Hey, throw down some confetti and break out the bubbly... I'm celebrating the
completion of five hundred blog posts over the past nine-plus years!
I'm totally tickled to be marking this achievement, because when I
blog post number four hundred
, I was almost convinced that my blogging days would come to an end before
reaching another hundred.
If you were around to read that one, you may recall that at the end of it,
I gave myself permission to deviate from my once-a-week schedule going
I still haven't missed a Saturday, and with six more months of Saturdays
to go before reaching the tenth anniversary of the blog, I'll be giving it
my all to stick with the program.
What might one pick as a topic for a five hundredth blog post? Why, the
other four hundred and ninety-nine posts, of course. ಠ‿ಠ
Okay, not all of them. (Still, long post warning.) But I thought it
might be fun to go back through the years and pick out a couple of posts
from each, that marked special moments for me.
Box of RK fabric...
This was a super exciting time, but unless you've been in the same boat,
you may not be able to relate.
After not having sewn for decades, I bought my first bit of fabric — one
single yard — in September, 2012. I then proceeded to "make do" with
non-traditional sources of fabric for almost two years.
When it came time to make a real purchase again, I turned to
Craftsy, as I did for most things back in those days. Until it ran out of steam,
Craftsy provided me with everything from sewing inspiration to a
modest source of income (through its affiliate program and indie
Not usually one to buy things sight unseen, I had familiarized myself with
and his reputation, so I knew this would be
quality fabric. Over the years, I've used this collection to great
advantage and am lucky enough to have a decent amount remaining.
Woo hoo — cutter and mat!
Speaking of making do, I was well past the two year mark of my
sewing journey when I finally sprung for a cutting mat, rotary cutter and
I had started to feel hampered by not having the right tools for the
job, so in recognition of having achieved a few minor accomplishments, I
rewarded myself with what most sewers would deem to be rather basic
The little cutting mat has since been rotated out of regular use, but
the cutter and the ruler are still serving me well.
My first post of 2015 was significant in that I felt confident enough to
share some of the knowledge that I had picked up — and relearned — over
the past couple of years. Far from being entrenched in what I knew/know
from way back when, I am always thrilled with the opportunity to
pick up new tips and tricks, and happy to share them.
In David Letterman style, I counted down the top ten sewing tips
as I saw them, covering things like taking pride in your work to cutting
thread on the diagonal before threading a needle.
An oddly popular project...
This wallet — made by request for one of my cousins — is unusually popular
. Every so often, it will wind up as "trending" even though it's not a
fully formed tutorial.
What it is, is the beginning of a three-part post about a wallet that I
developed from scratch (per cousin's existing wallet) that took
months to complete. It wasn't so much the work that took all that
time, as it was the interest in doing the work. Sometimes
projects are just like that. Why else would most sewers have a
collection of WIPs?
The happy ending here is that the wallet did ultimately get made and the
associated write-up has been an unexpectedly prolific inbound link for
My "never fail" beach tote...
In early 2016, I decided to take a(nother) free pattern and make it my own
in a substantial way. Modifications were made to the overall size,
pockets, fabric allocation, and straps; i.e., they weren't just minor
The inspiration came from Sew4Home and the result is a bag
that has accompanied me on every beach vacation ever since.
a couple of times, which is not normally something I'd do with handmade
bags. A great learning experience as well as a practical addition to a bag
collection... what more could you ask for?
A fabric rose...
Making these fabric flowers was just plain fun, and the idea that they
could be a skill-building exercise for new sewers leads me to recommend
this project again and again.
Seven years later, these flowers are still sitting pretty. That said, my
has supplanted these as my favourite fabric flowers. In terms of sewing,
however, these are definitely a fun way to hone your skills for curvy
Frustrating but ultimately so rewarding...
While the flowers represented a fun memory, this Yahtzee wallet brings
back recollections of frustration. The stitch ripper was out so many
times that the fabric was close to disintegrating!
That said, sometimes the most difficult, challenging, and hair-tearing
projects end up being the most rewarding. This zip-around case has since
been a constant companion of ours whenever we go anywhere near or far.
Lessons learned? Many. Primarily, though,
don't be lazy about hand basting.
This project pounded that idea into my brain. Trying to save time by
machine basting can be false economy.
Best ever ruler grips!
For a few weeks in March, I was on wallpaper duty for the other half's
motorhome project. To assist with the inevitable cutting, I brought along
one of my newer cutting mats, the rotary cutter, and my 24" sewing ruler.
I had a moment while making one of the cuts when I looked down and
marveled at how easy it was to pick up the ruler because of these little
grips that have been stuck on it since 2017.
I'm serious. They are totally removable, but the fact is, these two little
suckers — literally — have been attached to the ruler for the past six
years during the cutting for all of my sewing projects. For an inexpensive
and fast DIY, how can you not marvel at that sort of durability and
My first mini quilt...
I've said many times that I'm not a quilter, but this was my very first
quilting project. It was enjoyable. The freestyle type of quilting that
was involved appealed to my sense of order and
adventure, and kept
the project from overwhelming me with rules.
The inspiration came from a Craftsy class given by quilter
Suzy Williams, who really made the process fun. (If you're into quilting, you should
really check out her website, too.)
My takeaway from this project is that making a mini quilt can be a fun and
relaxing way to rejuvenate your mojo if you feeling lost in the (sewing)
weeds... as we all do from time to time.
Watch live classes for FREE at CreativeLive!
What's better than a newspaper-y print?
My city's newspaper stopped printing a Monday edition last fall. Many
years ago, it stopped printing a Sunday edition. For the remainder of the
week, the paper is now a pitifully thin version of its former self, back
in its heyday. I continue to have a physical paper delivered to my door
(at a stupidly high price if I were to be honest), because there's a part
of me that thinks that if I don't continue to support the industry, its
inevitable demise will come even faster.
When this post went up back in 2018, I was already thinking that
newspapers were on their last legs. Perhaps in future, newspapers will
only exist as prints on fabric. (This fabric was transformed into
.) I'll remain a fan, in whatever format.
The infamous origami twist box!
This one describes how I followed a rudimentary tutorial from an origami
artist and made a functioning fabric twist box. Having included my own
instructions to clarify how to do this, apparently some unscrupulous
entities in China decided that it was perfectly fine to take those same
instructions — word for word and photo by photo — and sell them along
with some ridiculously priced plastic templates. What a world we live
Back of my Tropical Rug...
This post eventually led to a defining moment in my sewing journey.
Originally written to be just a compilation of intriguing projects offered
up by AGF Studios
, six months later, the enormous
became my signature pandemic project
My reasoning was that the societal pause that we were all taking was the
perfect time to tackle a project that we had previously made excuses not
Make it memorable, I believe I said. And it was. And continues
to be. It's one of my most significant sewing achievements.
Customized Goddess of the Sea bag...
This is officially my current purse. It sits on a bench in our foyer. I
imagine that whenever I get ready to go out, it's ever hopeful that I'll
pick it up and take it along.
About ninety-nine percent of the time, I grab my
crossbody sling bag
. But if I'm going somewhere "special", I like to fall back on this
more glamorous purse
I love everything about this customized Goddess of the Sea
why not, since everything I ever wanted or needed in a purse was thought
of and incorporated into its simple but stylish design. (That it was
made with my own
Pride & Prejudice fabric
is almost secondary after all that.)
This was one of my occasional off topic posts, so you may wonder why
it's being included in this list. The reason will become apparent when
you read the next couple of paragraphs.
Anyway, in this discussion from 2020, I asked why sewing related linky
parties were disappearing, why some bloggers ignore comments, why anyone
would want a master bedroom ensuite without a door, why people downvote
YouTube tutorials, why proper grammar no longer matters,
why "sewist" is used as a word — when it isn't — and why people are
still on Facebook. (By the way, at least half of those questions are still without
satisfactory answers, IMHO.)
And now I have a couple more. First, why are virtually all of the recent
tech advances so scary and alarming? Second, why do I have doubts that
you'd be able to tell if it was me or an AI app who wrote this post??
Speaking of scary things... what about those that you just don't feel
confident about doing? Well, sometimes you just have to get right in there
and do them!
That was me about the idea of cutting into a piece of clothing (that I
didn't like) to refashion it into something that I might like. For a first
effort, it culminated in a moment of elation and a feeling of
wow, I made it work. I managed to transform a long frumpy vest into
something short and sporty... something that I could actually wear.
Completed in early 2021, over two years on, this little vest still hangs
on the back of my chair, my go to
for when I need an extra bit of
Sheep fabric realized!
Of course, I had
to include this one.
When I began designing my own fabrics in early 2015, it was always in
the back of my mind that I had to come up with a signature design to
represent my brand, so to speak.
The goal wasn't realized until six years later, but that was fine
because I learned a lot over that period. The result likely turned out
much better than if I had tackled the project earlier. (And I'm quite
pleased to report that this fabric has actually been sold several
I'm still waiting for the perfect project to use up the large print half
of my sample yard shown here.
Not so scary transformation...
bucket list item
checked off is always a good thing, right?
So it was for this jackets to duffle bag transformation. Having said that
I wanted to have the experience of taking material from unwanted clothing
and turning it into something "spectacular", I tore apart two unworn
jackets and very meticulously pieced them together into an unneeded
duffle. (Don't get me wrong; I love it, but I've only been able to use it
While I was apprehensive prior to starting the refashioned vest project,
this time, I had faith that I knew what I was doing and it wasn't quite as
This reminds me, though, that I still have items hanging in my closet that
can benefit from the same repurposing treatment. What about you?
My favourite fabric collection thus far...
This fabulous — and so aptly named — collection by
was released in 2013, ten years ago this month. My
introduction to it was via Sew4Home
projects in 2016 and 2017. I
felt an immediate connection to the fabric, so when a fat quarter bundle
popped up on Craftsy
at half price in 2018, I jumped at the
Truth be told, I'd jump at it again, given the chance. Not like the
collection has disappeared or gotten any cheaper in the decade since its
This post was a compilation of all of the things that I had made with the
fabric up to that point. (You can add
to the list.) I've often said that I get my inspiration by seeing projects
first, but it's always a bonus to have fabrics like these to elevate the
Check out crafty classes at Creativebug!
And now as a final celebration of the occasion — and to reward those of
you who bothered to read (or scroll!) this far down — here are a few more
words that may be worth your while to read: I'm giving away a pattern from
my PDF pattern shop. The
Bodaciously Basic Bucket Bag
(check out the specs and details from
my original post about it here
) is free to download, this weekend only