Strawberry Pickin'

...which is something we didn't get to do unfortunately. Who know it was too hot for strawberries to be harvested? Let's backtrack. Yesterday my whole family planned to get up early this morning and pick strawberries. I was really excited because my little brother rarely agrees to do anything my mom and I think is amazing to do. So my stepdad, mom, niece, brother, my daughter, and myself all headed to the country to find the gate locked and noone at the farm. I was bummed. I had my tastes set on sweet succulent strawberries. We ended up calling the owners and found out that they are only open from April to early May. :( Fortunately right around the corner there was another farm but no strawberries. They had peas and squash. Not exactly my idea of fun, but it was ok.

My niece

My daughter

After all of that "fun," we went blueberry picking! OMG they had the best blueberries I've ever encountered. I've never picked blueberries as big and sweet as those. I eve n found some blackberries. Albeit the blackberries were a tad on the small side, but the sweetness of them was unmatched.

My bro joining in

Mmmmm... even the unripened ones look good!!

My mama working away before we leave

And since we never did get any strawberries out of the deal, I decided to come home and make a little something:

...a strawberry skirt for Little Missie. She likes the longer length skirts now. I had two strawberry fabrics in my stash and decided to whip a skirt up. The green fabric I actually used to make her a skirt a couple of years ago and thought it was time for another.
I'm especially fond of the waistband.

It keeps the elastic from rolling and gives it a nice touch to me.


Gathered Belt Tutorial

This is my first tute, guys, so bear with me on this. If I say anything that doesn't make an ounce of sense, please feel free to contact me. With that being said, shall we commence?

I love belts. Particularly wide stretchy ones. I wear them with skirts, tunics, cardigans; you get the idea, right? Well since it's very difficult for me to find a nice coral belt along those guidelines, why not create one? So I did and I love it. Here's what you need:

(just kidding about the mug!!)

-Elastic, any width. I used 1.25"
-Long strip of fabric. You'll need twice the length of your elastic measurement. I used a vintage sheet.
-Snap fasteners, I don't recommend sew-on

-Measure your natural waist or where you'd like for the belt to rest. Subtract 3 from this number. Cut your elastic this length.

-Take the width of your elastic and multiply it by 2 and add 1 inch. I had 1.25", so 1.25*2=2.5+1=3.5. This will be the width of your belt fabric.
Take the length of your elastic, multiply it by 2, and add 1 inch. This is your belt fabric length. Cut your fabric to these measurements.

-You will also need 2 pieces of your belt fabric the same width that you cut your fabric and 3" long.

Now that we've gotten all that tedious stuff out of the way, let's get crackin'!


Take your fabric strip and fold it right sides together. Sew a quarter inch, leaving both ends unsewn.

Now turn your tube right sides out. This may take a moment to do. If you have a loop turner or safety pin, you can speed up the process a bit.

Once that is done. Iron your strip flat.

Put a safety pin on the end of your elastic like so. And feed it through one end of your tube. Keep feeding it until the other end of you elastic reaches the bottom end of your belt tube. Once it does, attach a safety pin through the fabric and elastic so that your elastic won't get lost.

And continue feeding the other end of elastic through the open end of the tube. When you're done attach a safety pin to that end just like you did the bottom end.

It's starting to look like a belt! Now grab both ends of belt and stretch it a few times to adjust the gathers.

Take out the safety pin on one side, making sure you hold the ends so you don't lose the elastic, pin, and sew a quarter inch seam over the opening. Do the same to the other end.
Set aside.


This part is a tad difficult to explain. I'm going to demonstrate on one piece of fabric and leave the other in tact, so you can compare the measurements.

Take your 2 fabric scraps that are the same width of your belt and 3" long and iron them flat with right sides facing down.

Fold in a quarter of an inch on both 3" sides. Iron down.

Fold the width of your fabric in half and iron a crease in it. Then open it back out.

Take your edges and fold them to the crease you just created. Iron them.

Take the sides that were originally 3" and fold them together and iron.

Repeat with other fabric.

Pin ends to your belt piece.

Sew 1/8" seam on the belt.

Sew the other three sides 1/8" or 1/4" seam. Repeat on other side.

Mark points on the back of your belt edges for placement of snaps. I used 2, but you can accommodate the width of your belt.

Attach your snaps according to package directions.

Wear and enjoy!
I hope this all makes sense! Happy sewing!!


New vinyl clutch order

I just wanted to share with you the bag I made this weekend for one of the young ladies I volunteer with. It has been quite some hardship with this purse, but several swears, a few broken needles, and one nearly broken even-feed foot (which barely held up to its name) later I finally got it done. It's far from perfect, but it has all the elements I was trying to incorporate so I am happy. I hope my customer will be as well. I definitely have to change up some techniques on these bags.

But I'm overall pleased. I got a lot of stuff done this weekend, which doesn't generally happen. I'm glad about being more productive. It feels good. I also digitized this little piece:

I think it's hilarious, especially the moustache!

And I made a quick curtain.

It's from a vintage sheet I got from an estate sale. It has trees on it.


WIPs and swap items

I've been trying to stay busy at home on my machine after work. It's quite odd that I even want to see the sight of a sewing machine after having to embroider numbers on over 1500 shirts. Its a wonder I'm not a babbling idiot foaming out the mouth from dealing with that headache.

But I can't stop my creative juices nor do I have the inclination to do so. Like I've said before, I've been on this vinyl kick and I'm loving it! I went and purchased new colors (as if I even needed it!) I'm glad that it's orderable from the small fabric shop we have in town, and they carry great colors. I think they even carry glitter vinyl. Anywho.. I had some teal laying around and made this:

I added a magnetic snap as a closure. Its really spacy, a little too big. But I think I could work.

I have so many ideas for vinyl clutches rushing my brain that it's insane.

I also participated in some swaps over at swap-bot.com I forget the names but they are sewing related. (Naturally!) The first one was a group swap for sewing supplies. Since my partner and I are so much alike, I sent a bunch of vintage fabric, vintage buttons, and zippers. My partner also knits. So I made her a little bag to stick some of her knitting needles or yarn inside of it and her fave needles or the ones she's working with in the pockets on the outside.

I hope she'll like it.

The next swap was a "Sew What" swap, where we had to create something extra special for our partner. Since my partner had just had her first baby girl amidst boys, I made a reversible, folded travelling changing pad (What a mouthful!!) and a travel diaper/wipes cozy. I loved making these. Wish I had've made a set for my own child. The only thing I wish I. Had added was some machine embroidery.

The changing pad also fits perfectly into the little cozy.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Vintage sheets now available in my shop!

Now available in my shop.
Take a look: etsy.com/shop/lani5287


Cutting up vintage sheets

I started cutting up my sheets the other night to use and to put into the shop. I got a little progress done.

I still have a loooong way to go, but it's fun and relieving to rip them. Even Little Missie has helped.
These should be available in the shop by the weekend.

On a totally non-related note: I killed my dear camera, a Nikon Coolpix S220. I don't know how I did it. When I turned it on the other day it kept reading "lense error." So...yesterday I woke up researching cameras and came up with this:

It's a Samsung PL220 with a front display screen.So I went and bought one, and it was on sale! It takes outstanding photos compared to my Nikon. And the features are marvelous! I say that to say this: Expect way better photos (i.e. the ones above.)
Have a terrific day!!



I love to play with vinyl. I think it's a brilliant medium to challenge yourself with. And I love the fact that it doesn't fray and that it gives you a leather look with a fraction of the cost. (Don't let my mother see this; she's a firm believer in leather, lol.) I also enjoy making handbags, well, mostly clutches and wallets. I never have enough to fill up a real purse. So lately I've been experimenting with some different styles of clutches.


This one coordinates the wallet that I just made.


This one is made with vintage sheets inside and out and features a zippered closure.

Surprisingly enough they sewed up pretty quickly and didn't take much fabric. I'm going to work on converting these to handbag size, though, because everyone isn't a clutch-carrier like myself.