Finished Object – Emmeline Apron


Here is another Montessori by Hand new release.

Thanks for all the wonderful comments on the Messenger Bag. I am sure Meg is beaming with delight, because I am 😀 .

In addition to the Messenger Bag, I also test sewed the Emmeline Apron. Everything about this apron was quick…how quickly I was asked to do it, how quickly I sewed it up, and how quickly I needed a Christmas present for my mom 🙂 . So for it to look so nice, even close up, is both a testament to my improving sewing skills and how wonderfully easy the pattern is.

Fabric: Amy Butler Lotus Pond in yellow and Sun Dahlia in green
Inspiration: Montessori by Hand Emmeline Apron
Modifications: None
Difficulty: 6
Enjoyment Factor: 8
Sewing Time:
1 day

The Good:

  • It’s reversible!!! How cool is that. 2 in 1 is always such a great feature. You can also use the ties as an added design element by tying them in the front or back.
  • I was drawn to this pattern due to the empire waist shape. It even has darts to add even more chicness to the design. It would definitely be flattering for any shape. Besides, who knows when you will have to work the runway in your apron 🙂 . Yes, I have been watching too much Project Runway.
  • This has quite a few tricks for the newbie sewer. Gathering and darts. Nothing bad, but definitely a great place to learn them.

The Bad:

  • It is a little fiddly on the top ties when you first put it on because you need to adjust them to get the fit that is right for you. I would suggest tying them the first time, just keeping them tied for future use, and just slipping in over your head so they are ready to go when you are.
  • I did forget to edge stitch around the ties as the pattern said, but that really is no biggy.

The Ugly:

  • Nope, I got nothing

Finished Object – Mischievous Gnome Messenger Bag


Drum roll please…..dododododododoo

May I present to you the debut of the Mischievous Gnome Messenger Bag ala Peacock Chic! If this was an Academy Award speech I would be thanking Montessori by Hand for letting me test sew her wonderful pattern which she has for sale on Etsy, Alexander Henry for making the wonderful flora fabric called Mocca, B. Black & Sons for the gorgeous brown wool, and M.L. Fabrics for selling both at a discounted price. A few tears would have fallen during my speech and I would be driven off the stage by the “wrap it up” music and impending commercial break.

However, this is real life so let’s get to the review. This was sewn in 2007, but the blogging was postponed so that it coincided with Meg’s release of the pattern. Please note that my review on this one will be a little bias because (1) I had a chance to comment on all the little nuances I would have changed, but since this was such a well written pattern it mostly consisted of improving on an already good thing, and (2) I really did love making this bag so I want everyone else to enjoy it too 😛

The Good:

  • Meg really paid a lot of attention to the little details and I think it paid off. I love, love, love the little patch on the flap. I don’t know why but that really makes me giggle when I see it. I also really like the topstitching on the handle and the top flap which gave the bag an expensive and professional look.

  • The instructions for the inside pocket were very well written. I had never done a zipper pocket in a purse before and her instruction were as clear as a bell to me. I even refer back to them when I make other purses with this feature.
  • This is a bag that is made for real world use. It is rugged and throughly interfaced so even the thinner cottons fabrics I used will stand the test of time.

The Bad:

  • The wool used for this pattern was not cheap. At $15.00 a yard, and that was at a discount store, I balked a little at the price. But after seeing the finished product, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. You could also do this up in a corduroy or heavier weight fabric, but I would almost suggest doing it in wool at least once because it came out yummy.

  • Pay attention to the topstitching. This is really a design element that just makes you ooh and aww at the end so break out that 1/4 foot or seam guide or whatever, but get those lines straight. I had more of a problem with measuring correctly which resulted in me having more lines of topstitching on my handle than the pattern called for. I just ended up doing the math and making sure the lines were spaced evenly.

  • There is lots of ironing of interfacing. This is a totally necessary evil that I think makes this bag better than most, but still a pain in the butt. I did like the fact that she used iron-on interfacing instead of sew-in because there is less chance of anything shifting and no time consuming machine basting. Ok, let’s just face it…I am lazy 🙂
  • The strap on this bag is pretty long if you are 5’2 or below. I gave it to a friend, who is 5’1, for Christmas and she said she preferred it to cross her body than just hang from the shoulder due to her height. But then again this IS a messenger bag and that IS how they wear them so this is just a note for anyone of truly petite stature.

The Ugly:

  • That I didn’t get to keep it for myself because I love the fabric combination 😦 . Such is the crafting life…one day you make it, the next you are giving it away. Yeah, I could make another one in the same colors and everything, but right now I am into the “one of a kind” crafting phase. Besides, what is art or craft without someone outside of the artist who can love and appreciate the work? And I know my bestest friend loved it!

Next up…The Emmeline Apron Pattern review!

Cleaning House (a.k.a. FO Parade)

I am usually not the kind of blogger to lump my FO’s into one post. Mainly because I love giving each of them their five minutes of fame, but also because I love the personalized comments…hee hee.

However, sewing has led me to produce so many FO’s that blogging them all individually would be either way too cumbersome or rather anticlimactic due to their simplicity. So here are some items, most of which I finished in the great crafting explosion of 2007, that will have to share their moment in the limelight.

Ginkgo Coasters


These were some coasters that I made as a Christmas present for a friend. I used some Ginkgo ribbon for one side and then backed it with Amy Butler Poppy Fields Fabric leftovers.

First Serged Pillow


I made this pillow in my serger class. The reason this is so memorable is that I learned to thread my machine! This seems to be the stumbling block for serger users so I jumped in with two feet and cut my threads so that I could thread it again in class. I think half the ladies in the class gasped, turned white and started saying prayers for me. In the end, it was pretty straight forward and I am SOOO glad I did it so as to dispel that taboo once and for all.

The Loop Scarf


This sewn scarf was given to a friend for Christmas. I love the colors and the Japanese floral fabric has a wonderful texture to boot! I got the pattern from the Gifts to Make issue of Sew Stylish. The entire project took about 1 hour to complete and it produces such a lovely and sophisticated scarf when worn. Gotta love that.

Pretty Bias Tape Tote

Martha Stewart Bias Tote

Martha Stewart Bias Tote

This bag was another Christmas present for a friend. It is the Pretty Bias Tape Tote from Martha Stewart Magazine. It was a pretty simple pattern that I made a few modifications to:

  • added interfaced and lined to all the pieces including the straps
  • added a magnetic closure
  • didn’t stitch through the top pocket

Other than that it was pretty darn straight forward.

So that is my FO parade.  I think it covers all the items that were collecting cobwebs in the Flickr or pictures queue. Now on to bigger and better things 🙂

2007 Finished Objects – The Knit Edition

Grand Total:5 sweaters, 2 bags, 3 scarves, 1 shawl, 1 knit toy, 1 pair of socks, and 1 hat.
Wow, I have been one busy knitting bee this year. This has also probably been one of my most successful years for knitting as well. I tackled some complex techniques, designs, and learned a variety of new knitting talents. Some of which are: Tubular Cast on, two color knitting, cabling without a needle, lace work, picking up stitches, making a heel gusset, kitchener stitch, and knitting in the round.
Finished Object 2007 – Knits
The Best Knits of 2007
The Montego Bay Scarf was voted best knit due to its versatility and wonderous color. It has great drape and really works with a variety of fashions. It was a simple knit but one of those wardrobe powerhouses that just makes everything pop.
Noro Butterfly topped the list because it was such a wonderful knit to make. It have a great color and is very warm and cuddly. It definitely makes a statement and it holding up nicely.
So there you have it, the knits of 2007.
Next up… The sewn objects of 2007

Finished Object – Shifting Sands Scarf


“Hello ladies and gentlemen. Don’t I just look dashing in my new scarf”

This scarf was knit for my stepdad’s Christmas present. The criteria that was given to me for a good scarf by my stepdad was a good color, not too busy or flashy, not top long, warm, and heavy enough to hug the back of the neck and keep the warmth in. I grappled with what to knit and finally settled on Shifting Sands. It has been a project on my list for some time and I am glad I made it because it is a very, very good pattern. I can’t wait to make one for myself 🙂

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in Forest Heather Green
Inspiration: Grumperina’s Shifting Sands
Size 7
Yardage: about 1.5 balls
Modifications: Cast on 37 sts and knit until it was long enough to just hang on neck
Enjoyment Factor:
Knit Time: 2 weeks in between holiday knitting and crafting

The Good:

  • I love all the cables. Mainly because they were so darn simple and yet created such a complicated look. I was originally intimidated by all those cables but when I finally got started I felt like the queen of the world by conquering my fears.
  • This pattern also works up pretty fast because of the simplicity of the repeating cable pattern.

  • I like the fringe that I added to the scarf. Originally I was just going to leave it be, but I saw the slight curling on the edges and it started to bother me. Once the fringe was on I felt much better and it gave the entire thing some added weight.
  • The scarf is just long enough to hang on the neck but still long enough to wrap if desired. My stepdad normally only drapes it around his neck so I did not go for a super long length.

The Bad:

  • The yarn. I can’t really say it was a bad because I love the heathered color and it will be easy to take care of. But I cannot say that I am in love with the Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn. It felt quite soft in the ball but was squeaky when I finally knit with it. A little like fingernails on a blackboard. And for some reason this yarn did not feel as warm as wool.

The Ugly:

  • No uglies on this pattern. It knit like a dream and produced a wonderful wonderful scarf. I can’t wait to do it again…and again…and again 😀

Finished Object – Denise Schmidt Scarf Wrap


Yet another Christmas present done and gifted.  This was given to a friend who admired my first two DS Scrap Wraps I made earlier in the year.  Since this was not the first time I mad this scarf it went together very quickly.  One thing that I changed was that I made it thinner and longer – 63″ x 5.25″.  All the pieces are from my stash which was great and I love the little accent of green mixed in with the primary colors of the turquoise blue and chocolate brown.  The best part was that the recipient loved it!  I couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic response.


No good, bad, and the ugly for this post because really it was just all good.  Great instruction, easy to make, wonderful results, fabulous to wear.   I can’t say more, except I wish it was mine 🙂

Finished Object – Denise Schmidt Scrap Wrap


Yet another Christmas present done and gifted. This was given to a friend who admired my first two DS Scrap Wraps I made earlier in the year. Since this was not the first time I mad this scarf it went together very quickly. One thing that I changed was that I made it thinner and longer – 63″ x 5.25″. All the pieces are from my stash which was great and I love the little accent of green mixed in with the primary colors of the turquoise blue and chocolate brown. The best part was that the recipient loved it! I couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic response.


No good, bad, and the ugly for this post because really it was just all good. Great instruction, easy to make, wonderful results, fabulous to wear. I can’t say more, except I wish it was mine 🙂