Category Archives: Bags and Wallets

To-Do Tuesday 3-15-16 | Polaris Bag

Have you ever had a sewing project where you made mistakes pretty much every step along the way? This week’s project was ‘THAT’ project for me: The Polaris bag, a pattern by Sew Sweetness for the March Bag of the Month.

First Polaris Bag in Alison Glass Art Theory Fabric

First Polaris Bag in Alison Glass Art Theory Fabric

It is a smaller bag, and a simpler pattern, so I cut out fabrics to make two bags. I figured I’d be done with both bags in a day in a half. I probably would have been, too, if I hadn’t had to take the bag apart repeatedly to fix stupid mistakes because I wasn’t paying attention when sewing. The bag is 99% finished, I just have to finish stitching the lining into the bag. Despite all of the struggles I think it turned out nicely, and I have a list of make-sure-not-to-do’s for the second bag!

Alexander Henry Mindblown Skull Engines for second Polaris Bag

Alexander Henry Mindblown Skull Engines for second Polaris Bag

The first Polaris bag I made I chose pretty Alison Glass fabric and Mirror Glitter Vinyl in Gunmetal. The second bag is more my usual edgy style; Alexander Henry Mindblown Skull Engines and orange Mirror Glitter Vinyl. Hopefully I’ll have less trouble with this bag. I’ll write a Finished Friday post after both bags are done.

What have you been working on? Any new finishes?

This week’s To-Do list:

  • Finish Skull Engines Polaris Bag
  • Work on commission Window Shopper Tote
  • Take pictures of clutches and write Craftsy class review post

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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Finished Friday | The Window Shopper Tote

For this Finished Friday I’m finally getting to write about The Window Shopper Tote; the February pattern from Mrs. H for the Bag of the Month Club.

The Window Shopper Tote Front

This bag is a BIG BAG. Yes, it is so big I actually had to type that in all caps. When I first saw the pattern release I knew I wanted to make it for Sarah of Georgia Girl Quilts for her birthday. When I printed out the pattern pieces and taped them together I started to get worried about the size of the bag. I worried about it all the way through construction, but by the time I was finished I loved it and felt that it wouldn’t be too big to send to Sarah.

I had a lot of fun picking out the fabrics for this bag. Sarah and I seem to be pretty similar in certain areas (understatement… she’s my quilty twin!), so I had a feeling she’d love the Typewriter Fabric by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel’s Black & White line. Playing off of the typewriters, the interior fabric I chose was Cottage Newsprint in Grey from The Cottage Garden by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake. Have you seen this print? It’s amazing! It has the greatest inspirational quotes. I also used a print from Tula Pink’s True Colors line, Making Waves in Ink, for the zippered pockets and for some of the other pocket linings. It’s also the print that gives the faux binding look to the pockets. I used a black faux leather/vinyl as another accent fabric.

Back of The Window Shopper Tote

Back of The Window Shopper Tote

I made several changes to the original pattern. The bag was designed with a smaller rounded, pleated slip pocket on the front of the bag. The back of the back had a wide pocket, the full width of the bag, which closed with a magnetic snap. I omitted the small pocket on the front and moved the wide pocket to the front and sewed a dividing line down the middle. I just felt the original design would have had a big flapping pocket if it wasn’t divided, and I didn’t like the thought of anyone having to go diving into a pocket to find something. On the back of the bag I decided to simply add a zippered pocket, rather than add another full width pocket. I thought it might be a handy spot to throw some keys or a cell phone.

The Window Shopper Tote Inside

The interior of the bag has another zippered pocket and a divided slip pocket. The opposite side of the interior has another full width divided pocket. An additional change I made was to give all of the pockets a faux binding. I like the look of that, so I always add extra length to my pocket linings so that I can wrap it over the seam allowance and the fabrics of the interior and exterior of the pocket will line up. I really like how it looks with this bag!

Zipper Bridge

Zipper Bridge

The gusset of the bag, the zipper bridge, and the top part of the lining are all made with faux leather/vinyl in black. This added more bulk in the seams, so instead of turning the bag right side out through the lining, I did a drop in lining. This was the perfect bag for it, since it was simply a big open circle at the top! I folded my seam allowances in 1/2″ toward each other, clipped them together with my wonder clips and top stitched around twice.

I also decided to use a new foam interlining with this bag. I wanted to try the Bosal In-R-Form double-sided fusible foam I saw on Amazon. It was on sale for a decent price, so I read the reviews to see if I could still use it even if I only wanted to fuse one side to fabric. Several reviewers noted it would be fine, just to cover the other side with a muslin or some other fabric and peel it away after fusing. Oh. Boy. Did I ever have ‘fun’ with this. I ended up crushing and wrinkling the foam so much that it wrinkled the exterior fabric too. I was pretty upset about them, but used some steam to try to release the wrinkles. That didn’t work, so I sprayed water directly on the fabric and pressed it as well. That helped quite a bit, but when I mailed the bag off it still had wrinkles. However, Sarah looked over the bag when I emailed her apologizing for the wrinkles and said she really had to look hard to even find where they were. So it seems they released over time. *Whew*!!

The Window Shopper Tote Hardware

I was incredibly nervous to install these oval grommet handles. It turns out they were much easier to install than originally expected, but it’s hard cutting into a finished bag and hoping you won’t slip and cut wrong! It wasn’t until after I installed those handles that I fell head over heels for this bag. I hoped Sarah would love it as much as I did, and I was super thrilled when she let me know that she did like it!

This is a fantastic pattern, and I am getting ready to make another bag. I would classify this as a very confident beginner pattern. This pattern may seem intimidating to some (because of the grommet handles), let me assure you that it is not as difficult as it looks. The instructions are clear and detailed. The one thing I do love about the bag is that it is perfect for customization. So many things you can add or take away from the bag to make it just how you like it. I will note that I had an easier time installing the grommet handles on this bag than I did installing my first bag lock on another bag! If you like big bags (and you cannot lie… heh heh heh), definitely give this pattern a try!

Linking up with TGIFF hosted by Izzy of Dizzy Quilts
and with Can I Get A Whoop Whoop over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

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Finished Friday | The Rockstar Bag

I’m so excited to share this finish! I have been wanting to make The Rockstar Bag for a while, so I made sure it was one of the first few bags on my list to make in 2016.

Front of the Rockstar Bag

Front of the Rockstar Bag

My daughter, Callie, wanted a bag so I told her this one was for her. I had her look through my fabric stash and choose the prints. She said she loves text prints, and chose the Graffiti print in black from Our Town designed by Michelle D’Amore for Contempo Studio/Benartex. She chose to stay with the text fabric theme with the lining and chose Sunprint Text in white by Alison Glass for Andover. I suggested that maybe we could have the exterior pocket flap be an accent fabric and pulled out the Edgar print from Nevermore designed by Gillian Fullard/London Portfolio for Michael Miller. She loved the idea of the quill, calligraphy pen and ink pot complementing the script text on the main fabric. I also suggested that we could use the new Glitter Mirror Canvas in white I had purchased from MiKri World Supplies. She said she’s not a big fan of bling, but that the glitter would be understated enough as accents that it would actually compliment the bag. I agreed. I also omitted the rivets on the exterior pocket flap as she repeatedly reminded me that she didn’t “like all the bling, Mom!”. She said she would never use a shoulder strap either, so I omitted that from this pattern as well.

Back of the Rockstar Bag

Back of the Rockstar Bag

I would classify this as an intermediate to advanced pattern. It comes together easily, but the parts I struggled with most were sewing around the tight corners on the sides of the bags. It wasn’t difficult, but definitely required slower sewing. After putting the binding on the inside seams and turning the bag right side out, I realized that I did not sew as close to the piping as I would have liked. I turned the bag inside out again, used my tiny zipper foot and tried to get as close as possible. That ended up giving me an inside seam of over 5/8″ in some areas. I’m not sure why my piping stuck out so far, but next time I’ll reduce the width of the fabric I use to wrap my cord to make the piping. That should bring the piping closer to the seam.

Bottom of the bag is Glitter Mirror Vinyl Canvas

Bottom of the bag is Glitter Mirror Vinyl Canvas

I chose to add some sturdiness to the bottom of the bag by adding some Glitter Mirror Vinyl Canvas over the main print. I like the look of adding contrasting bottoms to bags, and I think it shows the purse feet off nicely. Although it is white, any dirt should wipe off of the vinyl easily. Unfortunately, my repeated turnings of the bag ended up wrinkling the bottom. I am not too worried about it since it is on the bottom!

All the lovely hardware.

All the lovely hardware.

All of the hardware labels are from Emmaline Bags. The d-rings I used are bigger than they should be, so the next bag I make I will be sure to order the right size. Oops! Hopefully it won’t bother my daughter to see the oversized d-rings as much as it bothers me to see them.

Inside. Need to do better!

Inside. Need to do better!

Callie did not want a lot of extra pockets. She told me she would hardly use them. So the only pockets she has are the exterior pocket, the zippered flap of the exterior pocket and the inside zip pocket. I offered to add a slip pocket for her cell phone, but she said no. The exterior pocket and flap both had Annie’s Soft & Stable interfaced to one side. I didn’t like how thick that made the pocket feel so next time I will use some fusible fleece.

Finally in her possession!

Finally in her possession! (And it happens to match her Chucks!)

All in all, I really liked making this bag. I learned a new technique (binding the seam allowances inside), and discovered that I have a lot of work to do to get my piping to look nice. The next time I make this bag I would like to try doing a drop-in lining. We’ll see how that goes!

Linking up with TGIFF hosted by Laura (and Scarlett!) over at Quokka Quilts
and with Can I Get A Whoop Whoop over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

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To-Do Tuesday 3-1-16 | Finishing up Bags

Happy Tuesday! How did you enjoy your extra day of the year? I was grateful for it, as I was able to complete my Rockstar Bag in February! I didn’t have time to take good pictures, so I’ll save them for a Finished Friday post. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek…

Sneak peek of the Rockstar Bag

Sneak peek of the Rockstar Bag

Yesterday I received the handles I ordered from China for my February bag of the month, The Window Shopper Tote. I took a picture to show the difference in the handles. You can see that the ones with the screws are going to fit snugly together, whereas the lighter weight ones don’t really align well. I can even feel a difference, as the one with the tabs are much lighter than the others. I am very glad I decided to wait on this order to install the handles. The new ones are slightly smaller, but the stitching outline I sewed onto the bag will still work. Whew!

Difference in oval handles hardware

Difference in oval handles hardware

One super fun thing this week was that I finally received my Tula Pink hardware that I pre-ordered from Pink Door Fabrics way back when these debuted at Fall Market. It was love at first sight! I decided to take a picture of them all together with my treasured squirrel print that I asked Tula Pink to sign when she was at Quiltique in Las Vegas in 2015. It’s all so pretty together!

Tula Pink Gasm

This week I need to install the handles on The Window Shopper tote and take pictures of both that bag and the Rockstar bag for future Finished Friday posts. Also, I will be reviewing a class for Sew Sweetness’ Craftsy Review Month. Every day during this month she will be hosting a post that either she, or another person/blogger, has written reviewing various Craftsy classes. You can see the schedule of reviews as well as links to the reviews HERE. My review of Mix and Match Clutch Bag Techniques by Janelle McKay of Emmaline Bags will be posted on March 23rd. I have been anxiously waiting for March to get here, and other commitments to end, so that I could start this class. I am excited that I will have time to begin the class this week!

This week’s To-Do list:

  • Take pictures of The Rockstar Bag and write a Finished Friday post
  • Take pictures of The Window Shopper Tote
  • Begin Craftsy class for review post

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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