Friday, July 29, 2016

It's in the Bag--a Better Bag Making Series

Happy Friday!! I am so excited to announce the It's in the Bag! series, a blog series devoted to building skills and confidence specific to bag making. We have some incredibly talented bag makers who will be tackling some areas that people are challenged by when making bags. I am so honored that they have agreed to be a part of the series. 

The crazy talented lineup of contributors:

Crystal of the Cloth Albatross
Amber of Roarhaus
Magareth of Maggie Made Bags
Katherine of Pfitsewswell
Jenny of Sincerely Jen 
Wendy of WD Handbags
Reece of Happy Okapi 

As if the all star line up of contributors wasn't enough, there will be a giveaway each day of the series from the following generous sponsors:


Additionally, Sewing Patterns by Mrs. H will generously be offering a coupon code worth 25% off for the series. The code will be announced along with the schedule, so watch for more details soon!! You will not want to miss the topics and all the incredible giveaways these amazing designers have offered!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Emblem Duffel Bag

Hello and Happy Friday!!  I'm so glad it's the weekend and I'm excited to share my Emblem Duffel Bag that I had the opportunity to test for Sara of Sew Sweetness. Sara's latest pattern is a great unisex pattern that could work as an overnight bag, a gym bag or even just a "I need to carry a crap ton of stuff around" bag.

The exterior is a fun and bold metallic Echino print that I adore (hello silver foxes!). the handles were made with silver glitter mirror canvas from Mikri World Supplies (LOVE that stuff!!!!) and I made my first purchase from Zipper Island for the hot pink zipper. I ordered on a Friday and got my zips the following Monday! I keep a lot of zips on hand but this one calls for a 30" zip, other than having to order the long zips, the other hardware most bag ladies will have on hand. 

I love the hot pink zipper against the mustard Echino!

This bag was a relatively quick and straightforward sew, and with the exception of adding the tabs on the side for the shoulder strap. That part wasn't overly complicated but it's fair to say that my machine and I weren't seeing eye to eye about how to stitch those tabs down. There might have been a few unpleasantries exchanged along with several broken needles....but that was my fault and not a reflection of the pattern. There are pattern pieces that indicate that you cut away from your stabilizers and interfacings in these areas to avoid just such difficulties, but let's just say that I **might** have overlooked that part until a bit later....oops. 

I super love the boxy shape of this duffle, it's not round like a lot of duffel patterns out there. It also makes for pretty quick construction. If you can make a zip pouch, you can totally  make this bag!

Head over to Sew Sweetness to get your copy of the Emblem Duffel Bag! You could sew up a few over the summer for when fall sports start, or make yourself a new bag. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Oslo Craft Bag

I've been working on a lot of secret sewing lately, and I'm so glad that I can finally share one of the projects I worked on a while back. This is the Oslo Craft Bag, written by Sew Sweetness for Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. This bag is not available as a stand alone pattern, so you'll need to grab a copy of issue 34 for the pattern.

Love Patchwork and Quilting is a modern quilting magazine based in the UK that features modern quilt patterns, news, techniques and projects for the modern sewist. Although LPQ is a UK based magazine, you can pick up a copy at JoAnn or select Barnes and Noble stores.

The Oslo Craft Bag is the perfect project to make to store your portable crafts, or to help organize your craft area. With a divided interior, you can store several balls of yarn, your EPP pieces or your current needlework project. This would also make a nice organizer for a nursery (I always seem to have babies on the brain these days), to store diapers, wipes and all the other baby necessities you want within reach. 

The exterior has pockets galore, the front of the bag has three pleated slip pockets they can a hold a lot more than you think. The back has a larger slip pocket that would easily hold your favorite crafting magazine or patterns.Each side has a generously sized pocket, with a snap flap to keep any smaller crafting bits secure.

Foam stabilizer is used to add structure to this bag so it stands up nicely and can handle being toted around with your goodies inside. This wasn't a difficult project, but with the use of the different interfacings and the various pockets it's a bit time intensive. The bag is finished by dropping the lining in and finishing with bias tape, no turning required. 

This bag is a fun way to mix and match fabrics, and has instructions to use vinyl straps and tabs. I made mine with this fun print that the lovely Sara herself sent me, I thought the old fashioned looking notion logos would be perfect for a craft bag. The inside is lined with Art Gallery Elements and I used some scraps for the binding and accents. 

If you have never purchased an issue of  LPQ before, issue 34 would be a great excuse to start your next quilty pleasure! I'd love to hear your favorite sewing or crafting magazine, I've found some of my favorite projects in magazines, so I'm on the lookout for some gems I might be missing out on.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Updated Betty Bowler

 A few weeks ago, Swoon Patterns released a new and updated Betty Bowler Bag pattern. I have made this pattern once before for Purse Palooza and enjoyed sewing her up then, but boy do I LOVE this new and improved version!

Betty is a "vintage inspired" oversized bag that is perfect for an overnight trip, a gym bag or even as a diaper bag. She is about 17" wide x 9" tall x 7" deep. The update has swapped out an exterior zip pocket for 4 sleek slip pockets that have piping accents and a curved top that really stand out. 

The heart of Betty remains the same, with the curvy shape and great lines. The zip pocket has been moved to the inside and additional slip pockets could easily be added to the interior for my fellow pocket lovers out there.

There are so many ways to customize this bag and to feature a beloved print to feature on accents, pockets and top and bottom panels. I chose to use this Art Gallery print from Sara Lawson's Jungle Ave line. I have been holding on to this print for over 2 years waiting for the perfect project and I absolutely love it for this bag, it's the perfect mod feel to showcase Betty and her curves. 

I've recently fallen in love with the Glitter Mirror canvas sold by Mikri World Supplies, it's got the looks of regular glitter vinyl but it's so much thinner and easier to work with. My machine goes through several layers of this stuff with ease, and it delivers a knock out finish. 

Although I can get through the canvas with ease, I love the look of riveted handles but I am absolutely hopeless with installing them by hand. I have tried every tutorial possible and I am concluded that the issue is with me. Until I get a press to use, I have been using Chicago screws, which deliver the same look without me messing them up. 

I am super happy with the finish, and I see more Betty Bowlers in my future. This bag looks more complicated than it is, and delivers a very professional looking finish with straightforward and easy to follow directions. If you haven't given Betty a whirl, you should go get your copy here!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Valentine's Dress

Way back last spring I posted about sewing up some Geranium Dresses for our soon to be baby girl. Fast forward a year later and baby girl is here, growing up and a joy to be around. Those old Geranium dresses can't begin to fit around her chubby growing self now. 

A sweet friend of mine sent me a couple of yards of this adorable Riley Blake print, and suggested that I could use it to make a Valentine's dress for E. Oh how right she was! The Geranium Dress, as I discovered before is such a satisfyingly quick sew and you could easily put together a couple of them in an evening.

Considering how sensitive babies can be when it comes to tags and things rubbing on their skin, I had to finish the seams. I have absolutely no idea what this technique is called, it's so not fancy or technical. It involves me press the seam open, then folding one side of the seam down, stitching it down, then repeating the other side. You do see two lines of stitching on the right side of the dress, but it's easy and functions well.

Just for fun I added some pom pom trim around the bottom hem. 

This pattern is quickly becoming a fave! I think I may give one of Rae's women's garments a go next. I do love how the dress is such simple lines but you could easily dress it up with different fabrics and trims. Also, it doesn't get in the way of a baby girl with exploring to do!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sandra Saddle Bag

Well Hellooo! It's been awhile. My poor neglected blog is still here, and now after the arrival of Miss E 9 months ago, life is finally entering a "new" normal which means I have been slowly able to start sewing again (YAY). This is Sandra, one of the first bags I have sewn since last spring. 

For Christmas, my amazing husband bought me a new machine (a Janome HD3000, which is a whole post in itself, but I adore her). As this machine is a mechanical machine and much more heavy duty, I was able to start playing around with some vinyl.

Using my walking foot (which is a cheapie from Amazon) and remembering not to pin the vinyl, I was very happy with the results of my first vinyl strap!

I can honestly say it was so much less difficult than I imagined. Isn't that how a lot of things are? Much scarier in your head than in real life. 

The pattern is the Sandra Saddle Bag by Swoon Patterns  she was a fairly quick sew, with fairly straight forward directions. I was able to complete it in about an evening. The fabric is an Art Gallery print from the Jungle Ave line by Sara Lawson and the vinyl was from 

Overall, I was happy with the end result, but I am hopeless at reading the finished dimensions of bags and actually translating them to real life terms. I was disappointed in the final size, as Sandra is at best a medium size handbag, and I am forever a big bag lover.

Now that I've finally conquered some of my fears with vinyl, I am anxious to continue to use it in future projects. Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Babies don't keep

Wow, it's been such a long time since I've posted. To be honest, I haven't done a whole lot over the past few months but be pregnant and snuggle this puff of sweetness. I have sewn some here and there and eventually I'll get around to sharing those and sewing on a regular basis again, but for now, babies don't keep. 

Meet Gabrielle "Ellie" Rose, here's a dose of cuteness and my excuse for not getting anything done :)