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Cross Body Bag for Alexa

cross_body_bagA few days ago my adorable great niece Alexa told me how her friend had a handbag in which she could carry her crayons and a small drawing pad; her subtle way of asking me to make her a handbag. She loves everything I sew for her, but I usually have to guess at what she wants. This was one of the few times when she has asked me to sew something for her. Of course I jumped to it with this cross body bag. The fabric is a little mature for an eight year old, but she asked for black.


Anyway the bag is really simple, it has a zipper on top and is lined. I really like the handles stitched to the sides. This was a little tricky, and my finishing is not exactly perfect. I am sure Alexa won’t notice the bit of crooked stitching. I will have to work on it, maybe on the next bag.DSCF1631

The base is black linen that I purchased at fabric-store and the birch fabric I purchased from Ink and Spindle a couple of years ago and finally found a project for it. Still have enough for another purse or two. The great thing about handbags is that they don’t take a whole lot of fabric, so you can afford to splurge.


Wine Bottle Bag

Anytime I want to take wine as a hostess gift it seems I never have a bag handy. So I thought I would come up with something pretty and easy to make. Well I think I hit mark on pretty (hope you agree), may have missed a bit on the easy part. After much thought I wound up making the lower half of the wine bottle bag in-the-hoop and then stitched the band on manually. In the end it is fairly easy, just takes a bit longer than I really wanted. The trick is to make a few at the same time to have on hand when needed – the more you make the faster you get. Anyway, the wine bottle bag is all finished up and in my Etsy store.




Needle Case

Finally finished up the folded needle case and it”s up in my Etsy store. This simple needle case is made entirely in-the-hoop. I’ve included one lining design labeled for hand stitch needles and one for sewing machine needles. Plus there is a spot for your scissors or snips. It’s super simple to make, you’ll want to make one for all your crafty friends.




Sewing retailers if you think your customers would enjoy making the folded needle case in your embroidery club or in a class, I have an embroidery club price which, as you know, gives you the right to distribute the instructions to your customers. All you need to do is email me to setup the special price for you!


Under Construction Again

Remember my beautiful sewing room?



Well this is what it looks like today thanks to the flood we had a week and a half ago.



My cabinets are empty and gathering dust in the center of the room. Most of my sewing supplies are packed away and in storage. I managed to setup a temporary sewing spot in my guest bedroom.


It’s a little squishy, no room to cut and I have precious few fabrics. I did however manage to make this folded needle case.



The snaps are packed away, so the needle case is held closed with a  pin for now.


This little needle case is made entirely in the hoop. It took me many days to figure it all out. But now the embroidery designs are finished. Just have to write up some instructions and make a couple more samples for show. I am hopeful to have it ready in a couple of weeks.


Monogram Ideas

In February I gave this sweet little baby quilt to my nephew and his wife for baby Sophie. They loved the quilt pattern and colors, but what really caught their eye was the monogram. I embroidered “Sophie” in large letters on the front of the quilt.


People love monogramed items, especially if they are gifts. Shirts, gloves, scarves, table linens, bed linens, towels, baby blankets and more can all be monogrammed with initials, a special date or a special symbol.


Monogramming Guide

Traditionally it’s most appropriate to have the woman’s initials, married or maiden name, embroidered on all bed, bath and table linens. A man would get his monogram on all of his bath linens. Today’s couples however are opting for more modern approaches to monogramming. The general trend is to create a monogram with joint initials. Of course with many women keeping their maiden names and using hyphenated names the monogramming rules are continuing to evolve. Today almost anything goes; first names, nicknames, first initials, even home addresses are used. The key is to be creative and to have fun with your monogramming!

How Many Letters
A monogram can contain one, two, three or more letters. Here are some guidelines:

ivy_and_35_bSingle letter monograms usually feature the initial of the owner’s family name. They can be almost any size and positioned according to the project. Letters that are 3/8” to 1” tall require little or no further detail. A tiny script letter stitched in the corner of a hankie is all the embellishment required. Larger single letters can certainly use a little help; the addition of a flower or a geometric shape is a fun touch to add character to the letter.

Two letter monograms include the owner’s first and last initials. Since there's typically no confusion about the letter order, both can be the same size, or, to add interest, the first initial can be smaller than the last. A two-letter monogram can have the letters lined up or slightly off set. Script letters look fabulous slightly intertwined and offset.

embassy_34_ef   lucida_md

Three letter monograms offer many possibilities. For a single person the first initial is placed on the left, the middle initial is placed on the right and the last initial is placed in the center. For married couples the bride’s first initial is on the left, the groom’s first initial is on the right and the groom’s last initial is in the center. Some brides are opting to use the initials of their first and last name, plus the initial of the groom’s last name. In this arrangement the center initial (last name) is usually noticeably larger than the other two, helping to identify the surname as shown below right.

ivy_sbd    french_script_sbd

ivy_and_35_sbdIt is also very common in this type of arrangement to have a more decorative center letter and fairly plain end letters. The middle letter can be embellished with floral or geometric elements, such as those in our 45mm Lucida Ivy Alphabet Embroidery Designs #276d. You can even use different fonts for the middle letter and end letters. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

lucida_alexaFor many items, such as my baby quilt, you can embroider the first name.


Fonts and Colors
The ultra traditional monogram style is to use a script font embroidered in a tone-on-tone color scheme. It is the most elegant and formal look, especially if it is white on white.


The more modern choices are block and diamond lettering. The diamond lettering is especially popular with the three-letter monogram. To add more interest and drama to the monogram, many couples are choosing contrasting color schemes.

You can monogram virtually anything that you own. Traditionally bed, bath and table linens are the most popular items for monogramming. Again the monogram can be placed anywhere on these items, however, the practical placement is as follows:

Napkins A single letter monogram of the owner’s last name is placed in the corner opposite the label (if there is one). The letter should be 1 1/2” to 2” tall, depending on the size of the napkin. With the last initial only, the napkins can be handed down to children.

Bath Towel 4” above the hem or 2” above the border; monogram is 4” tall.

Hand Towel 2” above the hem or 1 1/2” above the border; monogram is 3” tall.

Washcloths and fingertip towels can be monogrammed using the same guidelines as for hand towels except the monogram is scaled down in size to fit these smaller towels. Most people however limit their selection to bath and hand towels.

Top Sheet On the wide band or 2” above the band on the right side and should be readable when folded down over the blanket; monogram is 4 1/2” tall.

Pillowcase Centered onto the band or just above it so that you don’t wake up with the initials imprinted on the side of your face. Also be sure that the side seam is at the top. Size of monogram depends on the width of the band; possibly up to 2” to 3”.

Pillow Sham A fairly large monogram can be placed in the center of the pillow sham. The size of the monogram will depend on the size of the pillow sham

Duvet Covers Centered and approximately 12” down from the top edge; monogram is 4” to 5” tall.

Men’s Shirt Pocket Expensive shirts have the monogram on the pocket itself, approximately 3/8" below the upper edge of the pocket. Use block-style capitals, all 3/8" tall - this is a good size that's readable, but not too aggressive.

Men’s Shirt Cuffs Top center of wrist, 1 3/8" from the center of the cuff toward the buttonhole and ¼" above the topstitching at the edge.

Golf Shirts 71/2" to 9" down from the left shoulder seam and 4" to 6" over from the center.

Blouses/Robes Place 4" to 6" down from the left shoulder seam and 3" to 5" over from the center.