All About Tote!


This screams…where is the beach!!

Yesterday I was in a fog with my cold and my day didn’t start off well due to a stubborn zipper. I did however end the day on a good note.  I recently scored some really cute summer type fabric at the local thrift store and thought it would be a cute tote for the beach. I had previously made this tote and called it the “Busy Mommy” tote because of the sticky notes theme of the fabric.  The pattern I used for both projects was the Summer Fun Tote.  I have more than enough fabric to make a second one then I’ll have to decide what to do with the leftovers. 🙂

Today I spent the entire day, after some running around doing my errands, working on my Cabôtin Tote by designer Sacotin.  I really like this bag and can see huge potential for showcasing a print or appliqué on the front of the bag.  Of course this is what the designer intended and I love the fact that there is a partitioned pocket and a zippered pocket!  I think zippers are still my weak point.  The next time I make this one I will sew in a bag bottom before finishing up the sides.  There are so many things I love about this bag. The contrasting brown color is a nice detail but I think next time I will use faux leather.

IMG_1176 IMG_1178 IMG_1179

I can’t wait to see what I’ll whip up tomorrow!!

Thanks for stopping by

Ali 🙂


Under the weather….

I recently received my shipment of 100 zippers from Ebay and I wanted to find projects that I could sew using them.  To my chagrin the zippers consisted of 7″ and 8″ in length and and a spattering of 5″ and 6″.  Because it was a grab bag I didn’t get the choice.  I am certain I will be able to find projects but was hoping for longer ones.




Pleated Pouch

Upon searching my pins over at Pinterest I found that I either needed a longer zipper or the project was suitable for the zipper sizes I had but wasn’t a wristlet which is what I wanted to make. SO …I combined two into one.  I used the pleated pouch by Skip to my Lou because it had the zipper size I wanted and of course I love the pleats.  I combined that with the wristlet tutorial from Imaging Fabric.

The pleated pouch had no interfacing used at all and I wanted a little wristlet that had some substance to it so I used fusible fleece.  The wristlet of course was the wrong size of zipper and I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to things like this and I am sure there is another more advanced seamstress that could have easily changed the wristlet project to the zipper size on hand.

So here is the rest of the story…… 🙂  I have a cold and maybe that’s why I made a few boo boo’s on this one. IMG_1169IMG_1170 One side of the zipper is on top of the lining whereas the other side was done correctly. 😦  I also had to pick this project out more than once because I just couldn’t get the zipper to look right for the finished project.  While I like the wristlet idea I need to find a better way of attaching it to the swivel clip.  I don’t like how the unfinished edge is peeking out from the finished edge.  It looks good but for this to be store quality I need to find a different method.  All in all I really like the Wristlet Pleated Pouch and I’m sure one member of my family will enjoy it and not care that the zipper is in wrong.  🙂  SO..we will just blame it on my cold and the fog I’m in today.

I’m also trying to use up all of my extra fabric with these small projects and have made a goal NOT TO BUY anymore fabric until I’ve used it up.  Thank goodness I am not a quilter and have boxes and boxes full of scraps!  Then again…if I were I could easily use up my scraps.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by

Ali 🙂

Progress requires decisions

I am so very close to getting my Etsy store up and running. I don’t have a lot of products to post in the store, meaning not an over abundance of one or two types of purses but I think I need to know how it will be accepted within the Etsy buyer community.  My hurtle right now is which purses I should focus on for the store.  I don’t want to overwhelm myself by posting several different types and then not being able to keep up with the orders.  I know that it will go slow at first unless I’m lucky enough like my step-daughter who got 150 orders for her decals within the first hour!  She had over 4,000 followers over on her Instagram account and when she posted that she was offering these cute little breastfeeding decals for the back of phones it was crazy!  She’s been very successful after that offering onesies and other items all based around mothers who breastfeed.

I know that the purses will need to be fairly easy to make using beautiful fabrics that will inspire people to buy.  My choices right now are the Phoebe bag, the Buttercup bag both in the small version and large version.

I want to make accessories to go along with those purses, so my choices are the wallet I’ve made twice now and I want to make coin purses. Coin purse I just love those little coin purses.  Brings back many memories of my grandma bringing hers out when I would ask for a nickel for the gum machine! 🙂

I would also like to offer items for kids. I know my grandkids just love getting their own little purses, totes, backpacks, and messenger bags. This will need to come after the store is open.  I just can’t anticipate what will sell and what won’t.  Every time I start to think about this topic my ideas just explode out of control and then I have to reel myself in and set one or two goals and shoot to complete them.  I simply enjoy sewing and creating.  I look at fabrics and even clothes at thrift stores differently.  I recently bought a wool skirt that I am going to repurpose into a purse called the Sweetheart bag.

I shop at Ebay often, looking at fabrics especially ones from Japan and searching for purse supplies that I can pick up at a very low cost.  I recently scored on 100 zippers for $0.16 each!  It was a grab bag but all are new and come in a variety of sizes and colors!

Moving forward which is always good.  There are a lot of things that need to take place prior to opening.  My very creative boyfriend is currently working on my logo and I would like to purchase custom labels that will be sewn into each bag.  I’ve looked at so many sites that offer labels I think I have gone label crazy cause they all offer good prices and quality products.

I am sure whatever plans I put in place will more than likely change or evolve once I get the store running.

Thanks for stopping by


Among distractions….

There were a few distractions these past three days. My three grandsons ages, 4, 6 and 10 had a sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa.  I am a bit amazed I was able to still get 4 projects done.  The first being the One Hour Bag. It really only took one hour but I have some reservations about it.  I prefer totes to be a bit more sturdy.  This one used soft and stable or a suitable replacement for that was fusible fleece which I had on hand.  It was applied to the lining, not the body of the bag which I thought was a bit off. The bag is very soft and the good points is that it does have a handle long enough to be a cross-over bag. If you can’t tell, I haven’t quite finished this one yet because I didn’t like the way the handles were attached so I will be getting a couple D rings and to securing them in a different fashion.

IMG_1151Fabrics used came from Joann Fabrics,

Main – Sorry no longer available at Joann Fabrics. 😦

Lining – Keepsake Calico Fabric Etchings Butterflies Pink

I take really bad photos!  Sorry about the shadow.

IMG_1155The other two projects go hand in hand because I made a Phoebe bag and another wallet to match.  Love the Phoebe bag was very simple and easy to make. No changes necessary. Although would love to add a zippered pocket to the inside rather than just an open pocket.  The wallet is also getting easier to make but still a bugger to turn!!

Both of these fabrics were once again found at JF (Joann Fabrics).  The main fabric was a remnant.

Lining – Keepsake Calico Fabric Blue Picked Floral

I used the same fabrics on the wallet.

The last project was a reversible messenger bag.  This one has no interfacing in it at all and would be great for kids!  All fabric was found at local thrift stores.

I have three more projects waiting.  Two buttercup bags and a new tote I just found.Cabotin Bag

Thanks for stopping by


Summer Fun Tote Bag

Yesterday was not a very productive day since I spent the better part of it doing those weekly chores/errands that I seem to put off until the last minute.  BUT…I was able to complete at least one project.  I found the Summer Fun Tote Bag over at  If you have never been over at the site it is a MUST see!  I downloaded 11 patterns all FREE in a matter of minutes.  The patterns are great the site is full of crafty stuff.  Ha ha ha.

My project consisted of two fat quarters for the main fabric and one for the contrasting.  However, I had to piece together both the main and contrasting fabric to get the two handles for this tote.  All of the fabrics used on this project was purchased over at Joann’s Fabrics.  I was in the store today and couldn’t find any more of the two fabrics I used nor was it on their website.  However, I did find some over at the local Craft Warehouse but again it was on the discontinued table.

Busy Mommy

“Busy Mommy”

I would not suggest using fat quarters unless you have more than what I had on hand.  I have been looking for a bag to make with the fat quarters that I bought months ago because I loved the colors and the fact that it looked like sticky notes a mom would leave around the house.  Hence, I call this tote the “Busy Mommy” tote.

I really like how big the interior of this tote is and I could have easily added some pockets.

Today I have been spending the entire day cutting out patterns that I will be sewing over the weekend. I have found that If I prep one day and sew the next I seem to get more done and I feel that I have accomplished something.  I was also invited to attend an Astrological convention as a vendor to sell my purses!!  It would be my first one and I got the 411 from the lady who has put this convention on for the past 30 years!!  She has several vendors who come each year and the participants who paid to come to this convention enjoy having “shopping time” between their seminars.  Interesting but different!  If I choose to participate I better kick production up a bit!  🙂

Thanks for stopping by


Easy Peasy

After spending the weekend with my kids and grandkids I am back at it. Sewing, making, pinning.  Pinterest is such an addiction sometimes!!  I get to looking for something and find so many items that I can’t stop!  🙂


Canvans Red – Original size

I sewed two Buttercup purses today and made two fabric flowers to adorn them!  The flowers nearly took me as long as the purses because I have never done one before.


Larger size

I like working with the larger version because it’s much easier to maneuver around. The larger version also has an inside pocket.  I could add one to the smaller version but have decided against it.

Side by Side comparison

Side by Side comparison

Sorry about the background.  I’m thinking of adding more pleats to the larger one. It has five just like the small version but I like the look of them being closer together.  Then again, I could have placed them wrong.   Wouldn’t be the first time. 🙂

I was also turned onto Ebay recently.  Yes, I was aware of it and had shopped on it before but YEARS ago.  I just never thought of looking there for purse making supplies!  What a bounty!  I want to keep the price tag of making my purses, totes and bags at a minimum but when purchasing handles for purses instead of making fabric ones they can be kinda spendy…around $6 each!  I found a huge lot of handles being sold along with magnetic snaps and a couple of D rings but what I really wanted was the handles.  I can say I was the successful bidder on the lot and spent just under $30 including shipping for over 15 handles that’s only $2 each!

Now I’m on the look-out for purse frames.  I want to try my hand at making some coin purses!  I can find them fairly inexpensive over in China and it says the shipping is very low which makes me kinda wonder but if it holds true I can get them for under $2 each.  Locally at the fabric store they are $5 each and they are the ONLY retail/craft store that sells them.

Kanzashi Flower

Kanzashi Flower

Has anyone heard of Kanzashi Flower?  It’s absolutely beautiful!  I’ve seen several tutorials on how to make one, most of them long hand.  Then I came across one where you buy a Kanzashi flower tool….sold at Joann Fabrics!  I was wondering if anyone has made them with or without the plastic guide tool?  What was your take? Would love to know before I go out a buy one.  Although the tool right now is on sale for 40% off, so just under $4.  The tutorial that uses the guide tool is over at A Pumpkin and A Princess.

Not sure what project I will work on tomorrow…but if I’m brave I could try my hand at that Dotted Dream purse tutorial!

Thanks for stopping by


Quick Post

I am headed out the door to go to Washington state to see my daughter and daughter-in-law and my grand babies!  I am very excited.


Anchor Purse

I made a second Buttercup bag this time with Blue Navy anchor print. I got it from Joann’s in the remnant section.  The lining was purchased at Craft warehouse and was also a discontinued fabric.  This one is so cute with it’s mock button closure!

IMG_1098I also made another fat quarter purse with bamboo handles but with the corduroy material that was left over from the first Buttercup bag.

Both of these projects were done in one day and a short day to boot!  I had an interview for a job earlier that morning.

In the voice of Arnold…”I’ll be back” Have a great weekend!


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