Category Archives: Bags and Wallets

Finished Friday | Window Shopper Tote #2

This week’s finish is my second Window Shopper Tote. This bag is my very first commission work!

Window Shopper Tote 2

The fabric was provided for me to use, and I just love it. Riley Blake Geekly Chic Glasses and Voltage Dot in black from Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee line. I also used black vinyl/faux leather for the gusset, adjustable strap, zipper bridge, and upper part of the lining.

Window Shopper Tote 2 Back

The foam interfacing in the previous tote I made was a double sided fusible. The bad part of that was ripping off the muslin I used to protect my ironing board (I only needed to fuse one side), and as a result I created permanent creases in the bag. Turning the exterior right-side out also deepened the creases. So for this bag I used a sew-in foam interfacing, as the pattern instructs. But I’m not as happy with how the exterior looks. I really like the exterior fabric fused down, but dislike the permanent creases. Ugh! I need to experiment with this more, and may need to make another bag for the commission work. My husband thinks I’m far too critical of my work, but it’s not hard to see the fabric isn’t as crisp as it could be in these pictures.

Window Shopper Tote Inside

The one thing I absolutely adore about this bag is the interior! I am so thrilled with how the Denyse Schmidt fabric looks inside, and the little pop of Geekly Chic fabric in there too! I could stare inside this bag all day. That’s weird isn’t it? Probably. It may be a bag lover thing. I dunno.

Window Shopper Tote 2 Zipper Bridge

I also like how the vinyl zipper bridge looks. The scariest part when making this bag is working with the vinyl (also… inserting those handles!!). You get no mulligans here if you mess up stitching… and my sewing foot was definitely slipping on the top stitching. I had to wrestle with my machine to switch feet (with the needle down in the vinyl) when I realized my stitches were super tiny and my foot wasn’t feeding properly. After trying a different foot, the stitching was much better, but I couldn’t fix the smaller stitches without ripping apart the bag and making half of it all over again. I’m not sure what the problem was this time, because I used the same foot on the last bag with no issues. I’m confident my sewing machine just likes to throw out a daily challenge to mess with me. I’d appreciate it if I could make some sort of deal with it to only do that on my personal projects in the future.

Linking up with:
TGIFF hosted by Celtic Thistle Stitches
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop hosted by Confessions of a Fabric Addict
WHOOMP There IT Is hosted by A Quilted Passion
Finish It Up Friday hosted by Crazy Mom Quilts

A Quilted Passion

Finished Friday | Mix & Match Clutch Bags

Earlier this week I wrote a review for Mix and Match Clutch Bag Techniques that was posted on Sew Sweetness‘ blog for Craftsy Month. For those of you that read the review and commented, thank you so much for your encouragement and support! I was pretty nervous about the review, so I appreciated you stopping by and reading it! Since the review was focused on the class, I thought I’d write a Finished Friday showing close up pictures of the two bags I made. This clutch pattern is really easy and incredibly versatile.

Pieced Front Clutch with rounded flap

Pieced Front Clutch with rounded flap

The first clutch I made was the pieced front clutch with the rounded flap. I had the perfect bag lock set aside for this one, but I was so focused on following the instructions on the class video that I installed the magnetic snap instead! Thankfully I had purchased some rounded trim when I ordered from Emmaline Bags, so I put that on the flap instead. I think it went well with the Mirror Ball Dot fabric and I’m glad I “messed up” the closure.

Clutch Inside of Mirror Ball

I love the card slots and lipstick pocket inside the bag. If you read the review you’ll know I hinted at poking a hole in my lining. Thankfully I didn’t make a big hole, but it’s enough that I wouldn’t want to give the bag to anyone for fear that any usage may make the hole bigger.

Callie Mirror Dot Clutch

I asked my youngest daughter, Callie, to pose with the bags for me. I made an adjustable strap for each bag, as well as a wrist strap. I’m not sure that I’ll use the wrist strap, but I certainly will use the adjustable strap with the bags. I bought a pretty chain to use on either bag if I wanted to make it look fancy, but this chain likes to grab your hair and eat it up like a dieting Cookie Monster who hasn’t eaten cookies in two weeks. I know there are other chain options available, so I may get a different one. Otherwise, the only time I’ll use the current chain is if my hair is up and far, far away from a hungry chain.

Timeless Treasures Flourish Skull in Metallic

Timeless Treasures Flourish Skull in Metallic

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I adore edgier fabrics. So you won’t be surprised to know that I actually made what’s considered an evening clutch out of skull fabrics. They have glitter on them, so that makes it evening right?! I know, I know… only in my world!

Clutch Inside of Skull

I chose a Kona Cotton for the inside of the bag and used the exterior fabric for the card slots/pocket. I wanted them to stand out and if I would have used the red fabric it would have just faded into the background. I also found some nifty triangle rings on etsy so I used those instead of D-Rings for the straps. I love the way they look so much more than the D-rings too!

Clutch Side of Skull bag

I fussy cut the sides on this bag so that when the bag is open you can see them peeking out at you. When the bag is closed you can barely see them, so it’s a neat little feature I enjoyed adding to the bag.

Callie Skull Clutch

I didn’t have to ask Callie to give me a sassy pose when she was wearing the skull bag. She just put it on, gave me an expression filled with attitude and I snapped the picture. I just love that girl! I loved making these bags and have plans for making a lot more of them. I think they’ll be nice little bags to sell when I finally get my shop up and running.

Linking up with:
TGIFF hosted by Anja of Anja Quilts
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop hosted by Confessions of a Fabric Addict
WHOOMP There IT Is hosted by A Quilted Passion
Finish It Up Friday hosted by Crazy Mom Quilts

A Quilted Passion

Craftsy Month on Sew Sweetness


Today my review of the Craftsy class Mix and Match Clutch Bag Techniques is posted over at Sew Sweetness and can be found HERE. I had a wonderful time reviewing this class and you can see my finished clutches over on Sara’s blog. I will show pictures of the clutches here in a Finished Friday post later this week.

Note: I received this class for free in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Finished Friday | Two Polaris Bags

I have really been enjoying participating in the 2016 Bag Of The Month Club. The Polaris Bag by Sew Sweetness is the bag for March and I had an interesting time making this one!

Polaris Bag Alison Glass Art Theory

When I saw the pattern I decided to cut out fabric for two different bags. This is a smaller bag pattern, with only one zippered pocket installed in the lining. For the first bag I chose to use my Art Theory panel by Alison Glass and Glitter Mirror Canvas vinyl in Gunmetal from MiKri World Supplies for the exterior, and Chainmail in Plum from Elizabeth by Tula Pink as the lining. I figured I would bust through one bag in a day, easy! And I would have, too, if I had not been distracted binge watching the final season of Downton Abbey. Also from feeling overconfident in my bag making abilities, but we will pretend it was all Downton Abbey’s fault. (Did you cry? I totally cried at the end of the series!)

Nice tucks. Right on top of the bag. Good job, Christine! High five!

Nice tucks. Right on top of the bag. Good job, Christine! High five!

My first issue was when I sewed the bottom of the piping (where the seam is) to the top of the bag. Front and center! Out came my trusty seam ripper. My second issue was when I went to sew the zipper and attached bottom piece to the side ovals. For some reason I had at least a half an inch gap! Hello again, my friendly seam ripper. I had to rip out the top stitching, and the seams that connect the top zipper piece to the bottom piece, cut off a quarter of an inch from each side, and sew it all back together. I still had some gapping, but figured I could ease it in. I did, too, along with a lovely set of tucks right on top of the bag! Argh!

This bag has a drop in lining, so instead of attaching the edge of the lining by sewing over the top stitching on the zipper, I decided I would do a second row of top stitching. Double top-stitching lines always look great, right? And I AM a bag maker so I totally know what I’m doing, right? Um. Yeah. Did not turn out as expected. My stitching was so far back that I didn’t catch the zipper panel seam allowance at all, so it pushed the lining out and then it all just looked completely ridiculous.

Since the pattern instructions mentioned that you could hand sew the lining down, guess what I did? I hand sewed the lining down. It looks so much better, and I could have saved a lot of time and wrestling the bag under the foot of the sewing machine had I done it that way to begin with. Oh, and to top it all off, I attached the handle with rivets and, after checking at least three times, still ended up twisting the handle! I called the Mister to the rescue before I got to the point of throwing the whole thing in the trash. This bag maker is now humbled after being schooled by that bag.

Skull Engine Polaris Bag front

The fabrics I selected for the second bag were Mindblown Skull Engines from Alexander Henry and orange Glitter Mirror Canvas vinyl by MiKri. I don’t really like orange very much, but the flames on the print and the sparkles on that vinyl work perfectly together. I kept with the orange theme for the interior of the bag and used Textured Basics by Patty Young for Michael Miller.

Skull Engine Polaris bag interior

Having learned several lessons with the first bag, I started the second bag after having finished watching Downton Abbey. I cut off 3/4″ from the bottom piece and it fit my bag perfectly when assembling. I still ended up with a tuck (darn it all!), but it’s on the bottom of the bag so I’m okay with that.

Skull Engine Polaris Bag back

I really loved the motifs on this fabric, so I chose two different ones to showcase a different skull engine on each side of the bag. I opted to use the script “handmade” tag by Emmaline Bags since that seemed to fit the bag best.

Skull Engine Polaris bag interior

I did opt to machine stitch down my drop in lining again, but THIS time I tried a different method. I top stitched the zipper panel down a scant 1/4″ away from the edge (and caught about 95% of the zipper panel seam allowance…whew). When I set the lining in, I made sure to use my wonder clips and aligned it so that when I top stitched about 1/16″ away from the edge of the zipper panel it caught the lining as well. And it worked! My lining looks great and I didn’t have to hand stitch it down.

Skull Engine Polaris Bag side view

The second bag was a breeze to make compared to the first one. Other than the one tuck on the bottom of the bag, my only other error was to forget to switch my thread back to the top stitching color when attaching the lining panel. So the two top stitching lines by the zipper are dark orange (which blends), and light orange (which doesn’t blend so well). That’s okay, I’m calling it a planned design element. A little humility and no distractions are good for the ‘getting-to-big-for-her-britches’ bag maker.

Linking up with TGIFF hosted by Jen of A Quarter Inch From The Edge
and with Can I Get A Whoop Whoop over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict