Category Archives: sewing machine

Books and More


Well it’s been a busy Fall and Winter. I had a friend who just encouraged me to get back on to my blog. I’ve recently bought a lot of sewing books and I wanted to share them. They are awesome and I thought others would like to enjoy them too.

Two magazines that I buy every time I’m in a craft store are from Stampington & Company.  Apron*ology  and Haute Handbags are my favorite. I just bought the new Apron*ology today and I love it! If you like aprons for fashion, go get it! I secretly want to be a 50’s house wife, always look put together and in a fashionable dinner outfit. I would also be a women suffragette. I know different decade but I love romanticizing it all…while wear an apron.


Anyway to the books I’ve grown to love.

   123 Sew This has lots of different projects but they also grow in the skills you need with each project. I’ve sewed all the bags, the pin tuck clutch, pleated purse, and pleated messenger bag.

 Sew Serendipity Bags: Fresh and Pretty Projects to sew and Love.  I’ve sew the large foldable Shopper bag. I gave it as a gift.

 Sew Liberated . I’ve not sewed anything from this one yet. I got this book because I thought it would get me thinking more outside the box in a different way. I always take my own approach about sewing and crafts that I do. This book I thought could take me a bit past that. 

The Bag Making Bible. I would say that it is a great how to on everything from: binding, lining, zippers, pockets, and more. Great book. I made the reversible bucket bag today.  I made my biding out of a bandana. I’ll get pictures up soon.

I love reading sewing books and craft books more then anything. I really just like looking at pictures and these magazines and books make me want to read more about the pictures. Sewing and crafts are one of my de-stressers and I love it. Please comment and share any books or blogs that have gave you great ideas or just because you love it.





Sisters Quilt Show


Start of the Day at the lavender Festival.

Yesterday was  a great day! Check out Thing-A-Ma-Jigs Facebook page to see the album of our Sisters day of fun.

We went to Mckenzie River Lavender Farm to join in the lavender festival. This was a small farm but great to visit. We were there longer then expected because I locked my keys in the car and my sister had to come save us. After that ordeal was done we drove up to Sister, OR for the quilt show. My mom and I packed a lunch and ready to see the sites. Half way to Sisters we made a pit stop for lava rocks for my mom and then back on the Road.

We made it to sister and had a wonderful picnic.

Portable Picnic blanket, will be more on Etsy next Spring.

There were so many quilts I didn’t know where to start. They are all beautiful and so many different styles and colors. There was one quilt that had a great story with it; a women stitched this quilt by hand and it took her two years, she was battling cancer and wanted to finish before she couldn’t. Check out my Facebook to view all the pictures.

We walked around for about an hour and the thunder and lighting started up and quilts came down. I was bummed I wasn’t able to see more but it was a great day still! I really had a wonderful time with my mom.




I was walking through Jo Ann Fabrics, as normal, and I ran across a new line of oil cloth they had out. Luckily I had a 50% off coupon for the $12.99 a yard fabric. Off topic but does everyone experience the same grouchy sour puss faced employees at Jo Ann’s, I mean they are always cross. Anyway I had been in need of a new lunch bag and wanted to make one too.  This is not really a promotion for Jo Ann Fabrics but I found a great free pdf pattern for a lunch bag called, Cute-Enough-To-Eat, on their website.  I did my research and looked online at lots of different patterns and the Cute-Enough-To-Eat was the best shape and size that I needed.

I got a coral, sea foam green, and brown patterned material. I realized I am horrible at taking pictures while in progress of my project, so I will work on that to show more steps. I had Insul Bright material. It was a simple enough pattern, you cut rectangles for exterior, interior, and batting and square off the ends. You create a box with handles attached. The pattern allowed for a lot of flexibility in creating your own way to attach/close the bag. You can use a button, Velcro, snaps, whatever you want and however you want to decorate it.

This pattern still left a lot of the oil cloth and I look forward to make more lunch boxes. The next time I make a lunch bag I’m going to look for the thick plastic packing sheets that you may see in more store bought or temperature safe bags, I want my lunch bag to be really ready to keep the cool in.



Bags & Purses Galore


One of the Christmas gifts I made was a new bag, The Curtain Shopper Bag. This was for my Aunt Lee Ann and I wanted to make it red! Luckily for me I had material from old curtain that my sister gave me that was red! I was going to make this bag with or without the curtain material but it was great to follow the instructions exactly, which I rarely do.

Fashionable Grocery Bag

The bag wasn’t to difficult to make  but there was some mistakes that I will be able to fix the next time around. I always remember my iron, pressing and making the fabric do what I need has been the number one key for my success with my sewing. I love interfacing and  I added the interfacing to the interior. The straps ended up being the trickiest for me and they always are on other bags as well.  I am really enjoying my sewing experiences more and more and I am really starting to understand the sewing instructions as well.


The Curtain Shopper Bag was from The Perfect Handmade Bag.

Christmas 2011


This Christmas I made everyone homemade gifts! Below are the pictures of their presents. I had a wonderful Christmas and got more into the season with each gift I made. I”m really happy with my progress in sewing and each year should be better and better. There will be some follow up blogs on two of the purses.

Dianna's purse!

Sam's Wallet & Coin/Card Wallet

Jo's Makeup holder. My First zipper.

Jo's Slippers!

Erin's Chicken oven mitt.

Erin's Oven Mitts.

Mom's Tea Cozy!

Aunt Lee Ann's Grocery Bag.

Jessie's Geisha Girl Bag!

Cat Lady in Making


 So I made doll clothes. I have an American Girl from when I was a kid, her name is Samantha. I had gotten rid of Samantha but my Grandma kept her for safe keeping. I recently purchased another American girl doll, Felicity, and my Grandma shipped Samantha. I decided I would like to make them outfits, but for the benefit of my practice for sewing. (I’m trying to justify this activity).

So I have the official America Girl Doll patterns that they sold in the 90’s for both of these dolls. Their outfits are period specific; Felicity is from 1774 and Samantha is from 1904. Their outfits are very detailed and need a lot of ribbons and lace that I can’t find at a craft store. I made a go of one of Samantha’s outfits because I had material for it.

It is her cape and footie things (like the technical term). I knew I didn’t want to mess up the nice fabric so for the first time EVER I made a muslin test outfit and I was happy I did.

What I learned from the muslin pattern.

  • I can make mistakes; it’s good to make them! I was able to really see how I can fix and update my final product by my mistakes.
  • I can change how I make the final outfit. Just like a recipe I can update it and make it my own the second time around.

What I learned with the final outfit.

  • To take my time and work out the kinks from my muslin outfit.
  • This is a difficult project and I need to take my time.
  • Iron will always be the best friend, and my new love for interfacing!
  • I need to make it my own! The material is different then the original American Girl outfit, but it follows the same theme of material. So really be creative!

With all the sewing I’ve done so far I’ve really learned to take my time and be patient. I can make something really wonderful that other people will enjoy too! This project was one of the hardest for me to do and it ended up being one of the items I’m most proud of. It turned out really well and everyone agreed with me too, that means it must be good! So yes this is the Cat Lady in making, I promise not to become a hoarder or have a smelly house.

Domestic Diva


Yes I am a Domestic Diva, or really I’m just a diva. This was my favorite apron to make and I also did the best job on it as well.

Is it my favorite becuase it was easy? Is is the best apron because it was easy? Or I have I gotten a little better and understand the directions and have become just a tiny bit more patient and willing to take my time…. I think yes.

  • This apron seemed like a a simple pattern but it took some exact measurements and gathering. Gathering for a rouching effect is actually difficult for me and it’s kind of a pain in the butt.
  • When I first started sewing the directions were like a different language, and still are, but I’m starting to understand this foreign language.
  • And lastly I was patient the day I made Domestic Diva.
The biggest thing I learn with each apron and project I do it I always get better with each one. Practice does make perfect no matter what you are doing. You’ll find better and fast ways to get to your end goal and if you mess up you learn and move on next time. I really enjoy my craft experiences because I’ve really been able to see as an adult a how practice and determination will get you with even simple things.