Posted on September 24, 2016

Sew Pro -Conference Day 2

Sew Pro

Pat Sloan.

Pat was our Opening Keynote speaker.  She shared her journey and is living proof that you can make it even if you are the only maker in the family.  She mentioned that her dad repeatedly asked her how is her knitting going, lol.  Pat even shared a picture of her first quilt which is always fun to see since we sometimes think that our crafty role models were born “that way”.  It was wonderful to see her share her up and downs in the industry.

After the keynote it was time to attend your “track”.  The tracks were Fabric Designer, Author, Everyone, Pattern Designer and Blogger.  I did a mix and headed to Lifestyle Blogger Mimi G– of Mimi G StyleCreating a Following and Brand Loyalty.  If you don’t know who she is …..CLICK THE LINK.  I learned ‘”sew” 🙂 much from her that I didn’t want the session to end.  The speakers were so free with their knowledge.  Here are a few Take Aways from MiMi G:

  1.  Don’t Fake it until you make.  People will see right through you.  I loved to hear this as we often here the opposite.
  2. Give it away.  Be free with your knowledge.  Your readers/customers want to build relationship and trust you.  Share your knowledge for free, don’t worry about the thought of someone taking or stealing what you have.
  3. See what works on your blog.  She  brought up the idea that one day she decided to do an OOTD(outfit of the day) instead of a handmade garment.  This gave her an insight of what her readers and audience liked to see.

These are just a few helpful tips.

Session 2

Lora Douglass of Dragonfly QuiltWorks-Taxpayer Compliance for the Creative Business

Lora a CPA and Etsy shop Owner just made happy.  Happy because she was a CPA and had a shop it really added to the credibility and I felt she could relate to me.  Lora shared the Do’s and Don’ts and shared her experience of being audited!  Takeaways from Lora:

  1.  You can not claim professional association fees.  (gasp, I was totally NOT aware of this!)
  2. The IRS has a 3 year expiration for an audit
  3. If you get audited the give you only 30 days!
  4. Try and find a CPA that understand your industry


Both ladies also gave us their email so that we could request a copy of their deck since everyone was writing feverishly!


Lunch Lecture

The Lunch Lecture was presented by the Kristin Link of Sew Mama Sew and Abby Glassenberg of Whileshenaps. These ladies partnered and created the Craft Industry Alliance of which I joined about  a month before the conference.  I joined for 6 months to give it a try so I need to be sure I am utilizing it.  I will do a review around renewal time but for sure I can tell you the resource page is golden!

Afternoon Session

Roseanne Kermes-Sizzix Designer and of the  Rosebuds Cottage website spoke up Finding Your Social Media Voice

Being a Scrapbooker/Cardmaker I was delighted that she has a line with Sizzix:).  Roseanne discussed:

  1.  Content Planning Tools
  2. Decide the role of social media in your business
  3. Be open to criticism and don’t take it personally..eek!

After this session I headed for home I was pooped.  I had  learned soo much I needed to process it all and get ready for the final day.


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Posted on September 20, 2016

Quick Tip Tuesday-Zippers

Technique Tuesday


I install a ton of zippers.  I install a zipper on almost E-V-E-R-Y project ,sometimes more than one.  Zippers come in a bazillion lengths and sometimes you have to cut them down to fit your project.


Hint: I find that it’s much easier to sew with a longer zipper  than with the recommended zipper length since the zipper stops can be an issue.


So the technique for today is how to work with the zipper after its been cut down.  I use to find myself wrangling to keep the zipper together.  Pins inflicting pain since it can be an awkward sew when putting on zipper tabs. Here’s what I do. Cut off the tab at the recommended length.


Then I grab my trusty Tim Holtz stapler!  Quick and easy!


Staple the zipper tape together and viola!



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Posted on September 19, 2016

Sew Pro Conference 2016-Day One

Sew Pro/ Sewing




This weekend I attended the first ever Sew Pro 2016 here in Chicago.  This was the first sewing conference I had ever attended and the first I had heard of that didn’t include actual sewing! Here a snipped of the purpose of the event where attendees will attend two full days of lectures, panels, and instruction from professionals in the sewing industry. In addition to classes, attendees will midday lunch sessions and surprise fun events and cocktail parties after hours! Sew Pro is a truly unique event that allows budding designers and writers to learn from and mingle with the people who have the best advice to offer– those who have been there and done it all themselves. Our two hostesses were Sew Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness and Brenda Ratliff of Pink Castle Fabrics.

The Mixer 4-6pm

Registration was Thursday from 4-6 followed by a mixer.  I was sew:) glad that the conference was in Chicago so it was a quick hop on the el.  Upon registering I picked up my goodie bag and met Sara Lawson!  I was honored, she is a wonderful designer and really sweet you can find her shop here and her fabrics here.  I love that she took time to fill an industry need!

Even though you are among your people it can be a bit daunting to network with strangers. A group of wonderful ladies invited me to join them as we waited for the mixer to begin and a night of networking was born. The mixer was from 7-10pm and I thought oh! I won’t be staying that long…..and then the most amazing thing happened!  THIS!


Ha speechless! Can't wait until tomorrow! #fangirl #sewproconvention #maker #isew #isewbags

Ha speechless! Can’t wait until tomorrow! #fangirl #sewproconvention #maker #isew #isewbags



Ha!  I was super excited and in awe!  Thank you Sherri of  Rebeccamae Designs and  Guess what …she said I smell good…..I nearly died.

If you aren’t familiar with Tula here are a few of her prints that I’ve worked with.tula-elizabeth tula-pandora tula


She is a very fun and open person…oh and tall! The networking continued as I met a new friend from HydePark and the Bahamas!  I totally felt rejuvenated and excited..and guess was 9:53!..I stayed until 10 and headed home…saying I can’t believe I got pictures with Tula!

Whoo I was totally pumped!  Since we learned Sew:) much I will share the rest over the next week.
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Posted on September 7, 2016

In the Studio…….Divided Basket by Noodlehead

Knitting/ Sewing/ Spinning

Hellooooooo.  Is anyone out there?  Its been so long and I have been sew:) busy. Since leaving my corporate job I have been giving my career my full attention.  I am having a great time and learning  so much.  I’ve been creating , sewing and stitching.  So since that’s what I have been doing I am going to turn this site over to just that!


Here’s what’s new in my Etsy shop!








The divided basket by Noodlehead!  I love Anna’s patterns and this one is a winner!  I am offering this basket in 3 different styes so you can Build Your Own Basket!  Its a great basket for storing all sorts of fiber goodness.

This basket can be made in 3 ways:
1. Divided Basket with outside pocket
2. Divided basket with no outside pocket
3. Basket with no divider or outside pocket

You can Choose your Style of Tote:(making the other style this week:)) for your viewing pleasure.
Option 1: A Divided Basket with outside pocket with handles
Option 2: A divided basket with no outside pocket
Option 3: No divider or pocket

Step 2
Fabric Choice
Option 1. Select Exterior, Lining, Divider, Pocket, Handles
Option 2. Select Exterior, Lining , divider, handles
Option 3. Select Exterior, Lining, handles

These Baskets make a great gifts too!


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Posted on March 2, 2016

The Knitting Pipeline Retreat 2016

Knitting/ Knitting Retreat



I attended the  The Knitting Pipeline Retreat this weekend.  What a blast!!!  This was my second year at the treat and I will totally try and go back next year as it first come first available.  The treat is very relaxing a laid back.  It’s held at the Crossroads Methodist Church of which Paula is a member of the church.  It’s very beautiful inside and the volunteers truly have a servants heart.   Here a few quilts that were hanging up.




Paula has a wonderful audio podcast and a a few additional videos as well.

knitting pipeline

I didn’t take any classes this year as I was a bit nervous since this was my first vending event. I sat with a wonderful group of ladies from the North Suburbs, we laughed and laughed.  I am definitely going to check out their guild they’ve had some key players there for sure.

I won a door prize..yay!  Sadly I had to give it away…it was mohair with my eye issues too many loose fibers but it went to a good home.


I worked on by Burberry socks since it was basic stockinette and didn’t require concentration.

burberry socks

I was sewing my fingers off for the retreat but I did a get a few sneak peaks at some of the beautiful yarns.


Julie-Happy Go Lucky Yarns poppin gradients!


Danie of the Prairie  Girls Knit and Spin Podcast—-look at that rainbow sock blank hiding over there…..squeel



Ohhh Jeanette!!!!  Sunvalley Fibers….crushing on all this yarn!


All Hail Sparkly socks blanks for Jennifer of DaizieKnits

There were more vendors but I didn’t get a chance to visit them all or shop.  Now how cute is the necklace….


I also took my sidekick as something as really wrong.  For the life of me the treadling was super stiff.  So what would anyone else do….bring it to the hive mind!  So Julie(happy go lucky yarns, Sarah(Yarn Geek Fibers) and Jennifer( DaizieKnits) got down to business.  Jennifer and I isolated the issue the drive band…thenn BAM..I thought hmm what if I put the drive band on backward..HA that was it yay!


Since I have a ton of yarn and wasn’t able to do much shopping I did  leave a few goodies.


Quice and Co Finch in the Snap Pea r its such a pretty green.

Daizieknits-Ghoul Friends, lol the name simply makes me laugh!

Happy Go Lucky Yarns-OOAK Special Snow Flake

I had a great time and some great new friends and vendors.  Happy Knitting!


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Posted on January 21, 2016

Thrift Store Thursday

Thrift Store



I have a few shows coming up so I have been in the studio sewing up a storm!  Today I got a chance to go have lunch with a friend before her little bundle of joy shows up in a few weeks.  Afterwards I dropped into two thrift shops on the way home.

Vera Bradley Metropolitan Laptop bag $24.99


This Bag is awesome.  Normally I would put my laptop in my purse and put all cords in a pouch like these.  Now I can put it all one together.  This gave me a great idea for designing a laptop bag.  It has a gajillion pockets and such.  It even has the opening to slide it on the handle of your luggate…score!










All this for @24.99…I will take it.


Marc Jacobs Laptop Sleeve $3.99


1-IMG_0511 1-IMG_0510 1-IMG_0512

Brand new ….with the original OFF 5th Tags



Ok hear me out….I don’t like this style of handbag at all….well why did you buy it.  For this….1-IMG_0532

How killer is this hardware??????  Is over 3 inches!  Yasss, it will be perfect on the Swoon Amber I am working on! Well that was it.  Been thrifting lately! let me know what you scored!  Happy New Year!



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Posted on January 6, 2016

Review: Swoon Ethel Tote Bag

Handbags/ Sewing

I hope to make all the Swoon Patterns I own this year.  A Girl can wish can’t she? If January turns out to be any inkling of the rest of the year I am doing might fine!  I decided to tackle  this by using Alicia’s (Swoon Pattern Creator) easiest to hardest ratings.  First Up Ethel:


Pattern Description:  A roomy, sturdy and stylish open tote bag. With a teardrop shape, Ethel veers away from the usual boxy tote. It’s a “stuff it in and run out the door” kind of bag, designed to comfortably sling over your shoulder. There are a few slip pockets for the small things.

Product Description


  • 9.5″ wide at top
  • 13″ wide at bottom
  • 5″ deep
  • 10″ tall


  • 2/3 yard 44” wide quilting weight exterior fabric
  • 3/4 yard 44” wide quilting weight lining fabric
  • 1 yard fusible (or sew-in) foam interfacing (Pellon Flex-Foam FF78F1)
  • 3 yards 20” wide fusible woven interfacing (Pellon Shapeflex SF101)
  • 1/4 yard fusible stabilizer (Pellon Peltex 71F)
  • Coordinating thread
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 1/4 You should already be somewhat familiar with sewing patterns and common sewing terms.

Here’s my Ethel:


Fabric: Tula Pink Foxfield and Waverly Polka Dots

Hardware: Upcycled from a Guess Bag and NingBags

Pattern Review: I really enjoyed this pattern and agree with Alicia’s recommendation of difficulty 1 out of 4.  The pieces are easy to cut out, no odd shapes no darts if you are unfamiliar.  Since I had purchased my pattern the pattern cover has changed and so had the supply list.  My pattern cover feathers this:


The tote now lists Foam/headliner as the interfacing. I used Pellon Thermalon Plus which I prefer better.  Note this does make the bag heavier and more substantial.  This Tote is straigh forward and if this is your first time making a bag this is a perfect pattern. It will definitely look like a bag when your finished and you will be proud.  Think carefully when choosing fabrics as fabrics (to me) can make or break your bag.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match.  I felt the bag was a tad plain but also I am not a beginner bag maker so i added hardware.  Its not functional just pretty …to me.


That’s the benefit of sewing you can customize any way you want.


When adding your strap hardware be sure to stitch close to your rings so the fabric does not slide.


Top Stitching not the best, that’s ok use a 1/4 foot with a guide, extend your stitch length to 3.5 slow and steady.


Inside pockets are great and remember you can divide them however you want.  You are a handbag sewer…do what you want!

04-IMG_9987-001When you are ready to birth Ethel (the non foam version) besure to LOCKSTITCH your seams as to no rip your opening.




1-IMG_0279-001Tada you are all done!    If you decide to make Ethel let me know your experience.  This tote is available in my Etsy shop: Here



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Posted on December 30, 2015

Featherweight….what is it?

Sewing/ Sewing Machines


Featherweight. I heard this term on the Knitmore girls podcast.  Jasmine would say I sewed it my featherweight.  I always wondered what in the world is a featherweight?  Boxing?????  This question stayed in the back of my mind but I never researched it …..until I had the pleasure of seeing  one. Back in November after leaving my office  I decided to upgrade my sewing machine so I could production sew.  While at the sewing machine dealer I tested a few machines and I asked do you have any featherweights?  The associate, Emily said yes, would like to see one?  Yes Please!

I was born Born June 19, 1940.


Sewing old school Earnestine born June 19, 1940 #singerfeatherweight#vintagesewingmachine#blacksinger#perfectstraightstitching



Featherweights were introduced at the 1933 Worlds fair flaunting its stuff as the first portable sewing machine weighting  in at only 11 pounds. Since most machines during that era were encased in a cabinet and EXTREMELY heavy the Singer 221 was definitely a hit.  Such a hit Over 3 million were produced


This little machine has the best stitches I have ever seen.  Before I blast you with a bazillion pictures let me share a few things about this little doll.

Singer 221-came in 3 colors only.  Black, Pale Celery(greenish tint white) and Tan.  The black units were produced in the millions are are very easy to find but can definitely range in price from free(in a family members home) to 400+.

The black unit also came as  a free arm, Singer 222K-There are a fortune!  AS in in the thousands!



Comes with a box which contained accessories and a place for the foot pedal.  I have a reproduction box the original.

Had tension controls but early machine such as mine had no numbers on it. You can get numbered dials though.


Have become  collectors items and they are very popular among quilters.

Can be painted in all colors but I will warn you paints jobs range from $500-$1100!

Since they have only mechanical parts you can do the maintenance yourself:).  Score!

Here are a few glamour shots of my featherweight  aptly named Earnestine after my Grandmother.




                                                                                              Tension dial with no numbers





The top bulb is orginal…..FIYAH!!!! Whoa this thing gets HOT! So I replaced it with an LED, how cools is that!





this pedal is too funny. The “button” on the left is the only one that can be depressed. The other button is stationary so you sew with your toe, hehehe.




Some of these attachments are hysterical looking!


Holes to place in a seam guide as the needleplate has no markings

To use modern taller,ligher in weight spools you will need a thread stand. If not your thread will "jump" off your machine...ask me how I know, lol.

To use modern taller, lighter in weight spools you will need a thread stand. If not your thread will “jump” off your machine…ask me how I know, lol.



Isn’t’ she just a doll?  There’s so much info on singer featherweights and I have learned so much.  If you want want there out there but…..betcha can’t buy just one!


Toodles! and Happy Sewing!



Posted on November 29, 2015

Vivian Handbag and Traveler Pattern Review

Handbags/ Sewing

I needed another bag to take to my moms for Thanksgiving. ….Quick.   No Judging. I am looking at you like Ester would look at Fred Sanford.   Say hello to the Vivian by  Swoon.


My Senna tote was killing me as I had it stuffed with all the components necessary for an episode of Survivor!  So I figured I would remedy that and make a handbag.  The Vivian comes in 2 sizes a handbag size finishing at 12″and a Travellor size at 17″.  I needed the Traveller:).



Time is Deer-ZeetZeet Etsy Shop I purchased this fabric once before and used if for a knitting project bag

Black and white Polka Dots/Grey and White Polka Dots -Waverly

Made my own piping

Pattern Overview:

I’ll admit I didn’t read..I am a bad mammah Jamma huh? made this bag by looking at the photo!  Since I decided to make this in 2 days before I headde to my moms I owe it all to Ali Cat and CO.  She did  a sew along some time ago so I followed her.  This is a quick sew as their aren’t many pieces but there are several areas where you need to play close attention, straps, zipper and drop in lining.  This bag calls for a foam stabilizer which was a first for me it was very easy to work with.  I recall thinking foam! I could only imagine sewing through that dense foam sold a Joanns used for out door cushions.  It is not at all like that, its very easy to work with and did not require a walking foot.  It was a great quick sew!



I omitted the inside zipper pockets since I don’t use that and tend to have a gazillion zippered pouches I used instead.  I added studs to the handles.


A Word of Caution

When lining your straps I only like to see one stitch line. I adhere my straps to the body with hem tape.  That ensures ZERO movement and perfect alignment at the base of your bag.  Use an edgestitch foot for perfect stitching.  I tacked down the lining to the seams to reduce droopie-ness.  There’s a tute on the swoon blog.  Drop in linings always require special attention to take it slow.



Juki F600

1/4″ foot with guide

Edge Stitch foot

Zipper foot

Wonder under

Scotch tape

Hem tape

Posted on November 6, 2015

WonderWoman Tote Bag

Handbags/ Sewing


Whew It has been a whirl wind yall!

norman rockwell

Let’s see……we’ve moved ….almost…it took over a month and required some serious downsizing. You know that is blashphemy for a crafter right!  During the move the gas company had the street blocked off for 2 weeks at the old house.  Then 2 days later they blocked off the new house!  (side-eye) .  Then Street cleaning on the side of the street in which we needed to park!  Next rain..I mean if I believed in Voo-doo someone definitely put a hex on us!  Well today is the last day so I am hiding waiting on Amazon and the husband is taking care of the last bits.  I had a small setback with my eye..just google eye concretions…that’s all I’m saying. Now take all that and add several days of overtime and double workshifts for the husband.  Did I get your sympathy yet???  I surely did need it!  Today we are on the move again and the closest we’ve been to some sort of normalcy!

With all that I did have a few custom projects going on and Ha!  I made all my deadlines….yess.  I also have some new goodies that I will share with you shortly too.  Before I said my final ado to corporate america I was asked to create a Wonderwoman Tote Bag with a custom message inside.I also knew I wanted to come up with my own design for a tote bag too.  Here are the deets!  My pictures are not the best as we were deep in the bowels of moving so forgive me.

Custom Wonder Woman tote is coming along....#wonderwoman#customtotebag#shophandmade#sewing#hopkinsstudio

I had a great time with this tote.  I used  a combination of fabrics to anchor the WW toss fabric.  Sometimes the toss fabrics have so much going on that you can’t really see the bag design.  I love the front pocket and hardware.

As with anything you make you learn things along the way.  That’s the benefit of being a maker.   So I jotted down notes too.

I really enjoyed this as I was making it for an awesome friend to give as a gift and the tote included a handwritten note.

She was worried the message wasn’t perfect but it was from the heart and that’s all that matters.  So glad to have been able to make this tote and its a good draft of what I would look for in a tote bag.

So glad to be back sharing with you and chat with you soon!



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