Apey Lee’s Homespun Designs – Handcrafted with a Twist!

Today I would like to tell you about a shop I’ve become acquainted with called Apey Lee’s Homespun Designs in Biddeford, Maine. Owner, April Lee, designs and creates all of the beautiful totes, table linens and accessories in her shop. She has a keen eye for distinctive fabric combinations and her bags often have a little twist with a unique shoulder strap or a special accessory. They are truly handmade and one of a kind!

Side Pocket Tote with Art Gallery Fabrics

I poked around in her shop and picked out a few items that really stood out to me. The first is the Side Pocket Maroon purse which features Art Gallery fabrics from the Oval Elements, Lace Elements and Bazaar Style collections. It’s a generous tote with two interior pockets and a magnetic closure. The bag looks like it is impeccably crafted with every stitch is in place.

Lunch Box Tote with Matching Napkin

Another interesting and practical design is her Lunch Box tote. The tote features insulated wall construction and a laminated interior. Plus each bag comes with a matching napkin. Packing your lunch has never been so fashionable. My leftovers would have to taste better after sitting in this bag all morning!


Signature Tote

April’s Signature tote is just what the name implies. It combines several gorgeous fabrics for a stunning look. The one shoulder strap playfully attaches to the bag’s exterior and a fun fabric band adds another splash of color to the belly of the bag. Everything comes together in a unique and sophisticated look.

I could go on, but if you find yourself wanting to see more, check out her Etsy shop, Apey Lee’s Homespun Designs . Beyond bags, you will find passion and creative spirit in her store which can be pretty addictive.  – Nicole Truesdell, Moona Fabrics

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Guest Post by Missy N. – Sewing with American Jane’s Punctuation fabric collection

At the end of February I ordered 6 yards of America Jane fabric at Moona Fabrics shop on Etsy (Garden in Green and Tudor Stripe Green). Only 10 days later I had an invitation in my mailbox to go to the post office to get my package. It was one of the happiest days in my life and I all forgot about the rain that day, because the fabric was soooooo beautiful!

Only 6 weeks later I already used the fabric to make some very useful or cute things!

At the beginning of march, a little baby was born and she could use this snuggler ’cause she had a hard time keeping her temperature. A year ago I bought Lotta Jansdotter’s book “Simple sewing for baby” and I always wanted to try out the snuggler-pattern. It turned out to be very useful and the American Jane-fabric did the job! Don’t you think?

A cozy snuggler with the outer shell made from the green Garden print

Detail of snuggler - ready to keep an infant warm and secure


Because I liked the fabric so much and I could use a blanket too, I made one for myself using the Garden in Green. I saw these blankets on every weblog I was following and this was the result:

Lap blanket with beautiful orange pipingLap blanket in full view

And a few weeks later I finally found a destination for the Tudor Stripes. I made the Reversible Bag, a pattern I found on Very Purple Persons blog, using a Kokka-fabric for the outside, something with orange flowers and the green stripes were perfect as a lining. I also made some matching purses and a pencil case.

Reversible Bag with Kokka fabric on the exterior and green Tudor Stripe on the interiorMatching coin purse - super cute!

Along with these two fabrics I received a small part of the “dots-frabric” from the same collection. I used this fabric to make another pencil case to explain on my own blog how to make an easy pencil case like this. I’m gonna give it away to my readers along with another small purse I made.

Coin purse and pencil case

And last week, I used the stripes to pimp a shirt and put a dragon on it.

T-shirt with dinosaur applique made from the green Tudor Stripe

And on the planning, there is a small garden-in-green-circle skirt for the 4 years old girl next door. Though, I didn’t had enough fabric anymore, so I ordered another 7 yards at MoonaFabrics. Hoping it will be here soon, so I can start making the skirt!

Note from Moona Fabrics: Nele, thank you so much for your time, effort, energy and beautiful photography! We truly love the projects you’ve constructed and are honored that you agreed to write a guest post for us. If you are interested in reading more about Nele’s sewing projects and seeing her completed circle skirt, please visit her blog at http://missyn-84.blogspot.com/2011/04/zsazsa-cirkelrok-1.html .

-Nicole & Sue

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Sewing the Afternoon Tea Party Jumper – Oliver + S

I’ve always admired the Oliver + S patterns. The vintage paper doll illustrations on the front of the envelope are adorable. The garment designs are age appropriate and very stylish.
The Oliver + S Afternoon Tea Party jumper seemed to be the perfect pattern to use with Windham’s Tea for Two fabrics. It’s also an ideal pattern to use coordinating fabrics on the skirt and bodice which can be a lot of fun.

Concept of dress before cutting

 Typically when I start a sewing project I transfer the pattern to architectural tracing paper. It’s inexpensive and the pattern pieces can be re-used at least a few times. It’s also very easy to see through which makes the tracing go quickly.

Architectural Tracing Paper

After tracing the pattern I studied the skirt fabric and decided that the flower vase would look great in the center panels. I then chose different design motifs from the fabric to feature in each of the side panels. Since the bodice fabric has such a small print I didn’t worry about where to cut the fabric.
I decided to bypass the pattern instructions for creating the bias tape and instead used a fabric strip cut off the bolt. Although it wasn’t quite as giving as fabric cut on the bias, it seemed to be flexible enough to round the curves on the bodice.

The skirt went together easily and was a lot of fun to assemble. Seam finishing can be a question. This time around I decided to press the seam open and then press the seam over to one side, zig-zag both raw edges together, and then top stitch to keep the seam in place. I really like how clean this turned out. The seams are still tidy even after a few washes!

Pressing Skirt Seams Open

Pressing Seams to one side and zig-zagging two pieces together.

Half of Skirt Assembled

After the bias tape was applied to the bodice the directions were not clear if the tape should have the loose end up or down. I decided to finish the dress with the loose end down to keep food and dust from collecting in the bias strip.

Loose end of Bias Strip Pointing Down

One of my more favorite things about this pattern is the finished hem. A separate piece of fabric is applied to the skirt bottom which gives the skirt a nice weight at the bottom and a bit of special detail, especially if a coordinating fabric is used.

Coordinating Fabric used on Hemline

Finally, the buttons. I chose two mismatched vintage glass buttons. They reminded me of Depression glass and have a sort-of kitchen-y feel.

Glass Button

... and the Other Glass Button!

Overall this is a great pattern with great directions and helpful sewing tips. I plan to make it again soon! If you’ve made this pattern, let me know how it went for you. I’d love to see an image of the finished product.

Finished and Ready to Wear

Happy Sewing :) 


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Just In – Amy Butler Soul Blossoms!

We just received the new Amy Butler Soul Blossoms in and it is full of color and pattern. We really love it! Some prints are reminiscent of classic Amy Butler designs such as her Midwest Modern and Lotus collections.

Buttercups in Cyan

Classic Amy Butler design

Other fabric designs step away from the past with wild prints and bold colors reminiscent of a Jimi Hendrix button down shirt.

Disco Flower in Chocolate

Wild and bold

To view the collection, click here: http://www.moonafabrics.com/catalog/view_collection/2924

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Moona Fabrics to Launch November 1st

We are excited to announce that Moona Fabrics is launching on the world wide web in early November. Check back soon for updates!

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