My Owl Family


I’ve been wanting to try my hand at doing a simple appliqué.  So I did….the result you see is above.  I think it looks pretty darn good other than in the pic on the right, I didn’t stay inside the circle far enough and so I barely caught the edge.  Now I’m itching to do something a tad more complicated.  Now I really wish I had an embroidery machine!

Now that I have ONE appliqué under my belt, I thought I would try it out on a real project.  Please excuse my hands in the picture and if you look close enough you’ll see powder residue.  I wear latex gloves when gluing cause I don’t like getting the glue on my fingers.  Please pardon any glue on the frame.   I’ve wiped it off since taking these pics.  So..there you see, my appliqué!!

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The next little item I put together was a zippered pouch!  Zippered pouches are like a love hate relationship.  I love them but hate the zipper part.  I’ve tried numerous ways to install the zipper ends, and no matter what I try my end result NEVER ends up looking like the tutorial I used.

Case in point.

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I used the Sew Minty: A Zipper Pouch Tutorial.  I followed the directions to the letter.  See those ends…I love that look very neat, not puckered..good job.

Mine…..not so good.


If you enlarge the picture, you can see the right side, where the zipper pulley is, is all puckered.  I even went back in and tried to do anything to ease the pucker.  I didn’t spend the time in setting up theses pics, so I apologize.

Overall, I like the pouch because I love the fabric and the construction of the pouch is really good.  I’m just not happy with the zipper.  Practice Practice Practice, is what I need to do.  🙂 In trying to make accessories for my owl bag, I added the antique brass swivel clip to match the bag I made yesterday! 🙂

There you have it…I used up the owl material.  I was able to salvage a few more round appliqués that I can use on other projects.  Now all I have to do is decide….what’s next?  🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Ali 🙂


Lovely Owls

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WOW!  That’s the word I come up with when I finished this bag.  I simply love this bag!  I find that the more I make bags, the more I seek out patterns that challenge me or have a unique feature.  I love the outside front pocket.  But before I gush more about this bag, the designer is Swoon Patterns.  I love their patterns.  This is the second one I have made.  The first one was, if you remember, the Ethel bag.  I made that one for my mother and she loved it and uses it for her church books.

This pattern is from their vintage collection and its called the Donna.


I had the owl and green fabric and was trying to find the right project and when I came across the Donna I knew it was the one! The green material is a mix of poly and cotton and is heavier than the owl quilters cotton material.  I just knew I didn’t want to hide the owl material inside the bag for the lining, so I opted for a mixture of the two!  I think what really nails this bag is the hot pink piping!  When you think about adding hot pink to green it kinda sounds off the wall, but it so works!

The original length of top handles were too short for my liking, so I added a few inches and made them a tad longer!  Also, in the instructions I added what was called a zipper end.  It’s the tab that the swivel clip is attached to.  I thought it was going to cover the zipper end.  Makes sense…right?  However, after the installation and sewing of the zipper end the instructions never mentioned what to do with or what the function was.  I thought that was kinda odd and it’s not in the picture above that shows the Donna Bag.


The only thing I wish I would have done and will be doing on the next bag and that is getting a zipper with a bigger pulley.  I didn’t think when I bought this one and it’s a bit small for the purpose.

So…at the end, when I was doing the handles over, It came to me…why not make an adjustable strap!  One that could be a cross-over strap!  DANG!!  I already had the tab to attach the swivel clips and I was lucky enough to have a slider in my hardware bucket, but unfortunately not an antique brass one.  I hope no one notices!  🙂

I was hoping to have enough material left over to make a second one just like it, but because of the remake of the handles and the addition of the adjustable strap, I do not. 😦

BUT…I have enough to make a sweet little framed coin purse and maybe even a small clutch/wallet.  It will be my little owl family! 🙂

I also have the Mabel which is another Swoon pattern that I’m dying to make!

Thanks for stopping by!

Ali 🙂


What is it about creating items with your two hands that gives you such pleasure??  For me its a personal sense of accomplishment especially if the project was difficult.  Creating gifts for friends or family brings such inner joy to me that there really are no words to express how it makes me feel.  Even a simple project that takes only a few hours to complete is very gratifying.

I just finished making my granddaughter’s birthday gift.

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These two pics show the project in progress.  I made this from a pattern by Made By Rae.  In her instructions she did say she used canvas cotton which is a bit sturdier. I on the other had used quilters cotton but added a heavy interfacing as per the suggestion.  However, once the bag was completed…and I do mean completed (without the lining), it didn’t stand like a backpack does…SO… my crazy thought was to add Peltex 71F.  I was hoping and praying it would work without ruining the fabric or having any complications, and I figured the lining would of course hide it.  My crazy idea paid off!  It took extremely high heat on the iron and a cotton cloth I used in between the fabric and the hot iron. It also took TIME…I had to make sure the entire front and back piece adhered to the fabric because a six year old was going to be using it.


Here are the pics from the completed project.  It stands up nicely and has a cute hot pink lining.  Of course I had to add the zipper pulley with her name “Marley Marz”  Marz is not her last name, it’s a nickname.  She once did a impromptu rap about pickles so she was dubbed Marley Marz.  Cutest darn rap about pickles I had ever heard!  It was recorded and uploaded on to social media. I am sure one day her parents will pull it out and show it to her. 🙂

I’m hoping to deliver the birthday present over Mother’s day weekend!!  She doesn’t know she’s getting it.IMG_0697

This is Marley.  Her brother Nicho is also a cutie pie.  His birthday is in August.  So I have a little bit of time and planning for his present.

Thanks for stopping by

Ali 🙂

Design Challenge Final…and more

Yesterday was a lot of little successes for me!  I’ve nearly been out of work for 6 months and I’ve been doing A LOT of praying these past weeks. Yesterday was a bonanza for me.  It started out on Monday. I applied for a couple of jobs the week earlier and on Monday I got not one but TWO calls for interviews to happen on Thursday.  The first was a phone interview at 9am and the second an interview locally at 4pm.  To make a long story short.  I nailed both of them and would really like to get a job offer from the second place I interviewed for.  But here’s the kicker….on my way to the interview I got a phone call from ANOTHER potential employer asking for an interview!!  That one is scheduled for Wednesday.

Here’s the other success.  In working on my design challenge I though I would need a bit more of a challenge so I decided to use screw-in grommets on my bag.  The reason is…the only grommets that I can get my hands on locally to use with my tool is silver (a dull silver) and gold..which I’m not found of.  I wanted antique brass looking ones.  Well….after two trips to the fabric store to get some advice on the screw-in grommets and purchase swivel clips with D rings (here’s a funny…those swivel clips and D rings are marketed as Dog Leash Clasps but are in the purse making supply isle!)  I was able to slowly and methodically get those babies in!

As you can see from the pictures, there is some tiny fragments of material left over that is visual to the eye.  I’m okay with this only because they were my first set.  The first one was hard as heck but by the time I got to the fourth one I was nearly a pro!  I need to invest in a small pair of scissors for this purpose. I was using my material cutting out scissors.  Too big for the job at hand.

And the last success…I finished the bag!  I put the finishing touches on the bag this morning making the handles and sewing them onto the D rings.  I wanted a rounded corded handle and was in the process of making one using a tutorial I had found but in my haste to get the bag completed I didn’t realize that the handle was to be sewn in.  I know this is not an issue, but I didn’t account for that and therefore the handles would have been too short.  But..nothing get tossed here.  I will use those rounded handles on another bag!

The glass beads on the front of the bag was a spur of the moment kind of thing.  It shows a bow, but I really didn’t want to make it look to frilly so I pulled out my tool box that is full of jewelry making supplies ( I use to make jewelry..lost the passion for it).  Found the glass beads …and there you have it.  I also didn’t add any zippered pockets or magnetic snap to this bag because I wan’t quite sure how it would turn out.  BUT…my mind is now racing with ideas of fabric and zippered pockets!  I think putting a zippered pocket on the back would be a great addition!  OH..and one inside as well!

I was going to post this without any pictures…but I think that would be cruel…good joke…but cruel!  LOL

Oops…left this one out…..I found more of that bird material at the fabric store!  I was ecstatic!  Nearly missed it because it was almost gone so it was squished between two larger bolts!

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My next project is a back pack for my granddaughter Marley!

Thanks for stopping by!

Ali 🙂



I can honestly say this bag is very disappointing.  Where do I start telling you all the things that is wrong with this one.  Let’s start by telling you what’s awesome.

First, I love the print!  Fell in love with it when I saw it at the fabric store but now totally wasted on this bag that I will never make again.  Second, the roominess inside the bag is great.  The name of this bag is Off to the Market bag and I can see why, because you could literally take this bag to your Farmers Market and use it for all your needs.

Third and last, the actual shape is great!  I changed only one thing and that is the handles.  It asked for wooden handles, but I made fabric handles.  I can only imagine what turning it would have been like had there been wooden handles to deal with as well.

Now…let’s discuss what’s wrong with it.

The designer requested the use of 70F Peltex stable interfacing. If you’ve ever used it, it is really sturdy, like hard cardboard.  I used 71F.  The only difference is one is sewn-in and mine is fused.  Now I use 72F for all  my hard bottom bags which is why I was so taken back by the 70F in the materials listing for the outer portion of the bag.

This bag consists of five outer pieces. Front, back, two sides, and a bottom.  All of which has the 71F fused onto it.  Have you ever tried to sew two pieces of cardboard together. Well, sewing the bottom and two sides worked well but when I needed to add the front and back it was murder.  I think the designer had a commercial size sewing machine. Granted my machine is very old, but just trying to sew this thing up was so trying on my hands, I think I still have cramps from it.

So, the bag’s outer shell is constructed and now I have to add handles, the flap and the lining.  Not to difficult, but when sewing  around the top..again…the most painful process for not only my machine but my  hands as well.  And turning it was a complete JOKE.  The mere 3″ gap was clearly not big enough.  However, I don’t like giving up on projects, especially after I spend the entire day working on it.

I’d really love this bag and find it store worthy if I would of had a better machine I think.  My stitches are not consistent because of the sheer thickness of the bag. I can’t in good conscious sell this to anyone.  SO…this bag will find a home with someone who won’t care that my stitches are not up to my standards.

Also, that 71F peltex is not very forgiving when you are turning.  Like most fabric bags once you turn it you can smooth out any wrinkles with an iron. Not this stuff…there is no love in that stuff.  So the sides look really crinkly.  The bottom is even more crinkly. (Is that even a word..ha ha ha.  Yep! I just looked it up.) I also don’t have a small enough iron to get down the sides.  I may need to check into getting one of those.


So, I wanted to make this bag because I liked the look of it and IF I ever make this bag again, I will NOT use the 71F Peltex, maybe a heavy weight for the sides and main body and of course the 72F for the bottom but I fear it would take away from what the bag does so beautifully and that is stand up straight.

I’ve also seriously thought of having a beta testing group!  I would consider adding some friends to that group but too many times your friends don’t want to hurt your feelings.  Ha ha ha.  I have one that would not sugar coat it for me. Anyway, I’ll have to think more about the group cause I do feel that it would be helpful to me. So many of my “first-time” bags are not sale worthy for many reasons.  It’s the first one and I might have one to many flaws by my standards in the bag or it simply just doesn’t come out like I thought It would.  The beta testing group would get a bag (for free…did I mention that!) that I want feedback on.  Like durability, user friendly, possible improvements through the course of using it, etc.  This one definitely needs to find a home and I’m definitely going back to the fabric store and crossing my finger hoping they still have some of this fabric!!

Tomorrow….I am going to work on the design challenge bag that I posted about.  I just gotta pick out the fabrics…which is taking me too long to figure out. 😦

Thanks for stopping by

Ali 🙂

Design Challenge


Here is something that I have never done before.  I came across that bag in the picture on Pinterest and wanted to make it out of fabric.  It has 5 panels that make up the front and back and figured 2 coordinating main fabrics would be beautiful.  Now, here comes the problem.  Site after site there was just these pics of a process to put the bag together, no written instructions and clearly not a complete pic tutorial and the only pattern was all the pieces shrunk down onto an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper.

Lucky for me my boyfriend is very creative and artist in his own rights and has several drawing software programs on his computer.  I gave him the pic with the pieces and he was able to extract the images from the pic and size them to my dimensions that I wanted.  🙂  BUT..because I have never designed a pattern for actual sewing, some of my dimensions and such were off a bit.  While the images that he built matched together perfectly like a puzzle and exactly what I had asked him to do, when you finally sit down and try to sew it together the flaws in the design start shinning through.

So after picking out just those pieces that didn’t quite work together and manually re-adjusting them the project is coming along quite well. I’m happy to say that I only had to adjust two of the pieces so far and I’m nearly complete with the drafting project.  I cut out the five panels for the front and the body and top part of the lining for the back to see if the bag would come together.

Once I work out the kinks and pick out the fabric I am definitely going to make this bag.  My boyfriend wants to make the pattern in a pdf format and sell but I explained I wasn’t sure of the legality of that since it wasn’t our design in the first place.  Every site I went to when looking for this bag was a blog of someone who just posted the pics as a tutorial.  I have no idea who made this bag originally but its a great looking bag and I may even make it out of some old jeans that I find at the local thrift store.

I will post the finished project here. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by


Sports Bags & Backpacks

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These are just two of the projects that I have accomplished over the weekend.  I made the Seattle Seahawks sports bag/backpack for my oldest daughter who is a huge fan of the team. (My favorite is the Green Bay Packers)  Her birthday is right around the corner and she asked for anything that had to do with the Seahawks!  Wish Granted. 🙂

The Avenger themed drawstring bag was supposed to be in similar nature to the other bag.  The ability to wear it like a backpack but alas, I cut the cording too short so now its a drawstring bag that still has many uses.  The reason the title of this posting is Sport Bags and Backpacks is because what defines each?  When talking with my daughter I told her I was working on her “Backpack”.  She responded “SWEET! The kind with pockets and zippers?”  “No, the kind you just fling over your shoulders”.  “Oh mom..that’s a sports bag!” hmmmm…ok.

I thought anything you fling over both shoulders would be considered a backpack of sorts.  So when I told her I wanted to make my granddaughter a “backpack” for her birthday, which is right around the corner, my daughter said, “can it be a backpack and not a sports bag?”  I was hoping to keep it simple but before I could answer her she said, “that way I won’t have to buy her one for school.”  OH I see.  Smart move on my daughters part cause no grandmother could say no to that! 🙂

So I am on the hunt for a backpack that has all the necessary bells and whistles that a soon to be little 6-yr old girl may need.  I’ve been pinning a lot of ideas on Pinterest and sending them to my daughter for her approval.  I’ve not made an actual backpack before but I am definitely up to the challenge.  Now if I can find one that we can agree on life would be grand! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by

Ali 🙂

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