My Kitty Factotem

It was quite the battle: skipped stitches, broken needle, great efforts of forearm strength…but in the end, I got her finished, :). I’ve had my eye on the Factotum tote pattern since I saw it make an appearance in the Bag of the Month Club, but I was not a member. So I waited 6 months for it to become available, and then a few more to actually make it.

Love this tote, perfect to store all my teacher and graduate work items.

I will not lie, this tote took me a long time to make. Working on it off and on, I was able to finish it within a few weeks. There are a lot of pieces, so cutting took awhile. And so many pieces to fuse interfacing onto. So satisfying to finish though. Watched a lot of Netflix, ;). I will say that turning the back inside out took a lot of effort, that stabilizer does its job very well.

Here is an image of the exterior bag before I put the lining in. Proof I made it, ;).

The directions were phenomenal! So detailed with written directions and pictures. They were also 56 pages long to give you an idea of the depth of this project. The first 8 pages are just fabric and materials information and the prep work.

Let’s talk materials. I saw the kitty fabric at Jo-Ann’s and just knew I had to use it with my tote. I didn’t want a white tote for cleaning reasons, so I used the kitty fabric as the exterior accent fabric and here-and-there on the inside for pockets, etc. I used quilter’s cotton, all from Jo-Ann’s, for the fabrics. I used Flex Foam from Jo-Ann’s for the stabilizer. I purchased my interfacing from Got Interfacing. It’s 45″ wide!!! For the plastic template, I wasn’t sure what to use and I ended up using plastic school folders, which worked out great. I purchased plastic corrugated board from Home Depot for the bottom. My hardware was purchased from Emmaline Bags except for my snaps, I used sew-on snaps from my stash. Also, I used 3/8″ Chicago Screws instead of rivets, but 1/4″ would have been perfect as the 3/8″ were a little too long. Zippers are all YKK from my local sewing store except for one. As I accidentally purchased the wrong size for one of the pockets, one of them is a white Coats and Clark I luckily had in my stash. I rarely use fusible fleece, so used some sew in from Wal-Matt, which is also where I purchased my Peltax. This project uses an array of materials, it is so well thought out and structured.

Yep, a simple plastic folder like this one:

I get compliments all the time on this wonderful bag. I love all the pockets! Originally I had planned to use it as my carry-on for a flight, it fits within the dimensions, but I fear I would have no foot room. Overall the pattern is well-written and the bag is amazing. I have to convince people that I made it myself, ;).

The recessed top portion:

The insides:

The awesome back with yet another pocket, :).

The cute peek of cat fabric from one of the many pockets.

This zipper stop took me a bit to sort out, but eventually, I glued it on and got the screw to screw in.

The front pocket! It has pen holders, slip pockets, a divider, and another zipper pocket.

The stay straps for the outside pocket. And my logo of course.

And here is a closer image of the snaps holding the front pocket in a bit:


Simplicity 2600 in Faux Leather

I am so happy with how this bag turned out! I’ve seen the Simplicity 2600 pattern around on the internet and was debating on making one when I saw this bag done by TrishStitched.  I thought it looked fantastic! So I did some research and ended up with this beautiful dark brown fleece backed vinyl for the outer portion and pretty clock themed cotton for the interior from Jo-Ann’s. My boyfriend also has a slight obsession with clocks, ;). I have never sewn anything like this before so went back to Google and discovered I needed a walking foot made for vinyl type things so it wouldn’t stick when sewing and a denim universal needle so it could puncture through the fabric. This post by Sewing Parts Online was so helpful!

I made a few changes and added a few things to make the bag just right. First of all instead of cutting out 2 separate pieces for the front and back parts of the main duffle I cut out one piece and instead of one front pocket and one side pocket I cut out a front and back pocket and made pockets on both sides. I also lined these with the cotton fabric to cover up the awful fleece on the back of the vinyl.

Then for the handles instead of making one large loop and attaching to the bottom I made 2 pieces and attached them from the bottom of the pocket to about an inch above the pocket.

Instead of trying to fuss with turning the handles inside out, I folded over the 1/4″ seam allowance to the inside and top stitched the straps on both sides. During this whole process I found the use of paper clips instead of needles for the vinyl to work wonderfully!

I am so proud of my shoulder strap! I cut out a long piece about 60″ long and 3″ wide. I wanted a strap that was 1 1/4″ wide after I folded it in half and sewed up the seam allowances. I also made loops for each end of the bag so the shoulder strap could be detachable. The tricky part was adding the slider to make the strap adjustable. I managed to do all of this without breaking my machine or a needle! I have a Brother cs6000i sewing machine. I doubt I’ll be sewing with thick vinyl again anytime soon as my machine isn’t really made for this kind of work but glad it all turned out so well. He was super surprised!

And using a tutorial by So Sew Easy I made my own bias tape out of the lining fabric. I sewing it into a tube though, oops! After battling with bias taping one side of the duffle I cut the bias back in half and the other side went way smoother and looks so much better!

I also made a matching faux leather luggage tag, :).

So impressed with how great this bag looks and overall how easy it was for the most part, :). And large! As seen by the last photo it can hold a lot!


And a pic with the birthday boy!

Cheapest of the Cheap

I’m not sure if I’ll make the top 50 for the annual Tennessean’a Ms. Cheap’s Cheapest of the Cheap contest but submitted my idea anyway.

Been making a lot of my own workout gear of late because 1) workout clothes are EXPENSIVE! and 2) custom always fits better.

I’ve made 4 pair of leggings so far and have enough leftover fabric to make matching shorts or even swim suits.

And my awesome super cheap armband with a POCKET!!!! 🙂

Definitely lots more planned in the future for shirts, etc.

Here is my submission of links and sources gathered from lots of research:

To source my fabric I keep an eye on sales and coupons. Jo-Ann’s always has a nice selection and if you are on their email list always a coupon plus coupons in their mobile app. I’ve made several pairs for under $10 including the fabric, elastic, and thread. Other low-cost sources are the and who send out daily emails with whatever fabric is 10% off that day, also has a mailing list. Or if you want the good stuff and any of the other places located on this list by Fehr Trade: This is a great guide to deciding which fabrics are best: You can sign up for the McCall Pattern Company email list to be notified of their many sales on patterns, always a nice selection of athletic apparel patterns. Part of my foray into making my own clothes has been due in large part to making quality fitted items for a fraction of the cost they would be in store. With all the sales and options out there, making one’s own athletic apparel is definitely a savings! Also checking out thrift stores has some great options.

Free Patterns:





Sports bra:


Yoga pants:,

Yoga mat bag:

Patterns Sites:;;;;;;;


Awesome Tote Bag

I was looking for Christmas gift ideas for a friend and decided on a tote. So I went in search of free patterns and came across the Renegade Tote Bag. Love it!

My friend is a HUGE Big Bang Theory fan so I ordered this from Spoonflower, an amazing site for unique fabrics. And lined it with Star Trek as that’s her other passion. This bag was geeked out to the max.

I only made a few changes to the original pattern posted. First I cut two separate side pieces so the pattern would be right side up instead of cutting out one large piece and folding in half. I also used 1″ wide cotton webbing.

Now I need to make one for myself!

McCalls Purse 6045 with added Divider


I’ve been making these McCall pattern purses for awhile now and decided to make some adjustments for a Christmas gift for my mom. First of all she LOVES blue jeans. Blue jean anything: jackets, pants, purses, etc. I had a couple pairs of ripped jeans so I decided to cut them up to make this purse, :). She also loves pockets so I saved the back pockets on one pair to make the outside pockets on the purse and added a zipper divider in the middle.

I basically cut each pocket out and attached to the central panel on each other side of the purse.


I then also made the inner side pockets a little taller as I’ve noticed sometimes the things I put in the pockets fall out.


And of course a few pen holder pockets.


The tricky part was adding a central zipper divider. For this I added half an inch to the inner lining gusset pattern piece leaving the outer piece the same and then cut it in half. I also cut out additional inner lining side pieces to make the central divider attaching the pieces to the zipper like you would for the outer purse sides/lining and then basting the bottom of the divider pocket. I then attached each side of the gusset that was cut in half to the divider sewing it all together. I was then able to baste the other gusset piece to the inner lining piece per the pattern directions.


I basically followed the pattern for everything else adding belt loops saved from the pants to the purse handle.


Very happy with how it turned out and my mom loved it!


And check out my Etsy shop for current purses among other things for sale at

Music City Purse


Love how this one turned out! First of two different Music City medium sized hobo bags to represent this wonderful city of Nashville. I purchased my amazing guitar fabric from Online Fabric Store.

I wanted to show a photo by photo sequence of my hand made purse process.

One side

Completing the top stitching.

The inside part with plenty of pockets and lime green accent stitching.

And the outside front and back.

The fun part! Putting seam binding along inside edges.

And some hand stitching to attach the handles.

And the finishing touch of a hand made fabric rose.

Available for sale on my site, just click here!