Little Bag Giveaway – Winner!

Participating in this Sew Mama Sew Giveaway was just as fun as the last one. My mouth is watering with some of your favorite summer drinks – Mojoto, rose wine, gin & tonic, blackberry lemon tea, white wine spritzer, elderflower cordial, Pimm’s Cup #1, water w/strawberries and basil, lavender lemonade, Arnold Palmer, pear cider – just to name a few!

The winner of the “Passport Bag” is Alexis of cobcottagecraft.com. Her favorite summer drink is rhubarb lemonade. Congratulations! I hope you’ll love you new bag!

The strap is 1 1/4" x 50".  The dimensions are 7 1/2" x 10".

The strap is 1 1/4″ x 50″. The dimensions are 7 1/2″ x 10″.


A big thanks to everyone who submitted an entry. I truly am flattered that you took the time to visit my blog to enter the Giveaway. I do have a few of these bags for sale in my Etsy shop, if you care to take a peek.

Best, Lori

Let’s make some clothes!

I am extremely grateful to all of you whose who take the time to read and follow this blog. I want to tell you about my new blog, Sewing Myself Stylish. I hope you will take a peek at it, and even follow it too! To date, it has two posts featuring these garments.
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I still love to do all the fiber art stuff I post about on this blog, and will continue to post here. I just had an urge to start sewing clothes again. You can read about that in the About page of my new blog.

Again, thanks so much for stopping by! Lori

New Year’s dye makeover

For my first creative act of the new year, I was inspired to take few items whose colors did not thrill me and put them in a vat of dye. The Pantone color for 2014 is Radiant Orchid, so I was inspired to choose a dye in that color family. From my stash, I did a mix of half Periwinkle and half Lilac. More blue than Radiant Orchid, but I just wanted to use what I had on hand.

Here’s what I choose to dye.
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I made the tote bag a few years ago with hopes of selling it in a pop-up boutique that was in conjunction with fundraiser that had an orange (the fruit) theme. It’s a well made, functional, fully lined bag that even has a zippered, padded pocket for an iPad. The t-shirt was part of a series I dyed to sell this holiday season. The grey and blue ones sold, but I had two brick red ones left. I always like to throw in a few more things to take full advantage of the vat, so I put in a yard of cotton trim and a fat quarter of cotton fabric folded and bound with two pool tiles.

There is the results.
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I’m quite happy!
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Piedmont Studio is always available for dyeing sessions! Contact me if you’re interested!

Tie dye for the mature woman

Both my mom and my aunt appreciate my creativity and always enjoy getting handmade gifts from me. This year I decided to dye some t-shirts for them. They are both lovely older women and not “old hippies”, so I fashioned their shirts in their favorite colors palette and used nice 3/4 sleeve, crew necks from Jones New York. I used one of my favorite dye techniques (actually no “tyeing” involved), low-water immersion dyeing from Color by Accident by Ann Johnston.

Here’s the results.
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The one with the gold is for my aunt. She attends a lot of University of Washington footballs games. Maybe she could wear this shirt. I left the gold out of my mom’s, even though she a Huskie fan too. She now restricts her color palette to colors that compliment her beautiful grey hair.
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Now let’s hope they don’t see this post, at least until after Christmas!

Cool Wristlet Giveaway!

I’m always thinking about new things to make with my fabric stash. Recently I noticed wristlets on some Etsy sites. So I made up a few in my own style. Shortly after posting photos of one on social media, I had the follow text conversation with my daughter.

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I was so excited when my daughter told me wristlets were popular (I had no idea) and that she wanted one for Christmas! I always put super high value on positive comments given by a young person. Because then I feel a teenie weenie bit hip.

After our conversation I immediately started cutting out a few more. I am offering up this one made with Lotta Jansdotter fabric for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway!

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The wristlet is accented with hand-dyed cotton trim and a tie-dyed wristband.

ANYONE can enter the giveaway! To enter just tell me your favorite holiday food in the “comments” section. If you are unable to leave a comment, you can email me your answer at loribeilby@gmail.com. If you want to enter TWICE, “like” Modern Home Ec on Facebook (just let me know you have done so in your comment.) The giveaway is open through December 13, 2013. The winner will be notified by December 15. You can enter more giveaways at Sew Mama Sew!

Jasper and Hanna’s Halloween, a costume retrospective

My husband Michael and I have been empty nesters for two months. I am not “regularly” employed and my professional résumé of the last 20 years is spotty. Without a child at home to distract me, I have been looking back and asking myself, “What have I done all these years?”

I find myself looking at the blogs of 30-something mothers of young children posting adorable photos of their kids in the cute clothes they have made for them. I feel like I have something in common with these women. I feel drawn to them because I can relate to them. They are having a great time doing creative projects for and with their children while possibly putting their professional careers on hold. However, I feel ageism at work for me. I doubt they would be interested in me. I am a seamtress, not a sewist; I use McCalls, Simplicity and Butterick, not indie patterns with first names. I am an early 50-something, and I blog about handbags and purses.

So I am posting what follows for two reasons. First, here is one of many, many things I have done in the past 20 years. And, second, young mothers, we do have something in common. I’ve been through it and enjoyed every moment!

The first costume I made for Jasper was a bee, and there are no photos to be found. When he was three, he wanted to be a dinosaur.
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When Jasper was four, he wanted to be Simba. Well, fine, but I wasn’t making that, so we bought one.
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However, Hanna was one, and old enough to dress up, so I made her a bunny costume. Confession: I don’t think I asked her what she wanted to be, I just decided.
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From about age one to six, Jasper was car fanatic, and I mean FANATIC. When he was five, he was Jeff Gordon, Nascar driver #24. This prized costume was a joint effort between my husband and me. I painstaking made the outfit – letters, numbers, logos and all. Michael contructed the cardboard car.
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Currently, Jasper goes to college not far from home, so he was able to indulge me with this recent photo. That costume will always be loved.

Jasper at twenty-one.

Jasper at twenty-one.

When Hanna was two, we did the basic princess costume.
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At six, Jasper was an Indiana Jones, adventuring, sort of guy. I made the vest. Hanna, at three, was Miss Potato Head. I think I pushed for this one. This costume is one of our all-time favorites. Hanna has actually worned it multiple times, as recently as a year or two ago, only it came up to her waist, the armholes were tight and the velcro didn’t close completely in the back.
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Another great year, I made Jasper, now seven, an Anakin Skywaker inspired costume. And, Hanna, four, was a beautiful, handcrafted mermaid.
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All good things must come to an end. This shiny cape was the last Halloween thing I sewed for Jasper to go with his alien mask when he was eight. Hanna, five, insisted for some reason, that she wanted to be a tiger. I remember we had an Indian summer on that Halloween day, and I think she was roasting in that costume during the school parade.
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At nine, Jasper was now in charge of his own costume. He might have been pushing the P.C. boundary, but those Billy Bob teeth he borrowed from his dad are pretty funny.
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Hanna, at six, asked me to make her a glamorous Cleopatra costume.
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Jasper at age ten, crafted a pretty clever costume as a headless man. Hanna, seven, chose to be a pioneer girl. Did I mind that it was a separate dress, pinafore, and hat, and required yards of fabric? Of course not!
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The last costume I made for Hanna was Carman Maranda. It was very cool, but no photos can be found.

Well, this brings my costume retrospective to an end. Young, sewing mothers, I hope you see that we have a lot in common. And I’ll look forward your posts of your handmade prom dresses ten years from now.

Hanna at eighteen.

Hanna at eighteen.