A Candy Dress and Lots of Travel!

All my good intentions flew out the window in February. But I have an excuse! I was home with my sewing machine less than 6 days the entire month! February turned out to be a big travel month for me and the first half of March is turning out to be just the same! I have been home 2 days and I head back out tomorrow. On a positive note, I will be home the 15th for a solid 5 weeks! πŸ™‚ Yay for 5 weeks of sewing! πŸ™‚

I have been keeping a notebook of my 2018 projects completed. Does anyone keep a list? I decided I wanted to remember all my makes for the year and keep track of how many items I complete. Especially since many of them I don’t make for myself- and well, I forget!

So far this year I have made 7 items. Not bad I suppose but I could be further along. You saw my Maleficent purse in my last post but I also made a red and white Hawaiian print “Lilo” shirt and a Lilo and Stitch drawstring bag for a “Disney Bound” trip to Disney land. (Been twice this year already and I always have to give a nod to Disney.)

My favorite of the 7 items was a sweet “candy” dress I made for a friends little girl. The ruffles were a pain but I knew I needed to have them! Ruffles and little girls are the best! (Well, I think so!)


My other exciting make was a blouse for the mom of the little girl wearing that dress. And it was exciting because I successfully made my first pattern! I have always wanted to design and make patterns so I am “in training.” When I was asked to bring an idea she had to life I decided it was time to try my hand at drafting. I am waiting for some better pics but here is a sneak peek. It is a tie front blouse and super cute for summer. I used a rayon challis and it drapes very nicely if I do say so myself!


When I get back home (I leave again tomorrow) I have a list of things I would like to complete in March. Among them- a Princess purse for my niece. (Doesn’t that cork look GREAT with that Princess fabric?)



A Pirates purse for ME:


And an essential oils travel bag for my eldest daughter and I. (I have become an essential oil user and I love them!) I got this kit from The Fabric Candy Shoppe– where I buy quite a bit of my fabric. (Including the Candy Fabric and the Pirates fabric above.) By the way, following fabric groups on Facebook can be dangerous to your wallet!


Some of the random things I did in February while I was out and about:


The castle at Disneyland at night. Love the lights at Disneyland!


Wine drinking in Oregon!


The Southwest COCO plane I was next to in Houston when I flew on Flight #1 to San Diego. Yes- besides working a lot in San Diego I also went to Disneyland, went to Oregon, and spent some great time with family and friends. But, I still missed sewing! And can’t wait to get back to it!


Isn’t this a great pattern? I just love the cut on this button down, collared blouse. It is feminine and pretty! I plan to make it real soon!

That’s about all for now. I hope to be back soon to share and visit with you all!

Happy Sewing!

Laurie xo




Every year, my brother and I and friends hit the Texas Renaissance Faire. It is a new tradition since I have only been here for 2 of them, but I have gone 4 times! It is so much fun I buy extra tickets and try and go at least twice during the 6 weekends it is here. And we dress up. If you are going to a Renn Faire you have to get the full experience and that means wear a costume! (Artsy pic because I had a new APP I wanted to play around with…) *This is a 2017 make but worth blogging about!


Each weekend is a different theme like Scottish Highlanders, Pirate Adventure, 1001 Dreams etc.Β This year they added a weekend called Hero’s and Villains and my brother decided he wanted to go full on Steampunk. Since he was willing to wear jodhpurs I was down for making him a great costume!!

Steampunk:Β “A style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction.”

I made the vest and the jodhpurs. The Jodhpurs were from the Butterick Making History line #B6340.

Butterick 6340

I made the longer length because I know he didn’t plan on wearing boots. This is TEXAS people… and it’s usually pretty warm. I have to say these jodhpurs were one of the hardest things I have ever made. #1- I have never made real pants even though I have them on my list. #2- I read some of the steps over and over again to understand them in my head, but still made mistakes. #3- There was quite a bit of seam ripping in a few places as I figured out what I was supposed to do. But in the end… it was worth it!

I used the leftover vest fabric to make fancy pockets that no-one will ever see… πŸ™‚


I even used (fake) leather to make them harder on myself! By the way, these jodhpurs had 36 buttons I had to sew on and make buttonholes for. I really enjoyed the button shopping. Etsy has some amazing buttons! I actually found some vintage military buttons while I was shopping and hope to make myself something using them this year.

Not the best picture of the buttons in action. But you get the idea. 24 of those babies on the legs. It was quite a chore! Well worth it though! I have no picture of the buttons I used in the pocket area and waistband… Ah well!

The vest was an easy make and in my attempt to not wait until the last minute done several months before the jodhpurs. I used McCalls #2447- quite a nice men’s vest!


Do you see those pockets? I used my (fake) leather to trim them. πŸ™‚ Aren’t they great? This fabric was a little slinky to work with but with a few tricks I was able to conquer it. I admit it takes patience though! I have been collecting silk to sew with but don’t feel confident enough yet- Maybe this year I will get a pair of silk pajamas!


I used more buttons from Etsy. I probably spent more on buttons then the fabric! He bought his shirt and the tie- I wanted to make an ascot but did not get to it! He also bought all that gear at a little shop at the Renaissance Faire to complete his costume.


Overall, I think it turned out pretty good. It has already been worn twice! (Faire and Halloween) I definitely want to make myself a Steampunk costume this year. Did you know there are “characters?” I decided I wanted to be a Steampunk Seamstress! Seems appropriate!


I will leave you with a few pictures of our fun times over the last 2 years. I was an elf twice (and a wench twice), Β because after all that work (and a fancy Halloween costume for my middle daughter) I did not have time to make myself something new for 2017. But an elf works! And I made it!



I enjoy taking pictures with strangers in costume! Β I also enjoyed the bawdy shows, the craft beer, looking at other people in costume, eating, and shopping for cool stuff! (Got a wooden flute this year.)


My goal is to have 3-4 well made costumes I can wear when the Renaissance Faire rolls around. I have lots in mind including the ever popular wench, a Steampunk Seamstress, and maybe an evil fairy! The Warrior elf was fun though! Best part this past Faire was a happy brother!


See you soon and Happy Sewing!



Hello… Again!


I thought I would say Hello since I have been gone for a very long time. I think about writing a post- but then I don’t. 2017 was an incredibly busy year. A new/ old job meant I spent almost half the year traveling and I found out it isn’t as glamorous as I thought it would be! Living out of a suitcase sucks! And there were many nights I was wishing I was in my own comfy queen sized bed! On a positive note since 95% of the time I travel to San Diego, I do get to see my family and friends a lot and that is a good thing. πŸ™‚ I have been in Texas 2 years, and I still miss them incredibly!

In a nutshell- in 2017 I got to go to New York, San Francisco, Memphis, and Arkansas, visited the Redwoods on my first annual family vacation with my kiddos, 2 of my daughters are engaged and my eldest daughter is GETTING MARRIED this year (!), I lost a family member very close to my heart to suicide and I still think about him almost every day :(, I survived Hurricane Harvey, I started purse making and I love it, and I sewed a lot despite the travel, but not as much as I would have liked! But then do we ever sew as much as we would like? πŸ˜‰

For 2018 I signed up to be a part of the Ready To Wear Fast with Goodbye Valentino. I participated a few years back as well and enjoyed being more thoughtful with my makes, fabric choices etc. This year I plan to really focus on getting more of my every day wear to be me made wear. On top of that I have wedding sewing! My daughter and I are in “talks” for me to make her gown. I am terrified! But if we start now that gives me 8 months!

Just so this does not become a no sewing post I would love to share my latest purse making! These are my 2nd and 3rd Blue Calla Gerbera Crossbody Purses I have made. Β And the pattern is free! Now that my kidlets are grown up, I don’t have to carry such a big purse and these are easy to make! Yeah- I get they aren’t very grown-up but I love them anyway! I specifically made Maleficent for my trip to Disneyland last week. πŸ™‚


My goal for the purses I make is to have them NOT look home made. I think by choosing the right materials, and using hardware I can do a decent job. I also did not want it to look like a tote bag, and just incorporate a bit of the fabric… The Gerbera works out great for that because it has a small panel which can be your focus!

I got the vinyl from JoAnns with a 50% of coupon. Only way to buy vinyl! I think she turned out pretty great!


I just bought a rivet press- Next I plan to conquer that as I think it would add another level of “professionalism!”


You know I HAD to add a little “Once Upon a Time” charm! πŸ˜€

At the same time I was making Maleficent, I made a second Snow White purse for my niece. She saw mine last year and begged me for one!


I used cork and the Snow White is actually a knit fabric I reinforced with extra interfacing. I lined it in black and white gingham because I thought it looked nice!

Snow White Gerbera Cross Body

I have made 4 items this year so far! Currently I am finishing up a little girls “Candy Dress,” and have a robe cut out for my brother. I plan to cut myself a robe out as well and start my 2018 make list! I know it is already the 17th, which means I am kind of behind, so I better get busy! What are YOUR 2018 sewing plans?

I will leave you with a few photos from my Redwood Family Vacation… Happy 2018!


Yes, we stayed in this incredible house in the woods! It was amazing and perfect and we all had a great time exploring, enjoying s’mores and drinks by the fire pit in the evening, exploring the coast and the redwoods, and spending time together!


See you soon! Really!

Happy Sewing!


It’s a Harry Potter World


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It’s a Harry Potter World… or at least it will be for my middle daughter next month on her birthday. And dang if I am not super impressed with myself for already having TWO items done! Over a month in advance!! (It remains to be seen if I actually FINISH everything now!)

I have an abundance of HP fabric because Holly requested Carolyn PJ’s a while back. I bought some fabric, and then kept buying and soon realized she would be getting a whole lot more than jammies! So I started with a purse and wristlet!

I used the newly released digital Harry Potter Prints by Camelot Fabrics. They are quite lovely and have a nice selection!


I kinda sorta had an idea in my head for how I wanted this to look and unfortunately it is kinda rough. I started with the Swoon Bucket bag but made quite a few changes, which accounts for the few mistakes I had. Sometimes thinking it through to the end for me is tough!

I cut out all my pieces, interfaced, added the vinyl pieces in where I wanted it and was ready to go.



My goal was turning the bucket back into something that looked more like a purse vs tote. I wanted to add vinyl, and that drawstring section at the top. Like I said, I had a picture in my head! My first mistake was in the printing but I did not realize it until well into the sewing and I was not going to give up at that point. My base was WAY too big! Like seriously! I figure I must have printed the other parts incorrectly as the purse is definitely smaller than expected.


But I kept going! I had silver grommets and no brass which may have gone better but I did not feel like going to the fabric store. So they are silver! I did learn that grommets are EASY to put in vinyl! Or I was having a good day!


My second mistake was towards the end- The bag was done, but I had no strap. I SHOULD have inserted the small strap pieces into the stitching as I was attaching the vinyl to the main body. But I was completely done with the “bag sans strap” and no way was I going to remove all the top stitching etc. So, in the effort to be upfront and real… I cheated. I just attached it and used sharpie on that ragged edge. Sigh.


The inside is HP lined as well.


I am SUPER pleased with how my new Bernina performed. It sewed through all the handle and tie thickness with no issues! Thank you Bernina!


Yes, I am a work in progress! Got a little dicey on that X!


I went with crossbody style and made a longer strap so she could wear it easily when she takes the train to school. Less chance of her leaving it somewhere when it is strapped across the body!


Anyway, I am pretty happy with it regardless, and I KNOW Holly will love it. I am going to make her an Harry Potter sunglass case and earbud holder so she can stay organized. Despite the purse turning out smaller than I envisioned I did manage to make a bag that her Kindle would fit into also- her Kindle goes EVERYWHERE with her!


Here is her wristlet. This was a quick and fun little make. I think I may need to make one from each house! Pattern is also by Swoon- Coraline.


I have a lot of traveling to do this month but hope to get things sewn when I am home. I actually just counted and at the end of January I will have spent 17 days in Houston and 14 days in San Diego. At that rate I don’t think I will be sewing piles of items this year! I have finished 6 already though! πŸ™‚ 2 button down shirts, a flannel, the above purse and wristlet and my dryer sheets. (Yes, I am counting my dryer sheets!)

The KISS shirt I made my son is AWESOME… Here is a sneakie peak!


Hope you all have had a great start to 2017! I am going for 100 items sewn this year and joined the FB group as incentive. That tallies up to only 8 a month. I should be able to do that? If you are interested, check it out!

Happy Sewing!


Currently watching Shades of Blue…

DIY Dryer Sheets


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On January 1st I was perusing Pinterest and I stumbled on this great idea and promptly added it to my DIY board. Now, I confess I have done VERY few things that I have pinned on my DIY board but this one seemed quick and easy and since I knew we were almost out of fabric softener sheets I decided to get them made up within the first week of the New Year. And guess what? I did! Bye Bye Bounce sheets!


These were very simple and quick! I used this tutorial, although I am sure there are quite a few out there. But this one explained WHY those dryer sheets are so bad for us. I did not realize they were TOXIC until I read this! That pretty much clinched the “I am making my own” stance!


The first thing I did was rummage around in my bag of “too big fabric scraps to throw away” and found leftovers from Kadi’s Carolyn Pajamas and a coordinating polka dot! I know the colors are kind of girly but I like them! I cut out four 8″ squares of each.


These are the supplies I needed. White vinegar and an essential oil. (Not pictured- measuring cup.) I have quite a few essential oils as my daughter sells them. Since I am sharing these with my brother I let him pick his favorites. I ended up with 3 to choose from… Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Thieves Oil which is a blend.


I went with Thieves Oil. πŸ˜€ Next, I serged the edges of my 8 squares. The hardest part of this was changing my thread to white. I hate changing my serger thread but know it must be done! I had black on there prior to this. Black would not have been pretty!


All serged and ready to go! I added 1/2 cup of the white vinegar and 10 drops of essential oil into my jar. Simple!!


Next, I folded up those 8 squares and into the jar they went! I seriously spent less than 20 minutes making these. Voila- Dryer sheets!


I am pretty pleased with this simple DIY project. These are completely re-usable and after use can be put back in the jar. When the vinegar and oil mixture runs low I will just add more! I can’t wait to do a load of laundry and try these out!

Do you have any simple DIY projects you love? I would love to try some more for around my house!

Happy sewing!!



2016 is So Yesterday…


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And 2017 is so today!

Warning– Long post… because it has been a while since I have blogged. Whenever I start a post like that (and it has been more than once), I feel as if I should repent.

“Forgive me readers, for I have sinned.”

My intentions have been good, but the actual doing has not always been on par. Ah well… 2016 and poor blogging are all in the past! πŸ˜‰ Here is to a new year!

I had a pretty decent year! I have adjusted to life in Texas and actually find I like it here. There are things I miss about my life in CA… greatΒ weather, real tacos, the beach, real tacos… but I don’t mind. It has given my kids a chance to grow up and me a chance to do more of my own thing!

The only really major change in 2016 I have experienced is that I quit my job as an executive assistant in N. Houston, and now work virtually again for an old boss. I LOVE working virtually, especially since I drove an hour each way every day. That got old after a while!Β  But now, since my old boss who is now my new boss is based in San Diego I get to travel to my old stomping grounds. I actually spent 3 weeks there between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And am heading back in less than a week. I guess I kind of have the best of both worlds now. A better cost of living here in Houston AND I get to spend time with my friends and family in CA regularly- and eat tacos!


About the tacos- Mexican food in San Diego is different then Mexican food in Houston. Here, whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant they want to dump queso (melted cheese) on everything. Don’t get me wrong, queso has it’s place but I miss the good carne asada and carnitas street tacos I used to get. I have not found food like that here- although I am not saying it doesn’t exist!


Mmmmmm… Street tacos and a Craft Beer!

That said- there is plenty of good eating here… Really!

One of the best times I had this year was the Renaissance Faire I attended in November. It is touted as being one of the best in the nation- and I believe it! I had a fabulous time. I made my costume- I wanted to be an Elven Warrior and embrace the mystical side of the Renaissance. Β I went all out and am happy I did. I can’t wait for next year! I have to share some of the photos I took- although I am having fun I did not think about taking actual GOOD photos of the costume so please forgive!

This first fellow Renn Faire attender was an Elf Murderer. (See the string of ears?) But he allowed me to keep mine!




The last pic is my brother- all decked out in a kilt. The best thing about this Renn Faire was there were quite a few people in amazing costumes, lots of hilarious shows, and one place that had craft beer! Woot woot!

And last but not least- one of my favorite photos is me with a Storm Trooper. The weekend we attended was Scottish weekend and we came across a group of Storm Troopers all sporting plaid. Pretty cool right?! (Damn, I am such a nerd!)


That’s a bit of my personal life in a nutshell- but how about my sewing life! Sewing is the real reason I come here to write. πŸ™‚

I made these super cute pajamas for my girls. All they wanted for Christmas was matching Christmas jammies. I used the Carolyn PJ bottoms for all three- although Juliette wanted shorts w/ ruffles so instead of cuffs I added ruffles. Juliette has a boxy version of the Carolyn Top w/ 3 quarter sleeves for the top. They were a hit!


Two new machines came and joined me in my sewing room. Both are brand new and both are pretty exciting! I got a coverstitch machine- YAY!! Just a basic one but I love it already! I triple stitch hemmed some knits the other day and it was AMAZING!


And brand new to my desk- a Bernina 560E. I am beyond thrilled! It is a huge investment and I am super pleased with it so far. There is going to be a learning curve here but I am certain I am up for it. I will talk about the learning process in future blog posts- right now it is so new I have only sewed a straight line and some buttonholes!


As for sewing- I have been doing quite a bit, and have quite a few stash busting projects lined up. I joined the FB group SewAlongs and Sewing Contests and will be participating in the SSW:DS or “Seasonal Sew Wardrobe: Deep Stash Edition.” I have until April to sew a wardrobe from stash. Since I have LOTS of stashed fabrics and WAY too many stashed patterns I have lots to choose from. I already gathered up the fabrics I will be using.


Yes, 4 of those fabrics are black. But, I decided since I am happiest wearing black I needed to embrace it! When this wardrobe is done I will have a black skirt, a black dress, a black pair of pants, and a black blouse. It’s kinda perfect in my opinion. ALL those black items will easily flow into other wardrobes I build this year! Along with all that black I am making a solid bright pink blouse, a blouse AND skirt from the floral print, a bring pink knit top, and FINALLY I will be making my “Cityscape” Duster coat. I only have a few patterns chosen so far- A black Sewaholic Davey dress, Floral Sewaholic Hollyburn OR Gabriola, a sleeveless blouse from McCalls 7324 and the Burda Duster Coat. This wardrobe will be my March project. I have been losing weight and want to lose a few more before I make all that awesomeness.

January is “activewear” month for me. I am pulling from my stash again as I have TONS of fabric. Since I have started “running” (I use that term loosely as it is currently more a jog) and going to the gym I want more workout wear. There are quite a few great patterns out now and I have found some amazing fabrics! But I am going to save this for my next post!

I made quite a bit of awesomeness in 2016. I actually made over 30 short sleeved button down shirts for various men in my life. My son is now sporting at least 9, and my brother owns 5.Β (Minions and Star Wars!) I love making fun/ cool men’s shirts and have made everything from Jaws, Deadpool, Comic Books, and more. ANy cool fabric I can find I turn into a shirt.



Next up in the Men’s Shirt Making Queue- I found KISS fabric… Isn’t it AMAZING?!


It is all cut and ready to sew and will be my first make of 2017! (Typical- a make that is not for me!) I bought enough of this fabric to make myself a purse. I have started making purses for myself- since I want to experience fun fabric as well. I recently finished this Batman purse. If I am not using Batman, I am using my Nevermore Purse. Who needs Coach?!


I have to admit, I could go on and on… That’s what happens when one does not blog regularly. So, I will leave you with this bit of goodness on what has been going on in my life and I will be back soon with a review of my Batman purse, my Activewear plan, and a new men’s shirt or two!

Here is to new adventures, happy experiences and a WHOLE LOT of SEWING in 2017… I wish you all the best!


PS. I am on Instagram where I regularly post. If you use IG you can find me sewing here: https://www.instagram.com/lauriesue83/ … And drinking craft beer here: https://www.instagram.com/beersnobette/

PPS. Our new family member. Puppy cuteness!


Long Distance Sewing and My Commitment to Reducing my Stash


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I have done quite a bit of sewing in the few months or so- but no blogging. I seriously need to take stock and decide what direction I am going to go in 2017! Well, I have pretty much decided which direction… I have to stop sewing for everyone else and get into some selfish sewing – because what is a sewing blog without pictures? And long distance sewing isn’t cutting it for me! Especially when they don’t take pictures!

Regardless of all that I decided I would share some of things I have made and some of the fun things I have coming up. One of the main things I have been sewing this year is men’s shirts. All short sleeve button downs in fun prints. I use McCalls 6044 and don’t even need to read the directions anymore! I need to take a new count but I am pretty sure I have now made over 30 men’s shirts. My son is a lucky young man, as is my brother! I have also made a few for friends that have asked. Star Wars seems to be a popular choice since I recently made two “Darkside” shirts!

Star Wars Darkside Mens Shirt

I also recently finished up a Superman shirt for a work friend.


And this last weekend I made my son a JAWS shirt and a Deadpool shirt. I am off to California next weekend for a wedding and wanted to bring him some new additions to his wardrobe. (Just a sneaky peak of these since I plan on taking pics next weekend and doing a men’s shirt post!)


I made a Blue Hawaiian dress for Holly from Simplicity 1607- a Cynthia Rowley pattern… This dress is for my middle daughter Holly and she has it in hand but never sent a picture of her in it so here it is on Dolores!


And boy was I SUPER thrilled when I posted it on Instagram and Cynthia Rowley HERSELF liked my photo. πŸ˜€ I even got proof since I happened to be holding my phone at that moment and took a screenshot of the alert!


A few weeks back I whipped up 2 skirts – red for Daughter #1 and blue for Daughter #2.


Again, NO pics were sent to me… sniffle… so here they are AGAIN on Dolores.

McCalls 7439 Blue

Shoot- just realized that pic is buttonless but I did eventually find some to match and added them…

McCalls 7439

I could not find any buttons for this one so made some. I remember back in the day JoAnns had an amazing button selection- now I think it is greatly lacking (my nice way of saying the button selection at JoAnns sucks!)


One of my FAVORITE makes of the last few months was a vintage dress I made out of a floral rayon challis. I used an old Advance pattern I picked up from Etsy…

advance 4858

I LOVE this dress and wish I had spectacular pics to share with you… Instead I have these tiny ones. :/

Advance 4858

Advance 4858

It is a truly beautiful dress and I am very pleased with how it turned out. I even made a belt but unfortunately was afraid to put in the grommets so it is still in my possession!


I am adjusting to Texas summers and actually enjoying the thunder and lightning storms, humidity, and mosquitoes. OK- NOT the mosquitoes but I really DO enjoy the huge storms. I am taking Spin classes twice a week and walking every evening even if it is still 90 degrees F out. I have witnessed quite a few amazing sunsets on my walks!

sunset1 sunset2 sunset3 sunset4 sunset5

When the time changes I am not sure what I will do since it will be dark long before I even get home from work!

I have some pretty exciting upcoming plans. πŸ˜€

I have a pair of Dr. Who Carolyn PJ’s on the deck for me, and Harry Potter PJ’s for Daughter #2.

I have been invited to TWO Halloween parties and plan on making a costume. I will be Regina, the Evil Queen from Once Upon A Time and plan to use McCalls 6818.


And my Christmas dress is also in the early planning stages. I am thinking about making this dress from Vogue (#1502) in either a navy or emerald.


On a final note, I thought I would share my latest commitment to lightening up my fabric stash. I made a year long deal with my cousin who also has quite the stash. We have to sew FOUR items for every piece of fabric we want to buy. I just finished my 4th item so am entitled to one piece of fabric. I am thinking that will cut down on the stash in record time! Hope I can keep to it!

Happy sewing my friends!


Edgar Allen Poe Nevermore Purse- Be Still My Beating Heart!


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Edgar Allen Poe, writer of mystery and the macabre. Born 1809 and died too young in 1849 under mysterious circumstances. His death certificate disappeared! He is considered the inventor of detective fiction and credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. His short stories and poems caught my attention as a teen. The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell Tale Heart. I remember my son reading The Tell Tale Heart in 8th grade and being creeped out! But it held his attention!

Cropped Nevermore

Anyway, when I spotted the Edgar Allen Poe Nevermore fabric by Michael Miller from Fabric.com, I knew I had to have some and I didn’t want it to just be added to my stash, or another quilt. (Nevermore is the title of an Edgar Allen Poe musical that I have not had the opportunity to see yet but hope to!) I could not see myself wearing a Nevermore dress- that’s just not me, so, I decided to make a purse. I am not usually a big handmade purse fan. I want my purse,for lack of better words- looking NOT handmade! Haha. Which meant challenging myself to use hardware and leather like accents. Because this was a first venture into purse making I decided against the cost of leather just in case it looked like crap!

I spent several hours deciding on the right pattern and went with the Harriet purse by Swoon. (af link) Some of them still looked a little “handmade” to me but after perusing all the pictures I decided I needed to use a real clasp on the front and rivets. πŸ˜€


Best way to make a purse is to gather everything together and cut it all out at once. As a non-purse sewist I also had to do some hardware (ETSY) and Pellon shopping. After a big debate on IG whether to use silver or gold hardware, I went with antique bronze.

Making a purse is not hard. You just follow the directions step by step, keep your seams even, and you can make yourself a pretty cool purse.

WP_20160605_003 InstagramCapture_7ef7e928-6dd6-48ea-910f-7d9705ca9363

One of my favorite features of this purse is the two side zips. If I need more space in my purse I just unzip the side zips and it becomes more of a tote! For this reason I made certain I had a good coordinate. (Which is also my lining.)


I was impatient and kept putting the clasp on incorrectly but finally managed on the 3rd try. So, I advise avoiding being too excited and practicing patience! And reading the directions if you have never put a clasp on a purse before!

WP_20160605_009(1)One of my biggest concerns was whether my little machine would be able to handle the “pleather.” Single and double folded it actually did! When I made my handles though I needed to use a leather needle and adjust my tension. In my dreams I have an industrial machine- one day!


Another new “skill” for me was adding rivets. Heck, I had trouble BUYING rivets because I had NO CLUE what size to buy and despite combing the interwebs for information on other sewing blogs no one really mentioned what SIZES were good. So, I guessed. I went with 6 mm and bought the tool. I had to buy 100 rivets, but, well, I guess I can make a lot of purses now! I highly recommend you practice!! I broke a few in the beginning and finally figured out exactly how much pressure to put on the hammer. Those rivets help make my purse look less homemade. Fortunately, the 6 mm worked perfectly. Unfortunately, I won’t always be using antique bronze so I just ordered a batch of silver!


I LOVE my purse. Have you ever made or done something that just makes you proud? This did! It is not perfect. I have one issue I need to fix for my next one, but sewing is a learning process right?! The biggest thing that bothers me is I failed to get the Nevermore centered. I was using a paper pattern on the fold- so for future I traced that piece on to see through interfacing as one full piece. That should help me center better next time, and will hopefully help you if you decide to make a purse. Other than that, well… It is pretty perfect and I am pretty pleased. I am searching high and low for an antique bronze raven charm to add to the side zipper but have only found silver so far.


Check out the sides! Isn’t it fantastic? In reality I will probably never need a bigger sized purse. I have been carrying a small cross body style purse for the last two and a half years. It barely fits my sunglasses, cell phone and a case for my ID and cards. I like having a tiny purse! But I still like the contrast of my new one and suppose I can carry my Kindle in this one now! WP_20160605_012

Here is a peek at the insides. There is one small zipper pocket. I think I would like to add an extra panel inside to separate and add another section. But this will do!


After this successful purse project I have decided that I am going to become a Bag Lady… I have already planned out a Batman, Minnie Mouse, and Snow White purse. And that is just the beginning! I also have an 80’s style leather coat my mom gave me (those 80’s shoulders make it unwearable!) that I can re-purpose the leather for. (Once I get it out of storage!)

Nevermore Purse

If you are in the mood for a short, dark story here is a link to the Tell Tale Heart. I finished up this purse watching the latest episode of Wayward Pines! LOVE that show. The first season was pretty creepy. I hope they can keep up the creep factor!


~Listening to Jimi Hendrix

I sewed on a Patch… Snoop Dogg…Carolyn PJS and other random things…

I sewed on a patch! And I thought I should share because I have neglected to share much of anything lately! Not that I have not been sewing but decent pictures are lacking and without the pictures, my heart isn’t into it. But… I did sew on a patch! πŸ˜€ A Bakfish Brewing patch on to a shirt for my brother. This is not the first one and it won’t be the last since he is an investor and Bakfish is now our local hang out. Speaking of beer, I got to pour beer for the customers one Saturday which was on my bucket list. Check!


I made 5 shirts for my cousins boys the last few months. But apparently I forgot to take a pic of the Batman shirt I made for #4. But here are 4 of them! I love making fun mens/ boys shirts. I am up to 19 and have a new one on the deck- special request from someone at the brewery. πŸ˜€

Boys Shirts

I made my eldest daughter a new vintage dress in a pretty challis.

Vintage Rose dress

My two eldest jumped out of a plane! YIKES!


I went to California for Stagecoach (three days of country music in Coachella) and not only did I see Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, The Doobie Brothers and a whole slew of other musicians and bands, but I also saw SNOOP DOGG… in da house! I had VIP tix so I was right up front in the pit! πŸ˜€


I made my eldest some SUPER CUTE Pikachu Carolyn PJ’s for her birthday. I have made three pairs of these now- someday I will make some for myself!

Carolyn Pajamas

I survived my first Houston Flood! On that Monday morning did this Cali girl know to check the news? Nope. Even though it had rained ALL night long and she was nervous to drive in the rain did she still head to work? Yes… But Alas I only made it 20 minutes down the road. I just want to say when they say “Turn around don’t drown” they mean it. From experience, now that it has happened to me, you have NO clue how deep that puddle covering the road goes. It may start out just an inch or 2 high but can get deeper. The “puddle” i went through kept rising until it nearly stalled out my car- Thankfully I veered off and up the side of the road onto higher ground. Hyperventilated… called my brother who was going to be NO help since he drives a mini cooper. And lived to talk about it. The scary thing is THIS is a picture of the exit I take to get to work. SO thankful I never made it that day! That is a CRAZY amount of water! And yes- that is a street light that must be at least 20 feet in the air. :/

Houston Flood_ All The Pics You Need To See(1)

My cousin has chickens and they like to come in and visit.


I made 5 new Lane Raglans! Three for me!


I ran my first 5K!!!!! And did not walk ANY of it!


And because I ran my first 5K and decided I needed to work towards a half marathon I got a 2nd pair of running shoes. NEXT, I am going to start making myself some running clothes. There are some NICE patterns out there for that!


I got a new hat with LOTS of sparkle… That would be a delicious 10 Barrel Brew I am enjoying at Stagecoach.


Next on my list of sewing – some work tops… simple with a drapey neckline- from these PRETTY jersey knits I got from Fabric Mart. I needed to add some color into my generally black and black work wardrobe!


I think that’s enough updating for now… But seriously guys! I sewed on a patch!


Laurie xo

~Reading The Law of Five by Robin Mahle




Star Wars Emery Dress


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There are a few things pretty obvious based on my sewing choices and blogged posts.

#1- I love sewing for others… namely my kids. Mostly because they look really cute in the clothes I like to make! Way cuter than I would look!

#2- I love sewing vintage… and the challenge of making a vintage pattern wearable today.

#3- I love sewing with character fabric…

I have made a Pac Man dress… Walking Dead and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle button downs… Marvel comic dresses… Pikachu PJs (not blogged yet) and more. I LOVE themed fabric and enjoy using it in my garment making. And the choices we have! At this moment I have Batman, Batgirl, Dr. Who, Marvel, BB-8, Superman, Wonder Woman and more lurking around in my stash waiting to be made in to something cool.

The biggest challenge is taking that fabric and turning it into something wearable. I don’t want to make a crazy Dr. Who dress that gets worn once (COULD be fun though?) which means I pick wearable patterns when I sew!

Star Wars Dress Star Wars Shirt

Last year I made my eldest daughter a Star Wars dress and my son a button down. They both get worn a lot! But my middle daughter truly wanted a Star Wars dress too so in January I finally got busy making one for her.


Holly is a size 2. I do NOT enjoy using the Big 4 Patterns (McCalls, Simplicity, Butterick and Vogue) when I make her clothes because there is too much to alter. If you look at the B ig 4 patterns many of them don’t have anything smaller than an 8. Why? Indie patterns on the other hand usually go to a 0… YAY! This means I have the general measurements at least and just need to make some minor changes (like a sway back adjustment.)

I made an Emery dress by Christine Haynes for Kadi several years back in red linen. She wanted a dress with buttons up the back and it worked beautifully. (You can see it here.) I love the simplicity of the dress and knew it would be perfect for what I had in mind. PLUS, the sizing fit my needs with very little changes!

Emery Dress

As you can see the Star Wars fabric I chose this time around was the Millennium Falcon fabric. It was a tough decision since there is Star Wars fabric galore to choose from but I liked this one because the color would look great on Holly AND it was old school Star Wars. πŸ˜€

I widened the neckline slightly on this version. I like the neckline to be a little more “boat like.” I also wanted to make her something with sleeves. She has quite a few sleeveless dresses now.


Unfortunately I only have mediocre pictures of the dress- Candids taken with a phone by my friend… Which I appreciate since they are better than nothing! If only I could fly to California with every dress I make and do a photo shoot. Sigh…

The Emery dress is a simple make. Bodice with darts and a gathered skirt with added pockets. I made very few changes- the wider neckline, a sway back adjustment, and I always line the bodice versus facings. I prefer it that way! My biggest challenge is making a dress without the “body” being present! I like to be able to try it on through out the process. But I think I managed a pretty good dress without having Holly near by.

Emery Dress


While I was at it I made Holly’s BF a matching shirt… There is nothing better than matchy matchy right? πŸ˜€

Holly Earl

He was pleased to get a new shirt! I used McCalls 6044. I have made 15 men’s shirts with this pattern and feel like a pro now. πŸ˜‰

Lots of sewing going on at my house. And Craft Beer drinking. A new brewery opened here in town and since my brother is an investor and his best friend is one of the owners it is becoming a good place to hang out and finally meet people here! I even got to pour beer one day right after opening since they needed help. That was a fun experience!

Hope you all had a nice Spring Break… And maybe you are well into your Spring sewing? I have my LIST all prepared! I will have to share what I am up to next time.



~Listening to Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl