Posts filed under ‘Things and stuff’

My bag is a drunk

I’m taking a break from my regularly scheduled program (a.k.a. “The Move”) to share some travel pictures with you.

I absolutely love love love it when people who have purchased something from Fat Orange Cat send me photos of themselves using, wearing, holding their apron, tote bag, whatever. For some reason, it makes me giddy to get actual photographic proof that my stuff is being used and loved.

My friend bought a market tote from me and took it on vacation with her as she and her boyfriend (a very good friend of mine) traveled from New York up to Maine. And the bag had many wonderful adventures, starting at a winery.

Apparently, the bag is a bit of an alcoholic. Er….wine connoisseur.

That’s him passed out in the background.

He also took in some gorgeous New England scenery.

I heard a rumor that he may have taken a couple of pint glasses too, but it’s hearsay, there’s no evidence, and I don’t like to gossip.

Thanks for the photos, E & M! You guys are the best!


July 28, 2009 at 4:04 pm 1 comment


Nola had a moment with a lizard today.

It’s all the way over to the right, perched on the edge of the deck. She’s eyeing it up, but she’s too fat and slow to ever catch it.

I finished a new market tote, which I’ve posted to The Boutique.

I usually work with bold, contrasting colors, and I wanted to try something more monochromatic and subtle (at least on the outside). 

I stacked three appliqued circles and finished each one off with a single stitch of shimmery gold thread.

I decided not to go subtle on the inside, mostly because I love how well red, black and white work together.

Check it out here.

July 14, 2009 at 7:35 pm 2 comments

My life in boxes

I feel rather uprooted right now.

We started packing for our move a couple of weeks ago. We’ve been doing a few boxes at a time so as not to overwhelm ourselves. And while that is, in theory, a fantastic and efficient idea, being surrounded by boxes is starting to make me a little anxious.

Being in the middle of a big move is not fun, and I feel like we’ve managed to stretch it out a lot longer than we had to. I’m glad we got an early start, and I know it will pay off in the long run. But in the meantime, I’m living among stacks of boxes and feeling very unsettled.

Thankfully, we get the keys to our new place this Saturday, and we can start moving stuff over a little at a time until our official move-in date the following Saturday. CAN. NOT. WAIT.

I’m working on a new market tote and hope to have photos of the whole bag tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s a peek!

July 13, 2009 at 6:02 pm Leave a comment

Honeymoon bag

Hello everyone! It’s been almost a full month since I last posted, but I have a very, very good reason for my absence.

Alex and I got married! 

We had a small, simple ceremony in the courtyard of an historic bed and breakfast in Fernandina Beach, Florida. We got to celebrate our marriage with the people we’re closest to, and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.

(Thank you, Megan, for the beautiful photograph above, and for all the amazing photos you took for us that day!) 

A week after the wedding, we went on our honeymoon — a seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise. It was an indescribable trip. I want to go back. Like, now.

During the week between the wedding and the honeymoon, I actually got some sewing done for myself. While shopping for the trip, I found this bag (that I loved) at Old Navy.

I knew I wanted a bag that crossed my body so that I could wear it comfortably while walking around all the little island towns. The one at Old Navy was only $15, but I decided to make one instead. It’s so rare that I make anything for myself, so it was less about saving money than it was about treating myself to a Fat Orange Cat original.

I was tempted to make it super bright but went with more neutral fabrics so that the bag wouldn’t clash with anything I wore on the honeymoon.

And inside, I included two — that’s right, TWO — pockets, which I lined in polka dots (a little secret treat for myself).

This bag got soaking wet while we kayaked, the pockets got filled with sand while we lay on the beach, it got shoved into my suitcase for the trip home, and it held up very nicely. It’s my honeymoon bag!

April 14, 2009 at 6:21 pm 12 comments

How to sew a pocket

I don’t know if any of you are apprehensive about sewing pockets like I was before I found an easy-peasy way of sewing them. I dunno, maybe it was just me with this irrational pocket fear.

But I found a very simple way to sew a pocket with a liner and hidden seams, and I figured I would share with my fellow crafty folks. Seriously, this is so easy that I can’t believe I avoided them for so long.

And if you already knew how to do this, then just smile and nod and pretend I’m not insane for being the only person left on the planet who, until recently, had nightmares about pockets. (And zippers, but that’s another story for another day.)

1. Determine the size you would like your final pocket to be. Measure two pieces of fabric that are one inch larger than your final pocket size. So if you want your pocket to be 6″x6″, measure two pieces of 7″x7″ fabric. One piece will be the outside of your pocket, and one piece will be your liner.

2. Place the two pieces of fabric together with the right sides facing each other and pin. After you sew, you will be turning the pieces right-side-out, so prepare to leave a 2″ to 3″ opening on any of the three edges that will not end up being the top of the pocket. I mark the beginning and end of where I want my gap to be with two pins so that I don’t forget where to stop while I’m sewing.

3. Sew the two pieces together leaving a 1/2″ seam allowance. Trim all the corners.

4. Iron all the seams open and turn the pieces right-side-out. Use a chopstick or pencil to gently push out the corners. Iron the pocket so that all the seams are flat. Make sure the rough edges of the 2″ to 3″ part that you did not sew are folded in so that when the pocket is lying flat, it looks like one perfect seam.

5. Making sure that the 2″ to 3″ opening is not at the top, pin the pocket to the piece of fabric you want to sew the pocket onto, with the pocket liner facing the good side of the panel.

6. Attach the pocket to the panel by stitching three sides of the pocket (be sure to leave the top open!) approximately 1/8″ from the edge. Do a back-tack stitch at the beginning and end to secure it. Note: If you want the stitching to show, use a contrasting color of thread.

7. Stitch around the pocket again, this time approximately 1/4″ from the edge. Do a back-tack stitch at the beginning and end to secure it.

8. Iron the seams, and voila! You’ve got a simple, lined pocket!

9. Put stuff in it.

I hope this tutorial is helpful, but if anyone has any other suggestions for how to sew pockets, please share!

March 16, 2009 at 6:23 pm 18 comments


First, I’d like to thank everyone for all the wonderful ideas for a room divider. Alex and I haven’t decided yet what we’re going to do, but the suggestions were perfect — exactly the types of ideas we were looking for but couldn’t figure out on our own.

I took a trip to the fabric store today on my lunch break and was instantly inspired to start sewing again when I saw the hundreds of colorful fabric bolts. There were all sorts of yummy new fabrics in beautiful springtime colors. Red and white toile, lime and white damask, polka dots in every color imaginable. I’m pretty sure I drooled a little. Okay, a lot.

For the first time in months, I’m completely ready — and excited — to start sewing again. I have tons of ideas floating around in my noggin, and I’m hoping to get some sewing done this weekend so I can update The Boutique.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

March 13, 2009 at 5:37 pm 2 comments


I need some advice, fellow crafty people!

Alex and I recently moved our bedroom furniture around. We have a rather large bedroom (which we are extremely thankful for, since overall, our apartment is very small). So we were able to completely shift everything and create two separate spaces — a bedroom area, and a sewing/craft area.

The bed is now under the window (which the kitties love!). We placed one of our dressers at the foot of our bed, facing out, to create a visual separation between the two spaces, thus making our bedroom area more of a cozy “nook.” We’d like to hang something above the dresser — from the ceiling — to separate the spaces even more.

So…any ideas? The only thing we’ve come up with so far is a vintage window, but we’re looking for some other options.

The criteria for this “something” are as follows: 

  • It must be attractive on both sides
  • We must be able to hang it from the ceiling
  • It will be hung over the dresser in the middle of the room, so it can’t be more than, say, three feet long by four feet wide (give or take)
  • The cheaper the better 🙂

I know how creative you all are, so I’d love some ideas!

March 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm 11 comments

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Fat Orange Cat is a site about finding the beauty in all things homemade, appreciating the secret story of dusty vintage pieces, and realizing there is nothing cozier than curling up under an old quilt with a glass of wine. ::: If you feel inspired, please leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you! ::: Email me at karynjeanne12(at)gmail(dot)com.

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