Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Gail Round Satchel Bag

Tonight I finished another bag, the Gail Round Satchel Bag by Ali Foster.  I love Ali Foster patterns, not only for their style, but because they make up so easily and quickly.
This Round Satchel is a really neat bag.  It has a 2 inch gusseted side, one large inside pocket which I divided into 2 sections and a button closure.  I especially like the shoulder strap as the strap doesn't have a very long drop.
I have another Ali Foster pattern I hope to make tomorrow.
Right now I am getting off the sewing merry-go-round and heading to bed!
Outside Front

Inside Pockets

The Elana Boho Bag

It wasn't until a few weeks ago when a student mentioned her Boho bag that I first heard of that style of bag. From what I could find it seems like a Boho bag refers to any large but hobo-ish type of bag. When I finally saw the student's bag I just about flipped! It was genuine leather and huge!!!! And gorgeous to boot.
It took awhile but I finally found a pattern that resembled the first Boho bag I saw. Inside it has a row of slip-in pockets on one side of the inside. On the other side I added a smaller pocket.
The bag has a button closure. The shoulder straps extend out from the body of the bag and because of the pintucks that are barely visible in the photos, end up pleated after being sewn together at the top. A contrasting fabric tab encloses the seam at the top of the strap.
This is one big bag. It measure 27" across and 20" high. To put it mildly, it holds a lot! I think it would be perfect for a student, shopping, travel or for just carrying just about everything someone owns!
Price: $50 + S&H when applicable
Outside Front

Contrasting Fabric Handle Tab

Inside of Boho Bag

Monday, November 1, 2010

More New Styles at Arlene's Bags!

Am getting ready for a holiday sale in a few weeks & will be introducing some new bag styles.  As usual, I love my new bag styles.
The Maggie Slouch Bag is a simple but very functional every day shoulder bag.  It is a good size but not overwhelming and is available with either a magnetic clasp closure  or zipper closure and slip-in pockets all around the inside.


The Maria Bag is very uniquely styled with its V-cut center & back from which its shoulder straps extend.  The outside front has 2 deep, split pockets while the inside has 4 slip-in pockets to help keep everything organized.  A fabric tie keeps the bag closed.  The Maria Bag is also shown with a lanyard, something I recently started making.

I am beserk over the Eleanor Zippy Clutch, the newest clutch/wristlet I am offering.  This is currently my favorite clutch/wristlet.  I especially like it because  it has a zippered closure, is very elegant and is just fun to carry!  Because the Eleanor Zippy Clutch holds a lot, it is also perfect to toss in a tote or briefcase instead of  carrying a purse.  A concealed magnetic closure keeps the Eleanor Clutch folded.

If I can keep on sewing I hope to add a few more new styles by the day of our sale.  The catch is to keep on sewing!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Arlene's Bags: New Fall & Winter Fabrics

Arlene's Bags: New Fall & Winter Fabrics

New Bags at Arlene's Bags

I recently updated my site, adding new fabrics and 3 new bags.
Two are clutch bags, the Narragansett and the Scarlett, and are nice alternatives to wristlets. 

For a description of the new clutches, go to .
And while you're at my site, be sure to check out the new Hanley Bag:

All 3 bags are made from Ali Foster patterns.
I better get back to sewing!

New Fall & Winter Fabrics

I recently added 2 new prequilted prints to my site and my etsy store.   The purple Spyro Gyro and the Urban Garden prequilteds are just beautiful!!!   Being a lover of color, enough of the black already, I think they will look spectacular throughout the fall and winter paired with the usual navies, blacks and browns so many of us wear.Check them out @

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cover for My Nook Cover

This past Tuesday I treated myself to a birthday present in the form of a Nook, the Barnes & Noble e-reader.  My friend Anne has a Kindle2 and just loves it.   At first, I didn't 'get it' about the e-readers.  But little by little my interest grew, especially after I started reading so much about them.
Well, I must say I am beyond thrilled with my Nook and wonder why I waited so long to buy one!
Recently my friend Anne asked me to make her a cover for her Kindle2 cover which I wrote about a few weeks ago: 
I decided my Nook cover should also have a cover.  So I designed and made one for it on Friday.   It still needs 'tweaking' but for now it works.  And like Anne's cover for her Kindle2 cover, my new cover is pretty.   Pretty is good!

Birthday Present for Kelsey!

Our granddaughter Kelsey turned 11 on July 6.  So of course I had to make her something special for her big day.   I decided to make her a spa/shower wrap in the hopes it would be neither too grown up nor little girlish.   
The spa wraps are soooooooooo easy to make especially with all the help and tutorials that are offered on
We'll be heading to CT. tomorrow for a belated birthday celebration for Kelsey.  I sure hope she likes her new spa wrap!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Flower Monogrammed Flip Flops

A friend asked me to put together a pair of 'girly-girl' flip flops for her.   When I found a tutorial for the flower monogrammed flip flops as shown in the photo,  I knew they would be perfect for my friend.
I think they definitely qualify as 'girly-girl'!
To add to my friend's 'girly-girl' look, I also did the flower monogrammed bracelet included in the tutorial.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Covers for the Kindle 2 Cover!

My friend Anne absolutely loves her Kindle 2 reader.  Two weeks ago she asked me to come up with a design for a decorative and personalized cover for her Kindle 2 cover.   There is nothing wrong with her Kindle 2 cover;  Anne's just wanted pretty.   And who doesn't like pretty?

After obsessing over this cover for a few days by looking online and just plain old thinking about it, I finally came up with 2 types of covers.   For one I use prequilted fabric for the outside fabric and machine-embroider a monogram on the front. The inside is lined with a coordinating single weight cotton. The Kindle 2 cover slips into side pockets.  There is also a small pocket, per Anne's request, that can be used to hold a credit card, some cash or a key.
Here are some additional pictures of the cover I make for the Kindle 2 cover.  The second photo shows the Kindle 2 with the covers folded behind the Kindle 2:

The 2nd type of cover for the Kindle 2 cover I designed is made from felt.  Because the cover is not lined, I machine embroider initials or a small monogram in the lower right hand corner. The inside small pocket covers up the back of the machine embroidery.  All of its seams are top-stitched and exposed which can be seen in the pictures below:

Please email me for more information about fabrics and ordering the covers I make for the Kindle 2 cover.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Four-Sided Rectangular Shaped Placemats

The only thing I disliked about the oval shaped 4-sided placemats I made back in February was their oval shape. I just like rectangular shaped placemats.
Today I started thinking that I should be able to make a rectangular shaped 4-sided placemat using the oval placemat techniques. So I decided to give it a try and it worked!
I traced out an 18 X 13 template to use for cutting the 4 fabrics and then just followed the directions that came with the oval shaped template. For the one I made today I skipped interfacing the 4 fabrics; I like the end result much better than the ones I interfaced during the winter.
Hopefully I'll muster some ambition and make 3 more of the rectangle shaped placemats so we can at least have a set of 4.  I guess some napkins would be nice too!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fold-Up Embellished Market Totes

The Anita Fold-Up Embellished Tote Bag

Finally back in stock are the gorgeous fold-up totes that I
embellish with machine embroidery.  All the ones I first
introduced sold out at the holiday sale in Nov., 2007.  

The bags are made from a very heavy duty waterproof nylon
and have brown faux leather handles and a snap closure over
the zippered top.

Being waterproof, the bags are an obvious choice to carry on
a rainy day (rain or shine, I carry mine to work every day).  But
they're also perfect for the beach, travel and shopping.

Measurements:  19 inches across and 17 inches tall.
Color choices: Lime green, yellow, rose, purple, royal blue
and light blue

Embroidery choices are almost endless!   Choose a
monogram, a single color design of a famous landmark,
career, hobby, sport, etc.
The designs shown measure about 6 inches high.
For more info please email me.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

French Memo Board

This weekend I gave into an obsession-another one-I have developed for French Memo Boards. I've seen photos posted by people who have made them.  Luckily there are a lot of tutorials online that show how to make a memo board. Here's a link to the tutorial I used to make my French Memo board:
And here's a photo of the one I made and plan to hang on the wall of my office at work:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Prequilted fabric Sale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In addition to the handbag sale I am having on my web site,,  I am also having a 20% off fabric sale on all the fabrics I have listed in my etsy shop:     Free shipping on the first 3 yards ordered still applies-such a deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bag Sale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A first for me-a 20% off handbag SALE!!! Check it out at

The sale price applies to new bag orders as well as bags I have in stock. Feel free to contact me to find out which bags are readily available. The winter is over-think NEW HANDBAGS!!!!
The sale ends April 30, 2010.  Details on the sale are listed on the Index page of my site.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Give-Away-Personalized Travel Mug!!!

In honor of National Craft month & to introduce my personalized travel mugs, I am doing my first-ever Give Away.   
The mugs hold 16 oz of fluid, either hot or cold.   They come with a very secure snap-on lid.   What makes the mugs so unique is that the mug slips into a clear outside cover than can hold a personalized embroidered insert or a themed fabric.   The inserts quickly turn the dull and mundane into something pretty and cheery.
The winner of the Give Away will have a choice of one of 3 types of embroidered inserts: a monogram, a single letter or a first name.  The winner can also choose from one of the fabrics shown.

To win simply (1) leave a comment and (2) sign on to follow my blog.
I will announce the winner on April 15.

Please note the mugs should be hand-washed and are not microwave safe.
A personalized mug makes a great gift for just about everyone.  Consider one as an end of the year teacher gift or for a medical person who has been especially helpful or for a golfer.
Price: $10 which includes an embroidered or themed fabric insert.

I have also included a sample of a travel mug with themed fabric insert: 

Below are photos of the mug's snap-on lid and the outside clear holder for the insert.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My 'Take' on a Chanel Jacket

I have been obsessed with making a Chanel styled jacket since last summer when I saw the perfectly made Chanel jacket my friend made. Being the sewing purist she is, my friend followed the haute couture directions Threads Magazine published about 3 years ago. In true Chanel fashion, the directions called for a tremendous amount of hand sewing which I simply despise & don't trust.
Luckily, my friend told me the Jan.,'07 issue of Threads included an article on a shortcut version of a Chanel jacket. The article describes and explains how to do the 'bagged' method for making a Chanel jacket.
So last week I set out to do my trial variation on the bagged method. I made View E of Vogue 7975. I opted to eliminate the patch pockets & substituted a trim I thought better suited my fabric.
Because this jacket is my 'trial' version I didn't use the traditional wool boucle for my jacket. The outer and lining fabrics are machine-quilted in a Chanel jacket. Because my wool is 'flat' I had to eliminate the quilting on the front as I couldn't control puckering.
I also machine-sewed wherever I could as there is some hand sewing in the 'bagged' method. I machine-sewed the 2 sleeve lining seams and part of the lining shoulder seams. A purist I am not!
I opted for a non-fringe trim simply because I dislike fringe trim. In the photo the center of the trim looks like rhinestones but it isn't. The center is actually a dullish brownish-black.
I did hand-sew the gold chain that holds the hem in place.
Overall, I am pretty pleased with the jacket. Even being made out of a plain old wool, it still feels wonderful. I have this week out of work and will probably wear the jacket everywhere I go!