I hope to inspire and entertain you with a lot of sewing and a little of everything else!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Snap to It! Tutorial for Snap Bags

These cute little bags were a project at my Quilt Guild last week. I was the lucky teacher, so I had to make a sample to try it out!
These fabrics are from Hobby Lobby- my daughter bought them for me.
This dino bag is for Andy. These fabrics were in a grab bag.
This space bag is for Davy. More fabrics from a grab bag!
Here's how the inside looks when it's clicked open.
This is the secret behind the click! Segments of metal tape measures in the top casings!

I wrote some basic directions if you want to try one:

Fabrics should not be one-way prints
Maxi:
9x18 outer
9x 22 , (2) 4 ½” squares, and 3x15” strip (for optional strap), all of lining
8 ½ x 18 batting, thin cotton preferred
2 tape measure 8” long with duct tape ends
Mini: like a change purse
5x9 outer
5x13. (2) 4 ½” squares, and 3x15” strip (for optional strap), all of lining
5x9 batting. thin cotton preferred
2 tape measure 8” long with duct tape ends


  1. Iron 2 squares into prairie points and set aside
  2. Optional: for carrying strap: iron long strip down the middle, fold both long ends in and iron, then fold in half and iron. Stitch down the long edge and set aside strap.
  3. Lay lining fabric on table, right side down.
  4. Place batting on lining, centering it to leave borders at both short ends.
  5. Place outer fabric over batting, right side up, putting it evenly over the batting (they should be the same size).
  6. Optional: machine quilt on the outer fabric, either stipple (free-motion) or lines.
  7. Fold edges at ends in halfway (raw edge of lining fabric meeting raw edge of batting/outer). Then fold again, so that a casing is formed over the outer fabric at each short edge.
  8. Optional: if you are adding prairie points, pin them inside the casing at the center of each side. These are decorative, but also useful to pull the sides open.
  9. Stitch close to fold and at outer edge of casing on both ends. Be sure to stitch very close to the edges in order to have enough width to the casing to hold the tapes.
  10. Fold in half with outer fabric on the inside. Stitch one side only! 1/4” seam.
  11. Insert tape in each casing with numbered edge facing outside of bag. This makes it click better.
  12. Stitch other side with 1/4” seam.
  13. Optional: trim seams to remove extra batting and zigzag over seams- this makes the inside look nicer.
  14. Optional gussets: this will create a flat bottom to your bag: open and flatten seam up at 90 degrees- (seam along bottom center fold), sew across corner, 1” from point. Trim extra off.
  15. Flip bag and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Vintage Pattern Love: Outfits for Men Dolls





This pattern was recently for sale, but as my Mom would say, "it was too rich for my blood." In other words, expensive. I was attracted to it because I have never seen anything like it! This must be a very rare pattern, indeed. It is in excellent condition, having been made in 1938. I thought I recognized the face as "Charlie McCarthy," which I had only heard of as a ventriloquist dummy.
Apparently in the 1930s, these were made as dolls by the well-known Effanbee Doll Co. They came in at least 3 sizes: 15", 17" and 20". I found this photo which references 5 outfits available for them:
DSCN2509[1]
It looks like they had the moving mouth, so I am not sure if these were geared towards adults or playthings for children. I have always thought they look a bit creepy.
Here's the face of the 1930s version:
It's not too bad.
But here's a more recent one...
Charlie McCarthy Ventriloquist Dummy Doll Puppet New
Tell me you wouldn't be afraid to sleep in a room with that sitting on a chair watching you!

I love finding really unusual sewing patterns and this one is certainly unusual!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Oops!

I had no idea my previous post would be taken seriously! I feel chagrined that I really fooled people. I am honored that you all think my photos are that good! Here's the backstory:
We were on vacation at my parents' beach house last week. I had made the sailor suit to do beach photos of Andy- as my ideas usually do, this grew to: oh, let's do Davy too, so I bought him a white polo and navy shorts, having been told in no uncertain terms that 11 is too old to wear a sailor suit for photos- I don't care what they did in 1900- this is 2016. Ok, ok, I get it. Well, the polos at Walmart were so cheap, why not get them for everyone and do a few of the whole family. Idea growing...
Then I think, my Mom and Dad are here, too. Why not all 9 of us, while I'm at it?
You've got to know that my family tolerates my photo-taking. They are good sports, but we all laugh about how Mom has to have her pictures. "How many do you take in a year?" (8000 in a regular year, 12K with a new baby). "How do you get so many good pictures?" (when you take 8000 you are bound to have a few winners). But I digress...
So, it took a few nights for everyone to agree to go barefoot (LOL), find some khaki shorts, figure out sunset timing, etc. 
July 4 was our night! We all went to the beach and it was one of those rare projects where the stars align. Everyone looked great good human. The lighting was good- no bugs- no people around.
I took 70 photos. Most were excellent! 
My whole family was happy with my "shoot". This has never really happened before. So many praises- "good idea on the neutral theme" "didn't the sunset look great?" "let's get these printed."
The next day, my Mom said "let's take Andy tonight and do the sailor suit." In the interest of full disclosure, I have to add that this was partly because she loves seeing cute pictures, partly because she wanted to see my get the pictures I wanted, but mostly because I said "no rush- I can take them by the lake at home" and she freaked at the thought of her precious grandson being subjected to embarrassment in "sissy clothes" less than 100 miles from home.
So, on July 5, we went back to the scene of the crime uhh...photo shoot. Not as good conditions: lighting was a little bright (shadows) and we were eaten alive by bugs. But still, I got 36 pictures in 8 minutes. No kidding. Many of them were adorable.
So, fast forward to yesterday. I was doing my "clean for 15 minutes/take a 15 minute break" and I decided to play with the photos. I made the spoof newspaper shot and sent it to my Mom, Dad, and Hubby as a joke. Surely they would know it wasn't real. When my phone rang almost immediately, I wondered if I might have fooled my Mom? Yes, she was very upset. "How did the paper get his picture?" She is even more private than Hubby. "Mom, it was just a joke!" Then Hubby called- he was not fooled. But it was the fancy dishes that gave it away. He knew I wouldn't be sitting with a paper and a fancy breakfast!
So then I started making other joke photos. "Look, Mom, Andy is on billboard!" "Andy made it on the news." "Andy's pictures are in a museum."
Then I thought "Oh, this would be a funny blog post!" 
And you  know what happened next...it went viral!!

So, how can you fool your family (and perhaps the world?) Go to PhotoFunia! If facebook doesn't waste half your day, this will!!
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