Thursday, April 16, 2009

From Place Mat to Purse

Setting the table for a nice dinner? Well take that place mat, turn it into a purse and go out to dinner instead! Place mat purses are quick and simple sewing projects, plus they make great conversations pieces. Follow these simple steps and repurpose that place mat in to a purse.

What you will need:

Place mat (pick one with a little stiffness to the fabric)
Purse Handles
Foot of Grosgrain Ribbon
Sewing Machine
Coordinating Color Thread
Straight Pins
  1. Fold right sides of the place mat together and sew up the two side edges (fig. A).
  2. Keeping the place mat inside out, flatten the bottom corners. Center the side seams and sew a straight line across the corner about 2” up from the corner tip (fig. B).
  3. Cut the grosgrain ribbon in four 3” strips. Pull each strip through the ends of the handles to create tabs.
  4. Center each handle on alternate sides of the purse body, pinning the tabs on the wrong side of the fabric. Stitch across the tabs to attached them to the purse. Stitch again to reinforce (fig. C). Trim ribbon as needed.
  5. Turn purse right side out and you are done. If you want to add some pizazz, used fabric glue to attached some buttons, ric-rac or other notions.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

When the Rat Pack Ruled the Strip and Scrapbooks were Scraps

Living in a day and age where scrapbooking has become big business and a page isn’t complete without elaborate embellishments, it is hard to remember a time when a scrapbook was simply a book filled with scraps of paper. Not purchased paper with themes, instead a visual story told with fragments of matchbooks, paper clippings and other free found objects.

Recently I was pleasantly reminded of this when I cleaned my craft room. I came across a box of old family photos and in this box was a scrapbook made by Diane L. (my mother) in 1954. The scrapbook tells a tale of nine year old Diane’s family vacation where they drove from Baltimore to Las Vegas. Not only does it capture a moment in my mother’s life, the collection of menus, matchbooks and free postcards acts as a time capsule in book form. Her scrapbook reminds the viewer that there was a time when every celebrity actually had talent and you could go to the Golden Nugget for a $3.50 prime rib and wash it down with a $.25 Ovaltine.

Here are some of my favorite “scraps”: