Monday, February 19, 2018

Bag Buzz February Edition

Hello Bagineers! It's been a while since I have had a Bag Buzz for you, now that I have fully gotten back up to speed after the holidays, it's time to fill you in on what's going on in the Bag Making world! Grab a cup of coffee and a snack, this is a long one!
This post contains Affiliate Links.

New Releases:
The Waterlily Waxed Canvas Tote by Blue Calla Patterns:
The Waterlily Waxed Canvas Tote - PDF Sewing pattern

The Cottonwood Boho Bag by GML Designs

The Summertime Sling by Andrie Designs
The Maggie Bag by iThinkSew
The Factotum and Mini Factotum by Chris W Designs
The Atlas Rucksack by Swoon Patterns
The Easy Stand up Zipper Tote by Hungry Hippie Sews:

The Joy Mini Wallet:

The Ruby Handbag by Bagstock Sewing Patterns:
The Moxie Crossbody Bag by Betz White:
The Paris Purse by Pink Pony Designs:
The Ruth Clutch Wallet by Designz Sewing Patterns:

The Sunny Side up Clutch by Little Moo Designs:
The Jade by Moments Designs:

The Yoga Bag Pattern by Sew Hungry Hippie:

Easy Cork or Leather Notebook Cover by Sew Sweetness:
FREE Video: Sew Sweetness Easy Cork or Leather Notebook Cover
Working with Waxed Canvas by Blue Calla Patterns:
Cotton duck canvas
Adding a Fabric End to your zipper by Blue Calla Patterns:
Tips for Better Bag Making by Andrie Designs: 
Tips for Better Bag Making - Andrie Designs
Happy Okapi has done a fab tutorial on how to use up your cork/vinyl scraps to make coasters, add some bling for a high end look:
Easy Cork Coasters Tutorial
Other News:
The Bag of the Month Club is in full swing with 2 patterns released already! You can still join up and get the previous pattern releases for this year, as well as the remaining patterns released each month through June. 
Join the Bag of the Month club
Sew Sweetness is starting a monthly Cork Club, which is perfect if you have been curious about working with cork! Each month you get 10  9"x7" pieces of cork along with a video on how to create a project using those pieces of cork. 
There are still a couple spots left for the June Bag Retreat by Mrs. H! It's a beautiful, relaxing sewing retreat in the beautiful Wales Countryside:

In case you haven't heard, Free Spirit Fabrics will be stopping fabric production permanently. This means that some of your favorite prints may no longer be available very soon. This includes designers such as Tula Pink, Joel Dewberry, Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler among others. This may the time to snatch up any prints you have been wanting to stock up on before they are gone forever. We will all be watching to see which manufacturers these designers move to, but grab your favorites while you can!
Connecting Threads has up to 35% off all cutting tools, it's a great time to stock up on rotatry cutter blades, thread snips and seam rippers:
Rotary Blade Refills
Have you heard about Craftsy Unlimited? For 14.99 a month or 120 a year (which inlcudes free US shipping on supplies on Craftsy, as Four $25 coupons you can use on supplies throughout the year). You can get a 7 day free trial now! This is a great chance to watch some bagmaking courses you've been wanting to check out!
Craftsy Unlimited FREE 7 day trial at

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!