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Believer, Daughter, Wife, Mother, Sister, Aunt, Registered Nurse, Seamstress, Crafter, Housekeeper, Cook, Baker, Gardener, Reader, Keeper of the chickens, Goat Herder, Homesteader, Thrifty, Usually sane, Overworked, Mom of 3. Thanks for stopping by - I appreciate your comments! ~ Angie



Monday, January 31, 2011

Quick Birthday Gifts & Note-Taker Mini-Tutorial

My kiddo #2 had two birthday parties last weekend.  Her little friends digged their art cases, so we decided on little note-takers this time - similar but faster to sew.  I didn't quickly find a tutorial to fit my 5x8 notepads, so here's what I came up with:

Note-Taker to fit 5"w x 8"h notepads
1.  -Cut 1 outer fabric, 1 lining fabric, 1 interfacing at 13"h x 13"w for main case
- Cut 2 outer fabrics, 1 interfacing at 4h" x 3"w for flap closure
2.  Iron on or baste interfacing to main fabric of case and flap. Add trims or applique if desired.  Add velcro to the flap and outer fabric (place about 2" down and 1" in from right side edge of outer fabric.)  
3.  Place main fabrics of flap right sides together and sew around both short ends and one long end. Turn and press.  Pin finished flap about 2" down from top edge of right side of your outer fabric.  Match up unfinished edges of flap and the outer fabric.
4.  Place lining fabric on top of outer fabric & flap with right sides together and sew around edges with 1/4" seam, leaving about 4" open to turn.
5.  Trim corners, turn right side out and press.  Fold up your bottom edge by 4", pin and sew around all edges to secure bottom pocket and topstitch the edge. 
6.  Find center of the pocket.  To the right of  center, mark lines on pocket about 1" apart for pencil pockets.  Sew  down these lines, backstitching at top and bottom.
7.  Insert your 5" x 8" note pad, pencils & enjoy!

Do not attempt this on little sleep at midnight!  I sewed the pencil pockets on the side of my embroidery the first time!  Thankfully, I have a close, friendly relationship with my trusty seam-ripper.

 I also included a reversible matching headband.  There are dozens of free headband tutorials out there...
JezzePrints Flat pattern hair band,
Cakies Braided headband,
Zakka Life's Recycled T-shirt Headband,
Heather Bailey's Headband,
The Long Thread (like mine above) Reversible Headband.

I'd love to see pictures if you try this mini-tute!
Whimsy Couture

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winner, Winner!

Congratulations to Jacqueline!
I'll be sending you an email tonight.
Thank you, followers, for visiting Mama's blog :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bag City!

~~~Hurry and enter my giveaway found here - Ends tomorrow, Jan. 26.~~~

I am a bag-lover.  My hubby gives me a hard time about all my handbags; does yours, too?  Since learning to sew, I've decided I can't have too many if I'm the one making them.
Photo & Pattern by Sew A Staight Line blog
I was happy to finally finish the 'Not Just Another Pretty Purse' from Sew A Straight Line blog.  This one has been on my To-Sew list since it was published in Oct. 2010. I love the chic lines of this bag and it's big enough for my wallet, planner, zip pouch and a sippy!  The finished dimensions on this bag are about 18"w x 8"h x 3"d.  The tutorial & pattern are available as a free PDF near the bottom of the post.  Well worth the time!  Here's Mama's version...

Notice there are two zippered pouches?  The one on the left is for my giveaway winner and the one on the right is for me!  These are really quick and easy after the first one - 30 minutes tops.  Check out the free tutorial for mini-zippered pouches over at Fishsticks & Fries blog.

I told you this was Bag City....here are 2 other lovelies I finished last week.  
Photo & pattern by SimpleThings/Heart of Mary
These little bags have lots of detail and took about 4 hours each.  This is for a medium-sized shoulder bag that measures approx. 12"h x 11"w x 2.5"d. It has bias or ribbon accents, a magnetic clasp, interior zip pocket and I also added a cell phone pocket & key loop.  Perfect for a day out without all the mommy-gear (or your MIL's birthday!)  You can find the pattern here in Mary's shop or I think on Etsy as well.  I bought this pattern during a B1G1 sale and have made her long wallet also - another great pattern!  Here are Mama's versions...
The bag in the 2nd & 3rd pictures is for sale - $35 shipped in the continental US.  
Email or comment if you'd like to purchase her :)  

I'll be sewing another bag this week for Shannon at My Taylor Made.  It's a big pleated shoulder bag and I'm excited to give it a try :)  Do you have a favorite big bag pattern? I'm always looking for a new Mommy Bag!
Whimsy Couture

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dan. A Pattern Special & Giveaway

To enter Mama Lusco's Giveaway ( through 1/26), go here.

One of my most favorite pattern designers, Karen of DMK Kids Wear, DMK Toy Patterns and Dan. A Womens Wear, is offering a great special at the Dan. A shop.   For two days only (Jan 24-25th) You will get BUY ONE GET ONE FREE patterns in her Womens Shop. Use coupon code: DANAWIN11 at checkout and name your free pattern.  Also, enter to win one of 5 free patterns at the DMK blog here, Jan. 24-Feb 7.  Lots of chances to win!  I just ordered the Cowl Neck Vest and Sweater Dress.  I tested for the Infinity Scarf/Neck Warmer Sweater and get so many compliments.  Which ones will you choose? :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

200 Followers ~ Giveaway Time!

Thank you for following Mama Lusco's sewing adventures!  As promised, it's time for a giveaway since reaching 200 followers this week....Thank you!

Up for grabs is a flat-bottomed zip pouch, Fishsticks & Fries style, in beautiful Joel Dewberry Ginseng reds & yellows.  Since I'm wishing for spring, how about a pair of dahlia sterling post earrings, too?  Your choice of colors: black, white, pink, red, royal blue, fuscia, mauve or purple.

To enter, simply leave a comment and include your email address if it's not public on your profile.  For a second entry, 'like' Mama Lusco on Facebook here.  I'll pick a winner on Wednesday, Jan. 26th.  Thanks for following!

I just finished 3 fabulous bags using more of my Ginseng fabrics.  I'll be posting them soon along with the patterns & free tutorial used to make them, so come back soon!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Big Deal!

I've read online a few times about Big Deal.com.  It's an online auction site where you can get new electronics & more for a fraction of the retail price.  The catch is, you have to buy bids to then bid on the items.  You may need to spend $100 bidding to win an SLR digital camera for $15.  Net savings = $600+.  Ipads are selling for less than $100!  I've been wanting a Kindle reader so when I saw them selling for $8, I wanted to jump in the bidding.  It was midnight, though, and I've been known to make some really crazy infomercial products late in the night :)  So, I waited...I did register for a Big Deal account.  After not buying anything for 5 days, they sent me 5 free bids which I used to purchase 10 more bids for $0.11.  Pretty fun stuff!  I'm wanting to buy more bids so I have a nice stockpile before going for the Kindle.

If this sounds like fun to you, head over to Big Deal and register using my link.  When you purchase tokens, we BOTH get 10 free bids!  Wanna join me?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Must-Sew Spring Patterns

I've officially got Spring Fever!  I received the Threads newsletter this morning (new McCalls patterns) and Spring Ottobre for kids yesterday and am full of ideas for must-sew patterns.  Here are a few on my list:

McCalls M6271 sz 2-8

M6272 sz 2-8
M6275 Big girls/plus sz 7-16.5
 I have mixed feelings about these...I like them but am not sure I could wear them:
M6280 sz 8-22
M6278 sz 4-20
 I think I need these:
Pieces for A/B, C, D cups! M6277 sz 8-22
M6290 sz4-18
And now the Ottobre must-sews...I honestly have not made anything from the mag (ever!) but I love the designs.  I need to get over worrying about conversions from metric, tracing & adding seam allowances, and just sew some!
Can you tell I loved this issue?!!  I'm not sure if I'll renew my subscription, though.  I'm not sure it's worth the hefty price since I haven't sewn any of them yet.  If I was comfortable sewing them, it would be well worth it.  I guess I need to try a few before my gift subscription expires in May.  Any other new designs you are dying to sew?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm....

Have you ever been really disappointed with a pattern?  I had really high hopes for a darling dress pattern and it just did not turn out well.  The under arm fit was much too small, causing it to bunch up and pull across M's chest...unwearable.  She was not a happy model!

I don't have high expectations for free online tutorials because they are FREE.  When I'm purchasing a pattern, I expect it to fit well.  The more I pay, the more I expect.  Am I sounding totally unreasonable here? 

I have a group of PDF pattern makers that I adore.  Even a few who trust me enough to let me be a pattern tester.  When in doubt, designers, please have your patterns tested in all sizes so a blogger doesn't write a ranting post about it :) 

Thankfully, I was able to add an oval patch under each arm to widen and lengthen the poor fit.  I don't have a picture of the "fix", but it looks good now.  I feel better now.  Sorry for the complaining...I think I'm extra hormonal today.  While I'm feeling b#@!*y, do you know of patterns to avoid?  Misery loves company.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Spring Dresses & Kimono

I just wasted 2 hours playing with Picnik photo editing on Flickr :)  It was really fun, though!  It all started with this photo...Mally did NOT want to smile while modeling her new Miss Mary from The Handmade Dress.

This one is too much fun to not share...the mustache covers that pout perfectly!

I did get a few sweet pictures amongst the pouty ones...
Now for the details.  The pattern is Miss Mary from Samantha at The Handmade Dress.  All of her patterns fit so well and sew up in about 2 hours.  The very first pattern I purchased when I started sewing 3 years ago was Miss Madeline.  It's still a go-to around here.  Miss Molly was Mally's favorite summer dress and Miss Lily was her Christmas dress this year.  Back to this one - it fits perfectly.  Abby is wearing the A-line view B in size 10 and Mally's is view A (gathered skirt) in size 5.  I shortened Abby's to the size 5 length so she can wear it as a tunic over leggings as well.  Mally's was also shortened by 5".  I highly recommend this pattern for your big or little girls.  The fabric is Tutti Frutti from JoAnn Fabrics 2009. 

Before making these dresses, I had made a ManiMina Chic Kimono from the same fabrics.  I had planned for this to be a tunic over matching bloomers but the neckline was too big to wear alone.  I LOVE this pattern as a jacket but it wasn't quite right for a dress - Emilie does offer a Ruffle Kimono Dress pattern that I love but it's too small for my chica.  It does work great as a spring jacket with her new Miss Mary dress, though!
I also made the Kimono reversible by adding ties to both sides of the jacket.  Love it!  I wish I had a pic of the bloomers...They are the pink & dark pink striped fabric and from the Whimsy Couture bloomer pattern.  WC was the second e-pattern maker I found and I own most of her designs as well.  If you are a new sewer, I highly suggest trying e-patterns for their great step-by-step pictures and instructions.  Great for visual learners like myself! 
It's still snowy outside here in the mountains of Eastern Oregon, but I've got Spring on my mind :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bargain Designer Fabrics

J.Dewberry's Ginseng line

Wanna know my secret place to buy designer fabrics for $3.50/yd?  Whittles Fabrics Online.  I just ordered a few Joel Dewberry home dec fabrics to make some new handbags and maybe an apron.  You can also find some Amy Butler prints, Valori Wells, Anna Maria Horner, Tina Givens, and dozens more starting at $3.50 a yard!  My stash was getting scarce, so I'm thankful for Christmas money to restock - thanks, Mom!
J.Paganelli's Bell Bottom line