Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sweet Little Tote

Look at this sweet little tote I made!  Good news--you can make one too, because the pattern is FREE from  The name of the website is Shiny Happy World, and I love it because it is, well, shiny and happy!  Wendi Gratz is on a mission to teach people to sew, and many of her patterns are free, and all of them are cute.

The pattern for this tote is well-written and easy to follow.  It is easy to sew, too, because there are no pesky pockets or zippers to contend with!  The pattern also tells you at which point to add your own decoration, so I found this kitty embroidery pattern at Urban Threads (  I downloaded it, printed it, traced it onto the fabric using a light box (but you can hold it up to a window) and embroidered it using the stem stitch and two strands of embroidery floss.  The whole project took less than 2.5 hours from start to finish, including finding and adding the embroidery. 

This tote is small, only 7.5" tall and 8.5" wide--just big enough for your lunch, or your latest small sewing project, or your child's coloring book and crayons.  Wouldn't it make a nice gift, filled with goodies?

Speaking of filling it with goodies, my friend Susan and I are planning to organize a swap on Craftster in the near future called "Craft this Tote and Fill It!"  I can't wait to see all the different fabrics and embellishments everyone comes up with for their totes.  If you want to join in the fun, just sign up at Craftster at

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Orange Alert!!

I'm sending an "angel" package to a craftster member today; she was flaked on in the Sewists/Yarnies vs. Papercrafters swap, so I volunteered to send her a package.  Perhaps you can guess what her favorite color is?

She asked for bags and pouches, and it is my pleasure to deliver!  She also has a soft spot for candy corn, thus the candy corn pouch.  Usually I put a heart on the front of my bags, but she doesn't strike me as a "heart" kind of person, so I made a button using my button machine, featuring the phrase that accompanies her avatar on Craftster:

If she doesn't love this package, I'll eat my shoe!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Making a Stuffie

Recently I tried making a stuffie (stuffed animal or whatever) for a Craftster swap.  In the past I've made very simple ones that I was happy with, but I felt that I needed to try harder this time, since I would be sending my creation to someone!  When I looked at my partner's profile, I saw that she had participated in a previous stuffie swap, and for that partner she had made a fabulous jointed dinosaur!!  I didn't want to disappoint her, so I really put some time into creating the cutest little monkey possible (she LOVES monkeys), and this is what I came up with:

I loved her so much, I made one for myself, too!  She is made of fleece, with wool felt for the face, flower, and heart.  I beaded the heart, added a button to the center of the flower, and put wire in the tail to make it poseable. 

As I was working on the pattern, I kept making adjustments, because I realized that the secret of cuteness is this:  big head, small body!  I probably could have gone smaller with the body, but it was hard enough to sew as it was, because the size from rump to flower is only 5".

Here they are, two little monkeys, before one flew away to live in Mexico!  My partner received her recently, and she loves her! (I was sure she would!)