A Manly, but still Secure, Luggage Tag

Stash Couture and Secure Luggage Tags

Colorful Secure Luggage Tags were the gifts of the 2014 Christmas Season.

However, even the added level of security they provide could not convince my husband to attach something that colorful to his dark masculine (AKA:  boring) luggage.

Manly and Secure Luggage Tag

Manly and Secure Luggage Tag

So he received a manly version.  Sewn from black marine vinyl – any small scrap of vinyl will do.  This one is lined with a beautiful hand marbled dark blue fabric scrap.

It turns out making the tags from vinyl is simpler than sewing them from fabric!

The tutorial for the fabric versions is located here.  The vinyl version requires only 3 pieces – and no interfacing.

Luggage Tag

Luggage Tag

Cut a piece of the vinyl and the lining into rectangles just larger than 3″ * 9″.  Glue them, wrong sides together, using spray adhesive (applied outdoors).

Allow the spray adhesive to dry.

Righthand shape and lower lefthand shape are used to make vinyl version.

Using a (sharp) rotary cutter, cut the rectangle into the shape shown in Photo.

Cut 20″ or so of selected ribbon.

Topstitch very close to edge all the way around, catching ribbon on short, straight end of tag.

Cut a piece of vinyl into the 3.5″ * 2.5″  frame shown in the lower left hand corner.

(The upper righthand shape is not required for the vinyl version.)

Frame sewn to fabric side

Frame sewn to fabric side. Ribbon caught by topstitching.  Grommet in angled end.

Cut a piece of clear vinyl (I use blanket/quilt carrier vinyl as it is quite pliable) just smaller than 3.5″ * 2.5″.

Place the clear vinyl under the frame on the fabric side of the luggage tag.

Sew through all layers on 3 sides of frame (one side has to be left open to put contact information under clear vinyl).

Frame with secure info

Frame with secure info

Add a grommet to the short angled end (a paper hole punch actually works well to cut the opening).



Posted in Accessories, Luggage tags, Repurpose, Scrap Couture, Sewing, Stash Couture, Tutorial | Leave a comment

Environmentally Sensitive Sewing

Destashification 3-Generation Quilt

Being an environmental engineer in my other life, I have decided we needlartists are an environmentally sensitive group…

  • ReduceWe only buy only what we need! (can’t even say that with a straight face!)
  • Reuse –  In a word – Quilts.  (But we also tend reuse our favorite patterns time and time again!)
  • Recycle – We have all used buttons from an old blouse on a new blouse! (..and have you ever seen a fabric garage sale!!!)

(If “buy only what we need” was true, there would be no Destashification Project.)

I am not a tree hugger – I live in Arizona, we have cactus – with thorns – that minimize any such hugging desires –  but each year I do try to create something to do my part environmentally.

Destashification Market Bags

In 2011, it was the Destashification Market Bags.  As they are washable, they are still in use!

Backpack d-Resistance

In 2012, a purse was remade into a backpack.

In 2013 and 2014, beautiful and washable Huck Towels replaced all those disposable paper towels!

Cotton Napkins

Cotton Napkins

In 2015, we will be returning to cloth napkins.

Not very exciting, I know….

But, simple to make, add a touch of color to the dinner table – and as I am determined to master fancy napkin folding – they will be fun to use!

I think I could do this fold!

These napkins were sewn from cotton toweling.  The cut ends were zig-zag stitched under to hem…and done!



These soft 100% cotton napkins are nothing like the harsh polyester cloth napkins in restaurants – and they will continue to soften with each washing!

This fold will be perfect for Easter!




Posted in Accessories, Home Decor, Repurpose, Sewing | Tagged | 6 Comments

More Huck Towels

Huck Towels 2014

Huck Towels 2014

Christmas Gifts for a friend.

Huck Towels are perfect for gift giving…and are very relaxing to create!

Put on the Christmas Carols, thread up a needle with embroidery thread and one or two hours later… a useful handmade gift!

Green, yellow, red and blue

Green, yellow, red and blue in a traditional pattern.

The colors can be easily matched to kitchen decor, an eye-catching combination, or a friend’s favorite colors.

The primary colors in the towel to the right were chosen to match a friends Mexican pottery displays.

The pattern is a traditional Huck Christmas Tree design.

The second towel is done in a pattern I call Mother.

It has a center star – from which radiating stars expand outward.  The stars represent a mother’s children – her stars.

The Mother's Watchful Eye

The Mother’s Watchful Eye

Within the center star is the watchful eye we mothers always keep on our children!

Well, that is a lot of heavy thought for a dish towel design!  Don’t tell anyone – we mothers need to keep our secrets!

Back a while, I put together a quick tutorial on huck embroidery, which is also called Swedish weaving.    That tutorial can be found here. 

The simple designs used here might are very simple.  Please use them if you would like.

Posted in Accessories, Huck Towel, Stash Couture | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Tilton Tunic goes to college…

Vogue 8876 Logo Tunic

Vogue 8876 Logo Tunic

Vogue 8876 is another pattern with interesting lines from Marcy Tilton.

I d0 not need a dress – I do need another logo top – with longer sleeves.

The cold season has descended and all the previously sewn sleeveless and short sleeved logo tops would fall short of keeping me warm in the frozen tundra.

Found a piece of a navy/grey narrow striped 60″ wide knit.  It is not lightweight – and not as heavy as a sweatshirt knit.  It is somewhere between.

Scraps of a lightweight grey knit were used as the front facings and the inner collar.  The front facings were sewn so the grey fabric shows just slightly.  It looks like very narrow piping.

The outer collar is sewn from the logo portion of a clearance navy sweatshirt purchased at the college my daughter attends. The letter on the sleeve was also cut from the same sweatshirt.

Marcy Tilton Vest

Marcy Tilton Vest

The plan was to create a jacket that was fashioned much like the vest Marcy Tilton features on her blog.

Vogue 8933 Line Drawing

Vogue 8933 Line Drawing

Following her example, the bottom band was eliminated and a 24″ separating zipper was installed in the center front.

Hubris being what it is, I did not read any reviews of the pattern…until I had already cut it out.

Other reviewers were correct – the pattern is quite “roomy”.  Its width was reduced by 4″ – 5″ during fitting.

Detail of fabrics.

Detail of fabrics and faux piping.

The zipper I had used was red – which overwhelmed the top (and looked rather clownish).  It was removed and replaced with navy buttons.

The front pleats reminded me of junior high school gym uniforms, so to preent nightmares, they were removed!

No Gym Uniform Pleats here!

No Gym Uniform Pleats here!

The sleeves of the pattern are exactly the right width and length.  They can be pushed up slightly – and are narrow enough to actually stay there!

The tunic has a more pronounced flare shape than any of my other tops, but I look forward to wearing it on our trip to visit the daughter at school.

I plan on wearing it over stretch “skinny” jeans (which have a great deal more “stretch” than “skinny.”)

I always enjoy creating clothing with logos.

It is always fun to move the logos around to determine where best to place them!  The back yoke was my first choice for the logo, but moving it to the collar gives the tunic a unique look!











Posted in Clothing, Repurpose, Scrap Couture, Sewing, Stash Couture | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Stash Couture Coat – Vogue 8933 Modified

Stash Couture Coat

Stash Couture Coat

When traveling to the frozen tundra (an admitted exaggeration, but it is 70 degrees warmer here), a coat is a necessity.

The pattern selected was Vogue 8933 with its lean, uncluttered lines.

Vogue 8933

Vogue 8933

Found a 3 yard piece of  suit weight 60″ polyester/ wool/ spandex in a black and white mini- herringbone.  From a distance it appears dark grey.

When the outer layer is suit weight (as opposed to coat weight) temperatures in the teens require a heavy lining.  To counter the grey-ness, the lining should also have some color.

Silk Kimono Fabric with Initials woven into Selvedge

Silk Kimono Fabric with Name?? and HK (Hong Kong) woven into Selvedge

All Stashers are gifted fabrics and items “you may be able to do something with.”  I was the ecstatic recipient of a kimono made of beautiful – and very heavy – teal silk tapestry.  The kimono was fully lined in plain teal silk.  The silk has words woven into the selvedge.

Cutting the lining from the kimono was surprisingly much easier than cutting out the coat from the 3 yards of fabric.

Beautiful Silk Lining

Beautiful Silk Lining

The prohibitively large collar (see below) does not lend itself to cutting pieces side by side – even when the fabric is 60″ wide!  As my fabric had a 3″ wide selvedge edge, it was not quite 60″ wide.  I even had to refer to the cutting layout in the pattern (Egads!  Can’t remember the last time I did that!).

Soviet Spy Coat

The pattern sewed together quite easily.  After attaching the collar, a quick fitting was conducted.

It was immediately apparent that the coat would require modification.  Its gigantic Soviet Spy collar covered my face!

Reduction of Inner Collar

Reduction of Inner Collar

The collar is symmetrical and the fronts overlap about 12″.  They extended above my ears and over both shoulders!

Collar appears appropriately sized here...

Collar appears appropriately sized here…

It was possible to “smoosh down” the outer overlap, but smooshing the inner 12″  created a large lump under the shoulder of the coat that might have suggested contraband smuggling.

Modification to Outer Collar

Reduction of Outer Collar

As traveling to the frozen tundra requires passing through several airports, I thought it best to avoid all “possible collar contraband” concerns.

Button detail showing herringbone of fabric.

Button detail showing herringbone weave of fabric.

To facilitate vision and hearing , 1.5″ was trimmed from the upper edge of the collar all the way around.  To facilitate closing – and eliminate contraband concerns –  approximately 4″ was trimmed away from the inner collar.

I found the PERFECT sew-on closures – trigger fasteners on leather straps!  PERFECT!

Inner closure.

Inner hidden  closure.

So the bound buttonholes had not been considered prior to modifying the collar!  (What  a mess that would have been!)

Then it was discovered the closures would costs over $65! ….. So bound buttonholes it was!!!

Note to Self:  Bound Buttonholes constructed of fabric containing spandex will require stiff interfacing.  Consider contrasting non-stretch fabric!

In keeping with the theme of working backwards, the buttonholes were completed prior to identifying buttons.  The only pair of appropriately sized buttons in the Button Stash were an orange/green scroll design? (not sure where they came from.)  So, coupons in hand, I went button shopping.  The selected 1.75″ buttons were the perfect grey!

Perfect Match to Linen Stitch Scarf

Perfect Match to Linen Stitch Scarf

The overlapping fronts required an inner closure as well.  A single small Stash button was used.  A strap cut from the lining fabric extends from the shoulder to be secured with that button.

Another fitting indicated that the inner collar required a second reduction.  Another 1″ or so was eliminated along its outer edge.

The beautiful silk lining – which adds the hoped for color to the coat – provides a bonus of some wind resistance!


The coat and the lining coordinate perfectly with the Linen Stitch Scarf!

Off to the frozen tundra!






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Long Sleeved Vogue 8854

Vogue 8854  - Long Sleeved Version

Vogue 8854 – Long Sleeved Version

Vogue 8854 pattern has been used and reused, but this is the first long-sleeved version.

The fabric is a polyester knit faux-lace that spoke to me screamed my name during a recent interfacing shopping run to the Fabric-Store-that-Shall-Not-be-Named.

It was fairly expensive but, I had a coupon (said that little voice in my head).  Still such an extravagant purchase is atypical for the Destashifier.

I can hear my mother now. “I____Insert First and Middle Name___, You should have known better…

Knit Faux Lace - Too Fragile to Wea

Knit Faux Lace – Too Fragile to Wear

Cue the Dirge Music….

The fabric falls apart.

The lace effect is created by knitting a portion of the design with a nylon filament.  That filament is thinner than a human hair.  Think a single strand of a spider web.

The Fragile (yet itchy) Filament

The Fragile (yet itchy) Filament

This filament disintegrates easily – especially when ironed, washed or worn.

I attempted to return the fabric upon discovery of its inability to remain intact, but was thwarted by the old arch nemesis “Store Policy. ”

Dressed for the frozen tundra

Dressed for the frozen tundra

As warmer garments are required for a trip to the frozen tundra, I decided to go ahead and sew the fabric into a long-sleeved tunic to take along.

If  I wear it twice before it falls apart, I will feel somewhat vindicated ….

Thumb hole in Cuff

Thumb hole in Cuff


  1. Taper width of sleeve 3″.
  2. Added 2″ to sleeve length and added a cuff with a “thumb hole.”
  3. Shortened tunic back by 3″
  4. Interfaced collar with 2 layers of light interfacing, and a strip of heavy interfacing in the center back.

The buttons were from the Button Stash.  After looking at these photos, I may remove the two smaller buttons nearer the center front.  Two buttons seem less busy.

Final Note:  The nylon filament may only be spider web strand in thickness, but it is uncomfortably itching.  Even though they are all serged, the seams are almost prickly!.  I will have to wear a long-sleeve top under the tunic.


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Another Scrap Couture Linen Stitch Scarf

8 Feet of Linen Stitch in grey, black and handpainted yarn!.

Blocking 8 Feet of Linen Stitch in grey, black and handpainted yarn!

Being able to spend the time finishing UFOs (UnFinished Objects) is about the only positive associated with being sick.

The UFOs (and there are many) included this Grey, Black and Handpainted Yarn Linen Stitch Scarf.  Knitting Instructions are found here.

Darker Portion of Scarf

Darker Portion of Scarf

A year or so ago, the scarf was started as a project to use up leftover yarns.  Apparently, at the time I started knitting this scarf, I desired to use up the dark yarns first.  Earlier attempts to use the yarn included knitting  this angora scarf.  

Every third row was knit with black yarn.

The other rows were knit with grey yarns and Collinette Banyon in Monet Colorway

Yarns used to knit scarf.

Yarns used to knit scarf.

The Banyon is left over from a sweater.  It is a variegated yarn that grades from very light grey to black, but also includes short lengths of bright colors (green, pink, blue and purple.)

This created a very dark scarf.

The darker colors no longer appealed to me…. and for a very (VERY) fleeting moment the possibility of raveling out the scarf to start again was entertained….

Lighter portion of scarf

Lighter portion of scarf

Thankfully, it was a fleeting thought.

By reducing the number of rows knit in the darker yarns the scarf was graded lighter and lighter.

The black and dark grey were eventually replaced completely with lighter greys and bluish greys and small amounts of sage green.  The sage was leftover from this sweater.

Darker yarns, used initially,  grade to the more recent choice of lighter yarns.

Darker yarns, used initially, grade to the more recent choice of lighter yarns.

The scarf ended up being almost 8 feet long.

After blocking, it is 10 inches wide.  On the needles it was almost 14 inches wide.

Now to sew a coat to wear it with….

Posted in Accessories, Beginner Knitting Project, Free Knitting Pattern, Knitting, Scarf | Tagged , , | 1 Comment