bags and pouches

Three Years in the Making

In 2011 I went to the first Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City, UT. At that time everyone was making their own bags. I got excited and bought everything to make my bag, but unfortunately, never had the time to finish it. It has been sitting in a WIP pile for…. about 3 years (you can see my initial post here).  I finished it about a month ago and thought it was finally time to show a picture.

Duffle Bag (1)

It’s a very large bag but without anything stuffed inside it essentially has no shape. I don’t know that it necessarily needs more shape, but the picture definitely looks better with some pillows inside!

I used my serger on this project so there are not any exposed/unfinished seams which I love. It has a zippered side pocket which I also really love. I think this bag will come in really handy for overnight trips and weekend getaways (not sure how many of those are actually going to happen in the near future though).

And just for fun, here’s a 35 week picture. I’m hoping to incubate for 2 more weeks, fingers crossed!

Duffle Bag (2)

– Erica


Mila is finally growing lots of hair. It is so long in front if we don’t put it back, it hangs into her eyes. We haven’t decided yet if we want to cut bangs or keep pulling it to the side. So, in the meantime, we’re putting it in little rubber band ponytails. I think it’s pretty adorable…


When I opened the package of little rubber bands we had an immediate mess. So, naturally, I had to sew a little pouch to store them. I went back to the same trusty pouch tutorial from Noodlehead that I have made multiple times.

Wide Pouch (2)

I got this material at one of my baby showers and I think it’s from JoAnn Fabrics. I love it!

Now I’ve started thinking about making pouches for all sorts of things… I think my nesting urge is starting to kick in.

– Erica

Skull Pouch

Another little finish to make me happy! I thought this was appropriate for the holiday. Unfortunately I can’t remember where I got this tutorial. The only change I would make is that I would do the top stitching before I sewed the two halves together. I had trouble top stitching around the zippers and it looked so hacked that I just ended up ripping it out.
– Erica

Nine thousand, seven hundred and twenty six

9,726: the number of visits I have had on my blog in one year. I have nothing to compare this to since this is my only blog and it’s my first year. But it kind of sounds like a lot of views. And it’s really close to 10,000.

Last year, today, I posted my first blog post. I can’t tell you how many times I reread that post wondering if it was okay. Now, I just kind of write.

I can’t believe how many things have happened in the past year:

  • Sewed many baby quilts, bags, pouches… and bought a little bit of fabric…
  • Joined the Boston Modern Quilt Guild
  • Took sewing classes at Laura’s Sewing School
  • Bought a kitty, who is part bengal
  • Left my job in Cambridge, MA
  • Started working in Los Angeles, CA
  • Moved across country due to above job change
  • Went to Sewing Summit 2011
  • Had two miscarriages
  • Had my one year anniversary (can I just say: best husband ever)
  • Started a sewing group at my house in LA
  • Diagnosed with Lupus
  • Became vegan

And I’m still kickin’ it! Seriously, how many changes can you have in one year?

Thanks for following along, I’m excited for year number two!

– erica


My life has felt a bit overwhelming and stressful lately, so I decided it was time to take a step back and think about some of the wonderful things in my life. And most of those are people. I have been blessed with many great people in my life.

Yesterday I was sitting in my new office (in Hollywood, CA) and I received a text message from Rosie, my friend and medical assistant, in Boston. It made me teary. Rosie really made my job in Boston special.

When I first started to practice in Boston I was coming from hospital medicine. Switching to a full time clinic job was more foreign than I anticipated. In the hospital, patients have already had a significant work-up in the Emergency Department and you already know that they are sick. In clinic, you have to decide if an issue is serious or if it’s something that will get better on its own. And, seriously, was not prepared for the questions patients would ask (“uh…. what?  Um…. I’m not sure…”). I mean, they did not teach us that stuff in medical school! Trial by fire.

And I’m super organized, which is good and bad. If things aren’t all done in order, I get flustered (which is probably why the move and all of our snaffoos have been so hard on me). But, luckily, I was partnered with Rosie, who saved me every day.

Rosie is very organized and pays attention to the details, just like me. So I could count on her, which allowed me to relax. I knew things were going to get done.

And, she’s also an absolute sweetheart. So, my patients also loved her. Which is doubly awesome.

We both had multiple stressors over the past year, and there was something calming about going to work and being a team. Even if everything else in our lives was chaotic, we could function and get things done at work. I think that was good for both of us. Seeing Rosie always put a smile on my face. Sounds cheesy, but, it’s true.

Rosie has been one of my favorite people to show my sewing projects to. She’s always interested (or at least pretends well ;-)). One day she asked if I wanted to go to a fabric store that she knew about in Cambridge, MA. Didn’t take much convincing. So we went together after work. I got the adorable polka-dots that I used for the back of Andrew’s quilt and a beautiful bird fabric that caught Rosie’s eye.

So, I had a yard of the bird fabric sitting in my apartment waiting for a project to make for Rosie. When I saw a tote bag tutorial, I thought, this is it! The fabric was a thin quilting cotton weight so I added fusible interfacing to it to give it more weight. I have added interfacing to pouches before and it worked well, but I don’t know if I did something wrong this time because after the tote was finished I noticed that if you folded the bag there would be a strange crease in the material from the interfacing bending. Has anyone else had this happen? Any ideas on how to avoid this? Did I not iron it long enough? Otherwise, I think the tote turned out really cute.

I did have some problems with the pattern though. The lining was cut out exactly the same size but had a smaller seam allowance so it was all bunchy when I tried to insert it. So, I had to go back and resize the lining.

I could literally write a novel about Rosie. Here’s a couple of parting photos:

Rosie planned the most amazing surprise bridal shower for me at work. I literally had no idea and when I walked in the conference room with all the decorations and food and co-workers, I cried. THANKS.

Before I left for CA, Rosie took me out for dinner at a Brazillian restaurant. We had “Mu-que-ca’s” (a Brazillian meal in a clay pot). YUM.

And she has the most adorable dog, Millie.

Rosie, I love you! You will be missed daily.



Things have been a bit busy in my life lately. We our movers packed up our entire apartment last week and put all of our stuff in a POD that is somewhere in middle-USA right now. After a 6 hour flight with a whiny kitty we landed in Los Angeles. We’ve spent the past week taking care of things: like getting new licenses at the DMV, finding a new apartment and buying another car.

So, after a busy week, I got on an airplane and am currently in Salt Lake City at Sewing Summit (a modern sewing and blogging and social media conference). I was really fortunate to meet up with some fellow Boston Modern Quilt Girls: Split Yarn, Stitchy McYarn Pants, and Goddess in Progress Quilts.  I have to say it makes me a little sad that I am leaving Boston. Hopefully we can stay in touch through fun events like these.

Last night I got my first glimpse of the sewing room, and it was awesome (too bad I was too exhausted to sew).

This morning I won an adorable necklace at the blogging workshop by Old Red Barn Co. This necklace is from cinnamon sticks. It’s funny that just a day ago I was showing Jake a necklace just like this on ETSY (I guess you’re off the hook, love!).

We made oilcloth pouches in another class. All I can say is: OILCLOTH IS FRUSTRATING to sew because it sticks to the sewing pedal and doesn’t feed right.

Looking forward to my workshops tomorrow!


Overnight bag for Sewing Summit

Everyone else is doing it.

I am jumping on the bandwagon to make a duffel bag for sewing summit. I also wanted to make something different in sewing class so I could pick up some new skills before moving out to LA (every last minute of class is so important!).

I found a Simplicity pattern for a bag I thought was really cute.

And got some great material at JoAnn Fabrics. It was on sale and totally affordable!

This also was a great reason to figure out how to thread my new serger for the first time. 🙂


Happy Birthday Carolyn!

When I first started working at Somerville Primary Care our clinic was separated into an A and B side and also had an upstairs (which means I barely saw anyone except my patients). But when we moved into our new clinic site I asked to have my office by the medical assistant station and was the next office over from Carolyn. Lucky for me! Over the past year we have become great friends and it’s so wonderful to have a friend at work. Even if some days it’s only standing in line to get our lunch.

In January we had several snowstorms. Pretty much every week, on Tuesday or Wednesday, we got dumped on (several feet each time!). Here we are trying to brave the mountains of snow to get to clinic. Fun, huh?


We had a couple of gorgeous days this past spring and we took advantage of them to grab food in downtown Boston. We went to this cute place twice (If it’s good, don’t mess with success!). Carolyn’s daughter, Sarah, came with us and it was a great excuse for me to order a hot dog so I could share a few pieces with her. She’s adorable- and so well behaved!


I was super lucky that Carolyn was able to come to California for our wedding and be my personal attendant. She was stunning- and it’s always nice to have another tall girl nearby (and Carolyn isn’t afraid to sport high heels!). Thanks again!

Carolyn just had a birthday. It was the hottest day of the summer so far in Boston. We took Sarah to a kiddie pool but strangely they had drained out the water. They still had water spraying down from above so we walked around in that. We finished the afternoon with a trip to Petsmart to look at the kitties and fish and then to McDonalds for ice cream. So much fun!

For Carolyn’s birthday I made her a little coin purse. I downloaded the pattern from Pink Chalk Fabrics and thought it turned out great. I had to remake the lining (smaller) because it was bunchy at first. I’m wondering if it would make sense to just make all linings for pouches smaller from the beginning- since they all seem too big (and by all, I’m referring to the TWO pouches I have made so far). Take a peek (sorry for the blurry shots):

Love you Carolyn! I will miss seeing you every day! (A little secret if you get to the bottom of this post: We’re moving to LA in October).


Perfectly Pleated Clutch.

…. or “too many pleats” clutch. I made this clutch out of Amy Butler’s book Style Stitches. The book is absolutely beautiful. It’s one of those books that I like to just look through over and over, oohing and ahhing at all the beautiful pictures.

The pattern pieces in this book are all halved (not sure if she does it to save on paper) but I found it easier to photocopy the pattern piece and then tape it together to make a whole pattern piece. This way I could see where the piece was going to be centered on the material. It gets complicated when you’re folding the material too much.

I didn’t read the instructions on how to pleat this clutch very carefully and so I made my pleats really small. It made the design of the material completely disappear/change. It’s not how it was originally intended, but I actually think it turned out pretty nice.

Since it was thicker (due to the crazy amount of pleats), it got a little rippley at the bottom. Although, I bet, if i didn’t tell you all that, you would have never noticed.

I just need to hand sew the lining hole that I used to turn the clutch right side out and then it’s all finished. I have lots of friends with July birthdays- someone might be getting this as a gift!