Drawstring Backpack Pattern and Windows 10

DSCF4796Drawstring Backpack Pattern

Whew! What a ride!

Where to start…? Uhm, let me start with the free Windows 10 upgrade, which turned out to be not so free. Sigh…I have a Windows 7 laptop. When Windows 8 came out I had heard so many terrible things about it that it never appealed to me. But wait…Microsoft finally came out with a new, (supposedly) better upgrade that is free for 7s and 8s. Yep, the hype got me. I wanted it. So I reserved my copy and when it became available I clicked the button. A few hours later my organized world fell apart.

It was new, pretty and exciting to see when the new screen finally came up…and then…nothing. No cursor. Hmm…I rebooted several times and finally the cursor appeared, but the touch pad/mouse didn’t work. That little cursor just sat there in the middle of the screen and mocked me. Yes, I had a few curse words for that cursor. Using my phone to contact my online tech guru, we tried to figure it out. Uh…, big problem…no mouse to navigate. The wireless mouses (mice?) we had did not work so I purchased a mouse with a USB cord. That was the first ch-ching of my free upgrade, but it worked.

Had something been disconnected? Was the driver good? Did the driver need an update? Nope, nope and nope. We tried everything. By the next day I decided to give up. I had deadlines that were “whooshing” by. I decided to restore back to Win 7. Yay! Not so much. After the restore Windows Explorer crashed whenever I tried to do anything.

I was done. I sent it out to be fixed (ch-ching) and Middle Kid let me borrow an extra laptop that he had. Now borrowing a laptop is not like borrowing a car. You can’t just get in and drive. Out came my book of passwords to just be able to access the important sites I needed to use. Missing programs was another problem. Thankfully the kid didn’t mind mom adding them. But it was taking time. A lot of time.

DSCF4796Back to the Drawstring Backpack. Before the Win 10 debacle, I had made my pattern, made the bag, taken photos of the steps and written out my notes. Nothing was polished and some info was being held hostage on my computer. Long story short…too late! I finally submitted it to my editor on my deadline date.

So if you have made it through my Windows 10 whining session, you must really want to make this backpack. Well, I hope you do. This bag is so handy and with kids heading back to school it will be a perfect carry-all for their new school supplies.

You can find the tutorial and printable pattern here.

Enjoy!

Quilted Laptop Bag Pattern

1-6-DSCF4310-001Quilted Laptop Bag

This is another sewing pattern I have published on Love to Know.

I made this bag using an old cutter quilt, but I wrote the pattern for any quilted fabric. You can purchase quilted fabric by the yard or upcycle other old textiles, such as quilted bedspreads.

This laptop bag pattern also includes information on adjusting the size to custom fit your laptop.

Enjoy!

Mary Jane Fleece Slippers Tutorial and Pattern

5-DSCF4336Mary Jane Fleece Slippers

Another LoveToKnow tutorial and pattern.

Nice comfy warm slippers…Wait! What? Hm…, you probably think I’ve lost my mind. It’s July! It’s hot! Wearing comfy, warm slippers is probably the last thing you want to do. I get that. I don’t want to wear them now either, BUT if you’re going to be stuck inside during a good portion of broiling hot summer days, why not get a head start on a few Christmas gifts?

Does your family get new jammies every Christmas? How about making them slippers to match?

These slippers can be stitched up in less than an hour and my printable pattern has instructions on how to adjust for different sizes.

1-DSCF4313I used scraps of fleece left over from other projects, but you could also use an old sweatshirt. Another great repurpose-recycle-restyle idea is to use some of those fleece blankets that you always seem to buy every year on Black Friday. Please tell me I am not the only one who does that. I don’t know about you, but those things breed like bunnies in my house. 😉

Click on any of the highlighted text in this post to take you to the slipper tutorial.

5-DSCF4336Enjoy!

A New Gig and A-Line Skirt Tutorial

2-DSCF4376You may have noticed I have been a bit scarce lately, but I had a good reason. I have added a new gig to my writer resume. I am now a contributing writer for LoveToKnow.com.

I’ve been in the trial process for about a month, learning the ins and outs of their system, working with great editors and contributing tutorials with printable patterns.

Printable patterns are a new aspect to my designing. Most publishers I have written for are not set up to create printable PDF patterns for their readers. This has made designing quite a challenge, but I adapted and it became my norm. My norm has now changed. LTK has a wonderful image specialist who has made my sketches and chicken scratches look so tidy and professional. I am thrilled that many of the designs I have created can now finally be published because the missing piece (a pattern) can now be printed by the reader.

I have wanted to announce this new opportunity since I began the trial, but I really wanted to make sure I didn’t blow the trial so I decided to wait. I finished my last trial article this last week and shortly thereafter received the fabulous news that I had passed.

So…without further ado, here is one of my LTK trial articles.

1-DSCF4380A-Line Skirt Pattern

This skirt has an elastic waistband and can be stitched up very quickly. It will be a great addition to your summer wardrobe.

Enjoy!

Shabby Chic Train Cases

9-train caseShabby Chic Train Cases

1-train caseRestyle a vintage train case into a shabby chic case for organizing your vanity or corralling your photos and journals. This romantic container could also be used to display small vintage collectibles.

*This is a project I had originally published on FaveCrafts.

Things You Will Need:

Train case (overnight bag)
Craft knife
Rags
Light-colored, flat latex paint
Paintbrush
Sandpaper
Book pages
Ruler
Decoupage medium
Sponge brush
Measuring tape
3 1/2-inch wide lace
Scissors
Satin ribbon scrap
Key
Craft glue
Small flowers

2-train caseRemove the lining from the inside of your train case. The lining is glued in, so in most cases simply prying up an edge with a knife will allow you to grasp it and pull it out. If you encounter stubborn areas, cut it loose with a craft knife. Discard the lining.

Close the case. Use a wet rag on the outside of the case to remove dust and dirt.

3-train casePaint all sides of the case, including the hinges and latches, using a light-colored, flat latex paint. Allow the paint to dry and repeat with additional coats if necessary. Since old cases tend to soak up a lot of paint, I like to use wall paint left over from previous home improvement projects. It’s a great way to use up that little bit left in the can and it prevents the added cost of purchasing a large quantity of craft paint.

Undo the latches on the case and lightly paint over the areas that didn’t get painted when the latches were closed.

Lightly sand the surface and the edges of the case. Lightly sand over the metal of the latches and hinges. Wipe away the sanding dust using a dry rag.

Insert the blade of a craft knife in the gap between the lid and the case bottom. Allowing the gap to guide you, cut through the dry paint that is gluing the lid closed. After you have cut all the way around the case you will be able to pull open the lid.

Rip old book pages into 2 to 3-inch pieces. I used ripped book pages left over from other projects. They came from a variety of old books. Even though they didn’t match, the contrast of different book pages added interest to the project.

4-train caseWorking in one small area at a time, apply decoupage medium to the inside of the train case using a sponge brush. Place a book page piece over the medium. Smooth out the wrinkles and seal with a layer of medium over the paper. Repeat with additional book page pieces, overlapping their edges, until the inside of the case and lid has been completely covered. Allow the decoupage medium to dry.

5-train caseUsing a measuring tape, measure around the horizontal circumference of the case and add 24 inches. Using this measurement, cut a length of 3 1/2-inch wide lace. Wrap the lace around the case and tie the ends in a bow on the front.

7-train caseCut a 10-inch scrap of satin ribbon that coordinates with your paint color. Thread a key on the ribbon and tie the ribbon around the handle of the case. Using craft glue, attach a small flower to the key. Arrange and glue additional flowers to the lace bow.

8-train caseEnjoy!