Friday, February 16, 2018

Waterlily Tote Waxed Canvas Tote

Waxed canvas has been on my "want to try" list for a long while, I absolutely love the look of waxed canvas and I'm intriqued by the water resistance and durability it offers. It's sat on this list for an embarassingly long amount of time until Blue Calla released the Waterlily Waxed Canvas Tote. Although the Waterlily can be made in any material, it's the perfect pattern to use waxed canvas, so when put out this pattern as a test pattern, this was my chance to finally do it.

If you look up waxing canvas there are about one million tutorials and recipes, but they all boil down to 2 essential ingredients and some optional ingredients: bees wax and parafin. Some recipes call for oils such as boiled linseed oil and turpentine, so really it's all about your preferences. I found that just the parafin and beeswax alone made a nice wax to work and yielded good results.

Also, there are two ways to wax your canvas,  before you sew your bag and after. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. You can find a great tutorial by Blue Calla Patterns on how to wax your canvas before you sew here.

Your basic tools are something to heat the wax to melt and something heat the wax once it's applied to the canvas to get it to absorb into the fabric itself. If you are doing it before you sew, you can use ann iron, but if you wait to apply it til yourbag is finished you will need a heat gun or blow dryer. I purchased all my supplies on amazon.

I opted to get a cheap crockpot on Amazon to keep for wax only (I don't even want to imagine cleaning the wax out of it to use for cooking later). 

I used about 1/3 beeswax and 2/3 parafin as Blue Calla's tutorial suggests. When I added the wax to the crock pot, I waited, and I waited and I waited for it to melt. So, word of advice start heating up the wax long before you are going to need it. 

I might have cheated and used the heat gun to speed up the melting process after losing patience. But, I can't confirm or deny that. 

Since I waited to wax my tote until after I was done sewing, I had to use a little care when applying the wax to make sure it only waxed the areas that I wanted it to. It was surprisingly easier to control that I had thought it would be. The wax paints on and dries quickly, leaving a layer of wax on the top of the fabric that makes you wonder if you are doing this right. If you think this too, then you are doing it right. 

There is really no exact science to how to apply the wax, I did small sections, but I imagine you could just as same do the whole bag. Once your applied wax has tried, take your heat gun to heat the wax you applied to the bag and then watch as MAGIC happens. Where the heat gun is applied, the wax will magically absorb into the canvas and take on a different look. 

The great thing is, this is sooo forgiving, you can always add more wax to areas that look sparse or reheat the wax to work out any areas that seem to be heavier coated with wax.

The finish look is that of a rugged, distressed bag. You'll notice in other waxed canvas bags the wax lightens in areas it has been folded. If you like this distressed look, crinkle up your bag. If you don't like this look, then just apply a bit more heat and the creases and lightening will fade until the bag is crinkled up again. Magic!

I didn't take any good before and after photos like I should have, but you can see in the photo above that the canvas that is waxed on the bag is darker than the unwaxed fabric I used for the strap. 

Here's a terrible photo of the finished bag before waxing: 

As for the Waterlily, I adore this pattern, and it isn't neccessary to use waxed canvas. It's a relatively easy sew, with the most complicated part keeping all the pieces sorted out with all the rectangles that you cut. I really like that the pattern includes a labeled photo as to which piece goes where, so you can plan out your fabric placement easily when cutting. I sometimes have a hard time visualizing where pieces go duing the cutting process, so this was a huge help for me.

It has a top recessed zipper, a zippered front pocket and a back divided slip pocket. Inside there are even more pockets! This bag came together so quickly, and I love the look of the rolled handles. This is definitely a great confident beginner bag as no steps are exceptionally challenging.

If you have been wanting to try waxing canvas, get on it! It's such a forgiving and satisfying project. And for the cost of what you would pay for 2 yards of waxed canvas you can get almost all the supplies you need to make it yourself.

Have you tried waxing canvas or working with waxed canvas yet? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Bag Buzz Black Friday Edition

Welcome to the Black Friday Edition of the Bag Buzz! Read on to catch up on the sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

This post contains affiliate links.

Sew Sweetness 40% off patterns and free shipping on orders over 35 using code “thanks”

Blue Calla Patterns 30% off Patterns starting MONDAY 11/27, technically this is a Cyber Monday deal, so be mindful the code won't work til Monday but it's too good of a deal to miss!

Chris W Designs 30% off Patterns and videos

iThinkSew is running a sale with up to 50% off of pattern bundles.


Craftsy Black Friday Sales. HUGE sale on all classes

Get unlimited classes for 3 months for only ONE dollar at Creative Bug

Fabric & Supplies:

20% off sitewite at Fat Quarter Shop

30% off EVERYTHING at Pink Castle Fabrics

20% off sitewide at Stash Fabrics using code “THANKFUL2017”

Emmaline Bags 35% off all copper and gold hardware using code “BLING2017”

20% off all orders over 100 at The Tannery NYC

Hawthorne Threads is having a HUGE Sale, too many good deals to mention here. Go see for yourself!

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Happy Shopping!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bag Buzz November

Welcome to the November 2017 installment of the Bag Buzz! Read on to catch up on the latest pattern releases, new products, sales, tutorials and more!

*This post may contain affiliate links.

New Releases:

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Sew Sweetness released her Minikins earlier this month! Grab them while they are still on sale! The bundle comes with 12 patterns AND 12 videos to go with each one. Most of the patterns have several sizes each so it's a great value!

The Jangles Anchor Bag PDF Pattern

The Squiffy Sling PDF Pattern

Sewing Patterns by Mrs. H has now released BOTH the Jangles Anchor Bag and the Squiffy Sling Bag as pdf patterns.

The Pretty Woman Bundle by Love M.E. Patterns 

The Festival Clutch for One Thimble Issue 17

Little Moo Has designed the Festival Clutch as Part of One Thimble Digital Sewing Magazine

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The Almafi Tote by Pfitzsewswell

The Stop, Dopp and Roll Bag by Lean, Mean Sewing Machine

The Sweet Sunday Bag by ToriskaPDF

The Katelynn Bag by iThinkSew

Other News:

ChrisW Blog Tour Sponsors

Chris W Designs' Global Blog Tour is going on now! Head over to read up on some great bag makers and enter to win oodles of prizes!

FREE VIDEO: Selvage Zipper Pouch

Sew Sweetness shared this fab FREE video tutorial on how to make this adorable selvege pouch.

Free Tutorial for this Soft Clutch bag by So Sew Easy



Enter to win a 30 dollar gift certificate at Fabric Fairy at Sew Can She

This week's giveaway from Hawthorne Threads is a bundle of Tula Pink's Holiday Homies. Enter here. 

New Products:

I've been using a new interfacing for the past few months in place of Shape Flex 101, and I gotta say, I am a complete convert. The price is better and the quality is much higher than the last few bolts I purchased of the Pellon product. This is woven fuse and it's a wonderful substutite for the pricey Shape Flex. You can learn more and get it here.

Iridescent Hardware!!!!

Adjustable Sliders: 1" (25 mm) in IRIDESCENT RAINBOW (2 Pack)

Rectangular Ring: 1" (25 mm) in Iridescent Rainbow Finish (4 Pack)

You may remember last month when Emmaline Bags introduced their new irridescent line, now even more items are rolling in with more on the way!

Strap Anchor: "Easy Strap Anchors" for 1" straps - in 6 Finishes (4 Pack)

New Strap Anchors are in stock in SIX finishes!! These are a breeze to install and look so profesh!

I've now started a mailing list! Please subscribe to my newsletter to get the latest delivered to your inbox and never miss a Bag Buzz:

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Are you a designer or shop? I'd love to include your new releases and sales in the next Bag Buzz, please email me at:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Adventures in Embroidery

For those of you who follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen some new things popping up in my feed lately. I recently got a Brother se400 embroidery machine, and I have quickly developed a slight obession for machine embroidery. I received the machine as a gift for my birthday and in the less than 3 months I've had it, I have been pleasantly surprised by not only how easy it is to get started but how much fun it is! ***This point contains affiliate links****

Brother Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine, SE-400

At face value, the idea of getting into machine embroidery looks daunting. So many different settings, stabilizers and threads! Craftsy has some great classes to get you started on your way to machine embroidering like a pro. There is a great class to cover the basics as you get started: 20 Things Every Machine Embroider should know. It covers the essentials to give you a solid foundation as you learn. 

Keyfobs are a quick and easy project, that I can't seem to stop making. There are hundreds of files available and each pattern costs only a few dollars. 


These are great to use up all the small vinyl scraps I have left over from bags that are too small for bag making. 

I've also had fun making some personalized trick or treat bags:


Towels are also a super fun project, and now I want to make some for all the holidays! You can pick up a pack of kitchen towels for a great price on Amazon or even at Target. I picked these up for 3.99 for a 4 Pack in the kitchen section. 

The Brother Se400 was recently on Amazon for less than 200 on prime day, rumor has it that it drops again around Black Friday so it may be worth keeping an eye on if you have been thinking about one for a while. It's definitely been a lot of fun to use, and I am looking forward to trying new projects. 

Happy Sewing (or embroidering)!