Gather your Sew-plies!! Purse

So here is the story.

I have been quiet on the home front of cancer. I don’t know how to frame a discussion about my experience last year, all I know is I am just beginning to land and unwind, and integrate what I have learned from being ill. But at the same time I think it is important for me to be plain with you as well as myself. Perhaps you have already noticed but I chose not to ‘reconstruct’ my body. I think having a body, healing and moving into life after cancer is enough. I am still all woman. I am just a flat chested woman.

I am being up front about this because I am exploring clothing as a form of artistic expression. This is a creative theme that I need and want  to explore, both metaphorically and physically.

Clothing my body has become an adventure. I am an artist, I have always wanted to dress ‘singularly’, uniquely. And what better way to explore artistic, healing and integrative themes about the body than to adorn myself. 

I have fallen in love with the word, Adorn. 


 Suggestions? Anyone? 

for Gather your Sew-plies Purse.

This purse recipe is a lot of fun, it is a sewing/fashion accessory. Big and bold when paired with a white shirt and skinny denim jacket. I purposely made this purse in such a way that I could continue to work on it until I had perfected the design. Do you know Cat Bordhi? She is a sock knitter and a creative thinker. She wrote a book about starting the sock… ‘from the middle’. And this got me thinking. What would happen if you started a project in the middle rather than tucking in all the loose ends at the get go? So this little purse is being completed as I go. I started in the middle. Will you make one too? I would love to see how you proceed alongside me. Mini Sew Along?

I am making an add-on pattern for the Gather Your Sew-plies pattern…A thimble Cinch Sack! More on this later.

6 thoughts on “Artist+Clothing=Adorn?

  1. I’ve said this before on Facebook and I’ll say it again…I think you are beyond beautiful, you are absolutely stunning. And I am proud of you and your way of dealing with experience. I moved my mother from an island in Alaska to live with in Oregon for the 9 months she battled stage 3B of Inflammatory Breast Cancer. I went to every appointment with her and saw every woman who was with her at every single stage of their own cancer treatments. Many of them were proud to show their scars, their radiation burns, and their reactions to chemo. They were warriors and they showed it in every way, no matter what they went through or how they may have reacted. So, I saw a lot of every step of the way with a lot of women. Plus I went through hospital training to do my mother heart catheter care so that she wouldn’t have to travel to the hospital one more time a week for the chemo line to be cleaned and flushed. I learned so much, and went through so much with her and all I can say is I am so proud of all of you amazing warrior women who survived. As I told my mother, the story is that the Amazons only had one breast …supposedly cutting off one of their own, in order to be able to use a bow faster and more efficiently in battle. You are simply a super are so tiny and light on your feet you needed even better and quicker access to your bow and arrows because you had such a fierce battle to fight. Bless you in all ways. Plus, I LOVE your’s fabulous, as are all of the cute clothes you’ve been modeling on your blog..darling..just like you, warrior woman!


  2. Adorn yourself with more beauty! I love your choices for yourself and your surroundings because you bask in beauty and in Love, which is above all a woman’s best accessory!! For your button hole issue: make the button hole for a slightly larger button than the one you are using, since you want to add the second button on top. You can always make a button hole smaller if you need to by stitching it more closed, but you really can’t make it larger without the ripping it out that you don’t want to do. I love this little bag. You might yet talk me into more hand sewing!!


  3. Okay Mellie, here are 2 ideas for your consideration. One if you are doing the buttonhole on the machine, those dense stitches should anchor your hand stitches fine, and then when you cut it should be no problem. Measure across your button and on a scrap of fabric folded to the same density of your bag stitch a buttonhole and cut it and try to fit your button through, if it’s not big enough adjust the buttonhole until it works, then with the wonderful memory feature on your Bernina you are good to go on the actual piece. Idea 2, thread a needle with 3 thicknesses of embroidery floss, leaving a tail, not and pierce through on the front of your piece, unthread the needle and braid the threads in a braid long enough to make a loop to go around the back and loop your button, rethread the needle bring it back to the front where the first tail is not it off and make a fringy adornment. I have had a fixation on bag making for years and have tried both remedy’s to good effect. Whatever you do I’m sure it will be beautiful and pleasing to you. If not, make another bag, a girl can never have too many.


  4. Melly… how about a magnet instead of the button? You could encase each side of the magnet in coordinating fabric and sew them to the inside top of the bag. Then… you still want the buttons as decorative elements, you could just sew them to the back side of the bag where you intended them to be as a functional closure.


  5. Melanie, if it’s the thimble that you’re really worried about, you could make a teeny tiny drawstring bag (or pocket) for it. Attach that to the inside of the bag maybe.
    I wanted to tell you too, that I am really looking forward to your newest book! I have your first one and your dvd…love them both.


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