Side Slouch and Crossbody Bags and Classes

About four years ago my daughter asked me to make her a new purse. She really liked the style of a side slouch bag she had been given as a gift. I made a few modifications and created a pattern for her. We went around and around on the color~ maroon, teal..teal, I decided to make one of each.

I went a little crazy embellishing this side! Notice the nod to "Put a bird on it"? It's a silly joke between my daughter and I.

She really liked both colors, but she used the teal bag almost every, single day. Fast forward four years, and that teal bag is looking rather tired and shabby. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said a new teal bag, exactly the same, to replace her old one. Luckily, I found the same colors, and sewed a brand new bag for her birthday.

While working out a new class to teach, something with a smaller finished project, it clicked that if my daughter loved her side slouch bag so much, others would feel the same. Thus my next class at Makers' Mercantile in Kent, Washington was decided ~ Cut, Stencil, and Stitch from scratch, a Side Slouch Bag. It will be held Saturday, November 5th from 9:00-5:00.

You'll begin with Alabama Chanin 100% organic cotton jersey and Robert Kaufman fabric.  Using my Side Slouch pattern, you'll cut out your bag. Next, you'll use fabric spray paint and stencils, and paint a pattern onto the fabric. You'll learn about stitches and techniques to embellish your bag; and instructions for construction. This is a lined bag with an inside pocket, and it measures about 13"x13" with a long strap. You won't have a finished project at the end of class, but you'll have all the tools and knowledge to complete your Side Slouch Bag.

This class includes:
1/2 yard Alabama Chanin fabric
1 yard Robert Kaufman (or similar) fabric
1 spool Coats & Clark Button Craft Thread
Patti's Side Slouch Bag pattern with instructions

During class you'll have use of:
fabric paint
embroidery scissors
rotary cutter and healing mat

You'll need to bring to class:
Garment scissors. Wear something comfortable and suitable for painting in.

Contact Makers' Mercantile for more details and to sign up. Follow the link or call (253)220-9951 and ask for Rhonda.

Next up is the Crossbody bag. Many students have asked for a shorter, technique-intense class; and the most requested such technique is couching. It makes for a gorgeous finished project. Have a look at "THE Coat" for a robust couching adventure! I wanted something small, manageable, and useful for this class. I personally had been searching for just the right crossbody bag for ages, and finally just made my own. It is the perfect project for a couching class.

You'll start with a DIY Crossbody Bag kit, complete with cut and stenciled bag, couching strips, strap, inside pocket, Coats & Clark Button Craft thread, needle, pins, and construction directions. You'll learn some basic stitches and most importantly, the couching technique. You'll begin couching your Crossbody bag, and we'll go over the construction directions. You won't have a finished project at the finish of class, but you'll be well on your way to creating a beautiful couched crossbody bag.

This class will be held on Sunday, November 6th, from 10-1. Please Contact Makers' Mercantile for more details and to sign up. Follow the link or call (253)220-9951 and ask for Rhonda.

If you have any questions of me, please don't hesitate to ask. I hope you find these classes interesting; and maybe I'll see you there for one or both classes!

Autumn Oats

Autumn Oats~

Fall trumpeted its arrival for me loud and clear last night when I heard the marching band drums and hearty cheers from the local high school football game in the distance. I so enjoy a good drummer, and these sounds were happily nostalgic. Even though it was a tad chilly, I left the back door open to listen for awhile. The leaves are a-changing, and there's that little nip in the air; yet this morning, pre-dawn was warm enough to open the windows, whereupon I heard a different type of music, the yips and howls from a band of coyotes.

I wanted to make something warm and steamy, a big pot of one of my favorite things, Autumn oats. Okay, it's not just for Autumn, but that's the perfect time to put the pot on the stove and set about cooking up a big batch of comfort food. When I was a small girl, for a while it was just my mother and I. She was a single, working mom, so simple, nutritious, and inexpensive was good. She would make me a packet of instant "opymeal" or a scrambled egg every morning. I still love oatmeal to this day. As it turns out, it's rather good for you, and I believe it's helped cut my cholesterol levels.

A few years ago when I found out I had high cholesterol, I began introducing oatmeal back into my diet, so I came up with Autumn oats. It doesn't take much longer than regular steel cut oats, but you wind up with a large pot of oaty, fruity goodness that will last you for days.

4 C water
1 C steel cut oats
1 Cookie Sleigh Ride tea (or other flavored tea of your choice)
3-4 cups cut fruit, such as apple, pear, plum, etc or a combination
8 oz frozen blueberries (or any berries or cherries)
1/4 C chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
1/4 C shredded coconut
1 T cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1/4 t salt
2 t vanilla

1) Put the water and tea bag in a large pot on high. My daughter gave me the tea bag idea. I think it adds a wonderful depth of flavor. Clever girl!
2) While the water comes to a boil, chop up the fruit.
3) When the water is boiling, add the oats. Boil hard for 3 minutes.
4) Turn down the heat to a slow simmer. Take out the tea bag, and add the spices, salt, and chopped fruit. Cook for 5 minutes.
5) While this is cooking chop up the walnuts.
6) Add the frozen blueberries and cook for another 5 minutes.
7) Add the walnuts and coconut. Continue at a simmer for another 5 minutes or until the oats are cooked to your liking.
8) Turn off the heat and add the vanilla.

I like to add a little milk to my bowl. This time I added macadamia nut milk ~ yum! Autumn oats is not just for breakfast. I enjoy this treat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or a snack. I hope you'll enjoy it too.

Here's some beautiful fall color from our family vacation a couple weeks ago in Jackson, Wyoming.
Happy Autumn~

Yellow Dress

Yellow Dress ~

One of the wonderful things about visiting The Factory, the Alabama Chanin brick and mortar store in Florence, Alabama, is being able to experience their beautiful clothing and fabrics up close and personal. During one of my visits I came across yardage naturally hand-dyed with the goldenrod plant. I wasn't sure what I would create with it, but the color was so luscious, I couldn't go home without it.

Fast forward a couple of years, with a Pinterest board entitled "Yellow Dress", countless ideas and inspirations being bandied about, many sketches and musings, stencil artwork created and cut, and now, finally, design decided upon, color combination selected, hours and hours of stitching behind me, and my Yellow Dress is complete.

I layered lightweight taupe over midweight goldenrod, backstitched with natural colored embroidery floss, and worked this dress in the negative reverse applique method.

I appliqued a few areas with natural colored fabric, further embellished these areas with French knots, and I also used the natural color for my binding around the neck, armholes, and hem.

I added cotton tape to my seams to replicate a delicate piping, thus subtly accentuating the lines of the dress.

It needed a little somethin' somethin', so I added a kitschy pop of color and worked the red herringbone stitch at the hem.

Did you notice the stencil pattern?

I've named it Poppies. I love poppies! And I wanted to create something special for my Yellow Dress. I didn't really know how to go about doing the artwork, so I started with sketches and taping elements onto paper, and rearranging, and trying to resize the elements. Oh, what a nightmare that was! I kept thinking there's got to be an easier way; and there was.

Last October I had joined a group of local women artists. We get together once a month or so, and sometimes we do critiques. I brought my taped up paper to ask for guidance and any suggestions. Lo and behold, sweet Allison piped up and said, Patti, I was a fabric designer for over 20 years! I'll show you how to do this in Photoshop. And she did. Allison, I am forever thankful for that afternoon and your tutelage! I was able to create this stencil because of you.

Here are a few ways I might wear my Yellow Dress:

Now that the cold is setting in, I'll be layering my Yellow Dress with a brown cashmere hoodie, cream tights, and tall brown boots. I guess it's about time to get down my boot box and pull out my winter clothing from storage and make the seasonal transition.

I like the idea of transitioning things from one season to another; and I think my Yellow Dress will make a cheerful spot of color on what might be a weather-wise dreary day.

What is your favorite thing to wear to brighten up an overcast day?