The (unlined) puppy drawstring bag
  A few weeks ago, I came across some fabulous vintage wood blocks at the Burlington Antique Show. I knew they’d be perfect for my Max, who is in a major block-stacking phase, so I bought a dozen and stashed them away for his birthday. As his 2-year birthday (which was yesterday!) drew closer and I started wrapping presents, I realized that what I really needed was a little drawstring bag to put them in, so they didn’t wind up scattered everywhere. Finding the fabric was easy (puppies!). But it took me a while to remember how to make a drawstring bag, where the drawstring cinches up from each side. I knew I had made one in home ec many years ago. But to actually figure out where to put the buttonholes and how to thread the cording, I had to scrutinize a little drawstring jewelry pouch of mine. I discovered that it’s actually super easy to make a basic drawstring bag!

The puppy one I made isn’t lined (it is just for blocks, after all), so I had to fold the top down to create a casing. No problem.

But as I’ve been prepping for the big CHA Craft Supershow  this week, I realized that having another drawstring bag—one to store some of my make-and-take supplies in—would be great. But this one needed to be lined (and not have puppies on it). I discovered that the cool thing about lining it is that you don’t even have to fold the fabric down to create a casing—the layers of fabric automatically create a space for your drawstring. I also decided to add a little tab for hanging the bag up (so that I don’t have to hang by the cording). I love my drawstring bags so much, I might just switch to all-drawstring, all-the-time! I’d really like to incorporate some vintage elements, like handkerchiefs (like I’m thinking of using a handkerchief to make a mini drawstring bag to hold my iPod when it’s not on my armband).

  I’m working on writing the directions to make this a bonus project on the site. That’s coming soon!

Update: pattern is now on the site here!

Bonus update: Here is a lovely rainbow patchworked example of the drawstring bag from Christina at the Mama's Crafts blog.
Lined drawstring bag, made with some Michael Miller prints
Me: sweating and pregnant, but excited to finally hold a copy of Sew Retro!
I admit, I’ve been blog-resistant for quite a while. I tried to start one a few years back, but I could never get the hang of it, so I abandoned it. It wasn’t doing anything for me, and I rarely spent time reading other people’s blogs.

 But something happened as I started writing more about crafts and sewing, and especially as I started working on Sew Retro. I found myself reading other craft bloggers. First, I’d just pop in here and there. But more recently, I’ve been checking certain blogs every day, eagerly anticipating new entries. I’ve finally decided what the legions of craft bloggers have long known: blogs are pretty cool.

 So I’ve decided to start one, not because I think I have to to “compete” (because I would never, ever, win--given the many gorgeous blogs already out there). Rather, I’m starting this blog because for the first time, I really want to. I actually feel like I have things to say that don’t quite fit in magazine stories or Facebook posts or random emails to friends.

 I hope to write about sewing, of course. But also the world of craft book publishing (from the perspective of a first-time author) and marketing. Maybe a bit about being a mom, too (I have a 2-year-old, Max, and am due with #2 in six weeks), especially the fun and challenges of sewing for kids. We’ll see where it takes me! Feel free to check back in if you're so inclined.