Monday, December 1, 2014

Utopia Projects mixed with Linen - ( Zakka Style )

I found a bag that I loved on pintrest and had to make it. It is called The Ruby bag. There are a lot of bags called Ruby Bag so it was not easy to find. I finally found it on "I Think Sew"website HERE
they have such cute patterns and also if you sign up you get some fantastic Free patterns. So its worth the signing up.

I loved the sample on the cover but the pattern didnt tell me what size to cut my patchwork. I endedup cutting 5"blocks and then I compensated the top by adding a an extra fabric strip. It tells you to add a strip with the zipper but I cut another one. I guess you could just make the zipper strip larger. I am not very good at math so I did it as I went along adding my 1/4 inch seams. It sounds more complicated than it is. This bag is pretty easy but does take an afternoon.

          This insulated water Bottle Carrier is adorable and can be found HERE on Etsy
Lastly I made this adorable needle case from the book I heart patchwork by Rashida Coleman Hale.
can be Found HERE this is a great book with some beautiful projects that are easy to construct.
This needle case is small and super cute. Could be a great gift.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Out for a Stroll quilt by Melissa Corry

 This Amazing Quilt is called Out For A Stroll. I cant tell you how much I am in love with this.
Melissa  Corry of "Happy Quilting designed and made this and has an incredible tutorial to go with it!
Thank you so much Melissa for designing and making this awesome quilt!

Monday, November 3, 2014


             So excited about my third collection with Art Gallery Fabrics called Utopia!
For those of you who like brights...
It is very modern bold, and colorful collection which hopefully will make you want to jump in and start sewing right away.

 The two color ways are : Fantasy City Fervor and Reverie City Winter

I am also so very excited about the other substrates (Substrate is a term used in converting process such as printing or coating as a more general term to describe the base material onto which e.g. images will be printed. Base materials include (though are not limited to):
The VOLES ARE gorgeous and the knits very soft. I know that AGF takes great care in selecting the best product available to the hand.

 Inspirational Board
Free quilt project designed by Karen Turchan. She is the best quilt designer. See her site here:

Hope you enjoy Utiopia! Love Frances

Monday, October 13, 2014

Halloween CARDBOARD haunted house made from cardboard boxes

This weekend my son and I had a blast making this little halloween center piece out of Saltine crakerbox and Gram cracker, and granola boxes. 

First we contructed the house by taping the boxes together using masking tape.
We drew where we wanted the doors and windows would go.
 The turret was made with a granola box and cutting the corners to make the roof. The flag was made from scrapbook paper and a toothpick. The little sign says "God Bless Our Home" I found this at a craft shop and glued it on at the end.
After the box was taped and windows and doors cut out. We painted the house with gesso and black acrylic paint mixed together. Then when it dried we added the shingles. I LOVE THIS FORSTER WOOD SQUARES! They are amazing balsa wood little squares that snap so easily to any size you want. We used elmers glue and a brush and put them on the roof. Once all the shingels were glued and dried we glued popsticle sticks on for the slats on the sides of the house and framed the house with the popsticle sticks. I had to cut the sticks with a sharp tool. Then we repainted the house, and dry brushed it with the white gesso to get the weathered effect.

Supplies. Popsticle sticks from 99 cents store. Toothpics and the Forster Wood squares. You can use anything to decorate the house once you are finished. Make your own trees and even lanscape it.

Yay finshed and and can't wait to put on our table!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Stitching Odyssey's SIMPLICITY 5489 -#vintage pledge

I was so excited this summer to come across A Stitching Odyssey's blog! If you haven't seen Marie's blog it is an amazing treat! She is an incredible garment sewer. I immediately followed her on blog loving and wrote to her to see if she would be interested in sewing something with my Cherie fabric collection. It is a great advantage to be a fabric designer and be able to write to people and tell them you want to send them free fabrics! But not everyone I write to says yes. Some people have very busy schedules and they turn down free fabric. But to my wonderful surprise Marie said yes!!!!! And I hope to keep a friendship with her. She does very inspiring work as you can see. See full post and her blog here: 

She  hand stitched my bow to the left back opening and affixed a press stud / snap fastener to the other side.

Like with most original vintage patterns, I had to make a lot of alterations to get this baby to fit. The bodice was drafted for very different proportions to my own (broad back / shoulders and a side boob), but as usual the waist fit just fine. I'll cover the alterations in a different post, but suffice it to say that I'm pretty happy with the fit I managed to achieve."

 " Onto the back detail...*swoon*! Simplicity 5489 is a relatively quick and easy make, but the bow took me forever! It's by no means perfect, but it's cute enough to be honest. It's one thing tying the perfect ribbon bow on a gift and quite another doing it with bulkier fabric. Next time I'll probably narrow it a tad...and practice tying bows in the meantime of course!"

My second favourite detail Simplicity 5489 has to offer is the skirt. I love how flattering an A-line shape can be, skimming the hips (aka muffin tops) without the bulky waist of a gathered skirt. This pattern offers the best of both worlds though, with gentle gathers either side of the centre front skirt. I think the reason I find slimmer skirts appealing is that I personally find them easier to dress down to fit in with my less-than-glamorous lifestyle.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Jody Miller Photography
I am so excited to show you another photo shoot from my friend Jody Miller who is the most incredible phtographer and you can see her photo stream here: My friend Tipper is Modleing. When I got to speak at a quilt guild I met the most lovely lady who loves sewing vintage garments. She had approched me to make a dress using my newest fabric collection Cherie! I was thrilled. NANCY WHITE IS an amazing seamstress and artist. She Made both dresses and you can see her vintage patterns and her beautiful scetches below! The blouse at the bottom is made by me using MCALLS 5388


 Beautiful sketches by Nancy White.

 From Nancy White:
   Pareau wrap dress
Cotton breathes, in hot weather it is the absolute best thing to wear. The closer to the equator, the more an unlined, loose fitting, breezy cotton is just the ticket! For the wildly exuberant colors in the Cheri collection a pattern for a pareau from the Victoria Jones collection .#303 was my first pick. No zipper, no buttons, not even a hook and eye required. A inside tie is optional, I opted. The fabric suggestion is for tight woven yardage so that the 1/4 " curved turned edges do not ravel. The cotton from Frances Newcombe's was easy to work with and gave me no grief. I wanted this to be a bit more mid-thigh so I did cut the pattern and added two inches. It folds beautifully flat and is ready for a trip to Hawaii for a test run!

The Victoria Jones collection has an on line site for ordering patterns!
 Also the lining fabric for the lined dress is my absolute fav, 100% polyester "crinkle habutae" made in Japan, avail at Joann's in lots of colors.

Vintage Simplicity Dress
   Never mind that these high quality cottons were designed for quilters,  I got all dreamy for a dress at first sight! The lettering cursive on yardage drove my inspiration. Romantic words, up near the neck, where perfume goes, and hidden in pockets for letters. A vintage pattern seemed right, modern patterns strike me as sexy, functional or comfy, but not particularly romantic. Simplicity #5914 from the 1960s fit the bill. I purchased the pattern from, a very fun place to scope out the not-latest fashion. Sketching of options gave me the confidence of my design to go get the scissors and start cutting fabric.
  The pattern was altered by adding pockets and decorative pocket flaps. I lined the garment as well, so I never have to find a slip. The pleat in the front is also an addition. There is a seam running the center of the skirt, an easy alteration is adding four inches to the cutting edge and then folding under two, trim the curved adge and sew as the pattern directs. Just for fun I trimmed off the selvage and used it as hem binding. A little splash of color on the lining doesn't hurt anything. I am loud and proud of my Frances Newcombe print cotton!

   I am super impressed with adults who learn to sew. It is so much easier to take on the concept of building a 3D object inside-out when you are a kid. I have been wearing my home sewn dresses since Jr High. Curiously, yardage would find it's way to me, one of five children, but not hand-me-downs. I learned to sew as a means to hide my nakedness. I learned to draw people by copying paper dolls from the 1940's and the leggy models in the Butterick pattern books of the 1970's. I was way ahead of the curve in art classes, especially life drawing. Various art jobs include three years of back drop painting for a portrait photographer, murals, illustrations, faux marble installations, but for the last 23 years I have settled down to being a happy shop keeper at New Creation Picture Framing,  you will see my Facebook page is full of framed needle art for our avid fans, though we do framing of all kinds.
     Nancy Norcross White is a Southern California native that never left, married a tall man and raised two tall sons. No little girls to make dresses for, don't fret, the boys had plenty of matching flannel Jammies.