Category Archives: Bags and Wallets

Bye Bye Love Bag


I didn’t get much done this week, but I did manage to sew up January’s Bag of the Month bag from Sew Sweetness’ Bag of the Month Club.


I purchased some Denyse Schmidt Florence fabrics specifically for this bag.  For some reason, I absolutely love plaid bags, and I knew this bag would be perfect for showing off some plaid. The lining is Seed Pod in Taupe, and the back zippered pocket is Seed Pod in Carnelian. The outer fabric is Multi Plaid in Carnelian. I chose black yarn dyed Essex Linen as the outer accent fabric. I used Aurifil 40wt thread in Black/#2692 and Light Sand/#2000 (not pictured).

This bag gave me a few challenges, because I don’t like to read all of the instructions.  I mean, why should I pay attention to the details that are painstakingly written out for me so that I don’t mess up when sewing?  Psssshhhh.  Thoroughly reading the instructions is for people who don’t like their seam ripper.

Mistake #1:

Rather than making the outer panels of only one fabric, as instructed, I decided I wanted to have the bottom part of the bag be in the Essex Linen. That wasn’t the mistake, but my math was.  So, my outer panels ended up about an three-quarters of an inch shorter than my lining panels.  I decided to just trim the lining panels to match, as the loss wasn’t too drastic and it seemed like a rather tall bag anyway.

Trim it up, girl!

Trim it up, girl!

Holy Effing Are-you-KIDDING-Me Mistake #2:

I knew something was off about my zippered pocket when the bottom pocket fabric didn’t match up when sewing the pocket closed.  I only noticed this AFTER insertion, of course.  But, I just “went with it”.  And all was well until it was time to mark handle placement.

What?! No. NO! Oh YES. You did.  You totally did.

What?! No. NO! Oh YES. You did. You totally did.

Apparently when I made the zipper pocket I had my marked zipper fabric upside down.  So the zipper pocket was about 3″ too high.  And exactly where the handles were to be attached.  I. Wanted. To. Cry.  But, crying doesn’t effing fix it.  I looked at it for a few minutes, played around with the handles, and decided instead of making a new outer panel (which I had messed up to begin with… and there was no telling if I could mess it up ON PURPOSE again), I would just change handle placement. I knew it would be close to the top and the seam allowance, but by precisely measuring it with my eyeballs, aka “eyeballing it”, it looked like it would be okay. Apparently I have madskillz with eyeball measuring, whereas I have NO skillz using the maths to measure.

Left eyeball: Let's just sew 'em down about here, whatcha think?" Right eyeball: "sure. Looks good 'nuff to me."

Left eyeball: Let’s just sew ’em down about here, whatcha think?”
Right eyeball: “Sure. Looks good ’nuff to me.”

You’re-Almost-Finished-So-Let’s-Make-ANOTHER-Mistake #3:

I proudly held up my finished bag to show Mister and noticed that one of my handles was twisted.  And sewing this interfaced Essex Linen was not easy.  My sewing machine did NOT like backstitching on it at all.  Not even with a top-stitch needle.  Thankfully it didn’t take long to fix!

Let's make ANOTHER mistake.  Because that's fun and we have nothing better to do!

Let’s make ANOTHER mistake. Because that’s fun and we have nothing better to do!

I am so pleased with this bag!  I remembered to use my Emmaline Bags “handmade” hardware, and I even remembered to put my label in it!  After it was sewn up, of course (Mistake #4).  I just folded over the seam allowance and sewed it over the topstitching on the lining pocket.  I think it turned out okay that way. I also decided to go a little fancy and I added purse feet.  PURSE FEET.  Seriously. Proud. Of. This. Bag.

Proberly labeled up.  AND I added purse feet!

Properly labeled up. AND I added purse feet!

And here it is, all finished… front and back! I’m not too sure about my zipper choices… I probably should have done grey top and back zippers. Although, I think this will do. I really love this bag, but I’m thinking I may save it for a Christmas present.  It would be really great to have one present already in the bag.  Corny pun totally intended.

Love how these pleated pockets turned out!

Love how these pleated pockets turned out!


I started this project during the week, but so many errands and “life” got in the way.  I ended up sewing up most of it yesterday, and finished fixing the mistakes today.  Since I ended up doing most of my sewing over the weekend, I’m linking up with My Go-Go Life for SEWJo Saturday (er…Sunday).

SEWJo Saturday

The Petrillo Bag and Greenbacks Wallet #2

Petrillo Bag and Greenbacks #2 Wallet

Petrillo Bag and Greenbacks #2 Wallet

I’ve been so excited to make one of Sara Lawson’s (Sew Sweetness) patterns.  I have several of her patterns (plus her new book!), and finally had the opportunity to get one sewn up this past week.  Mister’s granddaughter celebrated her 18th birthday, so I figured The Petrillo Bag and a matching wallet would be nice (with some cash in the wallet of course… you can’t give someone an empty wallet, that totally sucks!).

Let me just start by saying that Sara’s patterns are AWESOME-SAUCE.  Having said that, it’s important to note that I can’t seem to help deciding to do a brand new pattern mere days before a gift is due.  Somehow the “Hey, why don’t you do a trial run and see if this will work out ok” thought process doesn’t make it through my head.  So, with five days before the birthday (which is A LOT of time, given my history) I started the bag.  Then promptly lost two days of sewing time because of kidlet errands.  *sigh*  It’s always the way, no?!  Anyway, I managed to squeeze an hour or two within those two days to get the fabrics ironed, starched, cut, and interfacings fused on.  Thank. Goodness.

Greenbacks Wallet #2

Greenbacks Wallet #2

Despite thinking I was going to have to nix making the wallet due to the lost time, Sara’s patterns come together so nicely, and her instructions are so clear, that I ended up finishing both the bag and the wallet the day before the birthday… which happened to be on Thanksgiving Day.  And then I promptly fell in love with them both.  Naturally.  Of course when I think of Sara’s patterns, I automatically think of Tula Pink fabric.  They just go together so perfectly!  I used some of my Acacia stash and was so proud until I stood back and really looked at the bag and wallet.  From the perspective of an 18 year old.  I also had added Polka-dots.  Yes, I did.  And what I found to be adorable I realized an 18-year-old who has no idea about Tula Pink fabric might think her step-gramma had gone a little goofy.  And I was glad that I stashed some cash in the wallet.  You know what I mean? (Although, frankly, I think everyone should fall in love with Tula Pink fabric, because it’s made of Awesome-Sauce too!)

Inside of Greenbacks Wallet #2

Inside of Greenbacks Wallet #2

I guess I needn’t have worried.  I got to see Mister’s granddaughter last night.  She asked me if I actually made the bag.  She said it didn’t look like a handmade bag (despite the awesome “handmade” hardware I bought from Emmaline Bags and placed on the bag front).  She thought I made the wallet, and since the fabrics all matched, she still wasn’t sure if I bought the bag or not.  BEST. COMPLIMENT. EVER.  Also, she thought the Raccoons were Foxes.  And I was told that made her smile because, “What does the fox say?”  (I have no idea.  Apparently I have to google some Danish band to find out.)

LOVE! Emmaline Bags "handmade" Hardware

LOVE! Emmaline Bags “handmade” Hardware

During the process of making the bag, I discovered that Sew Mama Sew is having a Sew Sweetness Bag contest!  And, since I made the bag within the time frame I’m linking up over there.  You should go check out the other bags entered… WOW!!!  

The Petrillo Bag Front

The Petrillo Bag Front


The Petrillo Bag Back

The Petrillo Bag Back

Inside.  The padded pocket is on the opposite side of the zippered side.

Inside. The padded pocket is on the opposite side of the zippered side.

Do you like to sew bags?

 Have you made a Sew Sweetness Pattern?