Friday, December 19, 2014

Tech Tote

I recently saw a tech tote online. It was really functional (which I love), but really ugly. Plain, Boring. So I went to work designing my own. I had to marry my math skills with some patience to get it done, but here's a video of it. I'm tweaking the design/pattern - just moving the long strap to the back of the bag for better stability. I developed a zipper technique so there are no raw seams. It looks more complicated than it really is. And yes, I may have gone a little crazy for pink. I needed something bright. I live in upstate NY and haven't see sunshine in days!


And if you are wondering, I did pass my college broadcasting classes, but a lot has changed in 25 years! Hahaha. And I eventually ditched that major for speech communication...

Hope you like the bag. I have no idea when I'll get the pattern done and posted. I'm in gift-making mode!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Glow-In-The-Dark Halloween Tote

A few years ago, I made some Halloween Trick-or-Treat tote bags using a basic tote bag pattern. I used 17" squares for this one. I selected your run-of-the-mill black twill and lined it with orange fabric. To add something fun, I searched online for Halloween Coloring Pages and selected a spider as my design. I used basic applique techniques with Heat 'n Bond Lite as my fusible interfacing (don't use regular Heat 'N Bond - it's not designed for sewing - the glue will gum up your needle). But what makes this special is that I used Coats and Clark Glow-In-The-Dark-Thread when I zig-zagged around the design. This was a HUGE hit with the kids!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Nifty Notion: Dritz Ezy-Hem

I posted this a while back but think it's worth a repost. I taught a sewing class yesterday and used the Dritz EZY-Hem. All five women where amazed by how functional it is!

I'm not a clothing maker, so after I purchased this Ezy-Hem, I began to wonder about my shopping skills. It sat for a few years, but I recently realized what a gem it really is.

The Ezy-Hem makes it "ezy" to measure, iron and, therefore, create hems. When my students were making teepees, they needed 1/2" seams - so we headed to the ironing board with this notion and a hot iron. 

In a matter of minutes, they had accurate 1/2" seams. The markings on the other side allow for even more hem sizes. It's a nifty notion!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rice Therapy Bags

My college roommate, Kris, and her daughter suffer from migraines, so when she asked me about making some rice bags (to freeze rather than microwave), I was happy to oblige.

I modified this pattern from one that was on Sew Mama Sew because she wanted them to be 12.5" x 6". I kept it simple - no piecing. I also added an inner muslin bag with a velcro closure - only because we don't live remotely near each other - so I have to mail them and she has to fill them. I wanted to make it easier for her! What's nice is that they are totally washable.

And, yes, her daughter is a Spartan. We did not go to Michigan State...Fire Up Chips!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Adding a Project to Craftsy

A few of you had questions about how to add a project to Craftsy. Your project page is a great place to show what you've been making! It also allows you to link your project to patterns that you purchased on Craftsy. 

1. Log into your Craftsy page and click on "Projects."

2.  Click on "+Add a Project."

3.  Click on "Let's get started" to get started!

4. When prompted, select the pattern that you used to make your project (or skip if it wasn't a Craftsy project).

That's it!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Converting Websites to PDF

I was reading one of my teaching blogs (I have no idea which one!) the other day and came across a post on converting websites to PDFs. My web browser is Firefox - so I tested out one of the add-ons called "Print Pages to PDF." It worked!

This is a great resource for saving patterns that are posted on blogs. So if you have a few patterns you like, you can convert the webpage into a PDF. Here's how I did it in Mozilla Firefox.

 1. Search "print pages to PDF" and you'll see "Print pages to PDF: Add-ons to Firefox..."

Click on that.

2. This will come up. Click on the green "Add to Firefox" bottom to add this.

3. Right click on the blog page and a pop-up will appear. Click on "Print pages to PDF" then "Print active Tab." 

The webpage will be converted into a PDF!

One thing to note...please respect the blogger who posted the pattern! 

UPDATE: A reader posted the following website that also converts to PDF:

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fall 2014 Classes

I'm offering the following two classes this fall: The Clipster and The Pocket Pouch. These will be held at Penn Yan Sewing Machines in Dundee, NY. Check out my CLASSES page for more information!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Porch Chairs

After a year of a half-finished porch, I finally spray-painted my other chair, fixed the back, and got 'er done!

Here's what they used to look like. 

How did I live with this? So, I thought about WHY I kept delaying this project. And there it was...

These chairs are mostly cushions/pillows that are easy to make. The back part, however, is a different story. This needed to be slip covered or upholstered. I got the first one done last summer; I used my go-to slipcover fabric: a drop cloth. The only problem was that it was a PAIN to do. 

Last week I decided to get over my resistance and just do it. But in this case the best needle and thread was actually a staple gun and staples. Yes, that's what I did. And I'm done.

What's funny (or sad) is that, just now, I looked over some past blog posts because I had a suspicion that I had written about this. I had. In June 2012. OK, it's been two years, not one.  Last year, I made some new cushions and the foot stool. Time flies....

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Clipster with HipKlip!

I've been busy fine-tuning the Clipster design! And I've been corresponding with Allison from HipKlips! I have been putting carabiners on my little bags, but she sent me a pair of HipKlips! LOVE THEM!!

I'm belt free! This little bag was perfect to go out to dinner. I just threw my phone in the pocket on the back, slipped some lip balm and cash in one zippered pocket and my ID and credit card in the other pocket! I clipped my house key to the HipKlip!

Here's the back pocket on one I made from my niece's ACUs!


If you are interested in purchasing one of my Clipsters, you'll find some in my Etsy Shop!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Smartphone Wallet eXtra

YAY! I've been working on this pattern for a week! I updated my smartphone wallet by making it a bit bigger and wider. Even my HUGE phone (thanks to a big, fat case) fits inside along with all my loyalty cards and insurance info!

You can purchase this PDF pattern in my Craftsy Pattern Shop and in my Etsy Shop!

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