Tag Archives: magnetic closure



Anny has them all!  Let’s start with the yummies:


2 large cans sweet potatoes

2/3 c. (small can) evaporated milk

1 stick butter, melted

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup sugar

4 eggs


2  c. brown sugar

2/3 cup flour

2/3 cup chopped pecans

1 stick butter, melted

Drain and mash sweet potatoes; add butter, sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla and eggs.  In separate bowl mix all topping ingredients.  Spread potato mixture in dish and spread topping on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.  Serves 16.

This is more like dessert than side dish.  Mouthwatering!  I make it every year and it’s delicious and easy. I also wholeheartedly recommend a Pinterest recipe called Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake.  My niece served it yesterday and it was awesome!  Paula Dean–need I say more?

Now let’s visit the sewing room.  Going into the holidays, I’m downsizing to evening bags. I’ve taken some to Tina’s and the rest will be in the It’s Sew Anny Etsy shop.

Here you see Ali Foster clutch design bags fashioned from sumptuous upholstery fabric.  Zipper bags with inside pocket and they fold over to a magnetic snap.  They feel so good!

IMG_4621 IMG_4616I created another bag from a lightweight velvety deep brown with just a dusting of golden threads design throughout.  The interior is a soft faux fur leopard with pocket.  Oh, and the frame was a cinch.  Just sew a casing and slide it on.  The ends of the frame have screws.  Studio Mio, of course!


This last bag was an internet pattern from eHow.   “How to Make a Drawstring Purse With Round Bottom.”  I modified the pattern to make the drawstring a two-way and covered a round cardboard shape for bottom stabilization.  Fashioned from a lovely teal washable damask and embellished with elaborate beading.


There is a fabulous Dickens Christmas celebration in Galveston the first weekend in December and many ladies dress in period costumes with fancy gowns and purses like the one above.  Men in top hats and tails, little boys with knickers and smudged faces–so fun!

And now for something completely different.  Have you heard of Gelaskins?  This is a sturdy, flexible covering for your iPad, Kindle, even laptops.  A large selection of designs are available.  Here are some I’ve chosen.

This is my laptop.

This is my laptop.

Front of my iPad

Front of my iPad

Back of my iPad

Back of my iPad

Front of my Kindle

Front of my Kindle

Back of my Kindle

Back of my Kindle

Just thought I’d mention these because they make great gifts.  They’re removable with no residue–gently peel off, which makes it easy when you’re applying and positioning also.  No, I’m not being paid by Gelaskins–they don’t know me except I keep ordering…  🙂  My daughter introduced us.  They just make technology even more fun!



Oh! The Sparkle of it All!


Release me!  That’s what my new Anny Clutch Pattern kept saying, but I kept editing and testing and editing and testing and getting help from my computer guru (aka Hubby) until finally today (Yes!  Today!) I was able to put the new pattern on my Etsy Shoppe for sale!  Hallelujah!  Like birthin’ a baby! 🙂  I added more pictures with the directions this time and a template for the main part of the bag.  This new creation has a choice of button/loop closure or magnetic snap, three pockets, and is actually a generous size for a clutch.  Width – 11 inches, height 8 inches, and depth at the bottom 3-1/2 inches.  Here’s a pic of the new Anny Clutch and my sweet, granddaughter, Madison, who modeled it for me:

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Fashioned from Michael Miller quilting weight cotton, this bag will be calling my closet home because I always keep the prototype for my pattern in case there are any questions from customers.  (That’s what I tell myself.  Could it be that I have separation anxiety and/or would love to use this clutch?  Moi?)  Since this was the prototype, it features both a magnetic closure and a loop closure with a button I covered from my stash.

However, my second test of the pattern will be for sale on my Etsy Shoppe (remember, Its Sew Anny–no apostrophe) and here is a picture.  Hard to part with…uh-oh.  No, this baby’s already listed, and I’m sure it will find a great home.  Styled from Anna Maria Horner’s Field Study Collection (and a little Moda thrown in for good measure), this clutch is sturdy enough to stand alone because these beautiful fabrics are actually linen!  I chose a floral removable pin with distressed ribbon for embellishing, and there is a magnetic snap and three pockets.  Someday soon I’m going to experiment with creating my own fabric flowers.  Here is a pic.  Too bad Madison’s not here to model for me…


Along with fabric floral experiments, my near future plans include a foray into Victorian type purses and perhaps some gypsy upholstered boho/chic type bags.  These lend themselves to the fall season, and although we haven’t seen Independence Day yet, with temps in the 100+ range, I fantasize about fall everyday!  Speaking of Fourth of July, here is a pic of my current redwork.  I had visions of it becoming a pillow before the Fourth of July but I guess we’re looking at 2014. 🙂  I had forgotten what a stress reliever redwork is!  Love it!


In other news, we had a quick trip to Austin last week, with a stop along the way to visit the LaGrange property so that Rick could introduce me to his pride and joy–the new Kubota tractor (and all its many attachments.)  He coaxed me up into the seat and took my picture which I should probably publish before he does…but here is the proud new owner and operator himself.  The mean machine has actually cleared quite a lot of land already!


Also along the way, he showed me an old farmhouse that we may move from a nearby town to our property.  Stay tuned…


Once we finally made it to Austin, we had a super visit!  The first evening we headed out to a fabulous Italian restaurant (with gelato!) and threw an early birthday party for Gracie.  Grandpa put together the awesome dollhouse that is bigger than she is!  That was a lot of work, Grandpa!


The next day I snagged a chance to visit my ultimate home dec fabric shop, Cowgirls and Lace, in Dripping Springs, Texas.  You should see the exquisite fabrics I gathered, and trims!  Actually, you’ll spy quite a few in the fall season bags I’m planning.  A quick trip but such fun!   Shortly after we arrived home, I felt something stuck under my shoe.  A rock?  A tack?  No…  Now where were we the last few days?  Oh yeah, with our crafty, artsy granddaughters!


But of course!  It’s a lovely fuchsia stick-on craft jewel!  Oh, the sparkle of it all…:)  And speaking of sparkles, I hope you all have a fabulous Fourth of July with plenty of Fireworks Sparkles!

Gone Fishing!


Last weekend we attended the most fabulous rehearsal dinner and wedding!  My nephew, Adam, married his beautiful, sweet bride, Natalie.  The whole weekend was just a magical fairy tale from the rehearsal dinner’s Corinthian columns and musicians from the Houston Symphony Orchestra strolling through the setting to the awesome wedding at the lovely church with reception at the Omni Hotel ballroom in Houston.

How does this relate to sewing?  The night before we left, I decided to sew a little bag to accessorize the dress I wore on Sunday.  I fashioned it from upholstery fabric!  Don’t know if I mentioned it, but just as Rick and I were leaving for our cruise in April, my good friend, Jeff, knocks on the door and presents me with a large bag of terrific upholstery fabric which he scored from a friend because he knows I sew purses. What a guy!  This fabric is very heavy duty, as you might imagine, and I created a small clutch wristlet with a fine corduroy lining and  red magnetic snap.  Although this purse turned out perfect for the occasion, I would use a lighter fabric for such a small bag in the future.


The day after the wedding I planned to sew, but the upstairs air conditioner’s thermostat broke and it was 90+ degrees.  I brought lots of fabric and patterns and cutting utensils downstairs to the air conditioned dining room and spent all day and evening cutting.  (I’ve decided to pick up one of those cushiony kitchen mats to stand on for future cutting sessions.)  I used the same fabric you see here to cut a hobo style bag which will be so perfect if I find the ivory loop trim I want to embellish it.  I cut four other bags that await me in the sewing room.  (Oh, yes, Rick fixed the thermostat!  I have such a handsome handy man!)

One of the bags I cut was the Knotted Bag, all day style, from Craft Apple patterns.  You know I love this design, and when I saw the Brandon Mably fabric called Gone Fishing, I knew I had to use this pattern to accommodate the large fish swimming by.  I used the  Gone Fishing laminated cotton for the exterior and the Gone Fishing regular cotton for the interior.  I paired it with a plain slick red laminate for contrast on the bow, etc.  This is the perfect bright, happy, beachy fabric for Galveston and it is now at Tina’s for sale.  P.S.  That bag in Tina’s window from my last blog sold that very day I posted it!

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I really, really, really, wish I had someone to sew the bags for me.  Not that I don’t like to sew!  It’s very satisfying and therapeutic.  But I have a zillion and one ideas for bags–I have the fabric, I have the patterns, everything.  I already have many, many bags pulled together, in this way, already for next winter.  The fabrics, patterns, buttons, trims, etc. are neatly grouped together and ready to cut and sew.  Here’s a tip:  When I do this, I go ahead and take a picture of these items so I don’t have to rely on my fantastic 🙂 memory when the time comes.  But when I see these projects, I feel frustrated by something called TIME!  I just want to use my time pulling together the fabrics, patterns and embellishing to create one-of-a-kind bags.  Each bag takes so long.  Tim Gunn has said that one of the criteria for Project Runway is speed.  I would never make it!  My favorite part, by far, is the creativity that comes with the initial decision-making process.  If I win the lottery (oh yeah, I keep forgetting to buy a ticket…)  I will start a business where I provide the sewing machines and everything necessary for seamstresses to make the bags.  They will be STYLED by It’s Sew Anny Designs!  Does anyone else feel this way??

Until then, I’m not Going Fishing–I’m sewing,  and happily sew! 🙂

Tradition Lives On!


Spring has sprung!  At least here in Texas…  And what color says spring like the color of sunshine?  My beautifully laminated yellow, gray, black, and white floral cotton was calling to me.  My first Anny Bag of the year, Daisy Dots, is complete!  I used a yellow polka dot for the lining and just happened to have that cute little black and white dot flower for embellishment.  The black polka dot ruffles are a Michael Miller laminated fabric that goes so well with many combinations.  Thank you, Michael!  Three pockets and a magnetic closure make it perfect for traveling and shopping.  The day I completed it I was watching The View and there were models dressed for spring in black and yellow:

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Another laminated Michael Miller fabric, Secret Garden was perfect for my next bag as well–both lining and exterior.  A popular Amy Butler pattern was used but with a twist.  I multiplied the inner pockets and adorned it with blush colored beading.  Speaking of blush, this bag was called Wine on the Vine.  The beading would have been simple to apply (and was) but the effect looked a little skimpy to me so I added a row of burgundy velvet trim to enhance the effect.  A Jennifer Paganelli design called Queen Street lined the interior.


Every year I donate a bag to the Salvation Army Benefit Gala’s silent auction.  This year I created Springtime in Paris from a Craftapple pattern called Tailored Bags, and yet another Michael Miller fabric along with his black polka dot.  The main fabric features vintage style scenes of ladies shopping in Paris.  The interior is a cotton called Barefoot Roses from Tanya Whelan.  This was the first time I’ve applied a swivel clasp closure which couldn’t have been easier.  The bag’s nice wide bottom and multiple pockets, including a large pocket on the exterior, would, indeed, be perfect for shopping along the ChampsElysees!  But, seeing as how the bag fits file folders perfectly, it could even be a tote for working at the office.

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We are taking a cruise next week to celebrate Rick’s retirement from Shell.  So exchanging summer for winter clothing in the closet occupied a day or two since there was a lot of trying on, making packing lists, etc.  But I’ve really been enjoying the posts on The Renegade Seamstress’s blog and took a note from her to modify an item I found left from last summer.  I had purchased a white linen J.Jill dress with a hood online and although I really liked the look, I was not comfortable with the length–too short.  So I cut off about 8-10 inches, leaving enough for a generous hem, and created a top!  Even used the cut off fabric to make pockets–yay!  Add a pair of capris and you’ve got a new outfit! 🙂  I forgot to take a “before” pic but here is the new top:


We’re having another Open House tomorrow, so Rick and I will take the doggies beachcombing for a bit while our trusty realtor does her thing.  Yes, I still need to keep the sewing room spiffed up and tidy!  Oh–last week the doorbell rang and this lady told me she used to live in our house.  So I gave her and her daughter the tour and she was SO happy to see that I was using the lightfilled upstairs bedroom for my sewing room as that was what she had done when she lived here.  And SEW…the tradition lives on!

Here’s hopping, er hoping, your Easter is fabulous!

P.S.  Had my first Etsy sale last week–a lady from Australia purchased The Anny Bag pattern!

Casting Call: Auditioning Fabrics


With the completion of my latest bag, Ruby Rose (Valentine’s Day is near), I thought I would share a glimpse of what happens in the beginning stages of the bag-making process.  My absolute favorite part is that first step when I pull a few fabrics together that work well.  That is, I need complementary colors and textures for both lining and exterior, and also need to consider the season.  In the winter I get to use my “sumptuous fabrics” like velvety chenilles, tapestries, textured leather, even corduroy.  My summer fabrics include a lot of the laminated cottons and silky cottons.  Now as you can see below, I have a lot of help at this stage.  Buddy has obviously worn himself out sorting through the winter fabrics!  And Kate, well you all know Kate savors sleep like a good steak!  So she’s testing out the texture of the doggie quilt I made her.  Must have felt good. 🙂



Next I decide which of my various patterns would put the fabric in its best light–large, small, shoulder sling, clutch, etc.  (Sometimes this step occurs first.  I may have just purchased a new pattern or sketched one, either on paper or in my imagination and I’m eager to try it.)  After I’ve matched fabric and pattern, I love searching for any trims that would enhance the look–colorful beads, fringe, piping, buttons, and a selection of closures all serve to make every bag unique.

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During this step, I often use my cell phone to snap a picture to preview a combination (or to take pet pics.)   Taking a picture lets you figuratively step back and decide whether you’ve selected, for example,  too much trim or too little.  (If you’re a quilter you’re probably familiar with a device called a view finder which allows you to focus on specific parts of your project, sample frame it in different ways, and detect color values.)  This is the same principle.  In the views above, I noticed that the texture of this fabric was so rich that adding beading to the pocket would detract.  Sometimes a fabric like this seems to “speak for itself”–a deep red, thick, soft chenille. The fabric was already richly textured and the pocket alone would add dimension.


Speaking of texture, I should mention that when a fabric is this thick (and I chose a similar lining which you see here) I use a “walking foot” to feed the fabric evenly.  This attachment was expensive but served me well through the years when I made quilts.  Also comes in handy with slippery fabrics.


Now what you’re seeing above is a picture I took in one of the last technical stages where the lining is sewn to the exterior–a very satisfying stage, but with a bag like the sling above, I just wanted to give you an idea of how much it takes to hold these layers evenly  while they are all sewn together.  As you can see, I used three different kinds of clips–not because they were uniquely special in any way or served a different purpose–but because I didn’t have enough of any one of them!  I used those awesome Clover Wonder Clips, mini clothespins, and small binder clips.  Well…it got the job done!


And finally, TA DA!   RUBY ROSE!  She  features a large external pocket, and one large and two smaller interior pockets and a magnetic snap.  Since the two straps are simply tied at the top, they are completely adjustable.  A thick red and gold braided piping was the only trim necessary.  And I’m already thinking of my next bag.  Man, I love that first step!!

Celebrate with Bags!


Galveston’s Mardi Gras celebration is the third largest in the country averaging more than 300,000 people each year.  Lavish parades are held in the historic downtown and beachfront.  What does this have to do with my bags?  Since the boutique that sells the bags is right in the heart of all the merry-making and parading downtown, I try to add a little purple, green and gold to the bags I offer.

Three of the four bags completed this month have had just that color scheme.  The most Mardi Gras of them all I call “French Quarter.”

French Quarter

French Quarter

This is a laminated Jenny  style bag with velvety black straps, sparkling feather trim, and a black rose with tassels dangling.

Next is Beaded Bliss created in the original Anny Bag fashion.  Of course it sports multiple pockets and a beautiful purple floral Kaffe Fassett lining.  Don’t know if you can tell by the picture but the print on the laminate consists of a variety of strands of colorful beads.  Mardi Gras–hello!  I purchased a large lilac polka dot flower to which I added a big purple jewel in the middle and backed it with layers of lavender netting.  It was fun doing the Anny Bag pattern again which had been on the back burner since warmer weather late last summer because  I like to use it with laminates and softer cotton fabrics that drape well.

Beaded Bliss

Beaded Bliss

Purpleicious was aptly named by my granddaughter, Gracie, who was visiting as I finished this bag.  (She told me her sister said she was “really good at naming” and she was!)  This elegant little clutch (pattern by Abbey Lane) has a feathery purchased purple flower centered on the Tencel pleats.  I believe this was the first bag that I lined with the same fabric as the exterior.  This time it just seemed perfect–not plain since I spiffed it up with three Kaffe Fassett floral pockets.  Another neat item, new to me, that was very appropriate for this interior was a purple magnetic snap.  I was surprised and happy to find these snaps in many colors at Joanne Fabrics.  You’ll notice that the interior also has a hand-sewn black floral embroidered trim which I found at Trims on Wheels at the Quilt Show this year.  I’d like to give a shout out to these folks.  They have every trim you could imagine, including jewels, buckles, etc.  Three visits to their booth at the show served me well in the embellishing department!   Great booth for my sister, as well, since she’ll be sewing some crazy quilts this year, right Nannette?

Purpleicious Interior

Purpleicious Interior



The latest addition to the inventory of  bags at Tina’s is called Midnight Rose!  It is fashioned from a fabulously chic textured floral on black.  What fun it was to embellish this shoulder bag from a Cindy Taylor Oates pattern.  Scarlet beading adorns the exterior pocket, a golden and black fringe trim outlines the entire body, and a hand-made zebra fabric button adds to the fun!  The handle consists of two pieces tied together (hence adjustable) and they’re made of sumptuous black velvet on one side and a very soft, thick golden textured fabric on the other.  I actually have a bag very similar to this and kept getting requests for it.  I have used it for over a year now and it has certainly served me well–from New York, to Indiana, to L.A.– that bag has been through many airport security checks, wild open jeep rides, pedicabs, carriage rides, crowded subways, you name it, and that baby has held up so well.  My favorite comment was from a Very Stylish gentleman rushing through the fashion district in SOHO who looked back and called, “Your Bag Rocks!”  Ahhh, the supreme compliment!!  I finally broke down and made one for Tina’s after I was paying for an item at their checkout counter and a customer really wanted my bag.  I took her over to show her some of my other bags there and she said, “No, I want one black with flowers, just like yours.” And so it is.  Midnight Rose.

Midnight Rose

Midnight Rose

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

ANNY BAG additional info


In the Anny Bag pattern, I mention a few additional pieces of information that would be available on the website and here they are:

  •  Applying a Magnetic Closure – If there are no directions with your purchased magnetic closure, I can help.  On the right side of the bag lining, mark a dot where you want the snap to be.  (Note:  If you’re sewing the Anny Bag pattern or a similar pattern with a band, the magnetic closure will go on the lining band, not the exterior band.) Place the washer on the dot and mark lines through the slits in the washer.  Using embroidery scissors, cut along the slit lines very carefully.  Place the snap prongs through the holes.  Cut a one inch square of batting or thick interfacing and again draw and cut the two slits.  Place over the prongs.  Next place the washer over the prongs and bend the prongs outward.  (I use needle nose pliers.)  Repeat on remaining lining piece. (Note:  If you’re sewing the Anny Bag pattern, the “remaining piece” will be the opposite side of the band, not the lining.)  The batting is very important so that you do not tear the fabric when you pry apart the closure, especially on lightweight or laminated fabric.  This may seem like a lot of steps (it certainly did to me the first time), but honestly, it’s easy, and once you’ve applied one, the rest will seem like “a snap!” 🙂
  • Creating Fabric Handles – Cut 2 handle strips 29″ x 4″ and interface them.  Fold the handle in the middle lengthwise (wrong sides together), making a crease.  Fold each long side into the crease.  Fold in half  lengthwise (WST) again, with raw edges tucked in and pin.  Topstitch along both long sides of the strap.  Repeat with other handle.
  •  NOTE:  If you are using  fabric handles for the Anny Bag, they would be inserted between the ruffle bag and the band.  When finished, the handles will pass up across the band loosely on the outside.  Stitch across the handle to hold it in place on the outside at the top of the band.