Coming from Cuba, I grow up surrounded of reused, mended  and repurposed items. Sometimes your imagination will play you tricks as you think this material may work for that , and you may go all the way until the final results is a miss, but most of the time the results are awesome.

I remember in my secondary school years, we started a show during the compulsory 45 days of work in the orange plantations of Ceballos. I was performing as Farah Maria, one of the most talented and beautiful cuban singers of all times. I remember the song goes like …. “yo no me baño en el malecón “… por qué?.. porque en el agua hay un Tiburón … jajaja ( I don’t swim in the malecón (iconic cuban waterfront in Havana) why? Because there is a shark in the water.. so during the performance I danced and moved like Farah. Imitating her.

For one of my performance my aunt, a very good seamstress, make me this outfit, she repurpose a white old linen sheet and added red ribbon. The ruffles were in fashion at the time and also is a traditional cuban dress look. I remembered how short the skirt was in front, I was holding the back to cover myself , like in the picture, for the entire night. But I loved the hat, full of colourful tropical fruits and I also liked the assorted traditional neckless  also handcrafted by myself using seeds; The entire look make me feel cuban, like my idol at the time, the beautiful Farah. That was exactly in 1981.


But I just  went off topic..

Working in the operating theatres we see lot of waste every day. One of my colleagues, a recovery room nurse, rescued some blue paper sheets, the ones used to cover the sterile sets and surgeons gown , it is a sort of woven waterproof  paper. She cut it in strips, then she knitted the strips into a mat.

When I saw how beautiful is was coming out, I told her I can transform her new mat like piece into a tote bag.

She was delighted and proceeded more enthusiastically to achieve a larger piece.

So here is my version of the recycled theatre paper tote just in time for the hot African summer. It can be used as a beach or swimming pool tote or to carried your stuff to picnic with your partner or your best friend.

IMG_0723IMG_0727I just added a dark blue cotton lining, a front pocket that close with a magnetic snap for quick access to car keys and phone. For closure I use an oversized button and elastic band. The handles are webbing of matching colour and I added 4 silver bag feet. It was a quick sew that I completed in a free afternoon.

Until next time..



Hola amigos, todavia estoy trabajando en la version en español de Anastasia , mientras tanto aquí les dejo la version en inglés.

Anastasia Tote bag is the first serious pattern with instructions that I’ve made. Oh boy, it’s a lot of work!

I designed this bag thinking on my own needs, a fashionable and strong bag with plenty pockets and compartments that allows me to be organised and carry all my stuff to work everyday. I’ve been using this bag for few months now and I just love it!

I shrug the file as much as I could without distortions on the pictures. I hope you enjoy making her as much as I did.

Download Anastasia pattern here  Anastasia EnglishM

I‘m so busy right now with lots of cool projects. I’m  writing  Anastasia Tote Bag pattern in Spanish for my latino community, Im also busy with a tutorial about super useful projects you must have in your car; spoiler alert 📢 a tissue holder, fabric trash bin, sunglasses pouch and  first aid bag. I also jump on the train of making a new version of the Every Day Tote pattern , updated  by Bagstock Designs, this one is almost finish. I started a collection of travel bags for my incoming trip to Toledo next month, yes I’m going to Toledo, Spain , for a weeding and I’m so excited!!… and in between bag making projects I go to the hospital to  save lives 😉 , perhaps the other way around hahaha


Hello there:

My friend’s daughter is 8 years old, her name is Luna and she loves sewing bags. Her mom is an excellent musician but can’t sew. So in her attempt to feed her little girl creativity she sent me a message asking for help. Here is Luna’s dilema:

Luna got hold of a worn pair of jeans and she wants to make a bag. She isn’t so confident with zipper placement yet, so she  prefer to avoid zipper closures. She also got tons of buttons  and a little sewing machine. She is been looking online for some tutorials but she got overwhelmed and couldn’t find the right one to tackle her project.

With all this info, I took the challenge and designed this quick bag for Luna to make,  and any little girl out there with the same problem.

First a word of caution about sewing on denim:

Start with a fresh needle. It must be Jeans needle, for lighter denim you can use 90/14 and 100/16 or 100/18 for heavy denim.


Always Use polyester thread for bag making. Cotton thread break easy and doesn’t last.

Always pay attention to grain lines when cutting. If you don’t, your project will appear twisting and unprofessional.

Denim can fray badly; always zig-zag those rough edges.

Use longer stitch length,  3mm is better than the usual 2,5mm.

Not all sewing machines “like” sewing on denim, especially on thicker seams. That’s why I change my mind and made the straps from cotton fabric.

WS: Means wrong side of the fabric/ RS means right side of the fabric

What do you need to start?


  • Old pair of Jeans
  • A fat quarter of pretty cotton
  • Strip of Bias binding  for piping and strap 60″X2″(20″X2 for pipping & 40″X 2″ for strap)
  • Strip of matching quilting cotton for strap 40″x2″
  • 5″ elastic band
  • 1 big button or a flower


From the Denim fabric cut:

  • 2 pieces of 8″X11″ for exterior panels
  • 2 pieces 8″ X 6″, one for flap lining and the other one for lining slip pocket
  • A nice pocket for back exterior panelIMG_1113

From the fat quarter cut:

  • 2 pieces for lining 8″X11″
  • 1 piece of pretty cotton for flap 8″X6″
  • 1 piece for slip pocket 8″X6″


  1. Round all corners. Take a spool of thread and used as guide to round all corners for exterior, lining and bottom of flap pieces. Trace around the spool and cut to round the corners.


2. Make your pipping. Introduce your corn on the fold of the bias binding and baste stitch in place using your zipper foot.


3. Take your flap top and sew the pipping all around. Remember to notch the corners of the pipping strip and slow down around the corners.


4. Pin the elastic band to the flap lining piece and sew in place making a loop . This will be your bag closure as you can loop the elastic around the big button or flower.

5. Pin the flap pieces RS together and sew all around. I like to use the piping stitch line as a guide. Turn it to the RS and press. Topstitch around the border.

6. Make the straps: With the RS together, Sew the 40″ long bias strip with your cotton strip along one long edge with ½’ seam allowance. Next turn the strip to the RS and fold and press the other long edge towards the middle ½”. Edge stitch along the long sides.

7. Pin and baste the strap to the back exterior piece placing each short edge 1″ from the corner. Make sure the strap is straight.

8. Sew the pocket to the back exterior piece and hand- sew your button or flower to the front exterior pice as shown in the picture.


9. Sew strap to back exterior piece RS together IMG_1125

10. Pin and sew exterior pieces RS together.

11. Take the 2 slip pocket pieces and sew RS together along the upper edge. Turn around and press. Top stitch the top edge. Pin the pocket RS up to a lining piece RS up and sew all around in place.


12. Pin the 2 lining pieces RS together and sew together the sides and the bottom.

13. Finish all your seams now! Zig zag to avoid fray.

14. Take your exterior bag WS out, Tuck in the flap and the strap. Introduce the lining bag RS out inside your exterior bag and pin together , matching the side seams. Stitch all around leaving 3″ opening for turning.


15. Pull the bag out through the opening and press in place. Close the opening and topstitch all around.

Voila 😬 you are done!!





Hi, Today I bring you a super easy project that you can complete in a couple of hours. All you need is a 6 “X 2” metal frame that you can find in any local craft store and some fabric scraps, left over from another project. You can choose to made it totally vintage, by adding lace decorations , you can also feature your favorite embroidery design or just your favourite novelty fabric.

For my project I used Alexander Henry “Las elegantes”. In South Africa you can get clasp frames like this online 

Just a warning, making clasp purses can become highly addictive, trust me..


1 fat quarter of quilting cotton for feature exterior fabric

1 Fat quarter for lining fabric

1/2m medium weight woven interfacing

20” X 7” fusible fleece (medium-loft)

Matching polyester thread


  1. Download the pattern here Coin Purse 6X2
  2. Print the pattern in Adobe Acrobat Reader . Do not scale, must be at 100%.
  3. Before cutting measure the test square, must be 1″ X 1″.
  4. Using the pattern as template cut 2 Exterior fabric, cut 2 lining fabric.
  5. Cut the pattern at the dashed line. Then cut 4 interfacing and 2 fusible fleece. This will avoid bulk seams.


6. Fuse the iron-on interfacing to the wrong side of the 2 exterior and lining pieces. Fuse the fleece to the exterior pieces. Transfer the small lines on the sides from the pattern to each piece. This lines mark the bottom of hinge.

7. Bring the 2 outer pieces wrong sides together and pin.


IMG_10918. Sew the sides of the exterior and also the lining pieces starting at the small marks. Sew the bottom sides of the exterior pieces together. Repeat on the lining pieces as well but leave 3″ opening for turning at the end.






9. Open the seams and press it flat.


10. Now pinch the corners, matching the bottom and side seams carefully and sew boxing the corners.





11. Repeat the “Boxing the corners” step on the purse lining also.

12. Turn the exterior purse wrong side out and introduce the lining purse right side out inside as shown on the picture below. Pin at the top edge. side seams must meet together.

13. Edge stitch all around the top.

14. Turn the purse right side out through the opening you left on the lining. Give it a good press.


15. Close shut the opening at the bottom of the lining piece and top stitch all around the top .

16. Make a mark on the top center of your frame with a piece of tape. mark also the middle of both sides of purse top edge. Introduce the borders on the frame and start hand- stitching the purse to the frame from the middle towards the sides borders.


ta da.. your beautiful purse is finish..IMG_1097

and to inspire you even more here I will leave you with some of my creations.


Hola. Me encantan las celebraciones , desde las más importantes como cumpleaños, aniversarios, navidad, noche vieja hasta las más universales como  San Valentín , dia de las madres y a la que quiero llegar “El dia de los padres”, que celebramos cada año el tercer domingo de Junio. Justamente mañana !

Siempre que se acerca una fecha de celebración buscamos proyectos de última hora para regalos. Mis favoritos son los mas rápidos que nos permiten aprovechar los retazos de tela que nos han quedado de otros proyectos.

Por eso he recopilado algunos de los proyectos que he hecho para los hombres de mi vida, para que encuentres inspiración. Todos los patrones e instrucciones están disponibles de forma gratuita en el internet. Puedes adaptarlos a tus gustos simplemente combinando telas de colores y estampados diferentes.

Hi. I love celebrations, from the most important ones like birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, New year’s eve to the most universal ones like Valentine’s Day, mothers day and Father’s Day, which we celebrate every year on the third Sunday of June. That’s tomorrow!

Whenever a celebration date approaches we look for last minute projects for gifts. My favorites are the fastest that allow us to use scraps of fabric that we have left from other projects.

That’s why I’ve compiled some of the projects I’ve done for the men of my life, so you can find inspiration. All patterns and instructions are available for free on the internet. You can adapt them to your tastes simply by combining fabrics ,colours and different patterns.

  1. Bolsa para el Gym o viaje de una noche: Proyecto fácil que podrás completar en una tarde. Las cintas webbing se compran en las tiendas textiles por metro o yard con una gran variedad de colores. Escoge las que hagan contraste con la tela exterior. Duffle Bag for daily trips to the Gym or an overnight trip: Easy project that you can complete in an afternoon. Webbing are purchased in fabric shops by meter or yard with a variety of colors. Choose those that contrast with the outer fabric.skull duffle2
  2. Bandeja para el reloj, billetera y las llaves : No te das cuentas que la necesitas hasta que la tienes.  Esta cesta permite tener las llaves, billetera, el reloj y hasta las monedas en su sitio. Un proyecto superfacil que puedes acabar en una noche. Si les interesa puedo compartir con ustedes las instrucciones ya que es mi propio diseño. Tray for the clock, wallet and keys: You don’t realise you need it until you have it. This basket allows you to have the keys, wallet, watch and even the coins in place. A super easy project that you can finish in one night. If you are interested I can share with you the instructions as it is my own design.IMG_7051
  3. Bolsa para el almuerzo. Lunch BagIMG_7016
  4. Almohada Favorita. Un proyecto divertidisimo que puedes disfrutar con la ayuda de los pequeños de la casa. simplemente descarga e imprime tu silueta favorita y usando la técnica de aplicaciones has una almohada personal y única. Favorite Pillow. A fun project that you can enjoy with the help of the little ones in the house. Simply download and print your favorite silhouette and using the application technique you have a personal and unique pillow.darth Vader
  5. Funda para el ordenador portátil. Laptop SleeveIMG_6632
  6. Funda para la tableta . Tablet Sleeve or pouchDSC02336
  7. Estuche para cargadores. Con tantos dispositivos electrónicos en nuestra vida diaria, desde el ordenador hasta el cepillo de dientes , un estuche para mantener todos los cargadores en el mismo lugar mientras viajamos se vuelve esencial. Pouch for chargers. With so many electronic devices in our daily life, from the computer to the toothbrush, a pouch to keep charges together while traveling become essential.IMG_7132
  8. Estuche para los objetos de aseo personal. Toiletry bag3eb1ce8f-1eb7-4a12-84f9-64233f2aa4c3
  9. Alfombrilla para la tasa del cafe del escritorio. MugrugIMG_6765
  10. Marcador para maleta de viaje. ID card pouch for SuitcaseIMG_7120
  11. Estuche para las gafas o espejuelos. Sunglasses or eyeglasses pouch.438fe927-a557-4ce3-a2d8-30f4ee6e811a

Espero te hayan inspirado estos regalos fáciles y ademas útiles para el dia de los padres. I hope you have been inspired by these easy and useful gifts for father’s day.


Hola amigos, he tenido unas semanas de mucho trajín pero a la vez productivas y de aventuras.

A pesar del trabajo en el hospital , las obligaciones con la universidad y mi vida social y familiar, he logrado algunos avances en mi proyecto Anastasia, que como les prometí voy a compartir con ustedes y será completamente gratuito. El asunto diseño de bolsas es un poco mas complicado que lo que pueden imaginar. Lleva una serie de pasos que son fundamentales para lograr un producto de calidad, si vaya una bolsa WOW!, Que guay!, Donde la compraste?!, Me encanta tu cartera!, etc, me entienden verdad. Además de probar el patron alrededor de 5 veces hasta que estes contenta, he tenido que documentar las instrucciones paso a paso, y que conste después de tantos años convoyando los 2 idiomas en mi vida diaria, pues no es nada fácil expresar mis ideas en un idioma sin que se “cuelen” palabras del otro en la conversación , lo cual hace todo el proceso un poco lento. Después está lo del “Adobe illustrator” , vaya programa complicado! Aunque gracias a mi talentosa hija Gabrielle , creo que ya le ” coji el tumbao”.

Y voy a publicarlo para ustedes el dia 25 de julio, que cumple años mi mamá.

Como parte del proceso de test, le hice esta version de Anastasia a una gran amiga , Usando Tela de algodón de Tula Pink, piel y todo el metal de Emmaline bags. El  colgante lo encontré en una tienda de Quincalla local y para el interior use unos fat quarters* de polka dots**. Juzguen ustedes mismas por la foto. fue difícil dejarla marchar a su nueva buena , aunque les digo que la alegra de mi amiga con el regalo me dió más satisfacción.

Hi guys, the past few weeks since my last entry have been very busy at work but at the same time productive and adventurous.

Despite the work in the hospital, the commitments with the university and my social and family life, I have made some progress in my Anastasia project, which as I promised I will share with you and it will be completely free.

The bag design and pattern making proccess is a bit more complicated than you can imagine. A series of steps are essential to achieve a quality product. If you are looking for a bag that trigger exclamations such as  WOW !, Cool, Where did you buy it?!, I love your tote !, etc

  1. In addition to testing the pattern about 5 times until you are happy, I have had to document the instructions step by step, and after 23 years in which  I have been conveying the 2 languages ​​in my daily life,  it become difficult to express my ideas in one language without “squeezing” the other’s words into the conversation, which makes the whole process a little slow. Then there’s the “Adobe Illustrator”, what a complicated program. Although thanks to the help of my beautiful daughter Gabrielle,that patiently is teaching me the program, I think I’m on the right track.

I’m going to publish the final pattern with instructions for you on July 25, which is my mom’s birthday.

As part of the testing process, I made this version of Anastasia to a great friend, using Tula Pink cotton fabric, leather and all the metal of Emmaline bags. I found the pendant in a local store and for the lining I used fat quarters  from polka dots. Judge yourselves by the photo. It was difficult to let her go to her new master, although I tell you, the joy of my friend with the gift gave me far more satisfaction.



Aunque mi visita al norte fue un viaje de trabajo, aprovechamos que ya estábamos en los alrededores y visitamos el parque nacional de Kruger. Pensé que seria una buena oportunidad para tratar mi cámara nueva. Una canon “pequeña”, regalo de mi media naranja. Mi esposo, es cirujano general y  cirujano de trauma  pero además es un gran aficionado a la fotografía de la fauna africana. Como el viaje era tan breve, acordamos concentrarnos en buscar aves, si por casualidad veíamos un depredador pues mejor pero la idea era buscar aves. les confieso nunca había disfrutado tanto un safari como esta vez, las tomas fotográficas con mi pequeña cámara quedaron espectaculares!

( no te te olvide que en asunto fotografía no soy muy ducha)

aquí les dejo algunas fotos de nuestra aventura mas reciente por la selva africana con alguna info que al menos yo encuentro fascinante.

Esta es una “Black- Chested snake eagle”, en español se traduce como águila de pecho negro cazadora de serpientes. Es un ave majestuosa , la mas grande después del Aguila marcial. Puede virar la cabeza en un ángulo de 270 grados. Se imaginan? . Estaba posada en un árbol muy alto y bastante lejos de nuestro auto, casi a 100m de distancia. La foto la tomó Monzón con su super-lente, pero yo la estuve mirando con mis anteojos un buen rato..

Although my visit to the north was a work trip, we took advantage of the fact that we were already in the surroundings and visited the Kruger National Park. I thought it would be a good opportunity to try my new camera. A “small” canon, a gift from my soulmate. My husband is a general and trauma surgeon but he is also a big fan of African wildlife photography. As the trip was so short, we agreed to concentrate on looking for birds, if by chance we spotted a predator much better but the idea was to look for birds. I confess I had never enjoyed a safari so much as this time, the photographic shots with my little camera were spectacular!

Lets not forget that my photography skills are at newbie level at best.

This are some photos of our most recent adventure in the African jungle with some info that I find fascinating.

This is a “Black-Chested snake eagle”. It is a majestic bird, the largest of its kind after the Martial Eagle. It can turn the head at an angle of 270 degrees while searching for prey. It was perched in a very tall tree and quite far from our car, almost 100m away. The picture was taken by my hubby with his super-lens, but I was watching her with my binoculars for a while.

snake eagle.jpeg

IMG_1021 2.jpg

Esta foto del águila pescadora la tomé yo con mi canon, estaba a unos 20m de distancia mirando al rio Olifants. Estas águilas se ven con bastante frecuencia en la cercanía de los ríos. Se dice que su canto es el Canto de Africa. Tuvimos tanta suerte que vimos otra aterrizando con un pez en las garras muy cerca de nosotros, aquí les dejo las fotos.

This is the African Fish Eagle.This one I took it with my canon, She was about 20m away looking at the Olifants river. These eagles are seen very often in the vicinity of rivers. It is said that his call is the Call of Africa.

We were so lucky that we saw another one landing with a fish in her talons, very close to us, here are the photos.

fish eagle.jpeg

A que son buenas mis fotos, así podría mostrarles muchas mas: de otras aves africanas igualmente de bonitas, quizás en otra ocasión .

You have to agreed that our photos are good eh? I could show you many more of other African birds that are equally beautiful, maybe on another occasion.


On my quest for the perfect bag design I create “Anastasia”. First I’ll tell you How I came up with the name. Few weeks ago as I was coming out of work, on arrival to my car there was this security guy that greet me happily with a big smile and said – Good evening “Dr Anastasia”-, I looked at him confused and answered  -Good Evening but my name is not Anastasia- then he looked at the sign on my parking place “Doctor on call Anaesthesia ” and point to the sign intrigued.

What can I said…. So Anastasia it is, the almost perfect tote for female anaesthetist or any profesional women that need to take her laptop at work daily.

En mi búsqueda del diseño perfecto del bolso, he creado “Anastasia”. Primero te diré cómo se me ocurrió el nombre. Hace algunas semanas, cuando salía del trabajo, al llegar a mi auto, apareció este tipo de seguridad que me saludó felizmente con una gran sonrisa y dijo: “Buenas tardes”, Dra. Anastasia “, lo miré confundida y repetí:” Buenas tardes, pero mi nombre no es Anastasia, luego miró el cartel en mi lugar de estacionamiento “Doctor de guardia Anesthesia” y señaló el cartel intrigado.

Qué puedo decir…..Así que Anastasia es, la bolsa casi perfecta para anestesista o cualquier profesional que necesita llevar su computadora portátil al trabajo todos los días.



The exterior is just a pretty tote. But inside you can safely keep your laptop with reinforced and cushioned built-in zipper pocket. Another zipper pocket on the lining for your wallet, keys, etc and a slip pocket big enough to fit your stethoscope, pen and syringe marker. There is also plenty room for documents, chargers, etc.

The final measurements is 17″ wide, 11,5″ high and 4,5″ deep (43cmX29cmX11.4cm)

El exterior es solo un bolso bonito. Pero dentro puede guardar de manera segura su computadora portátil con un bolsillo reforzado y acolchado con zipper. Otro bolsillo con zipper en el forro para su billetera, llaves, etc. y un bolsillo deslizante lo suficientemente grande como para guardar su estetoscopio, lapicero y marcador de jeringa. También hay mucho espacio para documentos, cargadores, etc.

Las medidas finales son 17 “de ancho, 11,5” de alto y 4,5 “de profundidad (43 cm x 29 cm x 11,4 cm)


The one on the picture was intended to be “the ugly”, you know the first one a bag designer make to test measurements, fitting, to see what is wrong and improve the design. Well on this first attempt designers usually use cheap fabric. I used local fabric from my favourite SA online shop habby and lace. the pink accent is advertise on their website as leatherette bean bag and its really cheap. It turn out to be awesome 🤩

I’m still improving the design, I’m thinking adding an exterior pocket at the back for quick access to the cellphone and car keys.

The process is still on baby steps as I need to computerise the pattern and write the instructions but Im really serious about this project and Ill definitely shared with you as a free pattern. For now you can leave a comment and give me your opinion.

El que está en la imagen fue diseñado para ser “el feo”, usted conoce el primero que un diseñador de bolsos hace para probar medidas, ajuste, para ver qué está mal y mejorar el diseño. Bueno, en este primer intento, los diseñadores suelen usar tela barata. Utilicé tela local de mi tienda de SA favorita, habby y lace. el acento rosado se anuncia en su sitio web como “leatherette bean bag” y es realmente barato. El resultado fue fantástico 🤩

Todavía estoy mejorando el diseño, estoy pensando en agregar un bolsillo exterior en la parte posterior para acceder rápidamente al teléfono celular y las llaves del auto.

El proceso todavía está en pasos de bebé, ya que necesito informatizar el patrón y escribir las instrucciones, pero estoy realmente serio con este proyecto y definitivamente lo compartiré como un patrón gratuito. Por ahora puedes dejar un comentario y darme tu opinión.

IMG_0806 2