An Accomplished Woman

Comprehending a great deal

Accomplished: Lavender Sachets Sewn

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Silk sachets filled with lavender

Tonight, a Monday, I whipped up these three sachets (and took this awful picture of them).

Time: 2 hours or less if you keep the decorations simple

Difficulty: 2

Tools and Materials:

  • Rag bag slub silk scraps (eggplant and turquoise)
  • Dried lavender from the greenmarket ($10 for 1/2 pound and it’s gone a long way).
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle
  • Thread


  • Nothing fancy here.
  • I just cut a couple squares of the silk for each sachet (I pieced the stripes on the two striped ones)
  • Sewed up three sides
  • Clipped the corners
  • Turned them inside out
  • Filled 2/3 of the way full with the lavender
  • Folded the raw edges in
  • Whip stitched the opening closed.
  • I made the turquoise flower thing separately in a sort of freeform way. I just hand stitched around the edge of a randomly shaped scrap of silk and pulled tight, making a single petal. I did more the same way and stitched their raw edges (where they were pulled tight) all together. I covered the raggedy center by tacking a final poufy petal over it. Then I tacked the whole thing to the sachet.


  • Very easy little project.
  • Makes a luxurious looking and smelling gift.
  • Happy Mother’s Day, mother in law.
  • I bought the bag of lavender on a whim. I love having way more than enough of something that I have no idea how I will use.
  • So far I’ve made about 10 sachets and 3 eye masks. Mostly for last minute gifts or to round out a care package.
  • Recommended.

Written by kdka

April 27, 2010 at 3:40 am

Accomplished: Sundress Sewn

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This weekend, I sewed a sundress. Now I just need to iron it.

Total Time: about 8 hours

Difficulty: 7

Tools and Materials:


  • I followed the pattern instructions to a T.
  • Normally I cut corners, but not this time.
  • I even did french seams down the sides so there are no raw edges.


  • I loved the fabric on the bolt, but now that the dress is made, I see the pattern’s got some definite hausfrau attitude.
  • The Built by Wendy pattern is well designed and easy to follow, but the finished garment is a bit boxy and awkward, at least on my body.
  • Right now, the fabric is still stiff, so it accentuates the shapelessness.
  • Hopefully, as the cotton softens, it will hang better.
  • It may not do much for my figure, but it will be nice and cool for the summer, and it was satisfying to make.

Written by kdka

April 26, 2010 at 1:40 am

Accomplished: Bloomers Sewn

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Sewn Bloomers

Tonight, a Thursday, I sewed a pair of bloomers. What for? TBD.

Total Time: 4 hours… not so long, really, but jeebus it’s late.

Difficulty: 5

Tools and Materials:

  • About a yard of cotton muslin
  • About a yard of 1/2″ elastic
  • 2 yards 1/8″ satin ribbon
  • Elna 3210 Gallery Series sewing machine
  • Toastmaster Steam Iron, purchased at the drugstore.
  • Thread
  • Awesome and free Madeleine Mini Bloomers Pattern (Download from Collette Patterns)
  • Lexmark 7600 Series inkjet printer


  • Sewed them up as per the Collette pattern instructions.
  • No real trouble other than my printer automatically scaled the pattern to fit the print area. Since the pattern tiles on 20+ pages, I didn’t bother reprinting, I just made them the large size instead of medium.
  • As a result of this wonkiness, the waistband is a bit lower than I think was intended.


  • In theory, these are cute, but I can’t help feeling like I’m wearing a frilly diaper.
  • The model on the Collette Patterns site can pull it off; I’ll need to work on my mood lighting and my frame of mind before they 100% work for me.
  • Time will tell.

Written by kdka

April 23, 2010 at 5:23 am

Accomplished: Glass Shelves Installed in the Bathroom

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Ella helps me install glass shelves in the bathroom

This evening, a Wednesday, I mounted two glass shelves in my bathroom.

Total Time: 45 minutes, plus hours of drill charging and online/offline shopping for shelf brackets.

Difficulty: 3

Tools and Materials

  • Two 16″ x 4″ x 1/2″ beveled glass shelves found in the schwag pile at work. I actually took four of them, but they’re heavy, so two are still on my desk, waiting for the day I feel peppy enough to walk them home.
  • Two sets of “Trendo Aluminum Brackets,” purchased at The Container Store. These were an exchange. I’d first bought the “Shelf Clip Brackets” but when I got them home I looked closer and realized they were meant for wider shelves. Bad packaging!
  • Paddle hairbrush, because it was there, the hammer is loud, and I’m afraid of my neighbors.
  • Ryobi HP721K 7.2 volt cordless drill, charged overnight because if it’s not completely charged, it dies in about 45 seconds. It’s old and weak—not recommended—but I live in a 750-square-foot apartment. Who am I to buy real tools?
  • 1/4″ drill bit. For drywall installation Trendo called for 3/8″, but I don’t own one. Enlarge and hello hairbrush, meet molly.
  • KC Pro 15 in 1 ratchet action screwdriver. You’ll find these at the hardware store checkout counter. I don’t mean the counter where they mix the paint, cut new keys, or sort lug nuts. I mean the counter where you buy your Draino and lint roller. And maybe a humidifier. I used the third largest Phillips-head attachment.
  • 18″ ruler
  • Level!
  • Mechanical pencil


  • I measured the horizontal space within which I wanted to mount the shelves (22.5″ across).
  • I eyeballed the height. My goal was to get the bottom shelf aligned with the bottom of my bathroom mirror.
  • I penciled a cross-hairs at the center points (11.25″) and then measured 7″ inches on either side and made a mark to drill the holes so that each 16″ shelf would be centered in the available space, with one-inch-ish overhang on either side.
  • I used my drill fitted with its too-small bit to bore holes for the drywall anchors that came with the Trendo brackets. I wiggled the drill to make the holes big enough (of course that’s what she said).
  • I hammered in the wall anchors with the back of my paddle hairbrush.
  • Following the included instructions, I screwed the Trendos to the walls, fit the shelves in, and tightened the brackets’ grip on the glass.


  • All in all, an easy installation. The end result looks well enough, but I fear visual clutter. What will I put on these shelves? Toilet paper seems a bit crude, but it’s lightweight, useful, and when viewed in multiples, the rolls have a unexpectedly graphic appeal
  • I think the brackets are a little big for the shelves. I probably wouldn’t have put them up at all if the shelves hadn’t been free. They’re very narrow and I don’t know how much weight they’ll support.
  • Both shelves are level. I checked. This is satisfying. Nothing’s worse than drilling big holes, hairbrushing in bulky wall anchors, and then finding that you did a bad job with the measurements.

Written by kdka

April 22, 2010 at 2:54 am