It’s a purse! It’s a tote! It’s two-in-one!


Multi-tasking in purse form.  This is the Betsy Bag, from the pattern by Betsy LaHonta.


The amazing tan fabric that looks like leather?  It is actually a paper product called Kraft-tex.


It can be washed and dried, cut and sewn.


The top of the bag can be tucked in so it behaves like a purse.


Then pop that out and move the handles and voila!  It’s a tote.


There are drawstrings so I can keep all my birds from flying away.


I just happened to have (not kidding) two hot pink cord locks in my collection.


The lining has ukuleles all over.


Added bonus – I got to use lots of shiny hardware!

Left Zipper and Right Zipper are both hoping they can get their own internet memes.

Have I mentioned how much I like zippers?  I even like installing zippers.  I think that makes me a weirdo.

If you haven’t been hanging around the notions aisle at the fabric shop like me, you might not know that there are differences in the zippers that are put in garments and the ones typically used in bags.  Check this out:


On the left is an all-purpose, regular old zipper.  On the right is a handbag zipper.  I made sure to use the same color for both examples, as I wouldn’t want you to favor one just for the color of it’s tape.

Left Zipper is the one you would typically find at the fabric store, lined up like little soldiers.  Right Zipper probably isn’t at your local store.  Check out the differences.


I’m sure you noticed the difference in the zipper tapes right away.  The tape is the part of the zipper that gets sewn into whatever you’re making.  The total width of Left Zipper is just under one inch.  The width of Right Zipper is about 1-1/4 inch.  The tape is wider and the teeth are wider.


What a difference in the zipper pulls!  Left Zipper comes in at about 3/4 inch, and Right Zipper at about twice that length!  Makes sense, doesn’t it?  Think of how often you use the zipper pull on a handbag.


Look at the tape on these.  Can you tell from the picture that the Right Zipper has a heavier, more substantial tape?  Truth, not opinion.

Left Zipper is the one that you would usually find in garments.  It is more flexible and lighter.  Easier to hide or blend in.  Small zipper pull can be less conspicuous.  Right Zipper is slightly less flexible.  The wider tape makes is ideal to put into bulkier applications.  The wider teeth hold up to more stress.  The big pull is easier to grab, especially when you use the zipper lots…like in a handbag.  Of course you can use Left Zipper in a bag!  And you can use Right Zipper in a garment, but I wouldn’t.  It all comes down to preference, my friends.  There is no wrong, only what you like.

For most of us, it takes a little more work to get our hands on Right Zipper.  I buy all of my on Etsy at Zipperisland.  There are several good vendors on Etsy that sell high-quality, YKK zippers in bulk.  I keep a good supply on hand, so when I get a whim to make a new bag, I can whip out a matching zipper.  And remember, you can always shorten a zipper!  Just bar tack a new zipper stop at the length you need and cut off the excess.

Both Left Zipper and Right Zipper objected to the idea of including that roguish relative, the Invisible Zipper, into this comparison.  But look back at the first picture.  Invisible Zipper snuck in on the right side of the picture.  You just can’t see him because, well, he’s invisible.

You’re welcome.

My bathroom is blue, and now I have a purse to match! So…a bathroom photo shoot.

Look at how nice my purse looks in here!


Our lady of Guada-LOO-pe.  It’s the February bag-of-the-month, the Hyacinth Bag, from Sew Sweetness.  I bought this fabric knowing I would find a perfect project for it.  I can always do blue.


I like the way this bag sits next to the body.  In this case, a foam body with really pointy boobs.  You should thank me for making sure those didn’t show up in the photo.  Do you like my little splashing waves made of tiles?

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I am also digging the adjustable strap.  I can wear it cross-body, two hands free.   Ooh, think of the browsing I can do when both my hands are free!


The lining is so darn cute!  Coordinating fabric from Kanvas, obviously.  Teeny little gold shots in the roses.  Color, not liquor shots.


It’s hard to tell that this is the across-the-body shot, because I worked so hard to leave out the boobies.  But it is.

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Under the flap, we have all the built-ins.  Coin pocket, card holders.


This is the back side of the bag.  That one lady is doing pretty good, considering the fact that she has been bisected by a blue zipper.

My sister in law is already trying to lay claim to this beauty, but I think I need to give it a test drive.  I feel like if I am carrying this bag, the force will be with me.  I’ll let you know how that works out.

Live long and prosper.

Pardon the interruption, this blue bag budged in line and is screaming for attention.

Give that fabric a break for one day, and look what happens!


After leaping from one backpack right into a second backpack, I decided to take a short break.  From backpacks.  I’ll finish that coral beauty soon.

I joined the Bag of the Month Club over at Sew Sweetness.  You can still get in on this cool deal, six new purse patterns, one each month, January through June.  The February pattern is by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness.  This is called the Hyacinth Bag.


This is the front of the bag with the flap already finished and attached.  Sara added some cool details – a coin pocket and three credit card slots.


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Hope my topstitching can hold up in the close-ups!  And it is not an optical illusion – there are two saints hovering over that zipper.  Have I mentioned that I love putting in zippers?  And how pretty is this fabric?  It’s Lady of Guadalupe by Kanvas.


Shaka Hula Fork Dude is holding the back of the purse with a – wait for it – zipper!  That’s where I’ll keep my ginormous new phone.  And Shaka Hula Fork Dude has something he wants to say…


Hi Linda!

OMG, you haven’t even seen the lining yet!  You’ll just have to suffer until tomorrow.

Now go make something pretty!

The tote board is heavy; travel bag total for January = 3

It’s done, it’s done, the backpack is done!


It looks smashing with wet hair, pink leopard jammies, and oversized tee shirts.

The lining went in beautifully.  Big elasticized pocket at the back for flip flops, or my Kindle, or perhaps my tiara.  Zipper pocket at the front for my earrings and mustache wax.

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Guess what doesn’t fit in my backpack.  Besides my 20 pound cat.  It’s my laptop.  There’s a helluva how-do-you-do.


Tippy was a big help today.  While I finished the backpack, he took care of some grooming issues.

My assignment for February = travel bag/backpack in which I can carry my laptop.  Obsessed much?


Backpack with a back, and a plea to save the crab and mac nut wontons!

Today is a good day, my backpack has a back.


I am so NOT a backpack kinda gal.  And the only reason I started this project, if you’re paying attention, is that I am trying to find the perfect travel bag.

Despite these disclaimers of mine, I think this thing is gorgeous, and I will carry it proudly.  I love the royal blue webbing I found for the adjustable part of the straps.


This sly beauty still has a secret…it is naked on the inside.


I promise I will do the lining, with it’s fabulous pockets, and get it finished.  I’ll even find some unwilling subject to model it!


Part two of this little dissertation  doesn’t involve sewing.  Or cooking.  Pretty much just eating.  Eating this.


Crab and mac nut wontons.  My very favorite thing to eat at Duke’s here on Kauai.  The dipping sauce is wasabi and plum.  The darling Miss O and I went there for lunch today.  Our waitress told us that our fave food is being taken off the menu.  Whaaaa?  It is the top menu item here and in Waikiki, and it is coming off the menu.  Even the koi in the pond objected, showing their displeasure by jumping out of the water and slapping their fat koi flippers on the water.

What is wrong with the world?  Dammit, Duke’s, don’t take away my inspiration!

This is what is sounds like when the doves cry.

Or maybe when the parrots sleep. DSCN5156 Once again in the grips of some kind of obsession, another bag has sprung from my sewing room.  I made a cool purse  a couple of months ago. DSCN4295 DSCN4293

I call him the Ay-yi-yi-yi guy.  Because to me, that’s what it looks like he’s singing.  But that’s not the point.  Just got a bug up my bum to make another purse in this shape.  The pattern is the Kimberly Bag, by Amy Butler. DSCN5167

I think all my bags should pose with the Shaka Fork Chef guy.  He really does show them off to their best advantage. DSCN5157 DSCN5161 DSCN5160 DSCN5163 DSCN5162 Did you notice that I put five feet on the bottom?  I had some logic working at the time, I have no idea now what it was!  But doesn’t it just make you happy, with the happy colors, pink and orange zippers, five feet and all?  I added pockets on the inside  so I have a fighting chance of finding my phone and my lipstick.  Plus, it just seems wrong to make a bag and not have at least two zippers in it!  I love putting in zippers, and I don’t care who knows it.

The best thing?  If I have to carry around a couple dozen rulers, I will now have the perfect bag. (P.S.  Carolann, this one’s for you!)