Dusting off the sewing machine

A few weeks back, before setting off across this great big country in an RV, I finally got around to dusting off the sewing machine and putting it to use.  This was mainly because I could not think of what to give the offspring's teachers as an end of year gift, so decided to go with the old faithful: a tote bag along with some British chocolates etc.  Not very exciting, but useful in a place that has a plastic bag ban, I hope.

I felt a little silly about waiting so long to get back on the metaphorical horse, when it all just seemed so easy and natural once I got started.  That might have been because I was being a tad slow and cautious, for once, as I didn't have any room for error.  I hate it when there's a mean lady at the fabric cutting table.  Not only did she not give me an extra inch or so of fabric in wiggle room, I got home and found that she had not even cut the edges straight.  The orange-y bag is slightly smaller than the blue-y one, as I apparently have OCD and could not bring myself to not have all the circles line up.  It pained me to have half circles on the straps, but it was the only way.  Mean, mean lady.

Flush with the bag-making success, I decided to make a new casual top for my trip.  Over a decade of living in California has taught me that, while I might tan easily back home, here I'll sometimes veer dangerously near burning.  As such, my clothing choices have evolved from vest tops (US translation: tank tops) to t-shirts (finally a clothing term that both sides of the Atlantic agree on) to longer-sleeved light-weight tops worn as I flit from shaded spot to shaded spot (often with a wide-brimmed lifeguard hat on my head).

By this point, slow and cautious had gone out the window - I didn't have long left to clean the house ready for the dog-sitter's stay.  A few measurements, no rough pattern, just hoping for the best.  Well, it's not like it's a complicated shape, anyway.
Verdict: I like it.  Very comfy.

As an aside, I always have to wear sunglasses here too, even on overcast days, despite being able to go without them east of here when there is not a cloud in the sky.  Is it the smog that makes this place so darn bright??

Well, I'd better get back to keeping the kids busy.  My son asked to help cook dinner yesterday - I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but can't stop myself from fantasizing that he might take to this cooking lark and make the odd dinner here and there...


  1. I do love that top, you are clever doing it without a pattern, I may try myself although have never put sleeves in before so it may take a few attempts....

  2. Hi, I love your craft, is beauty, I love a colors, I follow your blog, hugs from Brazil.
    Visit my blog - Tita Carré - free patterns crochet

  3. My goodness, you've been productive! I'll bet your kids' teachers use their bags a lot, they're charming! Hope you had a lovely vacation, looking so stylish in your new top!

  4. Hoorah on getting back under the presser foot, Dawn! Summer is low-productivity for me, too. Or any time in the year, really, when I'm not motivated by handmade gift-guilt. I love that first orange bag, especially. I absolutely noticed the fantastic print-aligning on the body and symmetrical half-circles on the straps straightaway. Brava! Completely worth the effort in getting that all perfect!

    Also, I want my children to cook, too. So that I don't have to. I hope your son's interest stays. Maybe if you bought him a manly man cookbook, he'd be inspired to make this a regular thing? One hopes.

  5. Have you seen the book, "My Daddy Cooks"? There are easy, tasty recipes in there that might get you a night off doing the cooking if you get your boys doing it!

  6. Is there a tutorial for your tote bags?

    1. There isn't yet, but there hopefully will be soon, as I've taken some photos while making some

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.