Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

I have long admired the lovely bags made by Lori of Girls in the Garden.  Her bags are sewn beautifully with gorgeous fabric combinations.  I wanted to try my hand at sewing a bag, but never got around to it.  Being selected as tester for Lori’s Rose Messenger Bag was just the kick in the pants I needed. 

DSC02243The directions are fabulous.  Even a beginner could end up with a very successful bag using this pattern. 

Since this was a test run, I grabbed fabrics I had on hand.  The blue striped fabric is actually a shirt that my husband ripped on a computer rack.  Having only made two or three bags previously, I expected to struggle a bit and end up with a less than perfect product.  Nope.  The bag went together beautifully and easily.  I want to make another one using better fabrics. 

This pattern lends itself to lots of customization.  You can add more pockets to the inside to suit your personal needs.  That band on the front would be a great place for a bit of machine embroidery, ribbons, fabric flowers…. or a souvenir pin from an arts festival. 

DSC02242I finished this bag right before I went to Washington DC for the Capital Fringe Festival.  I knew I would be doing lots of walking and subway riding.  The cross body strap was perfect… comfortable and secure.  The outside zipper pocket was a great place to keep my subway card, tickets, and phone handy, yet secure.  I had random people on the subway and street comment on the my bag. 

I hope Lori has more patterns in the queue.  She has a great sense of design and writes great directions.  The pattern is available through her Etsy shop


Fake Out

Posted on: 5 June, 11

Simplicity 2647aThe wrap dress is such a flattering to style to women of all shapes, sizes, and ages.  However, the wrap dress is not always flattering in windy conditions, or when sitting, or trying to get out of a car, or leaning over a student’s desk.  Yes, it can be a challenged to stay all wrapped up in a wrap dress.  Enter the fake wrap dress! 

Simplicity 2647 is an amazingly flattering fake wrap dress.  Not only is it a wrap, but it also has some lovely pleats right across the midsection.  Those lovely pleats can hide lumps and bumps and fluff.  The overlay is connected on both side seams.  There is no way the skirt can fly open.  I worried about the plunging neckline.  Magically, it hugs the body. 

My fabric is an ITY knit that I purchased in Chicago at Vogue Fabrics.  It feels delightful next to the skin. 

Here is a the line drawing of the pattern because this fabric is a bit too busy to see the style lines.


I made View D to test the fit of the pattern.  I am not in love with it, but it will be fine as dress for hanging out this summer.  The fabric was not a favorite, so that might be part of the issue.  Views B & C are a halter style version.  I plan to make one for the summer. 

In the right fabric, this would be an outstanding formal gown.  Knit would be so comfortable to wear to long, formal event.  Knits also travel wonderfully.  Such a pity that there no formal events in my immediate future.  I think I shall hang onto this pattern just in case something pops up. 


Just when I need a little silliness, a friend comes through for me.  The photo is terrible.  (Yeah, like that’s a big surprise on this blog.)  In case you can’t tell from the photo, this is a Hello Kitty Silly Band.  Seriously, they sell these.  Hello Kitty was to be left out of the Silly Band craze. 

What is even more exciting about this Silly Band is the fact that it glows in the dark.  Silly me tried to take a photo of that but the flash presented a problem with the whole “glow in the dark” drama.  In my defense, I was in alone in a hotel room in Connecticut after a long day of travel.  Silliness was definitely the rule of the day.  (I will tell you all about Connecticut soon… as soon as I can process the whole expedition.) 

I love having friends who realize I don’t need expensive gifts.  Something ridiculous and frivolous will make me smile for days.  Over the last couple weeks, that silly little bit of rubber has given me something to smile about when there wasn’t much else.  Another friend of mine swiped a mermaid from her daughter’s Silly Band baggie.  She is hiding it from her daughter until she sees me again.  Grown women and Silly Bands.  Isn’t it awesome?


Oprah has a big campaign against texting while driving.  I wonder how she would feel about texting while kayaking?  On our vacation, we went kayaking in the lagoons surrounding the island.  It was gorgeous.  So peaceful, so serene.  Kayaking is hard work, even when the water is like glass. 


DSC01794 The banks of the lagoons were filled with these beautiful, mossy trees.  I don’t know much about kayaking, but I do know that one generally wants to stay away from overhanging trees.  Snakes sometimes hang out in trees.  If one dropped into the kayaking…  eek!  Because I could not bend my knee enough to get into the front of the kayak, I was in the back, the one who is charge of steering.  Did I mention I have never paddled a boat?  We cruised along, somewhat successfully avoiding the trees.  When we were about three-quarters of the way, when my arms were giving out, Hubski says the words that I did not want to hear: “Oh look!  an alligator…  and there’s another one…”  Paddle, paddle, paddle!!!  No, I did not stop long enough to get a photo of the alligators.

DSC01791 DSC01789

Even though I am back home, I wasn’t home all day.  There was physical therapy in the morning, then lunch with a friend.  After lunch, I met up with the art teacher from the middle school.  She is doing a week long summer class to teach children how to make batiks.  Since she has all the supplies set up, she “plays” in the afternoon after the children leave.  Today, I got to play with her.  So.  Much.  Fun. 

The suitcases are not unpacked.  The laundry has not been started.  The mail sits unopened on the kitchen island… and I don’t care.  Playing with wax, dyes, and fabric is far more fun.  I get to go back tomorrow!!!  The laundry may need to wait another day. 

The fabulous Dr S is referring me to his mentor.  In a few weeks, I will travel to Connecticut to see the allegedly even more fabulous Dr Fulkerson.  He is the one who trained Dr S and developed the procedure that was planned for my last surgery.  If you develop procedures that are named after you and become the gold standard of treatment, you must rather talented.  I am not getting my hopes up that Dr Fulkerson will have a magic wand.  I strongly suspect he will confirm what Dr S has already said.  However, the trip will be worth it for peace of mind, to know that I have explored all my options.  As Dr S said, “Another pair of eyes might see things differently.” 

So, is there anything fun to do in the Hartford area?  Fabric stores?  Yarn stores?  It was slim pickings for flights to Hartford so I will have some time to kill.  Thanks to Hubski’s travel, he has “Platinum Status” with several hotel chains.  He made arrangements for me to stay in a very lovely, very upgraded room.  When you check in as a Platinum Status guest, they fall all over themselves trying make your stay as perfect as possible.  I shall take full advantage of the pampering. 


Posted on: 30 June, 10

Since I can’t run around and do a million things like I usually do, I have been cleaning up things on my desk and on my computer.  I found some photos that I forgot to post.  These are the fabrics that Hubski brought back from unexpected prolonged stay in Denmark. They are wonderfully soft knits that he probably paid way too much for, but he had time on his hands.  I would rather he spend that time looking for fabrics than sitting in the hotel bar paying way too much for drinks. 



I hope to make this one into a dress.  It would be pretty with some contrasting areas of solid red or black.  No particular pattern comes immediately to mind.  It is more a wintry fabric.  It needs to sit in my stash for a bit longer, grow up and decide what it wants to be.




This one is a jersey knit, but very, very soft for a jersey.  Of course, I have no idea what the actual fabric content is on any of these.  My initial reaction to this one was not positive, but it is growing on me.  The right pattern will be critical with this one. 




I wish you could feel this one.  Oh so buttery soft.  Hubski said it has some wool in it according the label on the end of the bolt.  I have no idea how he knows this since he does not speak Danish, but it does feel like there is some wool.  I wish he had bought a bit more of this because it would be a scrumptious dress for winter.  The true color is closer to what you see in the corners.  The flash washed it out.  (Yes, I am terrible with a camera.)  This is my favorite piece. 

It is a good thing my surgery has kept him on a short leash.  There have been requests for him to go to far corners of the globe.  If he didn’t have to be home every night to cook dinner and take care of me, he would not be home this summer. 


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