Category Archives: Bags and Wallets

To-Do Tuesday 2-16-16 | Starting The Window Shopper Tote

Happy Tuesday! How did your week go? I finished my last quilt and wrote a Finished Friday post too. I feel like this year is already going so differently from last. I am able to focus a lot more on my sewing, and that makes me feel so joyful!

Pattern pieces cut out and interfaced.

Pattern pieces cut out and interfaced.

When I wrote last week’s To-Do list I was hopeful that I would be able to choose my fabrics for the February Bag Of The Month Club, The Window Shopper by Mrs. H. I chose to use the Melody Miller Black & White Typewriters from the Black & White line by Cotton + Steel for the outer fabric. The lining of the bag is the grey Newsprint fabric from the Cottage Garden line by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake. I am using the Making Waves print in Ink from Tula Pink’s True Colors line as the accent and pocket fabric. I will be using black faux leather/vinyl for the bottom and gussets, as well as the straps.

Back Outer Panel

Back Outer Panel

I had extra time so I cut out the pattern pieces and attached interfacings. I didn’t have much time to work on the bag, but did manage to put a zippered pocket on the back main panel. This bag is going to be bigger than I expected. I was worried about the size being too large, but since it is designed to be a shopping tote bag, I think the size will be great for that purpose. I am changing the pattern up a bit, to make it fit my preferences in a bag. I will talk about them more when the bag is finished.

On another note, Jennifer, The Inquiring Quilter, is going to be hosting a Quilt Along with her new pattern, Stepping Stones. I loved the scrappy version of this quilt the moment I saw it. I have a specific person in mind for this quilt, so I am excited to start participating. The timing is just right for me as the quilt along begins in mid-March. I will no longer be working at that time so I will have availability for adding sewing projects to my list. If you would like to see the schedule and/or get more information about the quilt along click the button below:

Stepping Stones Quilt Along

This week my goals are to finish the Window Shopper Tote. What about you? Do you have any specific things you would like to accomplish this week?

This week’s To-Do list:

  • Assemble and finish Window Shopper Tote

Now it’s your turn! Write up your post and link up using the InLinkz linky below.

Rules:

  1. Link up to this To-Do Tuesday blog post using the InLinkz linky below. Don’t forget: you can link up Instagram photos! The link up is open all week, and you can link any post for the week even if it’s written on the prior Sunday or Monday. It simply needs to be related to setting, working on, and/or completing your weekly goal(s).
  2. Try to visit at least one or two other blogs and leave a nice comment.
  3. Include a link back to my blog. Feel free to grab the blog button from the sidebar to show that you’re participating in To-Do Tuesday.
  4. You do not have to follow my blog to participate, but if you do decide to follow me… thank you! I appreciate it!
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To-Do Tuesday 2-2-16 | The Vivian Handbag

Front view with Emmaline Bags hardware

Front view with Emmaline Bags hardware

It’s February already, can you believe it!? This last week I made The Vivian Handbag, a Swoon Patterns design. I wanted to finish it by January 31st, but didn’t make it. I did finish it by February 1st, so I’m happy with that. January’s goals are complete!

Back

Back

This was my first time making a Swoon Patterns bag. The instructions were clear and there were plenty of pictures, which is something I really need the first time through a new pattern. I am definitely planning on making this bag again.

Side view with Emmaline Bags zipper pull

Side view with Emmaline Bags zipper pull

The fabric is Fairyland in Indigo Red by Alexander Henry. I chose to fussy cut the fabric so there was a fairy on each side of the bag. The fairies on the sides of the bag are actually side pockets. She just barely fits, but I think she’s cute there!

Added vinyl bottom with purse feet

Added vinyl bottom with purse feet

I decided to accent the fabric with glitter vinyl. I have been struggling with vinyl lately, so I wasn’t sure how this would turn out. I was pretty ambitious in choosing to use vinyl for the piping. A lot of slow sewing, grading my seam allowances, and clipping the vinyl around the curves helped with making the piping a success! The pattern called for stabilizer support to be fused to the wrong side of the lining. I didn’t have fusible Pellon Peltex 71F, so I chose to wrap the glitter vinyl around my sew-in Peltex, add some purse feet, and sew it to the bottom of the bag. I think it made it a really neat feature!

Interior with added pleated pocket, slip pocket and pen holder

Interior with added pleated pocket, slip pocket and pen holder

For the lining I used the Words print from Remember by Carina Gardner for Riley Blake Fabrics. The words are such happy little thoughts, I thought they fit the fairy theme perfectly. The pattern only called for the interior zipper pocket, but I like lots of pockets in my bags. So I added the pleated slip pocket, another slip pocket, and a pen pocket to the other side of the lining. Great for storing keys and a cell phone!

The Vivian Handbag

The Vivian Handbag

The bag also had a drop in lining, and it’s the first time I’ve assembled a bag this way. I LOVE not having to turn a bag right-side-out through the bottom of the lining, so this is going to be my preferred method from now on. I could have done better with the stitching to attach the lining and the main bag; Part of the lining ended up a little puckered along one corner. Something to work on! I blinged up the bag with Emmaline Bags hardware. I really love the pizzazz her little hanging tags and her metal labels add to a bag.  I bought the purse feet from her too.

This next week I will be working on a quilt WIP. My Modern InstaBee 2014 quilt top is already assembled. I plan on making the backing, basting the quilt sandwich, and starting the quilting this week.

Did you have specific goals set for January? 
Do you have any crafty plans for February?

This week’s To-Do list:

  • Make quilt backing for Modern InstaBee Quilt
  • Baste quilt sandwich
  • Start quilting

Now it’s your turn! Write up your post and link up using the InLinkz linky below.

Rules:

  1. Link up to this To-Do Tuesday blog post using the InLinkz linky below. Don’t forget: you can link up Instagram photos! The link up is open all week, and you can link any post for the week even if it’s written on the prior Sunday or Monday. It simply needs to be related to setting, working on, and/or completing your weekly goal(s).
  2. Try to visit at least one or two other blogs and leave a nice comment.
  3. Include a link back to my blog. Feel free to grab the blog button from the sidebar to show that you’re participating in To-Do Tuesday.
  4. You do not have to follow my blog to participate, but if you do decide to follow me… thank you! I appreciate it!
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To-Do Tuesday 12-29-15 | Goodbye 2015

I’m writing my post on Sunday night, because Monday we will be driving all day to pick up the kids from their Christmas vacation with their Dad. When this posts on Tuesday, we’ll be busily celebrating our Christmas with the kids. I am so excited! Before Tuesday gets here though, I’ve been a bit reflective today on 2015.

My Greatest Accomplishment in 2015: The Epiphany Bag

My Greatest Accomplishment in 2015: The Epiphany Bag

I spent a lot of time thinking about what my favorite accomplishment was this past year. I scrolled through my Instagram feed looking for a completed project. The only one I could immediately think of was the purse I made for my Mom for her birthday. Looking through my pictures, I was disappointed to realize that all of the projects I wanted to finish this past year did not get finished. I just didn’t have the time, and that makes me sad. I will be making a change here and there so that I have the time I need to work on these projects in 2016.

Nope. Not even one.

Nope. Not even one.

When the new year comes around I never make resolutions. I don’t believe in them. I do believe in deciding what I want my goals to be for the year and making a plan to achieve them. But resolving to get certain things done? That never works well for me. Because if my plans change, or whatever I resolved to do doesn’t get done in the way I hoped it would, then I feel like I’ve failed. And rather than set myself up for failure I just plan out my goals for the year. Goals can change, and when they do it is often done without thought of failure but with adaptability and acceptance that things can, and (usually) will, change.

So… What are my goals for 2016? I would like to get one quilt top WIP quilted and bound each month. I currently have 5 quilt tops that are ready to be finished. So I should have them all done by May. I signed up for the Bag of The Month Club which runs from January to June. I would like to get each bag completed within the month it is released, with the exception of May and June. We’re usually doing our summer preparation in May and we are usually vacationing in June. I also would like to sew one additional bag (from a different pattern I already have) monthly from January to April. After returning from summer vacation, I would like to continue sewing two bags per month as well as start, and complete, one quilt per month.

Pretty ambitious goals, but I am determined to get an Etsy shop up and running so that I can sell bags. I also love to quilt, and I don’t want to see that fall by the wayside while I sew my bags. So I will be making sure that both sewing endeavors get equal(ish) time. Other than making sure that I have time to sew, I just received a tool that will help make my goal of selling bags a reality: My new industrial walking foot sewing machine!

Rex RX-607 Z Industrial Walking Foot machine

Rex RX-607 Z Industrial Walking Foot machine

Meet the newest addition to my sewing room: Dexter! Mister knew I have been scouring Craigslist for a used industrial walking foot machine that was portable and he ended up buying me one for Christmas. I had previously shown him a picture of a Sailrite machine on Amazon as a general guide of what I was looking for. He did a crap-ton of research (as per usual), and discovered that the Sailrite, Thompson (no longer manufactered), Omega, Techsew and Rex are all essentially the same machine. The Rex machines had negative reviews, but most of them were centered around the fact that the machines required some small (VERY small) assembly and didn’t look pretty. The Sailrite seems to currently be the popular machine as they have a lot of good tech support and the company does quite a bit of work to get these machines ready to sew right out of the box; including setting the machines into a nifty box. Mister knew I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a machine like this and that I am capable of getting a machine serviced and ready to sew without any stress on my part. Considering that, he was able to save a couple hundred bucks by going with the Rex rather than the Sailrite. To that I say: BRAVO!! (And THANK YOU!!)

Dexter in a table that previously housed a Singer 347

Dexter in a table that previously housed a Singer 347

Mister and I went to the hardware store to buy some wood to make a box to set the machine in. After getting home he suggested that he had a sewing table with a Singer 347 in it that he bought for $15 at Goodwill, and Dexter would probably be better off set inside. He was right… it fits great! We spent Saturday rearranging one area of the hobby room so we could get the table and sewing machine set up. Side note: Mister is now refusing to call our shared hobby room the “Hobby room”. He says I’ve taken over 95% of the space so it is now officially the “Sewing room”. He’s not wrong.

Noting stitch lengths Dexter

Noting stitch lengths Dexter

I spent Sunday playing around with the machine. The machine was really tight to begin with, so I wiped off excess oil from some areas and oiled other dry areas. I used some lithium grease on a section of gears. It had almost no lubrication there. I ran the machine for about two hours and it definitely loosened up over that period of time. I also made stitch length markings on the machine, since it didn’t come with any on it. It doesn’t come with any lighting either, so Mister gave me a magnetic LED light that has a flexible neck. It is working out very nicely so far. The machine is set up like a vintage singer, so I am already very familiar with how to manage the tension and how to oil and maintain it. Bonus for not having a learning curve to deal with there!

I had a test piece of various fabrics put together that I used when trying to find a machine that could handle the thickness of bag seams I would be sewing. I had two pieces of Annie’s Soft & Stable, 1 piece of Pellon Peltex 70, 2 pieces of quilting cotton fused with SF101 Interfacing, and 1 piece of vinyl folded four layers thick. This was pretty much what I was sewing through when I made my mom’s handbag; the vinyl was the same thickness of a strap tab. Mister and I pulled out three vintage machines that he thought could handle that much thickness. All three failed when it came to the strap tab. I didn’t use my PQ1500 on this piece, since I had already sewed Mom’s bag with it and knew it could handle it, but it strained a lot and skipped stitches coming off of the strap tabs. I used the same test piece in Dexter and it handled it perfectly! No skipped stitches at all! I’m in love with this machine!

Stitching on vinyl

Stitching on vinyl

While I was trying to loosen up the sewing machine I decided to run some vinyl pieces through it. The longer piece is two layers thick and the smaller piece is four layers thick. This machine makes perfect stitches and handled it beautifully. After playing around with it for a while and seeing what it can do I decided to name it Beast. Mister suggested Dexter. And since it powered through all that material without remorse, I figured it earned the name. So Dexter it is!

I think I’ve chattered on long enough. This week my last sewing To-Do for 2015 will be to write one last post on a quilt I finished earlier this year and completely forgot to blog about. I will have it posted no later than New Years Eve so that I start off 2016 with a clean slate!

What were your favorite accomplishments in 2015?
What are your goals for 2016?

This week’s To-Do list:

  • Write last blog post for 2015
  • Celebrate the new year!

Now it’s your turn! Write up your post and link up using the InLinkz linky below.

Rules:

  1. Link up to this To-Do Tuesday blog post using the InLinkz linky below. You can link up Instagram photos now! The link up is open all week, and you can link any post for the week even if it’s written on the prior Sunday or Monday. It simply needs to be related to setting, working on, and/or completing your weekly goal(s).
  2. Try to visit at least one or two other blogs and leave a nice comment.
  3. Include a link back to my blog. Feel free to grab the blog button from the sidebar to show that you’re participating in To-Do Tuesday.
  4. You do not have to follow my blog to participate, but if you do decide to follow me… thank you! I appreciate it!
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To-Do Tuesday 12-15-15 | New Bag Making Book

Happy Tuesday! There are only a few weeks left in this year. Can you believe it?! It seems like 2015 just arrived, much less is already over!

Windy City Bags and the Appaloosa Bag pattern by Sara Lawson

Windy City Bags and the Appaloosa Bag pattern by Sara Lawson

I didn’t do any sewing this week, and wasn’t planning on doing any sewing related things. However, a couple of days ago I received my pre-ordered signed copy of Windy City Bags, a book by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness. I spent an entire evening poring over the book. I loved it so much I wrote a review of it over on Amazon. Since I pre-ordered the book through Sara, I also received a free paper pattern of one of her bags and it happened to be on of her newest releases, the Appaloosa Bag. Yes!! I am ready for some time to become available so I can sew bags!

Bag of the Month Club

Another thing I did was to sign up for the 2016 Bag of the Month Club. From now until the end of December the sign up fee is $35. After December 31st the fee is $40. The club includes 6 bags, one released each month from January through June. If you’re interested in learning more, you can find additional information HERE.

At the end of this week we take the kids to their Dad so they can spend the holiday with him. Before they go for Christmas we are planning on some fun. We’ll be taking them to a local temporary ice skating rink. Hard to believe we have one here in Lake Havasu, but we do! We’ll also do our annual drive around town to see the Christmas lights. I’m excited to watch the kids fall all over themselves on the ice (they’ve never ice skated before), and to see the lights. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! 🙂

Do you have any pre-holiday plans this week? Any last-minute holiday rushing you have to do? Or are you savoring the season? I know I am!

This week’s To-Do list:

  • Relax and continue to enjoy the season!

Now it’s your turn! Write up your post and link up using the InLinkz linky below.

Rules:

  1. Link up to this To-Do Tuesday blog post using the InLinkz linky below. You can link up Instagram photos now! The link up is open all week, and you can link any post for the week even if it’s written on the prior Sunday or Monday. It simply needs to be related to setting, working on, and/or completing your weekly goal(s).
  2. Try to visit at least one or two other blogs and leave a nice comment.
  3. Include a link back to my blog. Feel free to grab the blog button from the sidebar to show that you’re participating in To-Do Tuesday.
  4. You do not have to follow my blog to participate, but if you do decide to follow me… thank you! I appreciate it!
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