Miss Maggie’s Handbag

I’m so completely chuffed. I made a handbag! I didn’t think I had it in me to sew through thick layers of finicky materials like vinyl and foam stabilizer. I’m notoriously bad with a hammer and screwdriver. But I did it and I don’t think it looks too shabby…


Pattern Description:

“Miss Maggie’s Handbag is a great starting point for any beginner to advanced bag maker. It starts out as a simple handbag that allows you to use several styles of our Emmaline Strap Anchors, and after you personalize it with your own style, it will become one of your favourite bags. ”

Pattern Sizing:

11″ wide x 10″ high x 4″ deep.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?


Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes, the instructions were excellent even for this bag-sewing neophyte. There is a typo in the instructions which caused me a problem. As noted on the emmaline bags website, “The cutting chart lists the measurement for the Foam Stabilizer at 17″ x 34″, but the correct measurement is in the cutting list and materials list. The cutting chart is not correct.” I didn’t see that before I cut out the foam and had to buy another piece.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like how simple and elegant it is. The bag is just the right size to carry all my odds and ends when I commute to work. It’s not too large so I don’t end up carrying too much. I like the short handles because I don’t wear purses over my shoulder; however, my daughter thinks any bag without a cross-body strap is a sad, sad thing. If you’re like her, you’ll either want to add a longer strap or look at a different pattern.

Fabric Used:

I used some vinyl with a flocked filigree design that I found at Joann’s for the body. I used some quilter’s cotton (a gold-flecked cork print) for the lining.


The bag also required fusible interfacing, heavy interfacing such as Timtex for the base and foam stabilizer. Hardware included handle anchors, rivets, bag feet, a magnetic clasp, a tassel clasp, and a “handmade” label. I sourced most of these from emmaline bags. I found the magnetic clasp at my local fabric store. I found a large lot of rivets on Amazon, which was good because I’m terrible at inserting these and destroyed more than a few before getting them attached securely.


I used a lot of E-6000 glue. I also used a few bits of thin quilter’s batting to cover up the backs of the hardware so they didn’t poke holes in the lining.

I tried to use heavy duty thread (upholstery) for the top-stitching, but even with a leather needle and a top-stitching needle, it frayed and I was unable to continue.

When folding the material for the handbag over on itself a couple of times, I resorted to double-sided fashion tape to hold the layers together. It worked like a charm.

I needed an awl to poke holes through the material and a hammer for the rivets.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

The pattern suggested adding heavy duty snaps on the sides to cinch in the top of the bag to give it a nice shape. I opted not to do that for two reasons: (1) I would never use the snaps because I like to fill up my bags to the brim and the snaps would reduce the bag’s capacity; (2) the material was thick and didn’t looked a bit messy when pleated.

I made the tassel following this tutorial: Tassel Tutorial

Note: You really do need a tiny screwdriver to do this. I started out trying to use a fork. No good. I then used the screwdriver included with my serger. Too large. Finally, like Goldilocks, I bought a tiny screwdriver set at Lowes for $5. One of those suckers worked perfectly.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes, sure!


I LOVE this bag. It looks so snazzy with all the shiny bits. I carry it around with pride.

Sunshine Blogger Award


I was nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by @PrincessofPages. This award honors bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring. I’m honored to be selected for this!

In addition to being a really fun friend on Twitter, @PrincessofPages has a great blog where she discusses the books she’s been reading. I know my list of things to read has grown dramatically since I’ve been following her.


Once nominated, a blogger is required to 1) write a post in which they thank the blogger for nominating them and link back to their blog, 2) answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you, 3) nominate eleven other blogs and 4) give them eleven questions to answer, 5) notify your nominees and display the rules and The Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.


  1. What’s the perfect day for you? My perfect day involves family and friends and a great meal at a restaurant so I wouldn’t have to cook or clean.
  2. What was your last 5 star read and what made it great? I loved, loved LOVED Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff. It was original, fast-paced, funny and packed a punch.
  3. Do you prefer series or standalones? I usually love the first book or two in a series and then get impatient with them as soon as the novelty (pun intended) wears off. I prefer stand-alones.
  4. Do you read multiple books at the same time, or do you read one at a time? I only read one book at a time.
  5. Do you have any book regrets? No, not really. Of course, there have been books I haven’t enjoyed, but I don’t regret trying them. Reading broadly is important to me.
  6. Who are the 3-6 guys in your harem? You can only choose characters from books, and only one character from each book. I couldn’t deal with more than one guy. The mere idea of that stresses me out. That being said, I would tolerate a harem consisting of Westley from The Princess Bride, Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird and Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars.

  7. If you could spend the day with any fictional character, who would you choose and what would you be doing? I’d enjoy spending the day with Lemon Fresh from LifeL1k3. She would be a hoot to hang out with!  We’d crack jokes, oggle some hotties, and drink some kaff. I would avoid eating neomeat though.
  8. If you could only read one more book for the rest of 2018, which book would you choose? A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Iriving. I’ve long claimed this is one of my favorite books, but haven’t read it in ages. It’s time for a refresher.
  9. Do you ever review audio books? I haven’t yet, but that sounds like fun!
  10. What are three non book related things, you want to share about yourself? I love coffee, but drink tea more often. I can bake killer bread. I was born in Wyoming.
  11. If you could choose any books series to be made into a TV series, which one would you choose and who would play the hero and heroine?  I can totally envision Lifel1k3 being produced for the big or small screen. Perhaps Eliza Taylor could play Eve and Bob Morely could play Ezekiel. Maisie Williams could play Lemon Fresh.

I Nominate:

  1. Reading Under the Blankie
  2. Loretta
  3. Reader Voracious
  4. The Bibliophile Empress
  5. Books in the Skye
  6. jenniely.com
  7.  There are so many deserving bloggers for this award. I think many of the bloggers I frequent have already received this award. If you haven’t and would like to play along, consider yourself nominated!

The questions PrincessofPages sent me are great, so I don’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel 🙂

Calling All Cat People!

chiChi’s Sweet Home by Konami Kanata and translated by Ed Chavez, is the pawsitively charming story of a kitten who gets distracted when on a walk with his mother and siblings and ends up lost. It’s a big and “fwightening” world for such a little creature, full of barking dogs, roaring cars and wide open spaces.

Distraught and lonely, Chi breaks down sobbing in a large urban park. Luckily, Yohei Yamada and his mother stumble upon the poor kitten and take her home, despite the fact that pets aren’t allowed in their apartment.

And that’s when the fun adventures begin! The Yamadas must keep Chi’s presence a secret from their nosey neighbors, while satisfying the kitten’s needs for affection, food and play. I was particularly amused at the story of how Chi ended up with her name. You’ll have to read this to find out.

As much as I wanted to highlight a book in translation, the words are not the star in this book. In fact, I didn’t particularly like the baby talk used to represent the kitten’s first impressions upon her new environment, but I have to concede that it was an appropriate choice. Chi is a baby, after all!IMG_3584

What really shines are Kanata Konami’s brilliant illustrations that express the unbounded curiosity and playfulness of her subject. The kitten’s sweet “purrsonality” shines through each and every panel. If you are as enthralled with cats as I am, I guarantee you will adore this book.

Konami Kanata (jp. こなみ かなた, Kanata Konami; born 3 July 1958, Nagano) is a Japanese cartoonist best known for her cat characters Chi’s Sweet Home.
Her works revolves around the daily life of house cats.