Purses and Baby Blankets

Every time I have to jostle around in my designer purse, frantically searching for my keys, I have a big jones to make another purse, but I hate the idea of having to sew. There are a few of you that will be thinking “Wait. Aren’t you a knitter/crocheter? Why the sewing?”  This question would also lead me to believe that you haven’t made a knit or crochet purse before.  For a good, sturdy purse that will take the daily beating I give mine, I must sew a foundation.  The knit and crochet part is merely the icing on the cake.  I do have some old blue jeans in my sewing project box….that have been in there for at least two years!  This may be the opportunity I’ve been looking for.  Just this evening, after my

daughter had taken me out to a lovely Thai dinner in Nevada City and we were walking the half-mile or so back to the car, there it was.  I had to stop everything I was doing to find my damn keys and it made me so furious!  I was thinking of using the jeans material for the sides and bottom, then crocheting some funky designs on the front and back.  Any further input would be welcome!  The faster I make it, the faster I can get started on…

Baby blanket.  A friend of mine wants me to incorporate this:

somewhere onto a knit baby blanket.  Not the writing, just the skull and circle.  Now how am I going to do that?  Any experienced stranders out there?  Or am I just going to need to do duplicate stitching?  I have two other friends that are expecting, but not as far along, so, hopefully, I’ll be finished with this in time for their baby showers!

Any and all suggestions for the skull head would be greatly appreciated.


Half Couch Cover or An Attempt To Save Money

As any owner of free range dogs knows your furniture can sometimes take the ultimate toll; for instance, us.  We used to have nice leather furniture about 10 years ago.  When it was brand new.  At first there were just a few scratches that we fretted over, and eventually, we ended up looking at this:

The victim.  The plaid lap throws just weren't cuttin' it anymore!

The victim. The plaid lap throws just weren’t cuttin’ it anymore.

A wonderful plaid lap throw became our quick fix for a bit, but the hole just kept getting larger.  With Thanksgiving a little more than a week away and the relatives coming to visit, I knew action had to be taken and fast.  I don’t want to spend a lot of money on another couch whose fate would be the same as above.  I understand that inevitably, I will have to make the investment, that this couch will not function, but until then, I’m milkin’ it.

I’m not a skilled seamstress who can tailor fit a whole couch cover, and honestly, the top part isn’t so bad.  We had been using a lap throw (which slipped around and came undone a lot) but that didn’t look too good.  My husband came up with the idea of using a dowel stick to help keep a cover in place, so we ran with it.

Jo-ann Crafts Store had a Veteran’s Day special for 60% off all decor fabric – yea! – so we ran down there and got what we needed to the tune of $38.  That’s 1 3/4 yards of nice upholstery fabric with a 54″ selvedge.  Don’t you love it when you get a deal? 🙂

This is the real pretty material we found!

This is the real pretty material we found!

Our search for a proper sized dowel stick turned into a search for a closet rod, which we found at the local DIY store where they cut it to size for all of $3.

Since I’m a beginning seamstress, I did what seemed right, and the first step was to measure the seam allowance the for the dowel and mark it off.

Figure out how much leeway you want to give the rod.  I went with a loose fit; you can always tighten it up if it doesn't work

Figure out how much leeway you want to give the rod. I went with a loose fit; you can always tighten it up if it doesn’t work

Make sure to mark where you're going to pin with chalk or colored pencil or anything that will stay around long enough to get your stitches done.

Make sure to mark where you’re going to pin with chalk or colored pencil or anything that will stay around long enough to get your stitches done.

This always happens when I first start a project for one reason or another - grrr!

This always happens when I first start a project for one reason or another – grrr!

I was so proud of my cheap little Singer!

I was so proud of my cheap little Singer!

For the edges I sewed an inch allowance, and the bottom I think was like 6 inches.  I know, a crappy tall seam, but it was really hard to figure out that particular measurement.  If you make this, your allowances will most likely be different.

Almost there.

Almost there.

Of course, on the last 2 feet of the last seam, the bobbin ran out.  *sigh*  I always try to overshoot for the amount of thread I’ll need, but it never seems to work in my favor.  The closet rod was a tight fit and needed some coaxing, but my daughter and I finally got it into a fairly good position.  Et voila!



I think we have hit the solution for our problem.  I hope it lasts, but for $41 dollars, I think we can update this look every year!

See you in the funny pages!

Really Cool Pattern for a Really Cool Purse/Tote!

Here’s another one of my lovely creations available at my Etsy shop!  Really, I was proud of myself for making this.  I wanted a sturdy purse to carry all my necessary junk, so I had to make it up as I went.  I think I will make another one with multi-colors!  I’m thinking of making this a freebie here on WordPress for about a week.  If I hear some feedback, I’ll definitely do it.

See you in the funny pages!

My purty purse!

My purty purse!

Do you have a pattern you’ve found and would like to share?

Hey you guys!  I don’t know if I ever announced this in a post, but I do have a page devoted to crochet and knitting pattern links I’ve found on online.  I’ve kinda neglected it as of late, but today I’ll be adding some more.  If you know of a free pattern and would like to link it on the page, please feel free to!

My one stipulation is that everyone is okay with this.  Surprisingly, I have been turned down on some links because the pattern creators didn’t want to be associated with me.  Now, I mention this, because I feel my online persona, Nittin’ Ninja, is relatively mild, and I was surprised by their response, but I did honor their wishes.  People can be funny that way – and it’s ok.  If it’s your own pattern – do it!  Also, feel free to let us all know why you’re sharing it.  A good story almost always enhances the value of just about anything.

Anyway,  I do intend to add a sewing link once I become more proficient with that art, so if you have something now, let me know and I’ll go ahead and add the link page now!

Note:  I finally finished the socks for my hubby and he was so pleased!  Whee!

Yes, yes – I do love you!

Whilst struggling with one damn pair of socks, I have crocheted 3 dolls, a shark hat, 3 bath mitts and knit a classic beanie cap, sewed 4 pillowcases and 3 couch pillows.

Now if I can just do this to our beat up old couch!

Now if I can just do this to our beat up old couch!


I think my husband may be feeling a little neglected at this point, as he is now asking about them on an almost daily basis.  How are those socks coming along?  When will they be finished?  Each time he asks I feel a stab of guilt as I look down on whatever else I’m working on, lying in my lap or in the sewing machine.  I can almost swear he’s being accusatory.  but why not?  He’s waited so long.  He looks at me and I want to say, “Just because I’m not whipping out your pair of socks at lightning speed doesn’t mean I don’t love you!”…but I don’t want to go there.

It’s not that they are particularly difficult socks – it’s a beginner sock pattern.  I think I’m just burned out on socks.  I’ve made 3 pairs, and I want to move onto other things…which I kind of have.  Now I’ve forced myself to finish this project or I don’t get to do anything else.  Wish me luck – !  LOL


Maybe I’ve gone a little mad…

Well here we are, smack dab in the middle of spring and some beautiful weather, and I seem to be bubbling over with ideas.  After having fun with the pillowcases, I’ve decided I’m going to make an owl toy all on my own.  No pattern.  Just measurements and an idea.

Owl materials.  Don't have the idea solidified, so I just purchase a yard of each fabric!

Owl materials. Don’t have the idea solidified, so I just purchase a yard of each fabric!

And I have yet to figure out what to do with that bulky yarn I purchased and mentioned earlier in this blog, but I’ve got several ideas and patterns forming in my head.  You may be thinking, with on eyebrow lifted in bemusement, She may have gone mad.  But no!  I have a list to help me keep organized…kinda. See?

The List

The mad scribblings of someone who needs to get organized!

Granted, this list is subject to change at any moment.  In the meantime, I feel comfortable enough, feeling secure that I have a “plan”.  Now I just need to act upon it before coming up with anymore ideas that require purchase of more materials!

Which brings me to the catalyst of all this mad creativity: my mother’s coming for a visit on Tuesday.  My theory is, if I throw enough distractions in my mind, I’ll forget she’s coming…for a little while.  It makes sense, in a twisted sort of way.  And don’t act like you don’t know what I mean!  *sigh*

See you all in the funny pages.

Okay, okay – just one more

So this is the second set of pillow cases I’ve made and I love, love them! Not only are they cute, they’re easy to make and fast. Instant gratification and they’re functional.  Wow.  What a combo.

And speaking of functionality, my husband has been terribly patient while waiting for me to finish his socks while I’ve been making everything else!  I married a sweetheart.


Another beauty, this one mid-century modern.


Ironing is so important.