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Friday, May 11, 2012

Heirloom Sewing - Christening Gown

Hi everyone! I've not posted much because I haven't been sewing much. But I'm starting to get the bug again. I still have the purse I started at Christmas time where I was going to make a series of videos, so I think I need to wrap that up. So that is coming up soon, and alongside that I really want to make this christening gown.

My grand baby is due on June 3rd. We're past the shower and my daughter is all ready for her little bundle to arrive (little does she know what it will really be like, she *thinks* she's ready).

Anyway, I'm considering making the christening gown and I just love the one pictured to the left. I found it on Ginger Snaps Designs website. It's going to be quite a challenge and I think I'm up for it.

Some of the skills I'll have to learn include:

  • tucks or pintucks
  • working with lace
  • working with fine fabric
I'll keep you updated, at this point I need to get the pattern, fabric, lace and ribbon ordered and purchased. Once I get everything I'll post pics, I'm even considering a video.

Oh, one more thing, check out some of these finished christening gowns on the Ginger Snaps website, they are absolutely beautiful.  Ginger Snaps Christening Gown Trunk Show

Until next time,


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Sunday, April 29, 2012

What A Beautiful Diaper Cake!

Hi everyone! I know it's been a while since I posted, I guess I just needed a break as it's not just that I didn't post, I also haven't done anything creative to post about. That is until now. It's not sewing but it was fun none the less.

We had a shower yesterday for my oldest daughter Stephanie and I just wanted to show you the diaper cake I made for the shower. It turned out gorgeous and it's was a hit at the shower.

Since this isn't something I do everyday, I searched the internet for inspiration and instructions. There were so many different ways to make a diaper cake so my first problem was to decide which method I would use. I finally decided on what I call the "swirl" method and I found the instructions on YouTube. The video provided by Becca at Diaper Cakes by Becca ( on YouTube at this link - Diaper Cake Video was perfect to get me going.

Below are a few pics from my assembly. The most genius thing (at least I think so) was how I put the words "BABY" on the cake. I hot glued a long pin to the back of the letter, the pin was on of the long ones with the yellow flower on top. Then I just stuck it into the diapers. Lastly, to keep the baby angel on top, I used (again) long pins. I didn't use hot glue anywhere that would touch the diapers but I did glue the bows and duckies to the green silk leaves so they would stay in place.

Oh also, the base is just a thick foam core board I bought at Michaels. Then I wrapped it in some cute wrapping paper. It was the perfect size. I first thought I would buy a cake base but none of them were big enough, I think this is cuter anyway.

I know this isn't a complete tutorial but I wasn't thinking to take pics. Go to Becca's YouTube vid to get details. 

Layer 1 held together with scrap ribbon



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Monday, January 16, 2012

Changing My Strategy - Not Just Purses Any More

I'm not sure if you noticed last week but I didn't send out my normal weekly recap. Reason is, there were no posts during the prior week. My mother-in-law was visiting and I preferred to spend time with her to writing on my blog. Plus my youngest daughter was getting ready to leave for Europe and since she is living with us, helping her get ready to go was quite time-consuming as well.

However, grandma and daughter both left on Sunday January 8th and I still haven't sat down to write a post until today. Instead I've been exploring and analyzing how I want to earn a living for the rest of my life. I decided the new year is a time of renewal and as good a time as any to reflect my circumstances and make decisions for moving forward.

I found this wonderful blog called written by Jennifer Gresham and she writes about finding what you love to do and changing your career to match. By following links on her site, I found myself at her website called and it just so happened that she was opening her training program the day I found the website. So, after watching her video, I decided to join.

I love Jen's enthusiasm for her work and listening to her history was very interesting. The method she uses to help people find careers they love made total sense to me, and after being a member for less than a week, I am not disappointed. Right now I'm learning how to find the crossroads of what makes me proud, my core values, and what motivates me. Quite an enlightening process.

Anyway, this whole process got me looking at what I'm currently doing. I work a 40-45 hour week as an Accounts Payable Supervisor, my department pays the bills for my company which is an oilfield services company. It's quite a good job, I am well paid, work with smart intelligent people, have a great boss that trusts me to run my department, I have input, and my employees are the best. At night and on weekends I like to sew, surf the internet, get things done around the house, hang with my hubby, and relax. For the last 6 or 7 months I've been working on turning my sewing hobby into a business, trying to figure out how to make money with sewing. I kind of thought I might do training videos to sell.

Well, after taking a good hard look at what I've been trying to do with this blog and my hobby of sewing, I've come to the conclusion that it's not really right for me. I love to sew but I'm trying to turn that into a job. I've been working really hard to find things to post about and cranking out projects so I can get experience with setting things up to sell. Quite honestly, turning a hobby that you love into a way to make money isn't as easy as it looks. It kind of takes the joy out of the hobby and to me that's just a little tragic.

You see, everything I've learned about selling on the internet says to focus, focus, focus. Find a niche and narrow it as much as possible. So, since sewing is such a huge area, I decided to choose one item I like making and focus on that, purses and handbags. Well, in my zeal to create handbags for the website, I'm neglecting all the other things I want to sew. My daughter recently told us she's going to have a baby and I'd love to make the christening gown. That's a whole different set of skills with smocking and heirloom sewing techniques. I'd love to make a few dresses for my youngest daughter. I've seen some really nice patterns that I'd love to try but when would I have the time?  You see, there's just more to what I like to do than just making purses.

So after deep reflection, I've decided to not turn my sewing hobby into a business. I've also decided that trying to make posts here on this blog just so there will be something to send in the weekly email is not something I will continue to do. That being said, I will however, continue to keep the blog and the list. I will post when I think there's something that will interest my audience, but that may only be every other week, or once a month, or maybe twice in one week, it will depend on what I'm working on. The recap will go out on the Tuesday after there is a post, but that may not be every week. You may also see me post about things other than purses, I may decide to post about other projects I'm working on at the time. I will keep the Molly Handbag Pattern available for download exactly as it is now where anyone who wants it will need to add their email to my mailing list because, who knows, I might change my mind later. Please feel free to unsubscribe at any time if this new strategy does not meet your needs and desires.

Lastly, I want to mention that I will continue to find a way to make a living on the internet. I want to create a way to earn money aside from my job so that I can fund our retirement and maybe have a business that will help support us for the rest of our lives. I'm leaning toward something in the internet marketing realm, I have a lot of training in this field and just need to find a proper way to present my knowledge. I will post here to let you know what I decide to do and if you want to follow me in that endeavor I'll share the info with you.

Thanks to everyone who follows my blog. Like I said above, I'm not going anywhere, I'm just changing how I'm going to do things. If you want to share any of your sewing projects with me, or if you have made the Molly Handbag, please send me a pic or link to your blog and I'll post it. I love seeing what others are doing.

Until next time,


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Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm In The Movies! Intro Video: How To Make A Purse Using Simplicity 2685

Well, I got the first video done! It's live on YouTube!

It was much harder than I thought it would be. I thought I could just "wing it" with the intro but after about 15 takes I ended up writing a script and even making a cue card of sorts. It's going to take some time to get used to being in front of the camera, but I think I'll get there (probably with every pound I lose I'll get more and more comfortable!).

I needed video editing software that wasn't too expensive so I searched Google and found It's only $29.95 for 1 year or $59.95 for unlimited lifetime. I chose the lifetime since I plan on doing this for a while. The software is very comprehensive for the small amount you pay. I was able to do lay-overs, text, and transitions, and you can add audio overlay too. I imagine if I want to get "really" in to video editing I would need more but this will do me for now. Oh, and with the unlimited subscription you can download all their software. In addition to the video editing software, yesterday I used their video file format changer. It worked great to change my MP4 to a WMV. If you need a good, but inexpensive video editing program that's easy to use, give it a try. Below is the link, I signed up for the affiliate program but don't have the link yet - when I get it - I will change the link to be my affiliate link.

Anyway, here's my debut...

I'm going to try to get the next video done tomorrow, maybe edited too. I'll post if I do. I tried today but I'm using a Flip Video and it ran out of juice. It takes 3 hours to charge and I ran out of light. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

In the next video I'm going to cover how to cut out the fabric. My fabric has a design that needs to match at the seams so I'm going to cover that as well.

Please let me know what you think...I can take it. Critiques make my products better. Oh, and I know this one is a bit boring, I'm sure I'll get better with time (and weight loss!).

Looking forward to hearing from you - until later ~


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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mod Metrics Result In Cute Purse

I made a trip out to Hancock Fabrics today to see what's new. I ended up shopping their marked-down upholstery fabric as they really had a nice selection. I could have bought enough fabric for five or six purses because there was so much cute stuff and I was only looking at the marked-down items.

I ended up getting the cute mod geometric fabric in the picture for $7 a yard, yeah, I said $7! And it's 60" wide too! I found the cream fabric to match for $5 a yard. There was only one yard but hey, that's plenty. The other fabric is a quilting cotton for the lining, it was $4 something. And check out that cute button! It matches the feel of the fabric perfectly.

I was going to make an Amy Butler pattern but decided to take a look through the pattern books. They had McCalls patterns on sale for $1.99 but I didn't see anything I liked so I splurged on a Simplicity that wasn't on sale. I don't normally do that, I usually wait until they are on sale but I really wanted to get this started while I'm on vacation. The pattern I picked is Simplicity 2685 and I'm going to make View D. They show it made in only one fabric but I'm going to use a combination with the mod geometric pleated on the bottom and the cream on the straps and the band around the top. It's really going to be a cute one.

Today I tried talking in front of the video camera. It was quite shocking to see myself on camera. I'm definitely going to need to lose some weight in order to get comfortable. But who said I need to be comfortable? After adding make-up and about 15 tries, I think I got a good intro done. But it was still testing, I didn't know what to say so I didn't say anything right. but I think I got to the point where, if I prepare before turning on the camera, I could get out some instructions.

So, after talking it through with my hubby, and showing him my 'takes', I decided that I'm going to make this purse on video. I'm going to sew a little each day, not every day, but several days each week, and do a sew along on video. This will be my test run before I start making more professional sewing instruction videos to teach how to make purses and handbags using various patterns.

I'd love for you to follow along and make the purse with me. I'm not sure when I'll post the first video, I'm going to try to do some tomorrow but I'll need to edit the video and all. I'll post it as soon as I get something that you can follow and at that time I think I'll be able to post a schedule. Wish me luck! I'll let you know how I do tomorrow.

Also, I hope everyone had a blessed holiday and I'm really looking forward to this new year. I'm planning on growing this website with lots of info, video, and instruction and love that there are great people like you who follow along. I'd love for you to post below anything you want me to cover here or tell what you've enjoyed in the past.

Lastly, I want to share a great pic I took of my kitty. She really loved Christmas with all the paper, bags, and boxes on the floor. She just couldn't stay out of them. She's such a toot!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Until later ~


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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is finally here, well, is Christmas Eve but in our house we start Christmas in the evening of Christmas Eve.

Today will be a busy day. Our tradition is to have some kind of soup and appetizers for a late dinner. My poor hubby works for a large liquor store chain and they don't close their doors until 9:00 p.m. He left this morning at 8:00 a.m. and will be serving customers until they close their doors tonight, so we'll see him about 9:30. One of my daughters lives with us and she will be helping me today. The other, along with her hubby, will come over later, like 6 or 7 this evening.

Before we go anywhere to do some last minute shopping I want to make the soup. We chose Emeril's Tortilla Soup. It's a great recipe and will be delicious tonight. Brittany and I went to Whole Foods last night and picked up a ton of cheese and crackers. We also bought a wonderful baked brie that has cinnamon and walnut praline inside and is wrapped with pastry. We'll bake it tonight and serve it hot, it's sooooo good.

Tomorrow we're having Martha Stewart's Perfect Roast Chickens, another fabulous recipe. We're going to keep it simple with mashed potatoes for the gravy and fresh green beans. We have cheesecake for desert. And there's a ton of cookies, we have sugar, oatmeal, and we're baking some peanut butter today.

We're hoping to do a Skype video call with my hubby's family tonight if everything works out. Isn't it wonderful that families can share time face-to-face even when there's many miles between them. It's so cool.

Merry Christmas to all. And if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a Super Happy Holiday Season.

Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing,
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing,
Returns to you glad. 

- John Greenleaf Whittier

Until next time ~


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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Beautiful Diaper Bag - Finished!

I finally finished this beautiful diaper bag. It took so long because of my day job, I'm just too tired to work on it after I get home and get dinner done, but since I had yesterday and today as vacation days, I was able to just whipped it out.

I used McCalls M4403 as the base pattern but I made several changes. And I would have made more but I wanted to see how their instructions compared to how I would sew it.

First I eliminated the fold out palette, it was too small. I instead kept the flap and added a big pocket underneath. I also rolled the handles and made the shoulder strap adjustable and removable with hardware. I decided to not use Velcro on the pocket flap but instead used a magnetic snap. I also used woven interfacing on the lining which gives it a little more body.

The McCalls pattern was okay, here's what I liked and disliked:
  • LIKED - I liked McCalls instructions for constructing the bag and lining sides and bottom. 
  • HATED - I hated their instructions for the zipper, I ended up ripping it out and redoing my way. I started writing a post about it, I'll finish it and post it tomorrow. 
  • HATED - The instructions for the straps and handles definitely had you do it the hard way, not the way I would do it but I think I already talked about that in another post here.
  • LIKED - As for joining the lining and the outer bag, it was okay. That's always the hardest part of making a bag, but it turned out nice.
  • HATED - I think I kept myself awake last night trying to figure out how the instructions wanted me to join the lining and exterior, I just couldn't get it straight in my head while I was laying there in bed. But once I got the fabric in my hands again, I figured it out quickly. I really think the instructions could have been a lot more explicit.
  • HATED - The pattern had so many views and different things to sew it made for a ton of pattern pieces.  They mixed up the pieces too much, for example, they may have had five pieces I needed on one tissue and one on another tissue with seven pieces that I didn't need. It took me over an hour to separate the pieces I needed from the ones I didn't.
  • HATED - The view I was sewing (view D) was similar to another view (view C). The instructions were written for the other view with the pattern pieces for my view in parenthesis. Sometimes my pattern piece number wasn't referenced in parenthesis. It was confusing.

Anyway, here it is and it turned out beautifully. It's for a girl and my daughter wants it if we find out that she's having a girl. She goes for the ultrasound that tells the baby's gender next month. However, if my new grandbaby is a boy, I'm going to sell it on Etsy and make a new one.

If I end up making a new one, what changes would I make? Well...
  • My daughter wants a ruffle around the pocket flap on the front. She may change her mind if it's for a boy but we'll see.
  • I will add more fleece to the pocket flap. I used fleece on the exterior piece of fabric but medium weight woven on the lining. I think I'll use fleece on both to give it more stiffness as it's kind of curling out as is.
  • I'll add pockets on both sides inside, as well as elastic bands on the ends to hold bottles.
  • I might leave off the short handles, I think they get in the way.
  • I'll use my own technique for making the straps.
  • I'll just do things the way I want to do them and forget the instructions that came with the pattern!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Oh, also, here's a pic of painting last Tuesday! It was really fun! I'm the one in the back with my painting in front of my face. My oldest daughter, the one that's pregnant is on the far right. My youngest, the one that's going to Europe to play volleyball next month (going to miss her) is up front. I work with the lady in the blue and the one in the middle is my sister-in-law. Great fun, great peeps.

Until later ~


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