Monday, February 14, 2011

Gift wrapping with fabric.

Quick.  Simple.  Cheap!  A great way to put scraps to use.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Liner lift.

I was recently approached by a friend, Molly, with a very fun project.  She wanted me to take a look at a bag that belonged to her mother.  The army green shoulder bag was purchased at the Royal Shakespeare Company during a family trip to London.  Unfortunately, after lots of loyal use of the bag, time had taken its toll.  The lining was frayed and coming away from the outer shell.  In addition, despite having been fixed repeatedly with tape, the magnetic closure was pulling away from the lining.


There was discussion about whether or not I should take a pattern from the orignal bag and make a completely new one.  In the end, we decided that I would simply replace the lining because the bag itself is so special!  Theater is a huge part of Molly's family.  Both she and her mother are involved (to put it lightly) in the Spotlight Players, a fantastic community theater in Beech Grove.  (Go see a show!)

I began by cutting out the lining and removing one end of the strap.  Molly had shared that her mother was looking for a little more length on the strap.  At the fabric store, I found a fabric that was fairly close to the color of the original bag.  For the lining, I chose a rich olive green that was slightly darker than the existing one.

This is when inspiration struck!  I thought that adding a Shakespearean quote to the lining might be a way to make this project even more special.  I emailed Molly with the idea and she sent me a few lines she wanted included:

And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds toungues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

As You Like It  II.i

And so, the embroidery began.....

Once I'd finished the embroidery, the rest of the project was a breeze!  After adding new reinforced magnetic closures to the lining, I inserted it into the outer shell and stitched it in.  The finished product looks great!  It's wonderful how a simple change can add new life to something loved.

Thanks for the opportunity Molly!  I really hope your mom likes it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


6 thrift store wool skirts.

Brand name.....soooo fancy!

Measured, trimmed, ironed, folded.  All on my new-to-me sewing table!

Add a little of my favorite jute trim....

For sale at Silver in the City!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Freshly made.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Button holes.

Four button holes = easy expansion for the lady who carries a lot!  Wrist strap for on-the-go toting.  Soft chocolate-y brown corduroy lining.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Two new clutches are in my Etsy shop

It begins with a sketch.
Pick fabric and accents.

Sew wrist straps.

Sew outer edges.

Turn right-side out.


Button choice is important..... is measuring.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Personalized gift-giving: Etsy's Alchemy

Often, when I'm looking for a special gift for a someone, I get a great idea but have no way of executing it.  It's either something I'm not able to make myself or can't find in a store.  For instance, for my step-sister Hannah's high school graduation, I wanted to get her a nice piece of personalized jewelry. 

 Etsy offers a service called Alchemy where people with ideas can post requests for custom made items.  You enter details about the product you are looking for.  You can also enter the amount of money you are looking to spend on the item.  Once you have posted your request, sellers will bid to win your business.  They'll give you further information about their design aesthetic, how they would create your item, payment, and shipping method. 

Here's a little about my Alchemy experience:

Hannah, who is now in college, has been studying Japanese for many years.  I wanted to get her a necklace with the Japanese kanji for 'Hana' (which means 'flower') on the pendant:

Image from

Once I posted my request, I was contacted by several sellers who were interested in making the necklace for me.  They had many different ideas about design and materials.  In the end, I chose Viviane of HebelDesign.  Viviane works mostly with metal and resin.  She asked a lot of great questions and brought new ideas to the table.  In the end, I had purchased a necklace that I was proud to give as a gift.  The craftsmanship was extraordinary.....the price was perfect.....and the necklace arrived right on time!

Image courtesy Viviane at HebelDesign

If you have an idea for an personalized gift, I highly recommend giving Etsy's Alchemy a try!