Friday, August 31, 2012

Another Day, Another Bag

shabby field style bag

Good afternoon! Incredible weather here! Hot but no humidity! I just love it! Great afternoon to be sewing out on my porch. It is near 90 degrees here but no ceiling fan or air conditioner needed today. Beautiful breeze!

After completing the other two drawstring type bags from beige cargo pants, I found an old bin of pants in the basement, (some jeans, some cargoes) that somehow escaped a trip to the Salvation Army. There were some trash to treasure items in there for sure. I laundered them and folded them into a neat pile. I decided to begin with the drab olive capris.

I cut off one of the legs, a pocket and found a fat quarter for the lining and pieces of the straps. I salvaged the hem pieces from each leg to also use as a strap.

Here is a close up of the lining--photo is dull compared to actual bright leafy greens in the fabric.

I realized that this leg was so narrow that it would be difficult sewing the pocket on without opening up one of the side seams. So I got out my BFF seam ripper and tore open the seam.

Then I pretty much followed the same directions as I did in the drawstring bag tutorial (see left side of page for link) in applying the pocket to the front.

Then for sewing up the bag, lining, inserting the lining and making the long shoulder strap--I followed the instructions listed under my basic small tote tutorial. (link also can be found on left side of the page)

The strap had to be pieced as I used the salvaged hemlines and they were not long enough. I wanted the bag to have a strap long enough to wear across the chest diagonally. So I made a double layered strap from the lining fabric and attached it in the middle of the  two hem straps.

It has a field bag look to it.

Still have to trim off some threads and sew up the inside lining that was left to turn it right side out. Then it will be complete.

Still have a second chance to perfect this style of bag with the second leg.....As I mentioned earlier, this pair was a little challenging when I was sewing the pocket on, so I opened up the side seam. This was due to the fact that it was a little girls pair of capris so the leg openings were not as wide. This left little room for maneuvering them on the sewing machine.

Projects Down the Road (more bags)

Pink floral with pink solid lining...

Gray bag with gray paisley lining.....

Found a similar fat quarter (color wise) for the 2nd bag from this pr of capris.

Fat Quarters are on sale this weekend at Joanne Fabrics-40 % off!!!! You can't have too many!

One last look.....outdoor fancy...

Another look--just plain outdoorsy!!! Yes I make up words as I go along!

The bag is cute. I am happy with the way it turned out. It has an outdoorsy/chic look to it. I am going to try and utilize the button tab (that was on the waistband) on the second bag . Stay tuned for the update....
not promising that it will get done before next week with a holiday weekend here. Hoping that my daughter will be coming home from Martha's Vineyard for the long weekend. It has been a while since she's been able to get off the island....but....she waited until the last minute to try and get a we shall see!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good Morning and Thanks to Diane

It's another lovely day here in Keene, NH. It was a cool night for sleeping last night and it is a bit crisp outside this morning. Just the way I like it! Life is good...oh but I have a big cup of steaming, hot coffee sitting here next to me so let me reword my last statement--LIFE IS GREAT!

I sat down at the computer this morning to check emails, messages,etc and I had a few messages to answer.

I found one from Diane at The Checkered Apple and in her message she mentioned that she tried my Spinach Pie Recipe that I posted a couple of days ago. She said that she and her husband loved it and that she would make it again and again. Yes folks! It really is that good! Spinach Pie Recipe .

In her message she also said that she posted a picture on her blog. So I hurried on over to see it and you can imagine my surprise when I see her picture and realize that Diane's spinach pie looks better than mine!!! My spinach pie usually looks more like Diane's but just because I intended to blog about mine and post photos, I accidently forgot that it was in the oven and the cheese baked around the edges and got, well....a little brown. See for yourself.....

So, if you want to see a photo of how the pie usually looks when it comes out of the oven, click here and check out Diane's photo of her spinach pie: "Diane's Spinach Pie" .

All kidding aside, I would like to thank Diane for featuring my mom's spinach pie on her blog and for her kind, kind comments about my blog. Diane has been so supportive (since I started here in the blogging world--not that long ago) and in fact, she wrote one of my very first comments. I was so excited to get my first comments--so I will always be very grateful to her. You must check out her blog as well--she does a little bit of everything, a "jack of all trades" and a master of them all, so I am sure you will find something that interests you.

What initially drew me to her blog was how she describes her "job" and all the hats she wears in life. I think we can all relate to that on some level!!!! THANKS AGAIN DIANE!

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless."
Mother Theresa

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

From Cargo Shorts to Drawstring Pocket Bags--UPDATE

Bag # 2 

Bag #1 and Bag #2

UPDATE TO PRIOR POST:  I finished the second bag that I made from the remaining leg of the cargo shorts. (I had used the first leg in the prior post.) The two bags I was able to construct from one pair of cargo shorts utilized both legs of the shorts, both rear pockets and a piece of remaining shorts fabric to create one inside pocket for the first bag.

One fat quarter was needed to line each bag and to make the straps/drawstrings. On the second bag I used a scrap of floral fabric to add a and extra pocket to the front.

Backside of Bag # 2

Bag # 2 Reversed

This is bag # 2 turned inside out. The photo does not give it justice. It is really cute! I would definitely use the bag both ways....

There is quite a bit of room in them--they measure 9 3/4 wide by 10" long when finished.
These little pocket bags are fun and fairly simple to make.  The most difficult part is attaching the front and back pockets to the outside of the bag because the side seams are already sewn up. (The sides of the pant legs) I had to be very careful that I did not sew the two pieces together. With caution, it can be done.
I enjoyed this project so much, I am going to go look for more "gently worn" cargo shorts!

Scroll down to see original post and tutorial to make these bags or check for original link on the left side of my page.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

From Cargo Shorts to Drawstring Pocket Bag

Pick a Pocket or Two!

This little bag is one I made up tonight. I wasn't sure I should be sewing. I had a migraine all day and around noon time decided to take pain medication. I did have to use a seam ripper more than once to undo some mistake I never would have made in my "right" mind, but I was able to come up with a design that is easy and cute. I am happy with it!

I began with a pair of cargo shorts:

Legs are a decent length

Great pockets on the back--I can use them.....

I will use the fat quarter on the right for lining, and drawstrings.

I can make two bags from one pair of shorts. Cut off each pant leg straight across. Cut out each back pocket, adding about 1/2" border all around the pocket. The seam at the top will be used for the drawstring canal and the side seams of the bag are already sewn because I cut the legs off leaving the original side seams in tact.

Close up of pocket

Curve edges on cut pant leg similar to curve on pocket. Use the first bag shape as a pattern for the second bag and for lining pieces.

Cut a curved pocket from leftover shorts fabric by using the pocket already cut as a pattern. This will be used for an inside pocket. Iron.

Fold down (to wrong side) 1/4" and iron. Fold an additional 1/4" down and iron.
Pin in place and top stitch. This will be the finished edge of the pocket.

At each seam at the top of the bag, use a seam ripper to gently open up the seam on the outside. The drawstrings will enter and exit from each side.

Inside pocket--fold down 1/4" and then an additional 1/4" inch  to the wrong side and stitch on the top right side.

Place the pocket about an inch from the bottom of the bag and pin in place. Then stitch around the sides and bottom very close to the edge.

Then zig-zag over the stitching to give it a slight ragged look. The stitching will prevent it from fraying.

Fold over top of each lining piece 1/4 ", repeat and iron. Then stitch in place on front and back pieces of lining. Pin lining pieces right sides together and stitch around sides and bottom. Turn right side out.

Stitch pocket to front of bag using regular straight stitch as we did with the lining. Then zig-zag around the pocket on the previous stitching line.Turn the bag wrong side out and stitch the bottom of the bag closed. This is where we get to skip sewing the side seams because it was already done for us!

I forgot to take photos of the straps as I cut them from the fabric. I cut 4  1 1/2 " strips from the fat quarter. It was already folded in half when I cut the two lining pieces from the fat quarter. The strips are about 21" long. I joined two pieces lengthwise to make one strap measuring 42" long. Repeat for other drawstring.

Then fold each side to the middle of the strap in as shown above. Press.

Fold each drawstring in half as shown above. Topstitch these straps very close to the edge. The right sides should be showing on both sides if they are folded correctly.

Insert the lining inside the bag and match wrong sides together. Note placement of lining is just below the top (which was originally the hemline on the shorts) This will allow the drawstrings to go through a less bulky canal.The lining edge is sewn very close to the original hemline as shown above. Stitch the lining in place.

At this point, the drawstrings can be added and the bag is nearly done. I use a large paper clip to pull the drawstrings through, Enter one side and pull strap through the same opening. Repeat for second drawstring. Each drawstring enters and exits through its own seam opening. Once the drawstrings are in properly, you may tie a knot in them to keep them from being pulled through accidently. A wooden bead can also be attached to each drawstring. Gently pull each drawstring. The bag should gather to close.

Bag is completed! Very easy....I will try to work on the second bag tomorrow and update this post once I am finished. I already have ideas to make them a bit more snazzy and colorful! As a prototype, I am happy with the way it came out. It is fun to recycle clothing into useful items, I like the challenge of finding ways to take advantage of the garment's original stitching and incorporate original pockets and buttons, etc. This was a fun project.


Every once in a while I surprise even myself....while trimming threads off the inside of this bag I realized that it is reversible. Many of the bags that I make are, but it wasn't my intention--it just happened. I turned it wrong side out and it was pretty cute!

Picking out fabric in a few minutes to complete bag #2 from the remaining pant leg.

Error in My Links to Tutorials

I was just reviewing my blog as I am always reviewing for typos and other errors . I realized that my list to the left side of my blog that links up to all of my tutorials did not actually take anyone to my tutorials. In saving the URL it copied the beginning http:// twice on every entry which created  an invalid URL. I apologize if you were taken to a place you didn't want to go. As Dr. Seuss said, "OH THE PLACES YOU WILL GO!"

I am still in the learning process of blogging  and there is still so much I need to learn....

Hope you are enjoying the weekend. The weather is glorious here in southern New Hampshire!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Spinach Pie--So So Yummy!

This is so delicious!  The recipe for this delicious spinach pie is in a book that my mom gave me. It contains
handwritten recipes that my mom made while we were growing up. This is one of my favorites dishes!

Here is the recipe in my mom's handwriting....

You can see it gets used a lot because there are spills on this page! The steps are shown below:

Cook 2 packages of frozen spinach. I have also used fresh spinach. When I do, I use 2 of the large plastic containers of fresh, organic spinach. 

Set aside to drain well....

Take 3 pieces of bread and break up into pieces.

Place bread pieces in bowl and add enough water to moisten the bread well.

It should look something like this....not all that appetizing to look at, at this point....

Add 3 eggs.

Add 8 oz of cottage cheese and 8oz extra sharp cheddar cheese. (I add an extra 4 oz  or more of cheddar)

Mix well....

Add drained, cooked spinach, salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. I used about 1/8 tsp garlic powder. I
ran out of fresh garlic. When I use fresh garlic in this recipe I chop up 2-3 cloves of garlic.

Pour into a oiled, deep pie dish....(this dish is actually a shallow casserole dish), top with fresh tomatoes.
Place in the oven and bake for 50 min at 350 degrees.

Soon you will smell the deliciousness baking in your oven and you will be compelled to take a peak. There was still 15 minutes left to bake at this point. It smelled so good!

Since I still have quite a few garden fresh tomatoes to use up, I will cut some up along with a fresh cucumber. Drizzled with olive oil and organic apple cider vinegar, pepper and parsley--makes a nice side dish.

We love fresh summer produce!

Here is the spinach pie--finally out of the oven!

Dinner is served! YUM!

This spinach pie is not only delicious, the ingredients can literally be thrown together in a matter of a few minutes. You can try adding other ingredients too--be creative. I used artichokes in the last spinach pie I made--just when I thought delicious couldn't get any better. Additionally, broccoli can be substituted for spinach and voila--Broccoli Pie. Pie crust can also be used with this recipe. 

No matter what you use--broccoli or spinach--I promise it will disappear quickly. Want proof?

We will fight over the remaining portion tomorrow! It warms up nicely in the microwave for a tasty lunch.

For another version of my Mom's Spinach Pie, CLICK HERE!

"What do you do when a tomato goes on strike?
You pick it!"

"Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself?"
Henry David Thoreau

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