Pleated Shoulder Bags

Last year, I sewed Pleated Shoulder Bags as Christmas gifts for two of my dearest friends. I meant to post this in January, but never got around to it.

For the front, I chose an Etsuko Furaya fabric that had been in my stash for several years. The back and strap were made with dark gray wool, also from my stash.

Pleated Shoulder Bag

Pleated Shoulder Bag

Pleated Shoulder Bag

Pleated Shoulder Bag

Pleated Shoulder Bag

The pattern is excellent, with clear instructions and full-size pattern pieces. I thought the bags were simple yet elegant, and admittedly I had a hard time parting with them.

Fast forward to last week, and I finally made one for myself. I used the same gray wool for the back, while the front is a Scandinavian bird print purchased from Superbuzzy a couple of years ago.

Pleated Shoulder Bag

Pleated Shoulder Bag

I am quite happy with this bag. It was equally exciting to me that I had the time to make it!


Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Have you discovered Pinterest yet? I didn’t pay much attention when I first heard about it, but once I actually started browsing I was hooked. It is a great site to find ideas and inspiration for home decor, cooking/baking, crafting, and fashion. I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest, and it is simply divine. This cake is now among my all-time favorite baked goods.

Hello there.

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? My little Munchkin was born in late January and has been keeping me quite busy ever since.


At 6+ months now, she is loads of fun! She keeps rolling over again and again, is super curious about everything, loves interacting with us, and will put just about anything in her mouth. Her smiles and chuckles melt my heart. She is such a precious blessing and brings us so much joy.

It has been a process for me to learn how to intergrate parts of my “old life” into my post-baby life. I’ve been knitting a little bit here and there, and recently I found time to sew a couple of small things and try two new recipes. That was exciting for me.

How are you?

Padded Sleeve for Kindle 3


Hubby gifted me with a Kindle 3 for my birthday several months ago. It is my first e-reader and I’m really enjoying it! I wanted to protect it with a case and had found some lovely ones on Etsy, but I figured I could make a decent one myself. I thought I would post my instructions for making a padded sleeve for Kindle 3 in case they are helpful to anyone else. This is my first attempt at a tutorial, so please feel free to ask if anything is unclear.



Main fabric
Cut two 6.5” x 9.25” (exterior panels)
Cut one 5” x 3.25” (tab closure)

Lining fabric
Cut two 6.5” x 8.75”
Cut one 5” x 3.25”

Cotton batting
Cut two 6.5” x 9.25”
Cut one 5” x 3.25”

Fusible interfacing: This is optional and may depend on the weight of your exterior fabric. I used medium-weight fabric, but I still interfaced it. My preferred fusible interfacing is Pellon SF-101 Stacy Shape Flex. I like to clip the corners to minimize the bulk a bit.
Cut two 6.5” x 9.25”
Cut one 5” x 3.25”

Velcro (3/4” wide): cut two strips 3.5” long

Seam Allowance:
The seam allowance is ½” throughout unless otherwise noted in specific steps.

Making the exterior:
1. If you are using fusible interfacing, fuse pieces to the wrong sides of exterior pieces.

2. Sew 1 piece of cotton batting to the wrong side of 1 exterior piece, stitching around sides and bottom using a ¼” seam.

3. Sew on the fuzzy Velcro piece 1.25” down from the top and 1.5” in from the sides on the right side of the same exterior piece as above. This will be the front of the padded sleeve.


4. Place the 2 exterior pieces right sides together. Lay the remaining main cotton batting piece on top. Sew around the sides and bottom. I like using the triple stitch (#18 on my machine) for an extra strong exterior seam. Trim excess fabric from the bottom corners and sides. Turn right side out and press.




Making the tab:
1. If you are using fusible interfacing, fuse piece to the wrong side of exterior tab piece.

2. Sew cotton batting to the wrong side of the lining tab piece, stitching around the sides and bottom using a ¼” seam.

3. Sew on the remaining Velcro piece 0.75” from the bottom and sides of the right side of the lining.


4. Place the lining and exterior tab pieces right sides together. Sew around the sides and bottom using the triple stitch. Trim excess fabric from the bottom corners and sides. Turn right side out and press.



Making the lining:
With right sides together, sew around the sides and bottom, leaving a 3” opening at the center of the bottom for turning.


Assembling the padded sleeve:
1. With right sides together, center the tab along the top middle of the back side of the exterior (which is the side without the Velcro piece). The tab will be about 0.75” in from the side seams. Sew on the tab very close to the edge or using a ¼” seam.


2. Slide the exterior of the sleeve (which is right side out) inside the lining (which is wrong side out), being careful to keep the tab tucked flat in between the exterior and the lining.


3. Line up both the side seams and the top edges. You will need to stuff the exterior into the lining a bit in order to line up the top edges.

4. Sew around the top edge. Again, I used the triple stitch here.


5. Pull the exterior through the hole in the lining and flip the lining right sides out. Press lining, and sew opening closed by hand or by stitching very close to the edge.


6. Stuff the lining all the way down inside the exterior and press.

7. Carefully topstitch around the top edge.


And you are done! This padded sleeve should be a very snug fit around your Kindle 3.



Terms of Use: For personal use only. Please do not sell these instructions or padded sleeves made from this tutorial.

Baby Sophisticate Sweater

Baby Sophisticate Sweater

I really enjoyed knitting this sweater for Sprout a few months ago. I finished it in a week, which is fast for me even for a small item like a baby knit. It was my first time using Mission Falls 1824 Wool and I loved it. It reminded me a bit of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, but sturdier. If you are looking for a quick, gender-neutral baby sweater pattern, I highly recommend this one!

Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, 3 skeins, #003 Oyster
Pattern: Baby Sophisticate (newborn size)
Needles: US # 9 / 26″ (Magic Loop for sleeves)

Baby Sophisticate Sweater

Baby Sophisticate Sweater

Hats for Sprout

After almost six years as a knitter, I am just finally venturing into the world of baby knitting. For a selfish reason.

26 weeks
26 weeks

Hubby and I are ecstatic about our baby girl Sprout!

I knit these hats for her awhile back. Orange is our favorite color.

Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat #1

Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat #2

Yarn: Handmaiden Casbah Sock in Pumpkin and Yarntini Self-Striping Sock in Pumpkin Spice
Pattern: Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat (Ravelry link)
Needles: US #2 / 32″ for magic loop

Pizza Dough Mastered

A couple of months ago, I made pizza dough for the first time. I struggled a bit with the dough, but I loved the idea of making my own and was determined to find a recipe that worked for me. So the search began…

The next recipe I tried was the Basic Pizza Dough from Everyday Food. This one was a total disaster and I didn’t bother to blog about it. I wish I could articulate what was wrong, but all I know is that it tasted awful. We made one pizza with it and threw out the rest of the batch. And we barely managed to make ourselves eat even that one pizza.

In response to my original pizza post, Rebekah mentioned that she used to use the basic recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I had completely forgotten that I purchased that book a couple of years ago. I dusted it off, read through the “master recipe” and decided to give it a shot. And it was a total, total winner! I love it because there is no kneading, it is really really easy, and it tastes great!!! We have made it twice already and declared this dough the keeper! You can find the recipe (with photos and links to videos) on the Artisan Bread in Five website.

Homemade Pizza - Version 2

Details about what I did (which will probably make more sense if you’ve read the recipe):
:: I only made a half batch each time because I didn’t have a sufficiently large lidded container to allow for rising of a whole batch. My 14-cup Rubbermaid worked fine.
:: I mixed all of the ingredients with my stand mixer and dough hook.
:: I added 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary to my half batch. This is the variation to make herbed bread that is noted a couple of pages after the master recipe in the book. Love this as I always have dried thyme and rosemary in my cupboard and no chopping is necessary!
:: When I was ready to use the dough, I used a serrated knife to hack off the amount I needed from the container. Note that the dough is very sticky, so I sprinkled flour on the dough and my hands.
:: I plopped the dough directly onto my baking sheet (that had been sprayed with PAM). Using a roller dusted with flour, I rolled out the dough directly on the sheet. Yes, I’m aware that this isn’t the “right” way to roll dough but it works for me because I prefer mini-pizzas (in the 5″ – 6″ diameter range).
:: I pre-baked the crust alone on a regular baking sheet (with no sauce or toppings) at 450 degrees Farenheit for 3 minutes. The dough rose a little. Then I added the toppings and baked for another 12-15 minutes. Voila! Dinner was done!