Made with Moxie: 2014

December 9, 2014

20 Minute Throw Pillows

It's the little things in life that make me happy. Bright colors, curling up with a good book, handmade gifts. If you love those things I've got a quick tutorial for you! These throw pillows can be sewn up in 20 minutes (or less!) They make great gift ideas and, hell, go ahead and make some for yourself. Isn't that how any gift sewing goes? Intend to make something for someone else, fall in love with it, decide to keep it for yourself, and then need to make another for that gift.

20 Minute Throw Pillows: Whip these up in no time at all. They're cute, quick and easy. || I'm making a bunch of these for my couch! So adorable.

Two 20 to 22" cloth napkins + one 18 to 20" zipper + insert = 20 Minute Throw Pillow


20 Minute Throw Pillows: Whip these up in no time at all. They're cute, quick and easy. || I'm making a bunch of these for my couch! So adorable.

Start with some fun cloth napkins. My favorite places to find them are at World Market and Crate & Barrel. I *always* scour the cloth napkin selections in these stores. Some seriously fabulous prints. See that teal rose print beauty in the first pic? Yes, that is Anna Maria Horner's Social Climber, and yes, I bought it as a cloth napkin at Crate & Barrel. Fabric is everywhere! You can buy matching sets or go with coordinating prints like I did. There's no wrong answer. I promise.

20 Minute Throw Pillows: Whip these up in no time at all. They're cute, quick and easy. || I'm making a bunch of these for my couch! So adorable.

Press your napkins flat. Center a 18 to 20" zipper along one edge of a napkin, both right sides up. Top stitch the napkin to the zipper. Pin the second napkin to the other edge of the zipper, making sure the corners of each napkin and side ends line up as best you can. Not all cloth napkins are make perfectly square or exactly the same size so you may need to do some fudging around here. ("fudging around" technical term here meaning "just make it work") Top stitch the second napkin to the zipper.

20 Minute Throw Pillows: Whip these up in no time at all. They're cute, quick and easy. || I'm making a bunch of these for my couch! So adorable.

Fold the napkins at the zipper so both are wrong sides facing each other (right sides out.) Starting at one end of the zipper, top stitch along the edge of the pillow, all the way around the napkins, until you reach the other end of the zipper. And that's it. Super easy, right?

20 Minute Throw Pillows: Whip these up in no time at all. They're cute, quick and easy. || I'm making a bunch of these for my couch! So adorable.

Want to make them a bit fancier? Before you stitch your napkins together, put a little patch of stabilizer on the back of one corner and do a little hand embroidery. Trace a drawing or just doodle a bit.

20 Minute Throw Pillows: Whip these up in no time at all. They're cute, quick and easy. || I'm making a bunch of these for my couch! So adorable.

Another way you can spice these throw pillows up is to add piping. Pin the piping around one napkin all the way around, then make sure you catch the piping as you stitch the zipper on and the napkins together.

20 Minute Throw Pillows: Whip these up in no time at all. They're cute, quick and easy. || I'm making a bunch of these for my couch! So adorable.

Ill tell you my throw pillow insert secret, too. Go to Ikea! This Fjadrar insert is only $5.99 and duck feathers. It's so lux to have a stack of these to snuggle into and read on. If feather fill isn't your thing, go for the Inner insert. It's a super soft, poly fill cushion. Oh, and it's only $2.99. Plus, Ikea packaged these pillows rolled into tight, vacuumed cylinders, making them easy to carry home or ship!

20 Minute Throw Pillows: Whip these up in no time at all. They're cute, quick and easy. || I'm making a bunch of these for my couch! So adorable.

Don't you just want to curl up with a good book and take a nap? (Yeah, me too!) Go make yourself one. Go make yourself a handful. The 20 Minute Throw Pillow is quick and easy. You'll have the satisfaction of finishing a project in one sew (No UFOs!) and you're bed/couch will be so Anthro looking, no one will believe you made them all. (For so very little money, too.)

20 Minute Throw Pillows: Whip these up in no time at all. They're cute, quick and easy. || I'm making a bunch of these for my couch! So adorable.

20 Minute Throw Pillows: Whip these up in no time at all. They're cute, quick and easy. || I'm making a bunch of these for my couch! So adorable.

Need some other quick gift ideas?
Quick Gift Ideas to Sew from Made with Moxie
Laminate Tablet Clutch || Fat Quarter Cloth Napkins || Twill Tape Tote Bag

December 7, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway

It's Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway week! Woot! The most wonderful week of the year!

Jill Dorsey & Made with Moxie: A blog about selfish sewing, creative making, and sewing as an outlet for life.
Some of the things I made this year. Like my style? Start following along!

If we've never met before: Hi! Howdy! How you doing? My name is Jill and this is Made with Moxie. I make clothes, bags, quilts and other crafty crap. I've got two small kids, a fierce spirit, and I'll always give it to you straight. I live life to suck the marrow from it and have no regrets.

I'm keeping it short and sweet today though, since we all just want to know how to enter quickly so we can get on to entering other giveaways. I adore Instagram and Pinterest, so if you use those sites, let's get to know each other!

My only request is that you start following me on Instagram or Pinterest, then leave me a comment here telling me which you did. Heck, you can do both for a double entry. Please make sure you leave me your email address in your comment as well so I can let you know when you have won. ;)

Win a free paper pattern of the Alder Skirt from Made with Moxie

I'm giving away a paper copy of the Alder Skirt pattern designed by imagine gnats. It's a simple skirt pattern that comes in a huge size range. Wear it with tights and boots in the cool weather or a tee and sandals when it gets warm. It's a sweet pattern because you can make it in so many different fabrics. One winner will be randomly selected on Monday, December 15th and will be notified by email. If you do not leave your email address a new winner will be chosen. Open to international entries.

Love Cotton & Steel? Enter to win a fat quarter pack of the yet to be released "Tokyo Train Ride" from Perfect Pattern Parcel, too! Click on the link above or the image below.

 Win a pack of Cotton & Steel Tokyo Train Ride fat quarters from Perfect Pattern Parcel and Sew, Mama, Sew


Happy winning, folks! And I can't wait to get to know y'all!

December 6, 2014

No Sew Plaid Scarf

I have a tendency to over complicate things. Each idea starts little, but rumination leads me to grander and more involved projects. One of my goals for 2015 is going to be to keep it simple. Get back to the basics. Fun the joy in the little things (and keep them little!)

When Lacy at Living on Love asked me to share a project for the 12 Days of Handmade Christmas series I can't even being to tell you the ideas that ran through my head. Then I remembered I was sick. And I have five exams and two practical scan assessments to complete before getting my family of four onto a plane to head to California for Christmas. I remembered that my situation is not unique. We're all up to our gills in "busy". However, no matter how busy you and I are, you know we love to give (and get) handmade gifts for the holidays. (I mean, that's why you're here, right?)

12 Days of Handmade Holiday Gifts! This no sew scarf is so easy to make and I love the buffalo plaid.

So here is a simple, yet stylish, handmade holiday gift for you to make this season. Make one for you. Make one for your boy friend. Make one for your boss. (Added bonus: you can make these while you're sitting on the couch watching tv with your feet up. Yep, no sewing friends! )

12 Days of Handmade Holiday Gifts! This no sew scarf is so easy to make and I love the buffalo plaid.

Start with 45" of plaid cotton flannel fabric. The size is not important. You decide the shape and size. I made my scarf to be a large square and purchased a length that was equal to the width of the fabric. Next, PREWASH YOUR FABRIC. Always prewash cotton flannel. Washer, dryer, bing, bang, boom. Press your fabric. Trim your fabric to square it up. This means making the edges straight and your corners, well, square. Also, trim off the selvedges (the not raggedy edges.)

Decide how deep you want your fringe to be (mine is roughly one inch-ish) and make cuts into the edges of your fabric that depth cutting as parallel to the fabric's threads as possible. Space your cuts roughly 2 to 3 inches apart. Make it easy on yourself. Use your plaid as a guide.

12 Days of Handmade Holiday Gifts! This no sew scarf is so easy to make and I love the buffalo plaid.

Using your fingers gently pull the threads in one cut corner from each other. The vertical threads are going to stay as your fringe. The horizontal ones you are going to pull out. It is easiest to pull them out one or two at a time. You'll think, hey, this is easy and try to do three or four and it just won't work.

12 Days of Handmade Holiday Gifts! This no sew scarf is so easy to make and I love the buffalo plaid.

12 Days of Handmade Holiday Gifts! This no sew scarf is so easy to make and I love the buffalo plaid.

12 Days of Handmade Holiday Gifts! This no sew scarf is so easy to make and I love the buffalo plaid.

Continue to pull out the horizontal threads until you reach the base of your cuts. If you need help removing the last few threads (my voices can't let me leave these last two white threads) use a pin or needle to pull them up and out.

12 Days of Handmade Holiday Gifts! This no sew scarf is so easy to make and I love the buffalo plaid.

Put your feet up and continue working your way around the scarf. When you get to corners cut them square like this.

12 Days of Handmade Holiday Gifts! This no sew scarf is so easy to make and I love the buffalo plaid.

12 Days of Handmade Holiday Gifts! This no sew scarf is so easy to make and I love the buffalo plaid.

Wait, you're saying. We're done? Yes, ma'am. You're done. That's it. Finito. Fold that bad boy up, put it in a box and gift wrap it. Or, better yet, wrap it around your neck and enjoy it's warmth.

My favorite way to wear a large square scarf is to fold it in half along the diagonal to make a big triangle. Then bunch it up a bit in your hands and criss cross the ends being your neck and bring them forward. Leave the long, or tie them up and tuck them under the triangle tips. It won't require fancy tying because the soft fluffy flannel sticks to itself a bit.

12 Days of Handmade Holiday Gifts! This no sew scarf is so easy to make and I love the buffalo plaid.

12 Days of Handmade Holiday Gifts! This no sew scarf is so easy to make and I love the buffalo plaid.

Looking for some other fun handmade gift ideas? Check out the other eleven days of Handmade Christmas! (I'm thinking my hubby could make me one of those DIY Bath Caddies. Hint, hint.)

December 1 - Rustic Wooden Chalkboards with Living on Love
December 2 - Fabric Candy Cane Ornaments with Crafty Mally
December 3 - Cookie Jar Snow Globes with Tag & Tibby
December 4 - DIY Bath Caddy with Down Home Inspiration
December 5 - "You Are Home" US Ornament with Natalie Creates
December 6 - No Sew Plaid Scarf with Made with Moxie
December 7 - Painted Decor Blocks with Classic Play
December 8 - Footprint Reindeer Aprons with The Caterpillar Years
December 9 - DIY Hostess Gift with Buzzmills
December 10 - Emoji Onesies with Frock Files
December 11 - Dried Fruit Ornaments & Garland with Maker Mama
December 12 - Salt Dough Frame Ornaments with Small + Friendly

November 23, 2014

Constant Change

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." - Lao Tzu

Go with the flow. Pliable. Roll with the punches. Adaptable. Call it what you want, life is constant change. As soon as we figure out who we are and what we're doing, the table turns and we find ourselves faced with new and uncharted waters. I like to think I am fluid. That change doesn't throw me off balance, but I'm human (despite all my pleas to become a robot.)

This past summer I embarked on a new adventure in going back to school. It was not an sudden choice, but one my family and I had been planning and preparing for for a few years. Alas, it was still a big life change. Gone were my days of being a stay at home mom. I didn't think I would miss it too much, but I do.

Constant Change: Vintage Lacy Bag

I looked forward to this change, being a student. But I forgot what it was like to not know something. Going back to school in an intensive full time program is every stress and time challenge they said it would be...and then some. Some days I just feel so lost. I don't know the answers, I don't know what I'm doing and I'm just a blank. I hate not knowing. I hate not being able. I want so badly to skip forward to the part where I get it. Where I am comfortable. When I can move automatically with confidence.

That day is not today. Or tomorrow. I am in the middle of change. I try hard to just go with it. The harder you struggle against the flow the more likely you are to drown. I try to remind myself that this is a journey, an adventure worth taking. How is this a learning experience? How am I adding to who I am by taking this path? My friends and family remind me that I am okay. That I am doing well and one day will look back on this and think how silly it was that I was to frustrated. But to be honest, some days just end in tears. Tears of exasperation. Tears of inexperience. Tears of feeling awkward and uncoordinated. Defeat. Failure. Self-doubt. I struggle and grasp for branches to save me.

Constant Change: Vintage Lacy Bag

Some days I come home and I am compelled to do something I know how to do. I need to feel like an expert in something to remind myself that I have already journeyed this far. I have climbed many mountains and achieved great heights. I have overcome a bad marriage. I have run successful businesses. I have grown and birthed and so far not yet killed two small human beings. I can cook. I can sew.

Constant Change: Vintage Lacy Bag

Oh, I can sew. I come home, I lay down my books and my burdens, and go into my studio. It is familiar. I know where all my tools are. I know how they all work and their quirks. I press, cut, fold and stitch fabric. It's without deep thought or much effort. I make small projects. I need to take something from start to finish, to create completely, to have that sense of accomplishment. It feels so good. And in those actions I can restore myself. I step back from the edge, regroup, refuel, and set my sights forward again.

Constant Change: Vintage Lacy Bag

Each day that I finish is one day forward. It's one more day of experience in this new adventure. One more day as a seasoned traveler in life. I go to bed knowing I will wake up with clearer eyes. I will lace up my boots and push on, climb higher. I will take deep breaths and float on the river of change. I am not a drowning animal. I am a leaf, floating, twirling, and occasionally taking a tumble.

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." - Lao Tzu

I'm sharing my experience with change as part of a week long series led by Jenya of While She Was Sleeping and Renee of Nearest The Pin called Constant Change. The goal is to bring you inspiration and celebration in the variety of change we all experience in life. Please head over to Renee's blog, Nearest The Pin to meet today's other poster, Suz of SewPony.



This bag I made during a recent bout of doubt. The exterior fabric is a piece of Ikea curtain. The interior and tabs are unknown designer quilt cotton. The lace stripes are scraps my great grandmother had saved and were in the box of her vintage lace that I had just been bequeathed. I also made my Anatomical Skeleton Hoodie with her vintage lace, too.

November 16, 2014

Handbags, Indie Designers, and $20,000

2014 has been a crazy year and it's winding up to go out with a bang. Among many other things going on in life, I'm working up wrapping up the final days of the last Pattern Parcel sale for the year. When we started this idea a year ago we had not idea how big it would grow. It's our seventh sale this year! Our goal is to raise over $20,000 for the charity, Donors Choose, which goes to classrooms in need. Yes, twenty thousand dollars. When I said it to Danny a few months ago he balked a bit, but here we are with 5 days to go and we're so damn close! I'll be on bated breath until the very end. ;)

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Messengers, satchels, hobos, shoulder bags, vintage bags...Pattern Parcel #7 has something for everyone. Never sewn a bag before? Now is your change to try your hand at a new skill. Plus, handbags never make your butt look big and never need a FBA. Trying to keep the budget tight as we head into the holidays? Perfect! You can make a new bag for all the ladies in your life. (Heck, even some for the men.)

Parcel #7 includes:

Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo
Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns
Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs
Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White
Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns


Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #7 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That's just over $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the brand new Daphne Bag pattern from Clover & Violet. The Daphne is a slouchy satchel that can be worn cross body or as a shoulder bag. The zip top keeps your gear secure and the internal pockets keep your accessories where you need them. This is a brand new, never been seen before pattern and is an exclusive opportunity for Parcel #7 customers!

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win


Need some inspiration? Follow the Inspiration Tour!
Parcel #4 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, November 7 Stitched || Sew Exhausted

Saturday, November 8 Made by Sara ||Oliver's Fancy || Strawberry Patch Ramblings

Sunday, November 9 from a box || Mia's Creations || MOMENTS

Monday, November 10 owen's olivia || While she was sleeping

Tuesday, November 11 Nutta || Radiant Home Studio || La Pantigana

Wednesday, November 12 Sew Fishsticks || Stacy Sews || Stitching Insane || GnomeAngel

Thursday, November 13 Needle and Ted || Patchouli Moon Studio || Sprouting JubeJube || The Crazy Tailor

Friday, November 14 Casa Crafty || A Jennuine Life || 'So, Zo... What do you know?'

Saturday, November 15 Stitches by Laura || Rebekah Sews || Serger Pepper

Sunday, November 16 Blogs Like A Mother || Vicky Myers creations || Blossom Heart Quilts

Monday, November 17 Shanni Loves || So Sew Easy || GYCT Designs || Tiger In A Tornado

Tuesday, November 18 The Nosy Pepper || Keep Calm and Carrion || There & Back || Sewing Sober

Wednesday, November 19 Sew Like My Mom || Knot Sew Normal || Stacy Sews || sewVery

Thursday, November 20 Mimi's Mom || Our Family Four || shades of BOLD || Modern Handcraft

Friday, November 21 Shawnta Sews || Lulu & Celeste || Amanda Rose || Robin's Fabric Nest || House of Pinheiro


Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

October 23, 2014

Sew Geeky: Anatomy Nerd

Do you know the Sew Geeky Series? Kat and Ari started this sewn clothing series to celebrate their geekiness. From Star Wars to 8-bit to classic anime, these amazingly talented ladies take a monthly theme and blow it up. Because everyone has such diverse geekery, October is Sew Geeky Spectacular and I'm here to join in!

Old Bones Anatomy Hoodie: Sew Geeky Spectacular!

I love skeletons. You all know that. No big surprise there. I am not sure when this love affair started exactly. Or even where it came from. As a kid I used to be afraid of a model skeleton in my Nana's basement. His name was Mr. Bones and he was perched on an overhang of her basement stairs. My brothers and I played down there often and I would rush down the stairs for fear that one day Mr. Bones would jump down on me.

Try as I might, I can't seem to recall when my fear of skeletons turned into love. I'm sure it had to do with my changing to public schools and embracing science classes. Biology and the human body have always captivated me. I want to know how it all works. And now, I get to see inside of you. I seriously think it's so freaking cool to look at a person's insides moving around in real time. Like, it's so awesome. You don't even know.

Old Bones Anatomy Hoodie: Sew Geeky Spectacular!

Loving skeletons is all fine and dandy, until Halloween comes around. Don't get me wrong. I love Halloween. It's a most excellent time of year when partnered with Dia de los Muertos to add to my skulls and bones collection. I just find it a bit embarrassing to be swearing skeleton things in late October. I don't want people to think I'm only wearing them for the season. (Which is highly stupid, because, hi, what do I really care?)

In any case, I had this idea twirling around in my head to use some of my great grandmother's vintage lace to make bones. I have just inherited a large box of her lace (along with her treadle Singer!) I wanted just a simple line of vertebrae running down my back. Clean. Architectural almost. Minimalist skeleton.

Old Bones Anatomy Hoodie: Sew Geeky Spectacular!

I sketched out the cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae shapes onto a thin paper then sprayed a temporary adhesive to the back of it. This let me stick the scraps of lace in order to make sure they were aligned right and stayed flat while I sewed them. Next I pinned the paper to the back of my hoodie the appliqued away.

Old Bones Anatomy Hoodie: Sew Geeky Spectacular!

Old Bones Anatomy Hoodie: Sew Geeky Spectacular!

I have to admit to feeling defensive about my Sew Geeky post this time around. Mostly because it's October and I'm not sharing a costume. But this is the month of free for all Sew Geeky Spectacular, and I'm a super geek for science and anatomy. Last month we had a school project to make a life sized replica of the human organs. Most people used a metric ton of modeling clay or crap felt. I just couldn't. I may have drafted patterns for each organ and sewed them all with scraps from my stash. And made a super sweet rib cage that unzips at the sternum.

Old Bones Anatomy Hoodie: Sew Geeky Spectacular!

So here I am. Feeling like an awkward fourteen year old, but so super loving my new skeleton hoodie. Eh, I'm a geek. I'm a nerd. Deal with it. (zips up hoodie and stalks out)

October 19, 2014

Pattern Parcel #6: Selfish Sewing for the Every Occasion!

We've been building Pattern Parcels all year, but I've got to tell you that I think this one is my favorite one yet. Guys, just check it out:
Pattern Parcel #5: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

The patterns included in Parcel #6 include:
Syrah Skirt by Lauren Dahl (exclusive release!)
Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren
Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations
Hudson Pant by True Bias
Zsalya Top & Dress by Kate and Rose

Here's what I love about the patterns in this Parcel: the all mix and match and interchange with each other. Hudson Pants + Bronte Top = Cute gym outfit. Syrah Skirt + Bronte Top + Julia Cardigan = PTA or book club meeting. Zsalya Top + jeans + favorite boots = Date night.

And then there is the Bonus Pattern, the Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll. Sigh. This dress is just dreamy. It's vintage inspired. It has two necklines, three sleeve options and can be made with contrasting panels making it a fun scrap buster project. The fit is outstanding. That skirt is made to accentuate your waist and skim your hips. The bodice is designed with a D cup in mind, so no Full Bust Adjustments, ladies! Oh, and it runs from a size 4 through a 24. Yeah, that. ;)

They whole bit makes me kind of sad that I am so swamped up to my gills with school right now. I want one of everything here, at least. Maybe I can hire someone to make mine? My wardrobe is seriously sad since schools started. I need to do some selfish sewing real soon. Until then, go check out Pattern Parcel #6. It's got wicked good patterns, in a wide size range (we're all about that bass) at a price you get to choose! Plus, you can help us in our mission to help classrooms in need through our charity of choice, DonorsChoose. It's our goal to raise $20,000 this year.

Get great patterns. Help kiddos who need our help. Support freaking awesome indie pattern designers.

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Follow the Inspiration Tour as it happens to get great ideas on what you can do with these patterns, or follow the Official Pattern Parcel Pinterest Board:

Friday, October 17 Pienkel || Casa Crafty || Sew Like My Mom || YosaMi

Saturday, October 18 Disaster in a Dress || Sew Busy Lizzy || the Brodrick Blog || Oliver's Fancy

Sunday, October 19 Design By Lindsay || Cookin' and Craftin' || Stitched

Monday, October 20 a happy stitch || oonaballoona || Nutta || Oh, She Dabbles

Tuesday, October 21 the quirky peach || Our Familly Four || Kadiddlehopper || La Pantigana

Wednesday, October 22 While she was sleeping || Sew a Straight Line || EmmylouBeeDoo

Thursday, October 23 Sanae Ishida || Groovy Baby and Mama || Dandelion Drift || Create/Enjoy

Friday, October 24 Shawnta Sews || verypurpleperson || Peneloping

Saturday, October 25 Nine Stitches || Sew Exhausted || YoSami || Radiant Home Studio

Sunday, October 26 paunnet || Sew charleston || Amanda Rose || EmmylouBeeDoo

Monday, October 27 Very Shannon || Diary of a Chainstitcher || So, Zo... What do you know?' || Swoodson Says || Things for Boys

Tuesday, October 28 mama says sew || Make It Perfect || Envueltos de Amor || Julia Bobbin

Wednesday, October 29 EmmylouBeeDoo || Max California || Radiant Home Studio || Made by Meg

Thursday, October 30 la Inglesita || House of Pinheiro || FABulous Home Sewn || Friends Stitched Together

Friday, October 31 sew chibi || Things for Boys || Nearest the pin || Swoodson Says || Robin's Fabric Nest

October 16, 2014

Present Perfect: Cargo Tablet Sleeve

Cargo Tablet Sleeve, pattern by Betz White. || I love this. Totally need to make one for my husband!

I catch a lot of flak from my dear husband, Danny. It turns out that despite my lack of affinity for ruffles and lace, my fabric collection is well, quite girlie. I do my fair share of sewing for our home and family, but since no men go fabric shopping with me, most everything handmade in our home has a feminine touch. I'd been mulling over a more manly handmade aesthetic when I was asked to make a little something from Present Perfect: 25 Gifts to Sew and Bestow, the newest book by Betz White.

As a very techie family we have a variety of devices in our home. Some have proper homes (aka, my tablet), others not so much. For instance, my husband's Kindle goes on business trips within the not exactly protective confines of the wool hat I crocheted him last winter. Hey, I give him points for the attempt. It seemed pretty obvious after flipping through Betz's new book that I should be making Danny some proper device sleeves (and practice using some manly fabrics, too.)

Cargo Tablet Sleeve, pattern by Betz White. || I love this. Totally need to make one for my husband!

I'm not usually a big craft book fan. Most times there is one pretty great project and eight other meh ones that both you and I wouldn't exactly need a book for. But after flipping through the copy of Present Perfect that the publishers sent me, I've got to tell you, that this is not the case. I had a hard time deciding which 'man' project to pick. The Cargo Tablet Sleeve was the ultimate winner, but the Gentleman's Travel Case is still calling my name. Plus, I've been having this love affair with bees all this year and bam, there's that Sweet Life Pillow just begging me to make one. And then I saw the hot pink version Melissa made and it's a must.

Present Perfect has great handmade gift ideas for everyone, really. Babies, men, your girl friends, housewarming... you name it, Betz has a great idea for you. Oh, and did I mention that the book comes with pattern pieces? Yes! Even the rectangular ones that most books just tell you what size to cut out. I don't know about you, but I usually screw those up. But not with these patterns, friends. (You can tell, I was perhaps quite excited by this.) If you know someone who has just gotten into sewing and crafting, this book would make a fabulous gift for them. The instructions and drawings are clear and easy to follow, and the photographs just make you want to keep sewing up project after project.

Cargo Tablet Sleeve, pattern by Betz White. || I love this. Totally need to make one for my husband!

I used a pirate print for the lining and a milk chocolate brown cotton twill for the outside of the Cargo Tablet Sleeve. I was going to wax the twill with some beeswax I recently got a honeybee festival, but it was too soft to alter it. The flap and base of the Cargo Tablet Sleeve are cut from a chocolate brown suede jacket my sister in law gifted me for upcycling purposes. It's the first time I've ever sewn with salvaged animal hide and I was pretty pleased with the result.

Cargo Tablet Sleeve, pattern by Betz White. || I love this. Totally need to make one for my husband!

Cargo Tablet Sleeve, pattern by Betz White. || I love this. Totally need to make one for my husband!

The clasp is a vintage Euro swivel clip and key ring I picked up from an Army/Navy store in Provencetown, MA this summer while we were on vacation. I don't even want to tell you how inexpensive this hardware was. I'm embarrassed to say that I did not buy them all, because I so should have.

The result is a pretty sweet, man friendly, tablet bag. It's not the first fabric choices I would have chosen, but Danny approves of it's manliness and I can breath a bit easier knowing his tablet is traveling protected (and in style!) I think I'll have to make myself one with a bright vintage floral canvas...

Until then, check out Present Perfect by Betz White. She's made a short video to flip through some of the projects in this book. I can honestly say this book is worth getting, or giving. Also, you can pop into the blogs below on their tour dates to see what other makers have sewn from the book.

Cargo Tablet Sleeve, pattern by Betz White. || I love this. Totally need to make one for my husband!

Happy Home:
October 6 - Sew Mama Sew – Make & Bake Apron
October 7 - Stacy Sews – Falling Leaves Appliqu├ęd Placemats
October 8 - House on Hill Road – Hot Mitt House & Tea Towel Set
October 9 - A Happy Stitch – Sweet Life Pillow

Memorable Moments:
October 10 - Sew Sweetness – Wool Courier Bag
October 13 - Raspberry Sunshine – Gentlemen’s Travel Case
October 14 - Pink Chalk Fabrics – Pasha Pleated Clutch
October 15 - The Long Thread – Eye Candy Glasses Case
October 16 - Made with Moxie – Cargo Tablet Sleeve
October 17 - Bijou Lovely – Coffee Cash Coin Pouch

New and Little
October 20 - Flax and Twine – Forest Friends Finger Puppets
October 21 - Imagine Gnats – Bib, Rattle & Burp Baby Set

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget tomorrow is the launch of Perfect Pattern Parcel #6! You're going to love it.