Saturday Pattern Sharing 2/26/11

Today’s pattern would be a fun way to use up some of your fabric scraps, or a cute charm pack that you bought but still have stuck in your fabric stash!  My first thought was these Charming Wine Gift Bags would make great favors at a bridal shower or as a gift for your favorite dinner hostess.

Charming Wine Gift Bags


All you need is a single charm pack and less than a yard of a coordinating solid for the inside lining.  The pattern looks simple and quick.  So head on over to Moda Bake Shop for an easy, fun pattern!

Saturday’s Pattern Sharing 2/19/11

Now that my lifestyle once again requires the use of a diaper bag, I’m always searching for something that looks great and is functional but doesn’t scream “diaper bag”.  Extra points are given if it’s something that could be used as a bag after I no longer need to haul diapers around.

When Big Girl was born we used a traditional diaper bag for the first few months, switching back and forth between two different ones that were given to us.  After a while I ordered a custom bag that allowed me to pick out the colors, specify the design and even embroider her name on the side.  While it was super cute it wasn’t something that my husband liked to carry around so it wasn’t used as often as the price tag warranted.  I finally settled on using a messenger bag that I’d purchased while in grad school.  It definitely met the needs of being functional but it lacked in the “looks great” department.

I find myself being much more of a minimalist this time around.  Instead of carting half of baby’s wardrobe and the medicine cabinet around my stash includes 2-3 diapers (more if I’m going to be gone longer), wipes and a change of clothes.  So I wanted something for a bag that was big enough to contain this stuff yet small and stylish enough that I could grab the whole thing to run to the store by myself without it screaming diaper bag.  I’m too tired to be switching out bags every time I need to go somewhere but I carry just enough stuff with me sans baby — wallet, cell phone, keys, chapstick, lotion — that I can’t just pull it all out of the bag and go.

The free “Diana Hobo” pattern by Think Liz has proven to be the perfect solution!  It’s the perfect size for what I need and the straps are a great length, just long enough that it fits comfortable against your side.

Diana Hobo


I started working on it a couple of weekends ago and finished it one night last week.  I’m still trying to find time to sew with the baby.  Especially since my sewing machine now has a dedicated space other than at the kitchen table.  It was almost easier to sew right in the middle of everything.  😉

Overall the pattern was well-written and easy to follow.  The sewing itself was fairly uncomplicated too, making it a fairly quick project to finish.  I would say it took me a couple of hours from start to finish but that takes into account 3-5 shorter, interrupted sewing sessions.  It would have gone much quicker had I been able to do it all in one sitting.

In true Amanda fashion, I made some slight changes.  The pattern calls for one fabric for all of the exterior and a second fabric for the interior.  I chose to use 3 fabrics instead of 2, giving the bag more personality.  I also added the optional pockets to the inside but put a double pocket on one side instead of 2 smaller ones, one on each side.

The pattern has the option to use heavyweight interfacing or canvas as a lining to give the bag its structure; I chose canvas solely because it was in my fabric stash, negating a trip to the store.  I’m all about simplicity and saving myself time when possible.

One of the nicest features about this bag is the mitered/boxed corners.  They help to widen the bottom of the bag, making it easier to see what’s inside and giving it a nicer, more finished appearance.  The pattern links to a tutorial on mitering corners if you’re a novice.

I can’t wait to make more of these!  On future ones I might try adding a small pocket to the outside for a cell phone or keys.  Personally I like to be able to have them easily accessible.  The mitered corners *might* allow a pocket on the side to not look out-of-place.

And maybe if I start making them now I can get some done and set aside for Christmas presents.  Maybe.

In the Press

I mentioned that Baby Girl was born shortly after midnight on New Year’s (January 1st).  What I didn’t mention was that it made her the official New Year’s Baby for the area and a little more than 12 hours after an emergency c-section I was talking to a hospital room full of media people.  Yeah, that was LOTS of fun.

The news reporter from the local paper was talking to my husband and I about our professions as he gathered information for the article on Baby Girl.  It was brought up that I had made the transition –after being laid off– from working as a research scientist for the local University to running Stitch To Stitch and sewing children’s clothing.  He told us that the paper was interested in doing a story on local businesses that were started in response to economic downturn and asked if I’d be interested in being interviewed as part of the story.  I agreed and whole heartedly thought nothing would come of it.

Fast forward 2 weeks — my phone rings with a local number I didn’t recognize.  It was another reporter from the paper asking if I was still interested in talking to him about STS.  I agreed yet again (this time to being interviewed in the privacy of my home, after showering and dressing in something nicer than a hospital gown) and spent the next two nights frantically organizing the remaining chaos in my sewing room.  I had been in the midst of organizing when my water broke on New Year’s Eve and much of the newly painted room was still stacked in precarious piles.

After the interview, I was told the story *should* run in Sunday’s paper.  Little did I know what I had in store!  I stopped dead in my tracks that Sunday morning (January 23) when I saw this sitting on top of the stacks of papers…



It’s hard to see your face taking up that much space on the front page.  Even if you do *like* the picture.  😉