Luggage tag or Name tag – A Tutorial

I have been cruising with the same core of people who love and/or make wearable art for the last 7 years. Our numbers run from 50-70 cruisers every year. Since I have trouble with names I suggested name tags. Of course I was requested to make them and I tried to do something different every year. On cruises since your key room card is also your charge card it really is the only thing you need all day. So that I could be free from my purse every day I decided to combine the two and make the name tags also able to hold the key card to our room.

Since this would be our last time in this format I decided to take it one step further and create luggage tags that could be used to remember our good times. I had some decorator fabric samples that made perfect fabric for these tags. We also had one 4 year old join us and I bought him some monster fabric. That is the one I photographed for the tutorial.


First I cut a piece 7″ X 6″ which I then interfaced with a light interfacing. Then I cut it in half for 2 pieces 31/2″ X 6″.





The next piece of fashion fabric was cut 3 1/2″ X 5″. I had two templates that I made the same size from cardstock. I cut a square hole 1″ in on the top and bottom and 7/8″ on the sides. The other had a cut out 1 1/4″ on the sides and 1 3/8″ top and bottom. I then used these to chalk on the wrong side of the smallest piece.


Cut out the inner rectangle and then make slits in all 4 corners to the second chalk mark.


Iron the flaps back. Turn one of the shorter sides back about 1/4″ and iron. This will be where your info goes.










Place the plastic down on the machine with the window on top right side out. Sew all the way around the window. Trim the plastic to about 1/2″ from sewing. I found that using my teflon mat from my free motion days to make this step much easier as the plastic tends to stick as you are sewing around and the sheet really helped.


Put the top and the bottom pieces with the snipped ends right side together and sandwich the window/plastic piece in the middle. Starting at the bottom of one side sew all the way around leaving the bottom open. Clip the corners and turn the whole thing right side out.


I like a fairly stiff tag, so I cut this really stiff interfacing (almost the weight of a sheet of cardboard) a bit smaller than the sewn and turned tag and stuffed it into the middle before sewing up the bottom. You can sew up the bottom without this step.


I found that a larger crochet hook helped with turning the corners. I know I have one of those thingys that you can buy, but I can never find it and I always can find a crochet hook.

The final step was to punch a hole and put a brass eyelet at the top to attach a string to. You can buy kits at craft stores that have the punch and the brass eyelets. I was making these right up to the last minute and don’t have a picture of the totally finished piece. I put an extra long ribbon on them and these became our name tags/room key card holders. Everyone loved them and several people wanted to know if they could buy more. I didn’t want to make them for sale, but I said I would put a tutorial up and they could make one themselves. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email artweardesign@comcast. net.]






Round Robin Purse finished! When does the Cruise start?

[portfolio_slideshow id=254]

I belong to a local group of exceptional fiber artist that have been meeting over 25 years. No president (just a moderator to keep talk on track), no treasurers report (we pay dues to cover expenses, but it is so minimal no one wants to hear month to month reports), no secretary (someone takes notes and sends out a newsletter)… it’s mostly about the art. We have a year long project which we share progress monthly. Lively meetings filled with lots of love and creativity.

This year we decided to make collage purses. Some decided they wanted other things (a box, a knitting needle holder….), but the basic rules were the same – we were to bring in all the sides to our pieces – fabric on both sides sewn shut with some light stuffing in the middle. Then someone took your purse home, did some technique to it and brought it back the next month when it went to someone else to work on. All in all 6 people worked on embellishing a piece.

I used some of my hand dyed cotton I had and gave the theme “Ocean Dreams”. I intended to make a basic purse with 3 pieces: front, back, flap. But as with all good plans when I got the pieces back they just didn’t want to go that way. Then I thought I might make a tote bag – but that just wasn’t totally working. So I used two of the pieces to create just the front of a tote bag. I am really pleased with the results and can’t wait to use it on the cruise!

WIth the third piece I did make a purse using it as the front foldover flap. Since I cut up a pair of old jeans for the body and strap I took the back pocket and added it just inside the purse. I had a tiny scrap of lace from my mothers wedding veil and really liked the look of denim and lace so that was my final touch. I am going to use the purse right away as I am considering adding a purse to my line this year and I want to ‘road test’ this design before going into production.

White Bamboo tunic – now available in black!

I received 50 yds of black bamboo and could not wait to tear it open! If you are not familiar with bamboo as a fabric you really owe it to yourself to search it out! The fabric drapes and feels like silk, but you can gentle cycle machine wash them. They also naturally resist wrinkles and absorb moisture, wicking it away from your body to keep you cool and dry.  I make the body out of the bamboo and the sleeves are a silk gauze that has been sewn to create bubbles in the fabric. They really are great to wear to look (and feel) pulled together and comfortable this summer. This week I have made 5 new tunics and they are ready to be painted. The ones in the picture I made  in January and they all found new homes at the Galveston show. Love the way the paint looks on the black! The plan is to have lots of these available for my first show in July in Ann Arbor! I have lots of ideas for different things to do to these to make them wonderful . If you have any ideas for designs you would like to see, feel free to leave a comment!


Cruising on Full Power – Galvez Hotel Show

When we arrived at the Hotel Galvez we were greatly impressed with the high quality of the grounds and building. For a hotel built in 1901 and a survivor of multiple hurricanes it was in impeccable shape.


The ballroom that was to be our show area presented some interesting challenges-especially without my usual show props. Among one of the challenges was a lack of lighting. The hotel offered to rent us a floor lamp and I took them up on the offer. After playing with several places to put it I finally decided I got the most light by putting it on top of the table. Then I decided I would use it further by clipping my bamboo socks and silk scarves to the lamp. It really worked quite well!


We had a bit of time between set up and the doors opening for the show and some of the guys got a bit goofy:


Dancing with the mannequins!

It was a very nice show. We did notice several shops around town with our postcards so it was no surprise in talking to many of the people who stopped by that they were locals.

The next day we boarded our ship and set sail for Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. I will be writing about those stops along with our Cruising on Full Power get together’s, parties and shows.