Projects stacking up!!

I need to stay away from the fabric store until I can get caught up on the projects I already have in my mind to do!

As I posted earlier, I had bought all the necessary items to make myself a summer dress….well…that is still sitting in my studio and I’ve added to it!

I picked up this material last summer and been dying to use it ever since.  I finally found the right project.


Its a sheer and I recently bought a red crepe material for the top and bought and downloaded this pattern.


I’ve never worked with Burda patterns before, especially the kind you print off yourself and tape together. That was a feat in itself!  My concern is, the measurements are just not coming out correctly. The largest size for this pattern is a 52. The hips for that size is 50.5″ but If I measure out the actual pattern it comes out to 57″ before taking into consideration the sewing allowance. (Which Burda does not include in these print-at-home patterns)  I was thinking I was going to need to grade up the pattern to accommodate my hip measurement of 52, but now I’m not so sure.  I know that I should probably buy some muslin and make at least the top to see how it will fit, but I think the crepe material is cheaper!  🙂  I’m also wondering if the Burda patterns run big.  I’m going to investigate this pattern a bit longer and maybe even ask some of the ladies over at Curvy Sewing Collective.  I’ve even watched several youtube videos on shirring!  I think before I do that with my main material, I’ll practice with some scraps.

So….onto the next projects.


These were on sale for $1.40 each!  I just had to get them!  I want to make ALL of them! So, it’s just a matter of doing it!

And…I just finished this!


I found this adorable material at the local thrift store and wanted to make a cute tote that could be used by a little girl who loves dance!  I made it look like I quilted the bag and upper band and embellished the tote with some cute ballerina themed buttons.

Looks like I have my projects lined up…I just gotta get on them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Ali 🙂


Dotted Dream Tutorial

Here it is….The Dotted Dream Tutorial


Prior to this go-round, I have made this purse 3 times.  Each time I make it, I improve it or at least I think it’s an improvement over the prior one.  There are a lot of pictures in this tutorial, and I hope that is ok.  I did it from my perspective; what would I want to see if I was reading or doing this tutorial.  Before I begin let me just say I have not followed the instructions to the letter.  I have also changed a few things from the original instruction sheet that you get when you print off the pattern.  Hopefully I will convey to the best of my ability how to make this purse.  NOTE:  Please read through the tutorial FIRST. It may give you a better understanding of where I’m going with some steps.

Items Needed

3 different pieces of material (see instruction sheet for quantity) – you could get away with two by using the same material for the upper body and handles for the lining. I wish I could give you links for the material used in this version, but most of my material I get comes from thrift stores or close-out items. I can tell you that the two main materials (not lining) came from Craft Warehouse.

  • 3/8″ ribbon ( I used 5/8″ for this version – Also see instruction sheet for quantity)
  • 2 pieces of felt 1.5″ square (this is used for the magnetic closure)

interfacing needed 

The interfacing’s are my suggestions.  And I’ll show you why.


The picture on the right was done with suggested interfacings.  The one on the left was done with Pellon 808 Craft Fuse and while it looks much better, I’m hoping that the Pelllon 809 will give it just a bit more stability.  Of course if your not using a lightweight cotton or quilters cotton for this tutorial then scale back on the interfacing if you choose to.  However, if you want a hard bottom for the bag, stick with my suggestion of the 72F Peltex.

And of course your basic supplies, scissors, coordinating thread, ruler, pencil (or any dress makers marker) I prefer pencils…and the reason why could be a whole different topic! And do I really need to list pins? 🙂  BTW..I hate pinning!

The purse pattern can be downloaded here.  My suggestion would be that you print out three (3) copies of the pattern pieces, and one (1) of the instruction sheet.  Because you have to cut it out, match up the symbols for the body, upper piece and handles which is incorporated all together.  You’ll understand what I mean after you see the pattern pieces.  When you’re done cutting and taping the pieces together, you should have a lining piece, a lower body piece, and upper body piece and a handle.

Top to bottom: Upper body, Lower body, Lining. Right side: handle

Top to bottom: Upper body, Lower body, Lining. Right side: handle

My color scheme

My color scheme

I realized that I didn’t show you my choices of colors for this version. Sheesh.

  • Pink paisley – Lining
  • Paris Blue – Lower Main Body
  • Blue Mix Colored Circles – Upper Main body and Handles
  • Brown ribbon – Accent

Per the instruction sheet, you are supposed to add 1cm (3/8″) to all sides of the patterns! YUCK. PISH POSH!  Of course, you can if you choose to, however I did not. BUT WAIT…I did add 3/8″ to two (2) of the pieces.  The Upper and Lower body pieces…had to…to match the lining. 🙂

I cut out the lining on the fold..of course using the full piece.


Yep..I turned it over so you could see the pretty pink color!

Its funny when you’re doing one of these….what pictures you missed getting.  😦

I just realized I need to show you where you’ll be adding the 3/8″ to the two (2) pieces.

See the red lines….Those are the edges that you will need to extend the pattern by 3/8″

Version 2

Ok..I now need to cut out the lower main body piece.  Place the piece on the fold and I pinned just the bottom of the lower main body piece to the material to secure it so I can add the 3/8″ Using my trusty ruler and pencil I made three markings along the top. (If you click on the picture it should blow it up so you can see the pencil mark)



Then draw a line across the top, connecting the marks you just made.  You  will have to do the same for the sides…drawing a line. (you’ll see the line going across the top, you need to connect it to the side.)


You’ll need to do the same for the upper body piece.  Here’s is a much better picture to give you a more detail.


Upper body Piece

Sometimes…for at least’s the smallest details that bog me down.  Now that you see what I’m trying to desperately explain..once you have extended both the upper and lower body pieces, you can finish pinning and cut those out.  Gosh I hope this is making sense.  You should have One (1) main lower body piece cut on the fold and two (2) upper body pieces.

Then the handles….those are easy peasy…Ok…Don’t have a picture for those…WEIRD! You should have only two (2) pieces for the handles.

Now for the interfacing.  Since we had to extend the lower and upper body pieces you have two choices. You can either repeat that same process with the interfacings OR you can use your newly cut out pieces. I’d go for the latter to save time.


Lower Main Body Piece

Next, toss one of the corners you cut out and the other one cut in half and make two (2) 1.5″ square.  We will use those later when attaching the magnetic closure.



Upper body main piece



Attach all the interfacings to their pieces according to the manufacturers instructions.  If, like me your interface pieces were just a tad bit bigger as you can see in the photo below just simply trim off any excess after you have attached it to the material.

Now the tedious part really begins.  If you want your purse to have a hard bottom (this part is not in the instructions.  The instructions says you can add a piece of hard cardboard AFTER you’ve finished the bag but before you sew up the lining..YIKES)

These are the following steps.  (If you want to see another version of this, the one I used is here.)

IMG_0353 (1)

Step One – Measuring

This is the Lower Main body piece.  You will measure the width across and the length shown with red lines.  My measurements came out to 3″ across and 10 3/4″ long.  It’s a 16th of an inch longer but I really didn’t want to work with a 16th of inch.

IMG_0341 IMG_0342

Step 2 – Using those measurements – cut out a piece of the 72F Peltex


Step two – Cut out the pelted

Step 3 – Cut out an additional piece of your Lower main body material that is 1.5″ wide on both sides and 1″ long on the ends.  So my piece measured 3″ x 10 3/4″. I cut out an additional piece of material 6″ wide x 12 3/4″.  This piece will be adhered to the pelted and sewn on the OUTSIDE of the bottom of the bag. That is why you need a piece of the same material.


Step three – Cut out a piece of material to cover the pelted

Step 4 – I have multiple pics for this step.  This step is very important because you’re using 72F peltex which means it is fusible on both sides.  We don’t want you sticking it to your ironing board or your iron. Center the piece of peltex on the material.  It doesn’t have to be exact but get it pretty darn close. Then turn it over, readjust if necessary and very lightly run over the back of the piece with your iron…do not press down.  It should look like the picture above. it should adhere enough that it won’t fall off.


Step four – lightly iron

As you can see I’m holding it above my board and it’s attached.

Step 5 – turn it with the right side of the fabric down onto the board, turn over only one half of the material and adhere.  Being very careful not to run your iron over the other half. Then do the same for the other half.


Step 6 – Final step.  Turn it back over, place a iron cloth (not sure if there is a more proper term) over it, spritz with water and run your iron over it one last time.  The cloth and water is my preference.


Ta DA!! Now you have your hard bottom bag piece that will be used later in the tutorial. Set that piece aside.

Handles are next.  I like to get all the extra stuff out of the way.

Fold one handle, right sides together and stitch 3/8″ lengthwise. (I did 1/2″ by mistake and left it. My handles will be just a tad smaller in width.)


Now you first need to iron the seam open.  I know that sounds weird, but it will make perfect sense in a moment. (I learned my lesson the hard way and didn’t press my seams open on my very first go-round with this bag and had to un-turn both, press open and re-turn…what a pain the bleep!)


Iron seams open

Next we need to turn them.

IMG_0360 IMG_0361

This tool is so awesome!  It’s called a quick turn.

If you didn’t press the seam open before you turned it and then press the seam in the middle, your handle will be heavier on one side because the seam allowance will all be to one side.  This way, it’s evened out.

See...Makes sense..right?

See…Makes sense..right?

Once turned you’ll want to press your handles cause they look pretty messed up right now.  🙂

Next we need to mark each end of both handles.  Taking the handle pattern piece, lay your handle, seam side up on top. Using your pencil, make a mark indicated on the pattern. This is where the stitching will end. Fold together with seam on the inside, pin and sew each handle. I use a scant 1/8″ to sew the handles.



Handles DONE!  Set aside.

The actual assembly of the bag can begin!

You’ll need one Upper body piece and the lower main body piece, place the two pieces right sides together. If the upper body piece hangs over like in the one with the red circle, that’s ok. It could be that I just cut it out a wee bit big. 🙂


Sew the two together using a 3/8″ seam.  Press seam toward the upper body piece and then top stitch across the upper body piece, using a 1/4″ stitch from the edge.


That topstitch will be hidden under the ribbon we are going to add, but it helps with keeping the seam allowance from being a nuisance when sewing on the ribbon.  Repeat process using the other upper body piece.

Placing the ribbon.

Lay the ribbon on top of the joined pieces to get your measurement for the amount of ribbon you’ll need. Let it hang over just a bit.  Now you’re going to apply a very small bead of Aleene’s Tacky glue and rub your finger across it to flatten the bead.  You do not need a lot. Now, if you’re using a lighter colored ribbon, it may show through…so use your own judgement.  You can pin it in place if you prefer.


Now place the ribbon at the edge of the upper piece.  I like using the glue because I hate pinning ..pinning makes the ribbon pucker hence…crappy stitch. (that’s  my excuse…I hate pinning)

Sew the ribbon in place along both edges getting as close to the edge as possible.  Because my ribbon had that cute blue looking stitch, I sewed very close to it.  Repeat for other side.

This is what it should look like thus far.


Next. Let’s finish that bow.  This is the way I like to do the bow not per instructions.


Cut ribbon to sizes indicated


Fold the 4″ piece in half and sew 3/8″ from edge.


Turn so the seam is on the inside


Fold in half and sew 1/4″ from edge.


Fold the long piece lengthwise and slide it in side the loop of the smaller piece.  The seam will be on the bottom and you will not be able to see it.


I like my bow just a wee bit tighter, so I sewed it again, closer to the bow but being careful not to catch it. I used a zipper foot to get close.


See the finished bow.  Now cut a piece of ribbon 8″ long and fold it in half like the picture above.


Place the folded 8″ piece onto the ribbon where you want the bow to be.  Then place the bow piece on top and sew down each side (where the red lines are)  If you don’t have the decorative stitch, I would stitch close to the edge. My bow is not in the middle! 😦

Sewing up the sides and bottom of the purse.  I must note that sewing up the bottom is not tricky, but it doesn’t match up well.  This is my fourth time making this bag and it has never matched up and I’m not sure it’s my cutting technique or a slight flaw in the design of the pattern.


Pin the sides together, pin and sew 3/8″ This is where I might lose you. When you bring the bottom edges together, they won’t match…at least mine never did.  So, I’ve sewn 1/2″ from the edge but I catch 1/4″ of the bag.  Does that make sense?  Also, you’ll fold under the extra flap piece from the hard bottom piece.


Then trim to 1/4″.  Essentially you’re just cutting off the excess of the hard bottom bag piece.


This is what it looks like now.  The next step is the lining.  Bringing the right sides together, you’ll sew it up exactly as the bag, with the exception you’ll leave a 4″ gap on one of the sides.


When sewing up the bottoms of the lining, I cut off the excess prior to sewing.  Sew the bottom at 3/8″

Now we will attach the magnetic snap closure.  Also, it doesn’t matter what side of closure you start with unless you have a preference.  Leaving the bag right side out, fold in half bringing the sides together and lightly iron just at the top to form a crease.


From the top edge measure 1″ where the fold is a make a mark.


Take one of the 1.5″ fold it in half just to make a crease, match the crease and place it just under the mark. Iron in place then measure 3/4″ from the top of the square and the side of the square making marks as pictured.


Place the washer on top of the markings centering the circle on the washer over the markings where it makes a PLUS, then mark the two outer openings.  Take your seam ripper and being very careful, slice it just a little.  You really don’t need to slice it the entire length because you’ll push through the tabs.

Now, I like to use a piece of felt to protect the tabs from ripping through the material.


Place the washer on top of the felt and mark it, use the seam ripper again to make two small openings. Push the tabs through the holes, place the washer on top and press the tabs to the outside.

For the other side, I do it a bit differently because I want it to match up close to perfect.  Of course I still measure and iron on the small square but then I place the washer on top to make sure it matches.


It’s magnetic so it sticks which helps, I make sure the washer is placed directly over the closure I just finished with. While holding it in place, I mark the two long lengths and repeat the process of installing the 2nd half of the closure.


Finished!! Nearly there.  I measured mine at 1.5″ from the top edge and after I finished installing it, I felt that it was too far.  That’s why I said to use 1″ from the top.

Placing the handles.  From the side seam measure in 2 inches and pin the handles in place, Then sew in place 1/4″ from edge.


Place the bag inside the lining right sides together matching the seams.


Pin in place and sew 3/8″ from the edge. Turn, Iron, and topstitch around the top edge. I did 1/4″ from the edge.  Again, it’s a personal preference.  Make sure you stitch up the side seam of the lining. I usually fold the raw edges inside when I iron the lining and topstitch it.



I really hope someone gets a use out of this tutorial. It certainly took me a very long time to make it.  I had no idea how long.  If there is ANYTHING unclear or wrong in this tutorial please leave me a reply or email me and I will get back to ASAP! 🙂

Happy Sewing!

Thanks for stopping by!

Ali 🙂

Update on Tutorial

Man!! I didn’t realize how time consuming a tutorial could be!  Holy Heck Batman!  I just wanted to post this quick little note to say that I am actively working on the tutorial and it is FULL of pictures.  I must say though I did forget one or two but I don’t think they are critical ones.

At this point I don’t think I am even half way through….but all I have left to do is;

  • Add the bow to the ribbon
  • Sew on the hard bottom to the bag
  • Attach the magnetic snap closure
  • Sew up the sides
  • Finish off the bottom edges
  • Sew the lining
  • Baste on the handles

Should I include an inside zippered pocket??????

  • Sew the lining and the bag together, turn and topstitch

Am I forgetting anything????

I’m sure if I did, it will come to me in the process of making it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Ali 🙂

Items in Queue

I have finally started my first tutorial!  I don’t know if I should be worried or excited.  It is kinda fun working on, or maybe it’s the Sangria I’m drinking while I’m working on it!  ha ha ha.  Anyway, I have stated in one of my past posting that I was going to do one and then just very recently I was asked if I had a tutorial on either of the two purses I recently posted which led me to finally do it.

BUT….it’s so nice, sunny and hot today and will continue like this well into next week that I couldn’t help but think of maybe a nice cool summer dress for myself.

This is my next project…for ME!


As you can see it’s Simplicity Pattern 1800 and the fabric is from Joann Fabrics.  It’s from their Tutti Fruitti Collection and is Paper Mache Floral Vines Fuchsia!! It is so very pretty and lightweight.  Of course now I’m trying to figure out how to line the dress cause I HATE…DEPLORE…DESPISE….wearing slips!  They are the MOST uncomfortable…unforgiving worthless pieces of material for a curvy big girl to wear!  I spend more time pulling it down than just enjoying wearing a beautiful summer dress!  I’m thinking about lining this dress just from the bottom of the bust down…with maybe a light cotton blend.  I tend to stray away from any material that is not knit…because it’s so forgiving…and can easily hide what needs to be hidden.  However, I was reading the instructions for this dress…and while I do not consider myself an expert seamstress, I think if I take my time and make adjustments as I work on it, it should come out near perfect.  🙂  The best part….the material for 4 yards only cost me $17!  It was half-off and today was the last day!!  So I totally SCORED! 🙂  I bought extra because I thought I could use the left over for lining in a bag! he he he

So..I’m going to start working on typing out the tutorial and hopefully…I can post it tomorrow at some point.

Thanks for stopping by!

Ali 🙂

Technology is great!!

And convenient!! I’m sitting in bed watching tv and doing this post!! Ain’t life grand!? This is the first time using my smartphone to do a post so I hope the formatting works out ok. 

So I looked back and the last time I posted anything was mid-May!! I’ve made two purses and did a bit of alterations and repurposed some old clothes.  Here are the two purses. 


 The blue linen bag is made from my dotted dream purse pattern. I made the handles different by using cording to make them round!! The second bag was made from a pair of my sons jeans!! He put a hole in one of the knees and asked me to fix them….I fixed them alright!! LOL. 😊 The rest was made out of scraps. I really love the jean stitching!! 

In between making these two beauties…..I did a little repurposing!! 

I had a pair of crop pants that I really didint like. I mean …I’m a big curvy girl…and some style of crops just don’t do girls my size justice!! So…I made them into a SKIRT!! and I love them!! 

The skirt pic was taken with a flash….they really are the same color!! 😊

So….there you have it!! Summer is on the way. And it’s supposed to be in the mid-90’s this weekend so I’m bringing out my sangria recipe!! 

Thanks for stopping by!!

Ali 😊