sewing tip of the day…

Our dear friend Abigail recently sent us this great tip for turning apron ties, neck straps, and other tubular items right side out.  So we’ll let her tell you about it….

"One thing that I do (if I remember, I sew so quickly and furiously sometimes that I forget my
quick tricks) is to baste a ribbon (it has to be longer than the band
you are sewing ) at the top edge of the tube before sewing the seam down
the side. As I sew the seam I encase the ribbon inside keeping it
pressed against the folded side of the band. After sewing you just have
to work the first bit into the hole while pulling the ribbon then keep
pulling and Voila` it is right side out. I then just rip out the basting
threads to remove the ribbon."

Thanks, Abigail!  What a great idea!

Name That Fabric!

We’ve had a special request in a comment from one of our readers (thanks, Kay!) to post the names of some of the fabrics we’ve chosen to use in our samples… good idea!

Our newest design, brooke, was made with…


Freshcut by Heather Bailey for Free Spirit. This collection makes some superb brooke bags!

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You can find these fabrics on eBay here.

For our second sample we used an assortment of fabrics, including "Dottie", and the Swell collection by Moda, as well as the blue polka dot from Free Spirit’s Barefoot Roses collection.  You can find these fabrics at our Aunt Sue’s shop!  We also used one piece from the Red, White, and Bold collection.


Phew!  Now that’s a lot of fabric!

You’ll all be happy to hear that the "brooke" pattern goes to print next week, Lord willing.  Then you can make your own!

windy day lessons…

1. Never hang your sheets on the clothesline


2. Never use a fishing pole to try to get the sheet out of the tree


You’ll all be glad to know that Abigail’s sheet survived the wind, rain, and hail of last night.

Now to get it down…

look who thinks she’s Audrey Hepburn….

Since Achaia will probably not get around to posting these pictures herself, I (Apphia) am doing it for her!


Achaia made this adorable 50s style jumper after seeing Audrey Hepburn wear a similar one in the movie Sabrina…. doesn’t it look adorable on her?  And just in time for spring.

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Got to love those sunglasses.  One of the best things about this jumper is that it matches Achaia’s new brooke shoulder bag!  (By the way… we’re working on a brooke shopper now, so stay tuned…)

He is Risen!

Lo, in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes!
He arose a Victor from the dark Domain,
And He lives forever with His Saints to reign!

He Arose, He arose
Hallelujah Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior
Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord

Death cannot keep his prey, Jesus, my Savior
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes!
He arose a Victor from the dark Domain,
And He lives forever with His Saints to reign!

He Arose, He arose
Hallelujah Christ arose!

We trust that you all had a joy-filled day celebrating the Resurrection of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ!


the "brooke" shoulder bag from marie-madeline studio!


This patched and pleated shoulder bag is so much fun!  "brooke" measures approximately 20" across the bottom by 11 1/2" tall.  One of the best things about this bag (besides the fact that it’s so cute) is the sweet patched front… it’s totally up to you, so use as many or as few fabrics as you like!  It’s an excellent way to utilize those adorable pieces left over from past projects.  Make both front and back patched, or make the back of the bag solid like we’ve done here….

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The inspiration for this bag came from a very dear friend of ours, (love you, Brooke!) who is always making the most adorable eclectic bags that you can possibly imagine.  Thanks, Brooke!

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We plan to include both this size and a larger version in our pattern, as well as an option for handbag handles.  Leave us a comment and let us know what you think of "brooke"!

We’re Working!!

Lately things have been quite hectic around here. We seem to keep going from the time we get up to the time we fall in bed at night (usually fairly late!). But, lest you think we’ve dropped the ball on "designing", we’re planning to come out with a new bag design in the near future! Apphia’s been drawing, cutting, and sewing. (By the way, in case some of you are getting scared… this is "scrap" fabric! We affectionately term it "junk fabric". Can you see why?)


Abigail’s the guinea pig this time and this is the fabric combo she chose…


It’s coming along super. We think that it’s going to be a darling bag…

jumping rope

Spring has sprung (well, almost), and it’s time for us to think about making some new clothes!  Abigail’s latest invention is this adorable belted skirt, which she made out of one of her favorite fabric lines… Katie Jump Rope by Free Spirit.  (Thus the name of this post– just in case you were wondering!)


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The wonderful, practical uses of an apron…


the chic sisters apron by marie-madeline studio (We use our chic sisters aprons EVERY DAY! One thing I like so much about this apron is the neck strap fits just perfectly. Usually once we put our aprons on, we don’t take them off till bedtime!)

I don’t know who the first lady was to use an apron, but whoever it was, she was extremely smart! Aprons have more uses than anyone could ever imagine. Here’s a short story of the wonderful, practical uses of Grandma’s apron… there’s a lot we can do with ours too!

Grandma’s Apron.

I don’t think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.                      

Chips and kindling wood was brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.Pcapron_012

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time [or never!] before someone invents something that will replace that "old-time apron" that served so many purposes.

the pleated cottage apron by marie-madeline studio (I’m sorry we just realized we’d never really "introduced" this apron! This is such a sweet half-apron featuring stylish pleats and extra long ties. We make both bottom banded and non-banded ones. The pleated cottage apron will make all housework much more fun!)

REMEMBER: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.Frilly_fandango_aprons_015the frilly fandango apron by marie-madeline studio (this apron just grabs us by the throat! The four frilly ruffles are so feminine and flattering. The frilly fandango apron reminds us a beautiful senoritas swishing skirts at a fandango… thus we thought this a very appropriate name!)

Lets all enjoy the beautiful simplicity of an apron! They always come in handy! 

Unique Border Ideas

As you can probably tell, we’re not much for decorating things in the "ordinary" way. Oh no. Sometimes our ideas turn out perfectly. Others we have to work on a little. But we always like to think that that’s the beauty of it… keep working, rearranging, etc. until you find something you like. And like our sewing room adventure "Is it practical?" Here I think we found something practical and something that’s cute too.

Two rooms in our home have pretty wall borders that we made up. What sets this apart from other borders are a couple things: 1) no wallpaper involved  2) it’s only on one wall. Sounds different, don’t you think?


This room needed something prettier and more delicate so we used vintage rose postcards and sheer red ribbon. The postcards are held on the back with sticky tack (found at Hobby Lobby and other craft stores). 99% of the time sticky tack comes off fairly easily and shouldn’t damage the postcards at all.


This room, on the other hand, is eclectic 70’s brights, so it needed something more fun. We chose to use special letters, drawings, and notes from sweet little girls. In this room we tacked them up with white thumb tacks and used yellow grosgrain ribbon behind them.

Why this is such a extra neat idea (in my humble opinion!) is that it can be done very inexpensively and be made to fit almost any room in your house! Try this in a new babies room; I’m sure you could make it really cute with some kind of sweet baby memorabilia.

The possibilities are really endless! Your choice…now you decide!