Practical Sewing – Tool Belts

It is fun to take a simple sewing idea and enhance it with your own creativity.

I chose a nail apron from Lowe’s Hardware for inspiration for my tool belts.

I used fabric designs with mathematical measurements and angles and formulas plus wood grain patterns for pockets over a heavy canvas back.




A friend suggested I add a loop for a hammer at the side. 

Some are on the right and some are on the left.

I had fun playing with the different fabric combinations to create pockets, pencil holders and loops.

The heavy canvas is from a bolt which my husband bought at an auction.



I wash each section as I am ready to use it.  That is what gives it the frayed look.



The straps are folded over twice and stitched twice with a zigzag stitch.

I chose mesh for a contrast in texture for one tool belt, along with a celebration of the Texas origins of one of the recipients.

I had a lot of fun playing with the various fabrics and creating new sets of pockets where I could.

© 2018 Kathryn Hardage


My First 10-Stitch Coat

My First 10-Stitch Coat

Travelling across the country, I purchased lots of $1/skein yarn.  I would buy either ten or twenty skeins.  My most colorful yarn was a red-yellow-blue combination.  When I knitted it, it was too crazy.  I needed something to tone it down.  Eventually, I chose black.

I used size 13 needles with a double strand of yarn, one of the colorful skein, the other, black.

I cast on 10 stitches and knit garter stitch until the strip measured the length of my arms from wrist to wrist.  For the yoke, I cast on twenty stitches and knit the same length.  For the fronts, I knit twenty stitches half the length.

To assemble the coat, I stitched the fronts to the yoke, leaving a “comfortable” neck opening on the top.  I stitched under the arm all the way, yoke to front.

Then I began stitching the ten-stitch strips from the front, under the arm and across the yoke and under the other arm to the other front.

I did this until I reached the desired length for my coat.

I stitched around all the edges with a contrasting yarn for style.  I used Voo-Doo yarn in black.  It is whimsical with its thick and thin, fluffy and straight sections.

One more ten-stitch strip serves for the belt and has a button and yarn closure.

I used ten skeins.

I lined my coat because yarn can stretch and I want to enjoy this coat for many years.

I cut rectangles to match the parts of the coat and hemmed them.  Then I hand-sewed them to the inside of my coat.  I tacked the lining across the skirt section of the coat.

This is my first ten-stitch coat.  It was so easy to knit while we were travelling, and even in the movies, so I have made a couple more.  It is easy to add variations based on the yarn you choose, how full you want the skirt, and if you want to shape the sleeves differently.

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Recycled Produce Bags

I noticed empty mesh produce bags that had held fifty pounds of onions at my co-op pick-up site.

There were three of them, so I converted them into shopping bags for myself.

I knew I would not be carrying fifty pounds of anything, so I was sure they would be strong enough.

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Since there was a winter market coming up for the Coppell Farmer’s Market, I decided to ask if they still had space and if my product would be appropriate.

Meanwhile, I started tracking down a supply of bags, just in case.

Usually, I have several projects going on at once and they all take a while to get started.

Not this time!

I paid the application fee, got approval, and have been sewing up bags with colorful webbing handles.

The market is tomorrow.

I also put my fiber art journals down as a product, so I will be taking them as well.







What a quick start!

We will see what happens.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage


Sew a Button

One of my After School Activity Clubs will teach Sewing and Cooking.

I had the opportunity to help a new friend, an adult, learn to sew on a button.  It is so automatic for me, since I had been taught how to do this as a young elementary student.  It required me thinking through how I cut the thread off the spool, thread the needle, tie a knot in the thread and the order of sewing through the holes in the button.  (We sewed on a couple of buttons with four holes.)  Then, the final act of tying it off and cutting the thread.  Another adult was fascinated by the process as well.

It feels so good to know how to do things, practical things as well as decorative things.  I am very aware of the skills which my grandparents surely had, which I don’t.  I look forward to teaching what I know as well as learning from others.