For me!

It seems like I haven’t been on here for weeks!! I’ve been really busy with life. Funny how that happens. I finally made that dress!!  

I must say the construction was fairly easy other than in two areas it repeated certain steps which freaked me out thinking I’d done something wrong.  And this dress also reminded me why I HATE zippers!! But I conquered it and I’m pretty proud of the outcome. 

The dress looks pretty much like the picture but what I didn’t realize was that the openness of the neck makes it impossible to wear any bra I have in my drawer! I refuse to wear strapless which would work great but being a busty girl the one thing to hate seeing…is a girl or grown woman constantly trying to pull up her bra in the front!! That would drive me crazy!  I just don’t know if there is a bra that would work! I could buy one with plastic see-through straps but…not crazy about that idea either. 

So….here’s my dress. 


see those bra straps?

This was taken in the back yard…which is really not a yard but Bootsie the dog area!! 

This was my first dress made out of something other than knit!! 😆😆

I think it looks pretty good although a co-worker at work has said that she thinks I look better in jewel tones….what do you think?

I have so much black and earth tones in my closet that I NEED color every once in awhile!!

I think I’ll make this one again but maybe in a jewel tone!! LOL. Either way…I do like how it turned out. 

Oh…and it was very easy to attach the 22 bodice to the 28 skirt.  I’ve always wondered why the sizes don’t match RTW sizes.  It’s not like us big girls are sometimes self conscious of our size in RTW clothes that the patten companies have to make it more hard to look at when your sizes come out to a 28!! I also lined the skirt with pink cotton fabric so I don’t have to wear a slip! I was worried that it would give it to much bulk when I already have enough bulk of my own!! LOL but it’s great!! My co-worker wants me to wear it tomorrow but without the proper bra….I don’t feel like wearing a cover-up all day long! 

So now with this project out of the way I need to figure out what dress to make for my sons wedding! I think I want to go with a knit dress. Yea I know….but I love how knit drapes. 

This was my number one choice but I don’t have the pattern so that means I have to buy it at 40% off which is more than I’d like to spend because patterns go on sale so often for $2.00 or less…I’m in a quandary. My other option…

Ok. So my reasons behind each. The first one has the option to make the bodice one color and the skirt another. The colors of the wedding is light pink and fuschia ….so I was thinking I could incorporate the colors. 

The mock wrap…it’s another amazing fit pattern and I had such a great experience with my last one….it might work out for this one! And this pattern I have in my stash!  I’m just concerned of my time left for the wedding.  I have not only my dress to make …but one more bridesmaid clutch purse. So…bring it on!! 👍

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 🙂



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 🙂


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Here they are!  The earbud pouches are easy and quick but I gotta say….I love the coin purse!  What I like about the earbud pouches is that you don’t have to use them just to hold your earbuds.  Slip a key or a few dollars, some change just about anything small that needs to be carried.  With the jump ring or swivel clip you can add it to your key ring, or anything else that has a hook.  From cut-out to finished product is about 45 min. I like to take my time …no need to rush.  In trying to locate this tutorial and pattern I found a few blogs that had some of the pics in the tutorial but not all and none of the instructions.  However comments were being posted that they made them in under 30 min.  Luck smiled upon me and I finally tracked it down over at Dog under my Desk.  I plan on making many more of these for my store and in fact I bought some fat quarters just for these little gems!  I think the geometric shapes or material with small print are more pleasing.  The Hello Kitty pouch only has one full kitty and she’s on the back.

The coin purse is so darn cute!  I like that there is fusible fleece used on the exterior part of the bag. It really helped in stuffing it into the frame.  I have a lot of coin purse tutorials over on my Pinterest board but I really liked the one by Dixie Mango.  It gives a really nice explanation to do if your frame is smaller or bigger than the one she is using in the tutorial!  I was lucky enough to have a frame that was very very similar to the size of hers so I didn’t need to do any adjusting.  The hardest part is waiting for it to cure….which takes up to 24 hours.  I recently purchased 25 of the frames from Japan and now I’m itching to make more.  The coin purse was SUPER EASY.  I was a bit apprehensive in the gluing cause I had never done anything like that before and I got it all over my fingers, the frame and some of the material.  BUT…a little non-acetone polish remover (while it’s still tacky but not wet), and a cotton ball removes it completely!!!  I guess if these frames were not the sew-in kind the glue on my fingers would have been minimal.

Well…It’s Friday!!  I’ve cut out a few projects to work on over the weekend.  One being another version of the Out & About bag and of course more of the coin purses but I have to get some things done around the house.

Thanks for stopping by

Ali 🙂

What a Challenge!

Well…I finally finished the Chiflada Purse!  You can get the pattern from  The designer Darla Royal from Texas helped me A LOT for the first two days because the purse is not made the traditional way. Build the outer shell, then the lining, stuff the two together….a little more sewing…pull through and WA LA…a bag.  NO…this one was done similar to a quilt.  I am NOT a quilter.  I have never used binding to hide raw edges of anything! So I am totally happy that this bag is going to someone in need as a gift.  I am sure the girl who will be getting it will not see any of the flaws I see and that’s a good thing.  But as someone who wants to have a successful and only sell quality products this one would not be for sale.  However, I do have a list of things I will change the next time around. I have plans on making this again already.  I just bough the zippers and additional yardage for the bag.

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The one thing I love about this bag is the zippered pockets!!  There are three of them.  One on top for small items or even your cell phone, a divider pocket on the inside with a zippered pocket and one on the back for a tablet, notebook or even a book!  But before I make this bag again….I’m going to take a day maybe a day and a half and make me a dress!  I found this to-die-for material and I already have two patterns that I want to try out.  I love wearing knits because of the ease for a big girl like me.

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The picture doesn’t do the material justice. It has little sparkles on it!  Very pretty!

My four long grueling days are done…but feel so accomplished!

Thanks for stopping by

Ali 🙂

A Special Gift

Today I spent most of the day making a new bag I have never made before.  I like making new bags, but I hate it too.  🙂  The process in making something that I am not familiar with is quite tedious.  I read through the instructions at least twice and then I still get lost or messed up during the construction of putting it together.  However, it’s all for a good reason.  There is a young lady missionary that is in desperate need for a new tote because the one she carries with her is very dilapidated.  I wanted to give her something that reminded her of home (Hawaii) and was a good sturdy bag.  IMG_1216

I scrolled through many bags before I decided on the Hobo bag that can be found over at   You can’t really tell unless you click on the picture but the handles are attached to the purse with D rings and the handles are tied together.

The overall process of making this bag is not for the beginner sewer only because the instructions for making the section of the purse that is for the D rings was really not very clear.  I also didn’t follow the instructions for the zippered pocket or the magnetic snap.  There is a process I do for each of those which is very easy and quick.  In fact, today I felt pretty victorious when I completed this zippered pocket because with every one I do I get better and it look good!  🙂

I will be seeing the young lady at church on Sunday and she has no clue that I am making her a tote so I hope she loves it.

Thanks for stopping by

Ali  🙂

A Mother’s Request

In my weekly conversations to my mother either via email or phone I told her about what I was doing while I was feverishly looking for gainful employment (as she calls it).  She does support me in all of my endeavors, but she’s turning 78 on March 4th and I find her bit closed minded as she gets older.  ha ha ha.  She called me up about 2 weeks ago and asked if I wouldn’t mind making her a scripture bag.  She’s LDS and has a quad that holds all of the necessary scriptures and I thought…”Ok not such a big bag, something small possibly a zipper or tie to close it”.  Then she proceeds to tell me that she will need it big enough for her Relief Society book and maybe an Ensign that she likes to carry around. So now we are talking a bit bigger.  Well turns out she wants a BIG bag.  She sent me a pattern that she picked up and was going to make herself, but she hasn’t sewed anything for YEARS.  She moved from sewing to quilting in her 40’s and stop quilting in her mid 60’s. She’s the kind of lady that likes to buy things that are great ideas but will never do them.  HA HA HA…sometimes I am like that too.  I wonder where I get it from. 🙂

IMG_1185So…she mailed me a pattern.   I told her that I may not make the pattern she sent me if I didn’t think it would be a suitable bag for her needs.  Thanks goodness she agreed…definitely not suitable because she mentioned she didn’t want the wooden handle before I even saw the pattern.

The pattern I ended up making for her was a Swoon pattern called the Ethel Tote.  You can also see other Swoon patterns here.

The finished dimensions are a tad larger than the pattern because it was to be printed on A4 size paper and I didn’t make any adjustments to my margins or anything but the test 3″ block was 3.25″

The finished dimensions are:

11″ wide at top
14″ wide at bottom
5.5″ deep
11″ tall (not including the handles)

The other thing about this bag is that it uses wide stiff fusible interfacing (Pellon Craft-fuse 808) on EVERYTHING and on top of the exterior you use fusible fleece.  The bottom is a hard bottom so it uses fusible stiff stabilizer (Pellon Peltex 71F).  I love a hard bottom bag but because of the stiff interfacing it was very difficult to turn and in fact I ripped out a few stitches while turning which had to be repaired.

IMG_1184I really like the stability of this bag, BUT if I get the opportunity to make it again I won’t be using the 808 on the lining.  I like a lining that is softer and the outside is already very stiff with using both the 808 and fusible fleece. My recommendation would be to use a light to mid-weight interfacing on the lining.  This bag also has an outside pocket, inside pocket and a zippered pocket.  I didn’t make the zippered pocket because my mother didn’t want it.

The materials used were:

Main fabric –  45″ Home Essentials Fabric – SMC Alameda Panorama Marzipan

Lining fabric –  Keepsake Calico Fabric Fahrenheit Tan Vine

Unfortunately I could find the orange, green, gray and turquoise at the Joann fabrics website but not the tan. 😦

I really do hope my mother will like the bag.  I posted it over on my FB page and my Aunt Meredith (my mother’s sister) said she’ll love it!  I certainly hope so.  It won’t get to her by the fourth but maybe if I’m lucky I can get it to her before Sunday.  🙂

I’m off to do something a little less intense….a few zippered pouches are calling my name.

Thanks for stopping by

Ali 🙂

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