?! 

Or I could make an XL large one for Queen Bey and her grammy collection. 

This tutorial works for any size- just make the measurements bigger or smaller to suite. 


Happy Sewing friends! Tag me if you make some bags, I'd love to see them!