My first Margo is finished!

When Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs announced that she was coming out with a new handbag pattern featuring a zipper top, I was excited.  Then I saw the pattern cover and got even more excited!

Margo Hand Bag

SEW… I started my Margo on Sunday (pre-washing, cutting & marking) and  finished her on Monday.  I love to sew, but I am not a speedy sew-er. I like to savor my passion so took my time and stopped many times (to take care of family needs, meals, etc.).  Margo was a LOT of fun to sew and definitely not complicated as long as I focused on each step I was working on.  I have a problem of reading ahead (and it gets me into trouble all the time!).

Here is my new girl:

Margo Bag
Margo - front view featuring her smart, angled front pockets.
Inside The Margo Bag
A look inside of Margo -- LOTS of fabulous pockets and plenty of room for all my stuff.

The zipper is a snap to put in. Joan has written really good instructions!  It’s so easy to produce a nicely finished bag if you follow her instructions exactly and go step-by-step. My biggest problem is staying focused & not reading ahead (yes, that often gets me into trouble–ever since I was a kid).

If you’re looking for a great handbag pattern and want one with a zipper, give Margo a try!  She is smart and beautiful.

Click here to learn more about the Margo Handbag pattern – link opens a new window.


I’ve been sewing this week! My life is so busy with family, business and physical training schedule this year.  That means my sewing time is shorter than ever, but I just had to try my hand at making some Lazy Girl Maggies.Talk about FAST and FUN!

I love this new LazyGirl pattern. Maggies are sew easy and cute.  And addicting.  I would have had dozens more finished but I kept tripping myself up playing with fabric/lining choices.

What I love most about Maggie? I love her versatility — you can carry all sorts of little treasures inside a Maggie.  That and I’m planning to give a lot of gift-cards for Christmas this year (to teachers, adult children, friends).  Maggie will make the perfect personalized presentation.

Here are just a few of the Maggies I made:
One small Maggie with a button embellishment; two small Maggies with yo-yo embellishment.
One small Maggie with a button embellishment; two small Maggies with yo-yo embellishment.
Small and Large Blue Maggies
Small and Large Blue Maggies
A large-size blue Maggie with my cellphone.
A large-size blue Maggie with my cellphone.

I decided that I love, love, LOVE the look of the fabric yo-yo as the flap embellishment.  For the small size Maggie, I made an “extra-small” fabric yo-yo using the Extra Small Clover Quick Yo-Yo Maker.  For the large size Maggie, I made a small fabric yo-yo using the Small Clover Quick Yo-Yo Maker.

Check out the Lazy Girl October 2009 Challenge!

Calling all Bag Ladies and Lazy Girls everywhere!

Lazy Girl Designer and Diva, Joan Hawley has issued a “Wardrobe Rescue” challenge to her Lazy Girl Designs Yahoo Group. The concept is quite simple:  Rescue a garment from your closet or mending pile by refashioning it into a purse.

If you are interested in participating in the challenge, click here to read more on the Lazy Girl Blog…and you’ll also be treated to some pics of very cool Quilt Market 2009 Lazy Girl bag samples!

Formulating a plan to make my LazyGirl Claire Handbag

The  just released Claire Handbag pattern from Lazy Girl Designs arrived earlier this week.

I am SEW excited to make my new girl, but I was facing the ‘what fabrics should I use’ dilemma.  Oh I have plenty of wonderful fabrics in my stash, just not enough of the right ones that want to play nice together AND–more importantly–ones that suit my fancy today.

What’s a crazy fiber art and fabric loving girl to do? Well, I could buy more fabric but then I’d just have to wait longer to get started.  I’ve scheduled some “creativity for me” time for tomorrow and I can’t put that to waste.  SO, I selected the one fabric that spoke loudest to me–great.  NOW what.  Well, I’ll just make my own coordinating fabrics, of course.  How am I going to do that?  I don’t have any fabric dying supplies.  Hmmmm….think, think, think. Oh I have just the ticket: Tsukineko Inks.

Butterfly fabric and Tsukineko Inked coordinates
Butterfly fabric and Tsukineko Inked coordinates

Several weeks ago I purchased several pieces of flour sack cloth.  I didn’t know what I was going to do with it at the time, I just knew I needed to buy it.  I’m glad I did.  This seems like the perfect opportunity to play with inks and things to develop my own special fabric. I selected inks that closely coordinated with colors in the butterflies.

I poured approximately 1/2 of each bottle into its own gallon size freezer bag.  I lightly but thoroughly dampened the flour sack cloth (which had already been pre-washed and dried). I carefully placed one piece of flour sack cloth in each freezer bag.  I carefully let out all the excess air from the bag and sealed the top then proceeded to work the ink through the cloth.  I am allowing the cloth and inks to sit in the bags for a full 24 hours.  I periodically squish, squash and turn the cloth.  Tomorrow I will air dry outside then heat set with pressing cloth and hot iron.  To be sure the color is set, I will do a thorough rinse until the water is clear.

I already know I’ll want to add some textural design on the inked fabrics once they’ve dried and the color has been set.  Tomorrow I am planning to apply some Shiva Paintstik using rubbing plates.

Yes, that sounds pretty good… and then maybe I’ll add some _________.

Stay tuned to see my Claire progress.

Pattern Review: LazyGirl Checkbook Cover

I’ve been so busy with new products, running the business and family that I haven’t had any real sewing time for quite a while.  So, last week I put myself on the calendar.  I made an appointment for me to sew on Sunday.  Sounds silly?  Yes, maybe it does…BUT…it worked!

I picked a small project  pattern, marked out a block of time here’s what I’ve got to show for it: FOUR fantastic new checkbook covers made using the LazyGirl Checkbook Cover pattern – I made two of the top (blue) checkbook covers.

Click images below to open larger image in a new window.

LazyGirl Checkbook Cover #1 & #2 - Blue
LazyGirl Checkbook Cover #3 - Tan
LazyGirl Checkbook Cover #4 - Purple

This pattern offers two options:

  1. A pieced block cover
  2. Plain fabric cover

I decided I was feeling “really” Lazy so I went for the plain fabric cover version on all 4.

First things first…my own personal rule #1 is ONLY SEW ONE! Having learned from expensive and painful mistakes in the past, whenever I sew any “new-to-me” pattern–no matter how simple it looks–I will only allow myself to sew ONE the first time I sew it.  This rule may sound boring, slow and restrictive but it actually allows me the opportunity to concentrate on the pattern more closely and *if* I make a mistake or if I mis-read or mis-interpret a pattern, I will have that issue with ONE.  Additionally, while sewing the first one, I may decide that I want to change the pattern just a bit to be more customized to my needs or style.  Sewing only one (of whatever it is) allows me the opportunity to evaluate and make better decisions.  The first one is the investment that pays off with big rewards for all that come after!

Now for my review of the pattern… The LazyGirl Checkbook Cover pattern is a super SWEET and easy pattern for a making fabulous looking fabric checkbook cover.

LazyGirl Checkbook Cover pattern
LazyGirl Checkbook Cover pattern

Seriously, the hardest part for me was deciding which fabrics to use.    Since the finished checkbook cover is NOT quilted–and especially if you choose the plain fabric version–it goes together SUPER fast.  My first one took under an hour.  After that, I was able to sew the 3 others in under an hour.  The pieced version would take just a wee bit more time, but certainly would not be difficult as long as you follow Joan’s instructions.

TIP: Always read through the complete pattern before cutting any materials.  If you’ve never used a LazyGirl pattern before, you’re in for a treat.  Designer, Joan Hawley writes excellent instruction, but you need to be certain you are setting aside your own projections or ideas of how you think the pattern should go together and simply follow exactly what Joan says to do.  If you follow her instructions and picture guides, you will end up with a nicely finished product.

Did I make any changes? I loved how my first checkbook cover turned out, but it felt a little too squishy to me. This is a personal preference thing, not anything “visible”.  I decided that  I wanted to add a little more firmness on the others so I did make one small change.  I fused a piece of decor bond to my cover fabric and proceeded with all the remaining instructions as listed.   I thought I might have more difficulty “turning” the project, but by carefully clipping my corners and grading the seams it worked very nicely.

Want to see the insides?

Inside the blue checkbook cover.
Inside the tan checkbook cover.

Inside the purple checkbook cover.
Inside the purple checkbook cover.

If you’re looking for a checkbook pattern so you can accessorize with your favorite purses or handbag–or if you want to make a slew of gifts to give to friends this year (idea: use novelty fabrics that match your friend’s personality or style)–consider the LazyGirl Checkbook Cover pattern.  It’s fast, easy and produces a very nice finished product.