Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sewing update for March and April

I made a couple passport wallets that are lined with RFID protection fabric. The pattern is by Genycartes on Craftsy and is called the Rover Passport Wallet.  I still have a couple more of these to make.  Cork fabric was used as an accent fabric in the first one and on the outside of the second one.  I think it came together better when it was used on the outside.

 My daughter asked me to make her an RFID protected travel bag/pouch that she could carry her passport, credit cards, plane ticket, phone and iPod.  She wanted to be able to wrap it around her wrist (hence the wriststrap) as well as be able to carry it as a cross-body bag. A cross-body strap was made from black webbing, but it is not in the pics below.  The exterior is made from burgandy and charcoal cork fabric and the interior is quilting cotton.

This was a trial pattern for me.  Quilting cottons were used for the interior and exterior.  It is lined with foam which makes it stand up.  I added a silver "Handmade" tag to the front, magnetic clasp to close the bag, divided the interior and exterior pockets in half, and added purse feet to the bottom.  I love this pattern and the look of the bag is fabulous.  I can see more of these in my future.  :)  The pattern is The Ethel by Swoon.



This little pouch was a free pattern.  The pouch holds an iPhone perfectly.  The front zip pocket is perfect for holding coins/bills/cards.  This was made with Cork fabric as well.  If you can't tell... I LOVE cork fabric.  SOOOO easy to sew with using a domestic machine.

 These are bags that I'm using regularly.  The large is my everyday tote that I use to carry my stuff back and forth to work and the smaller I use as a purse when I'm not working.  Personally, I think it would look funny to carry them both at the same time lol.  The middle exterior panel pocket and bottoms are both made with cork fabric and the the exterior is cotton canvas with little sailboats. The interior lining is made from a cotton coat fabric.   It is the perfect fabric for a lining as it has body an doesn't need interfacing.  I added slip pockets on one side and a zippered pocket on the other.  This pattern is the Hapai Tote by SewDaKine

Lastly, is a practice run for a little fabric envelope that I made from quilting cottons.  I still need to add a snap closure. And yes, the spool fabric was cut upside down by accident.  I'll still use it as a small project pouch for myself. This pattern is the Secret Pocket Envelope Clutch by Michelle Patterns and can be found on Etsy.

And that's it for March and April.  Hoping for a productive May.  :)


Friday, April 28, 2017

Stitching update for March and April

Some things I've been working on through-out March and April:

First, is Bloom from Just Cross Stitch March/April 2011 edition. I used mostly Vikki Clayton silks from my stash because I didn't have the threads the pattern called for on hand.  The fabric is 32 count Willowgreen linen.

 The little bee is from an Easter Pattern by The Cricket Collection.  I couldn't get the fabric to show up correctly at all.  It is 28 count pale yellow Zweigart linen.

The bluebird is a transfer design that I transferred onto the cork using Prick and Pounce.  The little bird was stitched with DMC #8 Perle Cotton. The cat bookmark is part of the Cozy Cat pattern from the Cross Stitch & Needlework Fall 2015 magazine. Both were stitched and finished in March/April.

Finally, this is what I'm currently stitching and hope to have it finished soon.  Buttercup Alphabet by Cathy Jean fro The Victoria Sampler.  I'm using the thread pack which is a mix of Gentle Art Sampler Threads and Weeks Dye Works.  The fabric is 25 count Zweigart Raw linen.  I absolutely love the funky alphabet in this pattern.  :)

And sadly, that's all of the stitching I've completed in the last couple of months.  Hoping for a more productive May. :)


Friday, March 03, 2017

My finishing pile is dwindling!

Recently, I took out a few things that have been in my "to be finished" stack for literally years and finally finished them off.

First up is one of my very first pieces of hardanger. To finish it, I backed the hardanger with a piece of teal cotton that perfectly matched little flowers in the floral print that I used to cover a paper mache box.  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and use the little box to store some bits and bobs.

Next are a couple of cross stitch pieces that I made into cute zipper pouches with bright red zippers.  I finished them off with metal zipper tags with the Canadian maple leaf. These pouches are being used as project bags.

So my finishing pile is down by three! Maybe not a lot but it's still something.  :)

Now, onto my sewing projects.... 

Since I really needed a new purse because mine was looking quite shabby I decided to make my own.  I found the Hippo Hobo pattern by Emkie Designs and made two - one for winter and one for summer. They're a little on the large side, but they're perfect for carrying my things to work and since they're quite light I don't mind using it as an every day bag either. 

I thought I'd practice making some wallets with cork and whipped up these two Slimline wallets.  The pattern is by Carla's Creations and can be found on Craftsy.  I especially love the Tula Pink fabric.  That fox is simply the cutest thing ever.

I've been on the lookout for a small wallet pattern for awhile and came across the Limelight wallet designed by RLR creations.  I love the ID window in this one, but managed to flub it up when I was ironing it towards the end.  If you look closely you can see the melted plastic. Aside from that, I consider it a success.  It's an adorable little wallet pattern.

That's all I have for now.  I've been working on some passport wallets and a pouch with RFID protection, which I'll talk about in another post. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

My love affair with cork leather

If you follow me on Instagram, you will already know of my new found love for everything cork (also known as cork leather, vegan leather, or cork fabric).  So, I thought I'd explain why I'm so enamoured with this stuff.

Some of you may be asking what is she talking about so here are some pictures of cork leather to help you out:

Some facts about cork:
  • Sustainable product.  Cork is harvested from a cork tree once every 9 years.  This process does no damage to the tree. There are cork tree forests in Portugal that are over 2000 years old!  Although, from the information that I have, I believe most trees are harvested for up to 300 years.  That's still one heck of a long time though. 
  • It is 100% natural product. I'm always looking for alternatives to synthetics.
  • It is strong. Cork leather is as strong as its leather counterparts.  There have been some discussions on pre-mature wear in the corners, but I believe this has to do with heat (iron) being applied to the cork and other mitigating factors (quality of the cork leather - I buy only the best). Leather and vinyl both show wear in the same fashion.
  • It is water resistent. Bags and wallets made from cork are protected.  As much as I love fabric bags, water protection is nice to have.
  • Natural anti-mildew and anti-bacterial properties.  Synthetics such as vinyl definitely can't boast of this feature. Again, this is a benefit from an all natural product.
  • It can be wiped clean. I hate it when my leather wallets starts looking dingy due to every day handling or my bag starts looking like it's older than the stars because it's gotten dirty. Cork has a smooth, surface that can usually be wiped clean with plain water.  I read one story where dark jean dye rubbed off on a white cork handbag and the dye washed off completely with a damp cloth.  Most bags would be ruined.  That's a definite bonus in my books!
  • Cork leather is PETA CERTIFIED.  Cork is an ecofriendly vegan alternative to leather or vinyl. Remember that bit about trees being harvested for approximately 300 years?  
  • Cork is STITCHABLE.  Cork leather is quite pliable and has a different type of density. So, being stitching obsessed, I had to test it for myself to see if it could be used in hand-stitching. 
The hardest part for me was figuring out how to transfer the design.  You can't exactly see through cork, so Prick and Pounce is pretty much the only way to transfer the design unless your good with free-handing it.  

There is enough stiffness in the cork to hold it in your hand and stitch. 


I finished it off as an open-mouthed cork bag. I decided to list this for sale on Instagram and couldn't believe how quickly it sold. 😊

I'll end this post with some pictures below of a couple of things that I've made with the cork.

This is the Slimline wallet designed by Carla's Creations. Pattern can be found on

So, that's it my friends.  What's not to love about this stuff, eh?  😊

Wishing all of you a happy weekend!


Friday, February 24, 2017

A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

I could start with the "I'm so sorry for not blogging" speech, but I think we've all heard it before. So, I won't bother you with that.  Let's just get right to the good stuff. 😊

I've been busy!  There have been some family health issues that have been dealt with, but are still ongoing.  Then there was the regular Christmas business that happens every year.  This year was a bit more busy for me because I worked Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day.  Some would say who hates me so much at work lol.  But that's not the case at my place of work.  Since I work a shift work rotation, it is just the way it worked out.  My rotation just so happened to land on all of those days.  Go figure!?!  Nobody complains when it's their turn to work it because we all know it's inevitable.

Now, that takes me up to January.  In January, the family health stuff was number one on my plate and pretty well takes me right into February.  February has been busy too.  I'm not sure if any of you follow the East Coast weather forecasts, but we had some brutal weather!  Ice storms and flash freezes....  and then so much snow I swear we were buried alive.  Oddly, here we are at the end of February with absolutely beautiful spring-like weather.  Our massive amounts of snow and ice are melting.  The temperatures were in the low double digits today.  Just absolutely fantastic to see.  

Amidst all of this insanity, I have managed to sew and stitch a few things.  It's time to bombard you with pictures. 😏

I'll begin with an update on my stitching:

First up is Birdhouse from Just Cross Stitch Ornament Preview Issue October 2007. An unwritten goal (I guess it's written now though lol) is that I'd like to stitch more from my magazine collection in 2017.  I have accumulated goodness knows how many magazines and rarely stitch anything from them. So, this pretty little design is the first to be stitched for that challenge.

Now, those that follow me have seen this one before.  I started Santa's Secret, a Dimensions kit, just before Christmas.  I made quite a bit of progress, but bored of it as the Christmas season came to an end.  It is one that I will definitely finish for next Chrsitmas. 

The next picture is of a pair of hearts that I embroidered onto a handmade pillowcase as a Valentine's Day stitching project.  The transfer design is one that I had printed off ages ago and don't remember the source.

I guess this is a little out of order, because this is what I picked up when I set Santa's Secret aside.  This Easter Egg was a Drawn Thread kit aptly called The Easter Egg Sampler.  Some may say it's a bit too early for Easter stitching, but it called to me... and the rest is history.

Now, for my next magazine challenge. Here is Bloom Pincushion from Just Cross Stitch March/April 2011 issue.  It is Volume 29 Issue 2 for anyone that would like to know.  As you can see there are still a few stitches left in this one, but it will be done soon.

Now, Seville is one that I've been working on for awhile.  I haven't quite finished page 2, but I'm getting close.  I'm stitching this on 36 count linen and I find I have to set it aside after a bit of stitching.  I guess my eyes aren't as good as they used to be 😡.  For those that would like to know, Seville is from a Just Cross Stitch magazine as well.  It is in the June issue of 2015.  Also, I'm using DMC 744 as my thread of choice for this pattern.

I think this will be the last pic I'll share with you tonight.  It looks pretty plain and boring, I'm sure.  But this little stack of white cotton is actually five pillowcases I made last night.  I really wanted a pair of Valentine's pillowcases, but only had the one pillowcase made up.  So, last night I busied myself by making five more. Five blank slates all set for embroidery.  😊

 I'll leave you with that cause I know it's a lot to sift through.  Tomorrow, I'll be back with an update on a few other things I've been working on.

Wishing you a wondeful weekend!