Monday, June 28, 2010

Pantsuit Transformed

This is the latest item I listed in my Etsy shop: a tote bag made from repurposed jeans and a flowery fabric from a vintage pantsuit. I was searching the racks at Goodwill for interesting fabric, and I came across an extremely outdated, unfashionable three piece pantsuit. It was a pair of pants with an elastic waistband, a very large vest with gold buttons on the pockets, and a pair of shorts, again with the elastic waistband. I had to have it! I could just picture the huge blue and purple flowers made into cute, fun purses and bags. I checked the tag, and the fabric was 100% cotton, and it was in perfect condition. I don't think the owner of this suit ever wore it at all. Maybe she re-thought her fashion choice? Good news for me. So far I've made three bags from it, and I have fabric left for more. My husband was with me when I purchased the pantsuit, and he felt the need to explain to the check-out clerk, "She isn't going to wear this. She's going to use the fabric to make some purses." She replied with, " I wasn't going to say anything. I've seen it all here!" I think she may have thought it was for HIM! Poor guy. Maybe I won't make him come along on my next shopping trip.

I wish I had a picture of the pantsuit before I cut it up, but here's one of another purse made with the fabric:

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I just finished making three sundresses using the Heather Ross free Mendocino Sundress pattern. The plan was for each daughter to cut out and sew her own dress except for the shirring on the top part, which I would do. Well, that plan was quickly scrapped. Daughter number one decided that sewing was just not for her, and quit on me after cutting out the pockets. Teenagers! Daughter number two, although also a teenager, did a little better. She cut out the pockets and sewed the basic dress together, and I did the rest. The pattern was fairly simple. The thing that took the most time was the shirring, which is done with a regular machine stitch with elastic thread in the bobbin. The bobbin has to be wound by hand. The directions say not to stretch it out when winding it, but this did not work for me. When I did this, it didn't stitch tight enough, so I tried again winding it tightly and that worked much better. The shirring is done by stitching rows and rows right next to each other in one spiral line of stitching. I thought it would never end. I was also afraid the shirring wasn't going to be tight enough, but I followed the directions and dampened it a little after I was finished sewing, and it worked great. I'm very pleased with the results! Here's the link to the free pattern download if you want to try it yourself: http://

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Ok, I must admit, I am NOT a gardener! I try, I really do, but I just don't have that green thumb. This year, the rest of the family is in charge of the backyard vegetable garden, and it's actually looking pretty good. I am just in charge of the flowers. I love lavender, so last year I planted five nicely sized plants. Well, two of them are doing great. The others...well I hope they survive. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I treat them all the same. But, at least those two have lots of beautiful and great smelling blooms! I'm seeing some cute little sachets in the future. Maybe made out of vintage flour sack fabric or antique handkerchiefs. Antique shops, here I come!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Banana Cream Pie

On Friday morning, I asked my husband what he wanted for dessert for our weekly Friday night family dinner. He said, "I want what I ALWAYS want for dessert". Now, we have been married for over 22 years, and I was clueless as to what he always wanted for dessert. Seems like something I should know. I just said, "Oh. Ok. And what would that be?" The answer was banana cream pie. I knew he liked it, but I guess I didn't realize just how much! So we had banana cream pie for dessert, made from scratch, of course. There is no fake pudding mix in this kitchen! And we topped it with real whipped cream. Mmmmmm, yummy! Note to self: his favorite dessert is banana cream pie.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Postcards From Delaware

This is the link to the Welcome Center where the shop Postcards From Delaware will be opening soon. This is where my bags will be!

And here are more photos of some of the bags that will be there:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

First Wholesale Order - Finished!

My first wholesale order for Tote-ally Bags is finally finished!!! BIG relief! My bags will soon be appearing in the new Delaware Welcome Center on I-95 in Northern Delaware, in a shop called "Postcards from Delaware". I shipped the order off yesterday; all that work bundled up in two little boxes. 24 bags in all, and I did it in a week. This included planning, purchasing supplies, cutting, sewing, pressing, making and tying on tags, and packing. Oh, and I didn't work on the Day of Rest, of course! So that meant a week of my sweet husband helping out with dinner, everyone doing their own laundry, and housework being pretty much nonexistent. Kind of like what happens when mom is sick. But my family was great about it, and hopefully next time I will have more notice and it won't be such a time crunch. The bags turned out beautiful. I am so excited and I can't wait to see them in the shop! Well, I have a big to-do list today! Better go get busy getting my house back in order

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

National Zoo.

I have always loved going to the zoo. I have very early memories of a red elephant-shaped "key". This key was for placing in a box at the zoo that would tell about the animals. Or maybe the box made the animal sound? I'm not sure, but I know I loved that key and I loved going to the zoo. The "runt-runts" (elephants) were my favorite. Now, at 40 years old, I still enjoy the zoo, and I'm blessed with a family that does, too. We decided to go to the National Zoo in Washington D.C. over the long Memorial Day weekend. We've been there once before, and even though the girls are teenagers now, we were all so excited to go again!

Last time we went, we made the mistake of driving all the way to the zoo and trying to find a parking spot. This time we parked and rode the train/subway into the city. A much less stressful way to go! When we got there, we bought a map (the zoo is free, so you pay for everything else) and started wandering along the trails.

Family favorites: the pandas (I think there are two, but we only saw one) and the great cats. We saw cheetahs, tigers and lions. Pretty kitties! I only got to see my favorite elephants from far away, because their house is under renovation.
Our least favorites: the monkeys and the emu. We were looking for the wallabies, and the emu came right up to the fence and stared at us while pacing and moving its head from side to side. "Ew!" we said. "That thing is creepy!" We moved farther down to the next viewpoint, and it ran after us, stopped right in front of us, again freakishly moving its head, pacing and staring. We're lucky we didn't have nightmares!

By the time we were done seeing all we wanted to see, we were hot and exhausted. We were SO thankful for the misting stations throughout the zoo! Whoever thought of those was a genius. They were very refreshing, and made the heat a little more bearable. All in all, it was a fun and memorable trip to the zoo.