About Jan

Musician and geek and Juris Doctor; lover of fine art and fine craft; mother and grandmother and significant other and friend. Passionate about sewing.

Meet the Paladin

As I started writing this post featuring my newest bag-make, I wondered where Sara Lawson, the owner and bag-designer of Sew Sweetness Patterns, got the name Paladin. Google tells me that, over time, it has come to refer to high-level officials in imperial, majestic and royal courts. Here’s my spin—high-level court officials need to keep a lot of information under wraps, to not let their subjects know what’s going on behind the scenes. Paladin hides three pockets under one zipper, giving you a lot more room than you think you have when you first pick up the bag. It’s a … Continue reading

Another Carry-On Bag

Three years ago I cut out and prepared the pattern pieces for a Swoon Vivian carry-on bag. I carefully and adeptly inserted the interior zippered pocket, when I realized I had placed it on the exterior. Rather than just go with the flow, I determine that fabric would become the lining rather than the exterior, and I would buy some more fabric for the exterior. I went to JoAnn’s and got some navy cotton duck, and this became that bag. I used it a few times, then decided I didn’t really love it. Little things were not right, but when … Continue reading

It’s a Surprise!

You probably know how I love trying new bag patterns, and how I love a bargain. Well, let me start this off by saying that I receive too many email newsletters (i.e. “come-ons”) from fabric stores. One that I have liked over the years is Connecting Threads. They’re located in Vancouver, Washington, and they have a beautiful, color-filled catalog that they occasionally send to my home for me to dream over. The trouble began when they had a sale. In their weekly newsletter, they offered me a kit to make a nice-looking bag for fifteen or twenty percent off the … Continue reading

Digging Into the Singapore/Bali Stash

Last summer (2018) was spent traveling, including two weeks in Bali, bookended by a couple of days in Singapore, and a couple of weeks in Japan. The time in Bali included significant fabric shopping. The time in Singapore included one wonderful visit to Poppy Fabric, which is one of my favorite fabric shops in the world. A few days ago, I saw a blog post for Tessuti Fabrics’ Eva dress pattern, which I have made a couple of times. I still don’t feel like I’ve mastered it, and I do like to have #success experiences when sewing. Seeing that blog … Continue reading

My Mojo is Back!

I’ve been having sewing machine problems for about a year now. The most frustrating thing in a sewist’s life is walking into your sewing room with a hankering to sew. You sit down, put the pedal to the metal, and nothing good happens. Argh! I took my main machine in to the dealer and she just said, “User error.” I call bullsh*t on her. I’ve been sewing since I was 13 years old. I know what I’m doing, and this machine had a problem. (It’s known in the jargon as “birds’ nests.” My Spousal Equivalent even knows the term now, … Continue reading