Tag Archives: purse

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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Happy Birthday, Mom! | The Epiphany Bag

Today is my mom’s 30th x2 birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!!
Mom at the Ahwahnee Hotel photo by S.L. Morgan, used with permission.

Mom at the Ahwahnee Hotel photo by S.L. Morgan, used with permission.

Several months ago I decided that I wanted to make a special purse for her birthday present. My mom is a violinist in the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra, so I went on the hunt for musically themed fabric. I found Kanvas Concerto Tossed Instruments in Cream and Timeless Treasures Music Words in Linen and knew they would be perfect for a bag along with some black vinyl.

Front of The Epiphany Bag

Front of The Epiphany Bag

It took me two weeks to find the right bag pattern. After searching through several of my favorite bag designer websites I found The Epiphany Bag by ChrisW Designs. When I saw it I knew it was the one!

The Epiphany Bag Back

The Epiphany Bag Back

It took me a bit of time to read through the pattern and understand all the various parts and figure out which fabrics I wanted where. It took a day to cut all fabrics and interfacing out and then another half day to fuse the interfacing to the fabric. I made sure to sew slowly and carefully, because I wanted this bag to look as perfect as possible.

Side View

Side View

My only real issue, other than sewing the bottom, was the top stitching. This bag broke two titanium top-stitching (100/18) needles! That was more user error as I would get a little too quick with putting my machine into reverse and the thickenss would skew the needle to the side. Needle breakage was inevitable given my carelessness in that regard. I was having a difficult time when trying to stitch over the strap tabs. Not even my walking foot, with full pressure, would give me good stitches. I tried every trick I knew to sew through bulky material. I was sewing through 4 layers of soft and stable, 4 layers of SF101, 1 layer of Peltex, 4 layers of fabric, and 4 layers of vinyl (where the strap tabs were). I was in tears over all of the skipped stitches. I decided to pull out my tiny zipper split hinged foot as a last resort. There’s hardly any surface area to the foot, so I had a feeling it wouldn’t press the fabric down enough for the needle to go all the way down and have the hook catch the thread. I WAS WRONG. And so glad for that too! That zipper foot worked fantastically! The only trouble I had with skipped stitches was when my foot came down off of the strap tabs. I would stop stitching, tie off my thread tails, bury them, and then turn the bag around so that my foot would sew up the strap tab and meet my completed stitches. It took several times to get some of those stitches right, and there are a lot of buried threads in that bag. All in all, I think the top stitching was a success! Thank you tiny little foot!

Top of the Bag

Top of the Bag

The pattern came together nicely. The instructions were easy to understand, however I would recommend that you have some bag making experience before tackling this pattern. My previous experiences sewing with vinyl and sewing through thick seams really came in handy with this bag.

The Epiphany Bag Bottom

The Epiphany Bag Bottom

I had a particularly difficult time sewing the bottom piece to the body of the bag. My problem here was the vinyl was several layers thick and I used some Wonder Tape that the needle had to go through. In retrospect, I should have used a rubber mallet to flatten the whole piece. I ended up with skipped stitches in several spots, and after attempting to fix them three times I decided it was good enough as it was. It’s the bottom of the bag… Who is going to look there and critique my work? Definitely not my mom. If she notices it she’ll pretend she didn’t see it! That’s what moms do!

Inside Front

Inside Front

The inside of this bag was pretty detailed. I love the three pockets plus the pen pocket. I did forget to put my “Stitch ALL The Things” grosgrain ribbon tag on it and had to undo half of the pocket to fix it. It’s just not a Christine bag if I don’t forget something and have to rip work apart!

Inside Back zippered pocket

Inside Back zippered pocket

The pattern was written to put a zippered pocket either on the outside back of the bag or on the inside lining. I prefer my bags to have an inside zippered pocket, so that’s how I made this bag. The outside of the bag already has a slip pocket on the front panel, so I thought that would be good enough to toss either keys or a cellphone. It’s roomy enough for both, actually.

Custom Made Musical Charm Fob

Custom Made Musical Charm Fob

One thing I spent quite a bit of time on was making Mom a charm fob for the purse. I found lettered charms and put M, S, O on the chain as well as a violin. I attached a keyring that has a dove, a cross, and the word “Love” on it. The bottom of the fob is a large treble clef. I wish the letter charms could have been bigger, but it was difficult to find the letters in a gold tone. The whole fob blends together, but I think it may something neat for someone to discover about the bag.

Emmaline Bags "Handmade" Hardware

Emmaline Bags “Handmade” Hardware

As usual I used Emmaline Bags hardware and bag bling. I can not say enough about what her hardware adds to a bag. It really gives it a professional look. Emmaline Bags added these new “handmade” tags a month or so ago and in gold tone. As soon as I saw them I knew they were going on the bag. She also had matching gold tone “handmade” zipper pulls in stock, so I put one on the main zipper and one on the inner zipper pocket. I also used her gold purse feet on the bottom of the bag.

Rivets!

Rivets!

This bag has actual rivets in them! This was my first time using rivets, although I didn’t install them. Let’s just say I was a little freaked at ruining what I worked so hard to make, so I asked the Mister to install the rivets. First, we tested them out on a scrap piece of vinyl the same thickness as the strap tabs. He put one rivet in and then I asked him to try his hardest to rip it apart. I was worried the rivets wouldn’t hold and was thinking I should add stitching to reinforce the handles and the tabs. The single rivet held. Color me shocked! I then marked out all the rivet spots and punched the holes for them. He set all the rivets for me. After using them in this bag, I am definitely going to add them to all of my bags. They really add strength to the bag as well as make it look store bought.

Emmaline Bags Zipper End

Emmaline Bags Zipper End

One other thing I added to the bag was this zipper end that I purchased from Emmaline Bags. It is the only thing that is silver toned on the bag. She doesn’t have them in gold tone, but since it tucks down into the bag and isn’t really seen, I figured the different metal color would be okay. Plus… professional looking, right?!

My mom called me about an hour and a half ago. All she could say was… “Oh MY Gosh.” “OH. MY. GOSH.” “OH MY GOSH!!!” I take it she liked it! Also, I’ve been instructed to hurry up and start selling handmade bags. I guess that means I need to start sewing some purses right away!

Happy Birthday, Mom! I am glad you like the bag! Love you!!


Bye Bye Love Bag


BagClubButton1

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.

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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!

BYE BYE LOVE

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