Altering a Purse Strap

Altering a Purse StrapIt is 4th of July week and I felt the need for a new purse.  I found a pretty snazzy, all-American one but it had a short faux leather strap.  I can never find purses with ample straps for my ample body.  Then it hit me.  I can sew!

As a quilter I have a stash of leftover quilt binding from previous quilts.  I dug through that bin and found this red fabric with blue and white stars.  Perfect.  The existing strap on the purse was narrow and matched the width of the binding perfectly.

  1. Using a seam ripper, remove the existing strap from the hardware, leaving the existing hardware in tact.
  2. Open up the folded quilt binding strip.  Mine was 1 7/8″ wide when folded.
  3. Fold the unfinished fabric edges of the strip in to the middle fold and finger press.
  4. Topstitch with a machine along the long edge of both sides of the strip.
  5. Thread the ends of the finished strip through the purse hardware and adjust the new strap to the perfect length.
  6. Tuck the unfinished ends in on themselves and loop around the existing hardware.
  7. Stitch the ends in place using a sewing machine.  Stitch back and forth several times for added security.

Voila! New purse with custom strap that always fits.


Sew-it…Today Magazine Pretty Little Pouch

2014-03-05 15.05.11-1I am always on the look out for the “perfect little bag” to carry various objects of necessity in my purse.  Generally, I find that they are all the wrong shape.  I don’t want a large 4in. by 4in. square bag.  I want something long, narrow and easy to toss in a small purse.  (I am not known for having the patience to pack a suitcase when going anywhere.)  I picked up the latest issue of Sew-it… Today magazine on a local newsstand.  Being a tech person, I have made the jump to “the cloud”, ebooks and mobile devices so for me to purchase an actual paper publication meant that there had to be something intriguing in it. 

Flipping through the pages, I ran across this Pretty Little Pouch. I could not resist it.  But I cannot follow instructions completely letter for letter.  I must add my own unique spin to everything I make.  That is the whole point of sewing, right? The cotton fabric and interfacing used in the article was nice but my thought was “what about some recycled blue jean denim?”  Everything in my purse takes a beating and needs to be as sturdy as possible. So here is my version:  recycled denim outer fabric which is sturdy enough I didn’t have to add the interfacing along with a kicky lining fabric that makes me happy and some vintage trims from the Grandmother’s stash.

And I love the shape!


Blue Jean Baby Bibs

2013-11-23 16.45.27-2I love working with denim.  The new Re-purpose, Recycle trend really has me intrigued.  I was recycling denim before it was cool.  My mother insists that each family member receive a homemade denim throw on the successful completion of a driver’s license test. This denim throw is to go in the car trunk for anything, accidental or otherwise, that might come up.  And each time a new significant other has been brought into the family, she very promptly gifts them with one.  So it is natural for me to make purses, tote bags, and other fun accessories out of denim.  I find it to be a very sturdy serviceable fabric that needs very little special treatment. If it gets dirty, throw it in the washing machine.

I pinned an adorable set of baby bibs on Pinterest that linked back to a Notes From The Patch blog tutorial.  I think that image has been pinned thousands of times.  It is very well-liked.  I printed off her .pdf pattern and set about making my own version of these bibs.  I had several baby showers coming up and several pairs of jeans stored up in the sewing stash.  I couldn’t help adding the heart nailheads on each.  But I did lay my pattern with the wrong sides together and cut out 2 bibs that fastened on the right side and 2 bibs that fastened on the left side.  Oh, well. As long as I give them away to separate people, no one will know the difference.  Ah, the joys of making mistakes look like a creative twist!

Jeans iPad cover

 This should be a tutorial.  I realize that now, but in the excitement of designing and tweaking and drafting and trimming, I really did not take the time to think of taking photos for each step.  Suffice it to say I bought myself an iPad.  I tell myself and my husband that it was so that I could be more mobile in my job and get more work done but I really think it was because I wanted to design a really cool tablet cover.  I’ve seen so many different designs. I have so many different ideas.  I can see the search for the perfect tablet cover could be almost as consuming as the search for the perfect purse.

So here is to trying to write tutorials and designing patterns.  I have the skills, I have the resources, I have the knowledge.  I lack the ability to find the time.  From now on, I need to make the time.

Notice the blog is stark white.  I removed the “trimmings” a few days ago.  I’m rethinking my brand.  I need to come up with something original and unique.  It is coming.  I feel it.  I have some doodles down on paper, like that really helps me in the digital world, but I still draw better with a pencil and paper. The universe is full of such a vast array of colors and we don’t do anything any justice if we use black and white.

So, good (colorful) things to come!