Wristlet

Standard
Don't Just Pin It - DO it!
I’m joining Katie from Boasting in my Weakness in a weekly link-up of  acting on Pinterest ideas and inspiration. 

I’ve been needing something in which to stash my stuff when I get to leave the ginormous diaper bag that I usually lug around. A friend of mine showed up one day carrying a wristlet with a phone pocket. Ta da! Exactly what I need! Since I don’t like to buy stuff, I decided to make one. I found  this tutorial from the perfect pictures of Pinterest, which was totally excellent! It’s clear and fun, and I really like the gather detail on the front.
IMG_4627

If you want to make one, make sure you visit the Noodlehead blog for the full tutorial, but I’d like to share how I made a few adjustments to make this wristlet work better for me. I’m wanting to use it as my regular wallet, so I needed a few additional features.

The first component I added is an extra layer of pockets on the inside, so that all my cards, chapstick, and papers could be organized. I just followed her excellent instructions for the first pocket, but made the second one a little shorter. I also made three pockets across by putting in two lines of vertical stitching instead of one. If you do this, make sure to leave a little extra room on the edges, for the seam allowance when you sew the bag together.

IMG_4632Being a mom of three little ones, I need a strap so that I can hang this bag off my wrist. Chasing kiddos with a clutch in my hand just does not sound like a fun idea, actually it sounds like a good way to loose my important junk.

So, there are a couple of ways to add a strap. One way is to just sew a strap into one of the side seams (you can use the same measurements for the wristlet loop, just skip some of the steps). The way I chose to go was to make a a detachable strap.

The first step is to make a small loop to hook the strap into.

  • You start with a rectangle of fabric measuring 3″ x 4″. Fold the fabric in half long ways, with wrong sides together, and press.
  • Take the two long outside (raw) edges and fold into the middle, press. You should have a skinny strip of cloth, with no raw edges and only right sides showing.
  • Topstitch along the edge opposite the fold, pretty close to the edge.
  • When you assemble the bag, line up your short, raw edges, with the raw edges of the bag, in between the sides of the bag. Make sure to sew over the strap when you sew around the edge of the bag, maybe even back stitching over that part to make sure it’s secure.

Then to make the wrist loop, cut a strip of fabric 3 inches wide and anywhere from 10 to 14 inches long. I made mine 14 inches long, and it’s a little to long for me, and I think about 10 inches would have been better. Follow the same procedure for folding and pressing as you did with the loop.

  • Slide a swivel hook (I found mine at Joann’s, in the area with the purse handles) onto the strap.
  • Open out the ends, and pin with the right sides together. Sew with a small seam allowance.
  • Turn it back in so that the strap is folded in the lines you previously pressed.
  • Topstitch along the open edge, like you did with the loop above. Just slide your hook out of the way as you sew around.
  • Fold the strap around the hook and sew close to the edge of the hook. This is just to keep your hook from sliding around on the strap.

If you want to just attach a permanent loop to your wristlet, follow the steps to make the small loop, only with the larger size fabric. Super easy!

IMG_4631

I also added a pocket on the back for my phone. Since, you know, one can’t survive without a phone for a few hours. So to add a phone pocket, cut an extra piece of fabric that is 14 x 5.5. Cut a piece of interfacing to 7 x 5.5. Then, I just followed the tutorial’s instructions for prepping the pocket. Once that was taken care of, I basted the pocket to the outside back piece with the right sides together. Make sure your basting is very close to the edge, so it won’t show when you finally assemble the bag.

Finally, the flap is a fabric piece 4 x 4.5. Mine is only that size because I had a scrap and it worked. This is not an exact science. The only important details are that it be long enough to overlap with the pocket, and thin enough not to get caught in the sides when you sew it up at the end. So it needs to be about half an inch smaller than the width of your bag pieces.

  • Fold this piece in half width-wise, with the wrong sides together.
  • Sew around the sides and across the folded edge. I like to make the corners curve, but that’s not important. Turn inside out and topstitch close to the edge.
  • Baste onto the top edge of the back panel of the clutch.
  • Add some kind of closure. I recently discovered how easy it is to punch in snaps, so that’s what I did. You could also use velcro or a cute button.

IMG_4637And there you go, a functional, cute wallet! And it was so quick to make, I’m itching to make a bunch more. Really, the Noodlehead tutorial is fabulous, and so easy to understand which I think made the process so very fun.

Imagine

Standard

Five Minute Friday
Looking out my window, I see two little boys, happily playing, totally absorbed in all they’re doing. They are flying spaceships, driving buses, digging roads and foundations. There are houses being built, daring ambulance rescues, and amazing feats of strength. All this in our little backyard. Their imaginations are hilarious! Their creative minds make our home a jungle of wild animals or outer space or a busy city street. They don’t need fancy toys or even lots of toys to enjoy and explore.

By their simple enjoyment, I’m reminded that I don’t need all kinds of stuff to enjoy life. It’s all in how you look at it!

Image

This is a prompt from the Gypsy Mama. Go check out her blog, and the other Five Minute Friday posts.

Swooping Through the Air

Standard

Image

This weekend, my sweet sister and her pilot husband took Bret and I flying this weekend for our birthdays. We had so much fun!!Image

 

We started in Crowley, at the airport where my brother-in-law works. We got to wear official headsets and everything! 

Image
The sky was beautiful, and it was so refreshing to see God’s beautiful creation from a different perspective. I love seeing the clouds and the sky up close, and then seeing the patchwork of fields on the ground.

ImageWe flew down to Stephenville to this delicious and unique barbecue place. The meat is smoked low and slow in these huge barbecue pits right by the entrance. It was delicious!

ImageOn the way back, Bret even got to fly the plane for a while! 

ImageAnd, to finish off, at the end of the flight home, God made a beautiful sunset!

Image

 

 

View

Standard

Five Minute Friday
This morning, I woke up grumpy. I’ve been under the weather, got up with a crick in my neck, and my sleep was very interrupted last night. I was stumbling around the house, looking for coffee and complaining to myself. All I could see was the discomfort, inconvenience, and labor that a morning with three little kids brings with it.

But all of a sudden, the Holy Spirit reminded me that these children, this home, this day, are all precious blessings from His Hand. I deserve none of them, but He gives them to me out of His great love for me, His daughter, and they are such wonderful gifts!

So instantly, the view changed! Instead of fuzzy drab complaints, I saw beautiful, colorful blessings, and day that stretched ahead, full of grace.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of heavenly lights!”
~ James 1:17

This is a prompt from the Gypsy Mama. Go check out her blog, and the other Five Minute Friday posts.

It’s a Real Garden

Standard

May GardenAfter many years of interesting attempts container gardening, we have an actual, in the ground garden. I am so thankful for our yard! It’s not huge, so we picked out a corner for a raised bed. It’s 3 ft x 8 ft and get shade in the late afternoon, which is really good because of how blazing hot it gets here in the summer.

IMG_4541

We all have had a blast leveling the ground, building the raised bed, adding the soil, planning and planting. We used a mixture of compost and expanded shale for the soil, and so far it seems to be supporting the plants very well. The boys loved the digging and dirt preparation, and now they like going to check on the garden, and love eating the spinach and herbs that we’ve been able to enjoy already. We have three tomato plants, one poor little cucumber, one zuchinni, some spinach, carrots, cilantro, basil, oregano, and thyme.

IMG_4545

The tomatoes and zuchinni have blooms on them! Yay! I cannot wait to eat some of those tomatoes with some fresh basil.

We’ve learned a few things that I want to remember:

  1. Never, ever plant before Easter (in our area). The weather is going to get nice, and I’m for sure going to want to plant things, but just don’t! We planted all our plants a few weeks before Easter, and one very cold night found us outside trying to protect the little seedlings. And that didn’t even work, so we had to replant some things.
  2. Cucumbers, while one of my favorite salad ingredients, are awfully persnickety plants.
  3. It’s really easy to over-water vegetables. It’s so funny that in wanting to care for the plants, I can be too attentive, and flood them out.
  4. The fickle-ness of the weather has reminded me that the Lord supplies all our needs, and that even though most of our food comes from a store, it is still His mercy that provides the rain for the farm-grown food.

Song

Standard

Five Minute Friday
When I was a little girl, falling asleep under a ceiling fan swirl of muggy air, listening to birds, bats, and drums, my mom or dad would come in and sing me a song. I’m pretty sure I asked for “Go, Tell it on the Mountain” and “Away in the Manger” every other day for a year. And my parents sang to me of Jesus and His balm for my soul.

When I went to boarding school, my sweet mom made me a tape. She was singing the Jesus-songs and giving them to me for comfort when I was far from home for the first time.

Now, at night, after supper, after the daily daddy wrestling-match, after teeth-brushing and washing, my little family sits on the couch and reads God’s Word. Then we sing! And we dance. Our singing is not necessarily in tune, and our dancing is certainly not ballet or even in time, but we are enthusiastic as we rejoice in the Lord, we make a glad sound to him and we move our bodies in worship. And I pray that my kiddos are comforted and strengthened by the songs of Jesus, even as I am.

This is a prompt from the Gypsy Mama. Go check out her blog, and the other Five Minute Friday posts.

I’ve Been Making Stuff {1}

Standard

All kinds of fun projects have (somehow) been appearing around my house. I’ve been having a trial trying to find clothes that I like and that are appropriate without spending a ton of time and money. So, I tried making some. And I’ve loved it! I don’t have a lot of time (obviously), so I don’t know how long this will continue. But I am enjoying it right now. My skills are pretty limited, but it’s really fun to try, and most of my mistakes can be fixed if I’m patient enough. I made a high-low skirt that I think is super fun! I used some of the instructions from this blog post, but made it a little less full and poofy. I really love this fabric, it’s light and airy and colorful!

Image

I also tried some more sewing with knits, and made a yoga-waistband skirt. Y’all, this is the easiest, and most comfy skirt. There are tons of tutorials all over the internet, but here’s the one I used.

An exciting facet of sewing clothes is that I can make MATCHING mama and girlie clothes! So baby girl got a super simple shift dress. I just kind of made the pattern for her dress up, using a onsie for the sizing around the neck. We wore our skirt and dress to church on Mother’s Day, and I had so much fun with my matching baby girl.

Image

For me, making stuff is so refreshing and satisfying, and then getting to wear and enjoy them is even better! I love that the Lord made me to be creative, and gives me opportunities to produce things that are useful and pretty.