Great Expectations— or Something Like That

There was a period in my sewing life that my attitude was “if it has to be lined, I’m not making it!!!!”.  Fast forward 15-20 years and now it seems “If it’s NOT lined, I’m not making it”.  My, how attitudes change over the years.

If you’ve seen much of anything that I have made since getting back to one of my greatest passions, sewing, you’ll most likely, at some point, realize I line EVERYTHING.  Just doesn’t seem to me that it’s a finished product if it’s not lined.  But that causes other issues…

Since everything, or most everything I create is doubled by making a lining, and since mostly what I do is recycle or use vintage materials, finding sufficient lining fabrics can be a real challenge.  So when Deb relayed to me in a Messenger message, “I found a box of lining materials.  Would you like them?”

LOL, silly girl… did she even need to ask… like a dog begging for a treat, there I was … “yes … yes.. yes … bring the box with you when you come.”

So, the day came for her to bring Harley to stay with Aunti Jen while Deb and spouse, Dale, go off on a cruise for Christmas.  Naturally I reminded her … “Bring the box of lining materials.”

I pondered all afternoon where I would store this box of precious materials… she said the box was fabrics from her mother-in-law … so it should be packed and lots of it… I’d stored materials from her mother-in-law for years and based on those boxes, I imagined it was probably this big.


Or maybe a littler smaller.

Maybe something like this…..

Of course when they drove up, I was excited to see Harley dog, but more to the point… where is the box of lining materials?


After being assured she would remember them when she came back to pick up Harley, even though I was a little disappointed, I understood.  Things get really crazy when they are trying to head out for a trip.  Patience, grasshopper, I told myself……. So, I waited…. and waited ……

They went on their cruise, did a day’s worth of resting up then were heading back down here to retrieve their precious Harley and I was just sure I was headed for excitement city, finally getting this windfall of lining materials in to my now, hot, sweaty with anticipating, hands.

Somehow I managed to contain my anxiousness when I heard them drive up, but I was also working on something in the sewing corner when they came in, so I didn’t see the box.  After a brief SECOND of polite convo, I popped the question.

“Did you remember the box of lining materials?”

Deb said, “yeah, it’s in the chair right there.”

Well, it’s not like I am ungrateful for the thought and the offer, but I’m gonna show you the box now and then… well, what could I say other than:

“WOW!  Thanks so much.  I really appreciate it.” (And to be perfectly honest, I am completely grateful.)

And with that note, I’ll just show you the box and make my exit.

And to put it in perspective ……

And now I’m off to use those 3 pieces of lining fabric.  I have 3 6”x6” pockets that need a lining… this donation ought to work fine….

So, in the mean time….

Live Every Moment, Love Beyond Words, Laugh Everyday,


4TxSisters at Etsy

Visit my Youtube Channel

The BEST Sweet Cornbread

I’ve become somewhat of a purist along with Gluten free by choice, almost fat free by force.. and somewhere in the middle as far as proteins and carbs go.

If I still ate cornbread, this is the only way I would eat it …

Because ……

It’s quick,

It’s simple,

it’s absolutely, unequivocally delish ….

………. and if you ever invite me over and expect me to eat cornbread,  this is the only way I’ll eat it, so be prepared.  LOL

1 Box Jiffy Cornbread Mix
1 8oz container sour cream (lite works as well as the full fat/regular type sour cream)
4 eggs

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, pour into an 8×8 greased cake pan. Cook according to instructions on box.

It’s great with chili, soups, and any or dish you would normally serve with cornbread.

I even had a guest crumble it up and put it in milk for a dessert one time.  I have to confess, I’d never seen that done, but he gave my cornbread rave reviews once it went into the milk.

It’s likely you could use yogurt or even a non-dairy replacement.  I haven’t tried it, but do know the recipe is fairly forgiving.

So, in the mean time….

Live Every Moment, Love Beyond Words, Laugh Everyday,


4TxSisters at Etsy

Visit my Youtube Channel

Like The Blue Suede Shoes?

Some things, you just don’t repeat, but some are really cute and bear being overheard and shared … at least that’s my story and I’m stickin to it today. lol

A little back story here, Deb is going Cruising … AGAIN !!!   AND, she’s already said she’ll be going again in December – SMH SMH SMH – What am I now?  chopped Cruise Harley Hotel and Bag Maker?   LOL – I mean, she did just abscond with 10 of my latest bags AND she left the dog?  What’s with that?


So, we have this sisters/mother private Messenger chat group, right?

Well, I caught this convo going on yesterday afternoon after Deb had arrived In Galveston.

shhh …. read, but don’t repeat, because we’re almost like … kissing and telling …. ALMOST … NOT QUITE!!!!


SAT 3:33 P.M.

SP:  Arrived in Galveston. No Wi-Fi for ipad. Wont stay connected.

Sorry bout that, chief.


GP:   Hooray, you arrived safely. Don’t fret about the Wi-Fi, check in when you can. We don’t want to become a chore. Concentrate on the “good times”


SP: clip_image0021


GP:   Check in tomorrow?




Hope you and Dale enjoy a relaxing evening.


SP:   Yez. We do tboard until 10:00am.

Xinner with friends from Kehmah. They come over when we are in Galveston.


Offuntil later. I have 10 bags i think. May be 8 tjough. Lol



GP:   Have fun. Will catch up with you later.


SP:   will count them soon and pick one for tonight and tomorrow

SP:  Bye.

GP:  Bye

SP:  L8er

Time Passes ……………………4:47pm



Ready to go to dinner. Outside pockets.

Inside zipper pocket.

GP:  Nice bag

Such a clean purse. LOL

SP:  Lenty of room left over. Think i can get my ipad in as well as my phone.

Lol. Suede

Very soft.

GP:  Purse is NO good if iPad doesn’t fit.

Love suede too!

SP:  Lol.

GP:  Enjoy dinner and the company.

SP: Need messenger bag for that. Lol no garage

Lol. Ignore last.

GP:  Thank you iPad…huh!

SP:  Dumb phone. Lol.


Ipad win t connect here.

………….and they moved on to their respective as you were’ing from there —

Here’s the front and back of that bag ..



~~~ the end ~~~ (as I say in the group )

So, in the mean time….

Live Every Moment, Love Beyond Words, Laugh Everyday,


4TxSisters at Etsy

The Toddler’s Velveteen & Lace Dress Gets an Upcycle

1st sister, Pat discovered this cute little toddler dress and evidently it just screamed “send me to Jennifer, send me to Jennifer.” So, she did.

In the box that she sent were probably at least half a dozen shirts she sent for making my man’s shirt aprons, a slinky, shiny blouse which I loved, and this little dress. The dress screamed the loudest … and it said “Me, Me, do something with me first.”

2nd sister, Deb, happened to be visiting at the time and when I waved it at her and said, “this would make a cute bag, but it’s gonna be bigger than I have been making lately.”

She replied matter of factly, “Ok, so, cut it in half.”

I whipped around to look at Deb and said “EH?  In half?”

So, I looked at it and said — “hmm”… folded it in half and was totally sold on the idea.

Some cutting, splicing, finding and making of a lining with a pocket (gotta have pockets somewhere – lol )…… Presto-change- a cute little toddler dress now becomes two near identical small bags.

(The lining with the inner pocket that you really can’t see)

They are over on Etsy at the time of this writing, but I cant say they are one of a kind … lol

………….  Because …

There are TWO of them…   TWINS !!!

And they are just too precious even if I must say so myself.

But here’s what my mother and sisters had to say  on Etsy:   (See the bags on Etsy)


Lacy and frilly, fun loving and sassy purse for that precious one in your life. Bound to bring plenty of oohs and ahhs her way. Whether Young or old, she will feel like a princess with this bag on her shoulder. Easter, Spring , but also weddings, parties and anytime events.  It’s jewelry on your young lady’s shoulder.

Have two special young ladies in your life, or even twins?  Well, you’re in luck because there are two of these precious purses available.  This listing is only for ONE bag, but a second is also available for purchase at this time.


Very definitely this is a “statement bag”….. anyone carrying this bag is saying, “I feel beautiful, feminine, and significant!”  Buy one and share the other with your daughter, granddaughter, best friend, sister, sorority sister, etc. The bags are two-of -a-kind only and will demonstrate the uniqueness of the women who carry them.”

Mother and the sisters all write great ad copy, don’t they? Wish they would do it for everything I make, but they’ve all balked at that suggestion in the past…..

Just made a video on these adorable bags, check it out

So, in the mean time….

Live Every Moment, Love Beyond Words, Laugh Everyday, ~


4TxSisters at Etsy

The Upcycle Challenge–Making an Adult-Child Apron Set using A Man’s Shirt

It’s a set of Aprons for that special Mother/daughter/son, or Father/daughter/son combo.  And of course there are numerous other combos … the Aunt or Uncle/niece/nephew, Grandparent ……. etc  …

The original challenge  by the 3 other sisters and our mother was to make matching aprons for an adult and child from shirts. If it weren’t an upcycle challenge, I could have just gone out and bought a child’s shirt and adult man’s shirt as a matching set.  But, I also don’t like accepting easy challenges.. what’s the challenge in that?  lol

I found a man’s light pink shirt, a boy’s purple plaid shirt and hoped that some hand dyeing would do the trick to pull them together enough that I could mix and match parts … take from the plaid and put on the solid and vice-a-versa.  But once I set dye to each piece, ugh … I was further away from my goal than when I started.

No, I’m not going to show what that combo looked like.  Just trust me, ugh ugh ugh … not quite gag me with a stick ugh, but it definitely was not going to fly …. so back to the drawing board.

I WILL show you the man’s shirt on the dye boards though.

After all the parts of the shirt were dry and I had set the dye, I found myself tossing all the parts of this shirt from one hand to the other… How was I going to make this work, because I might end up searching the rest of my life for a child’s shirt that would mesh with the pink/dyed purple man’s shirt.

So, it was inventory time… I needed to look at this project differently.  Just what did I have available in my hand that I wasn’t seeing the bigger picture of uses for? I knew I would need most every bit of the back for the ties and I would use one sleeve for the larger deep pockets I like to put on my aprons and then it hit me— every shirt has TWO sleeves, silly — The BIG question though was, can I squeeze a child sized apron out of a man’s shirt sleeve?

And here’s the answer to that question –   YES!  You can squeeze a child sized apron from a man’s shirt sleeve.

Here’s the set together along with the adult apron by its self.

Even the lining is hand-dyed- and yeah, I do like lining my aprons.

Here’s all that’s left of the original “Joseph & Feiss” man’s dress shirt size 16  36/37.


Now, as a side note, I can hear some people saying ‘yeah, I can see a woman, mother, daughter, aunt, grandmother wearing a purple apron, but no man I know is going to wear a purple apron… ‘

To that I say  this – ANY GUY will look AWESOME in a purple shirt as well as a hand-dyed purple apron, so give it a go…  (I’d go so far as saying a guy looks “HOT” in purple but I’ve been told, at my age I shouldn’t be saying things like that in public… so – I won’t …… just play like you didn’t read that.  (Unread, Unread – Unsee, Unsee, as Shari likes to say.)

Beyond that,  as I write this post, the apron set is over on Etsy.  If it’s gone by time you read this article and you’d like a set, then send us an email here on the blog at 4TxSisters (at)  Address it to Jennifer – or not—lol – guess it really doesn’t matter who you address it to, so far, I’m the apron maker of the group, so most likely it will be passed on to me.

So, in the mean time….

Live Every Moment, Love Beyond Words, Laugh Everyday,

4TxSisters at Etsy

The Taming of The Thread

LOL – this is so incorrectly titled, it makes me laugh.

Honestly, there IS NO taming of a thread, not when we’re talking about upcycling fabric.  But let’s start at the beginning instead of the end, ok?


Two mantras:

Clip your threads as you sew

Press as you go

Those were the two mantras I learned over time and they repeat in my head every time I sit down at the sewing machine.


However, since I probably do the most seam ripping of all four of us, I probably have the most to lament about here … I know, I know, Shari would say differently since when Deb and I visited with her for over a week, the guys had to vacuum daily just to keep up with the threads we were tracking into the guest bedroom.

And it starts out so innocently….

A thread here, a thread there.

Next thing you know, you see one on your sweatpants leg.

little later, you look down at your leg and there’s a gathering.. for thread escapees?

Then you start to see them on the floor.

Then at some point you realize that it seems NOTHING is safe ….. the slippers have even fallen victim

But I guess the most perplexing case is outside….  I don’t EVEN know how to explain the mess I’ve got growing on my outdoor mat.  What’s worse is, I go out that door at least 2-3 times a day, how did I not notice something of such epic proportion going on right in front of my eyes?  What the heck is THAT all about?



I guess this would be the best place for me to confess that I HATE stray threads… So I am constantly, I MEAN CONSTANTLY picking threads.. and around my house, that’s almost a full time job in of itself.

What’s worse though is standing in the checkout line somewhere and glimpsing a stray thread on the stranger in front of you.

First thought that goes through my head is, “OMG, did that come off me?”  – rofl – and then the second is “Do I dare reach out and pluck that offending thread off?”

Then I start having this inner battle with myself … do I or don’t I.  To pluck or not to pluck.  Sometimes I just have to look away and try to find something else to get my mind on… If I don’t – that stray thread is likely to drive me crazy.  Can you imagine standing in line and the person behind you taps on your shoulder and says something like “Excuse me, but you have a stray thread on the back of your jacket.  I’m just going to take it off for you, OK?”

Honestly, I’ve never known myself to be obsessed by such things, and maybe it’s only gotten to this point because I rip so many seams now days.

How does all this obsession with stray threads impact YOU when you buy something we’ve made?

I know I am speaking for all of us here at 4TxSisters, but I’m going to say with confidence that we ALL do our best to keep our little stragglers from becoming a part of your household, because frankly, I’m beginning to think they’re like those Gremlins in that old 1984 movie.  They seem to multiple all on their own.  However, also honestly speaking, it’s possible that one, maybe even two are going to disguise themselves and slip into your things…

There’s a a few ways I’m going to ask you to look at these little escapees.

#1 Please forgive us, we honestly hate to know that you’ve received one(or more)

#2  Please don’t send them back… as we have plenty already.

#3 …  and this is really important


All kidding aside, the bottom line here is, no matter how much we try to capture every little thread we pull or rip, there ARE going to be those who make the great escape and one little straggler or two might just end up on something we send you.

Oh, and I’m not even going to go there about trimming all those threads the Manufacturers leave dangling.  I mean, seriously?

I guess some are wondering WHY I even mention this bizarre phenomenon .

Well, besides the obvious- I live in a house of untamed threads, there’s another reason why —-

I was reading some reviews on another fabric upcycler’s Etsy shop page not long ago and evidently one of the buyers was actually ranting about how tacky it was to receive an item with a “thread” just sitting there loose.  GASP!!!!!   “Sloppy workmanship” she called it.

Once I got through GASPING at how AWFUL that must be (yes, there was sarcasm in my thoughts and GASPS), all I could do was shake my head.  If you don’t rip seams for a living like upcyclers do, then you have no earthly idea of just how messy the job is that goes on behind that beautiful product that person has made for you.  Not only is it messy. but it’s time consuming and that fabric artist very likely is NOT charging for the amount of time it took to take something apart and put it back together in a new and exciting way… but there again, that’s not what this post is about, so getting back on track … and getting to the point/moral/whatever …

Here’s how I feel about the things we upcycle:

We put all our love and attention to the detail as is humanly possible into everything we create… be it with new items or ‘lightly used/slightly used’ items.  I can safely say that NONE of us like stray threads and will always do our darned-est to make sure we don’t share them with you; however, it’s also possible that one (or two) may sneak a ride from our house to yours.

If that bothers you, or makes you think we do sloppy work, then … well, I’m probably going to recommend you look somewhere else for whatever it is you’re wanting to purchase.  Because — in the world of seam ripping, there’s just no guarantee that those pesky little removed threads are ALL gonna go where they belong…. in the trash.

So, in the mean time….

Live Every Moment, Love Beyond Words, Laugh Everyday,


4TxSisters at Etsy

PS:  I was just taking pics of some small Crossbody Cell Phone bags I am going to put on Etsy… and LOOK – those threads were trying to creep onto my bag while I was taking a picture of it — smh smh ….