Tag Archives: MrsH

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 | 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


To-Do Tuesday 2-23-16 | Starting the Rockstar Bag

Hello, friends and Happy Tuesday!

Almost finished...

Almost finished…

I’d like to say I have a bag finish this week, but I am waiting on some hardware to complete The Window Shopper Tote. I purchased everything I needed last December, but it turns out that a lot of other members of the Bag Of The Month club are finding the oval handles are popping off the bag, or they are not seating right. These are lower quality handles that are locked into place with metal tabs. After hearing that other people were having problems with the handles I ordered different oval handles that are attached with screws. They are coming from China though, so it’s going to take a couple of weeks to get them in. Since this other oval hardware seems sturdier I think it’s worth the wait. Hopefully I will have a Finished Friday post for this project in a couple of weeks.

Fabric and Hardware pull for the Rockstar Bag

Fabric and Hardware pull for the Rockstar Bag

While I wait for the Window Shopper Tote hardware I am starting on my next bag, The Rockstar Bag by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness. This bag is going to be for my youngest daughter, Callie, and she picked out all of the fabrics. For the exterior she chose the Graffiti print in black from Our Town designed by Michelle D’Amore for Contempo Studio/Benartex. The exterior flap will be fussy cut from the Edgar print from Nevermore designed by Gillian Fullard/London Portfolio for Michael Miller. The lining will be Sunprint Text in white by Alison Glass for Andover. Finally, the exterior straps, handles, and piping will be Glitter Mirror Canvas in white from MiKri World Supplies.

This will be my first time using the Glitter Canvas. I recently discovered it through the Sew Sweetness Facebook Group. It’s a lot thinner than the glitter vinyl I’ve purchased through Fabric.com, which means less bulk and struggle when sewing these bags. I think this bag may be more challenging than those I have already done, so I am not sure if I will be finished by next Tuesday. I will be thrilled if I am!

This week’s To-Do list:

  • Make The Rockstar Bag

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