Thursday, December 17, 2015

On The Go Bags Giveaway Winner

Time to name the winner of the wonderful book, On The Go Bags by Lindsay Conner and Janelle MacKay.
15 Handmade Purses, Totes and Orgnaizers all designed by very well know designers some of whom I am very privileged to test for.

Also want to say a big thank you to all of you for taking the time to comment and join in the giveaway. I'm sorry if I didn't get to answer all emails. I tried my best and some were no reply so couldn't.

Ok here we go. The lucky winner is Mara chosen by

 Mara commented

I would love this book and also want to make the van organizer but my living room :) It's nice to see it in other fabrics, as I was also thinking of doing it in the fabric I used to make my curtains. In everyday life I like a shoulder strap medium sized handbag with at least one zipper pocket.

CONGRATULATIONS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you that didn't win you can buy a copy at C&TPublishing and January 7th from Amazon.

Thanks to all of you once again and a big thank you to Linsay and Janelle.

Happy Sewing 

~ Maria ~

Saturday, December 5, 2015

#2 Brandts Boulevard In The Easy Street Range by Christine Welsh

Yesterday I showed you the first in the Easy Street Range by Christine Welsh at ChrisW Designs HERE. Today I want to show you the second.

I love wallets even more than bags so was thrilled to bits when this one came in for testing and it has proven to be a winner with my customers. I sold the one I tested a few hours after it was made got an order for another one then followed by another order for a third. I ran out of locks for the wallet and only had the larger ones which one customer said was ok but another two are waiting till I get hold of the smaller locks.

Here's my Brandts Boulevard Wallet, oh but before I show you I just want to tell you that these bags in the new range are being named after the testers. Isn't that cool!!!!! I can't wait to see the design for mine. Brandts Boulevard is named after tester Marilyn Brandt. She's an excellent tester and the maker of beautiful bags. Check out her blog HERE

Now let me show you mine.

I chose these fabrics becasue these are my favourite colours. I find it so calming to look at.

This easy to carry wallet has a detachable wrist strap and lock to keep everything safe.

 Inside there are loads of pockets, very typical of Christine's desings.

There is a zipper pocket for coins and behind that is a slip pocket then behind that is a padded pocket for your cell phone. On the opposite side is yet another very roomy pocket with an ID card pocket and 4 card slots.

Had to show you this photo as I must say I'm pretty impressed by my stitching LOLLLL

After making the first one I had a custom order for this one.

I had two of the smaller locks above so when the third custom order came I only had these larger ones but the customer said she liked it.
I now have another two custom orders but on the condition that the lock is the small one. I've ordered them but they still haven't arrived. Hope they send the right ones.

This wallet is going to be a winner. It's quick and easy too make so perfect for craft fairs. If you didn't read yesterdays post about Abby's Alley then shame on you LOLLLL you'll miss out on the good deal. Here are the details again.

You can buy the pattern HERE for $6.95, great deal!!!!!!!! Abby's Alley is also $6.95 and if you buy them both together you get them for $13.00 better still if you've signed up for Christine's newsletter you'll see a code that will give you a further 20% discount. Haven't signed up yet they go HERE and don't miss out.

Have fun sewing your Easy Street Patterns

 ~ Maria ~

Friday, December 4, 2015

The New Easy Street Pattern Range by Christine Welsh #1 Abby's Alley

I'm so glad to be testing for Christine Welsh again. I've been so caught up with work and committing to other test bags that I've missed out on Christine's lovely patterns but all that is going to change becasue I am going walk through fire if I have to in order to test regularly for Christine. Did you know she was the first designer I ever tested for and that was many years ago.

Anyway let me tell you about Christine's new range of patterns.

Easy Street Patterns. If you've made Christine's patterns in the past take note that these are EASY patterns and much quicker to make than her usual range.

So far there are two new patterns in this range and I was fortunate to test both. The first and the one I'm going to show you is Abby's Ally. 

This is a large tote Approx. size: 45.7cm W X 31.8cm H X 13.5cm D (18” W X 12 1/2” H X 5 ¼” D) that I have modified slightly as I didn't have the grommets needed for the handles. You can see Christine's in the photo at the end of this post.
Instead of using grommets and rope handle I made a fabric one that I sewed to the outside of the bag inside the pockets.
The front has these two lovely large pockets, so deep nothing will drop out of these.

Then inside there are four of those large slip pockets to keep everything organized. Alot of stuff fits in this tote.

 My daughter taught me how to make these bows so I decided to add one to my bag to match the handles as my fabric was very plain.

The back also has these big slip pockets. You can always recognize a bag designed by Christine because no matter how easy a pattern is it's always got loads of pockets. I think its her signature LOL

The construction of this bag was completely different to any I have made before and very clever but I'm not going to tell you how it's done, you'll have to get the pattern and find out for yourself. 

This is Christine's. Don't they look gorgeous in these fabrics.

Ok now for details of how to get your copy. First of all the good news is that the Easy Street Range will be cheaper than her other patterns which are all excellent value. Both Easy Street Patterns are $6.95 and if you buy them both together they are $13.00 now that really is good value. Get them HERE. Better still if you have signed up for her newsletter you will see a code for a further 20% discount. You haven't signed up!!!!!!!!!!! then do so quick HERE.

If you want to see all the other testers photos then go HERE. They all look amazing.

Hope you'll come back and see the next Easy Street Pattern I have to share with you.

~ Maria ~

On The Go Bags Blog Tour: Van Organizer

When I started bag testing years ago I never imagined it would involve keeping secrets but that's what we have to do. We have to keep everything hush hush until patterns are released and then we can show ours on social media. Usually these secrets have to be kept for a week or two but this time round I had to keep quiet for a year. Yes that's right it's about a year.

So after such a long wait I'm happy to present the On the Go Bags Blog Tour.

My small part was testing the Van Organizer for Sarah at Radiant Home Studio.
Lovely pattern, well written and illustrated with photos to help you if you need it.

I made the Van Organizer for my daughter. As she doesn't have a car or a van she's using it to keep her sewing things in her room. Just goes to show this organizer can be used for absolutely everything.

This is Sarah's van organizer. Loads of pockets on the outside and a removable divider on the inside.

I have my copy of the On The Go Bags book and it has some beautiful and useful designs by some very well known designers. You don't want to miss out on this one. Get your copy HERE

Make sure you check out all the other blogs on the tour at the bottom of this post.

Here's mine.

This fabric must be around thirty years old. It's from a pair of curtains I used to have. Talk about hoarding LOLL. This is the side view. I didn't have mesh so made my pockets with fabric.

On this side I used a wide elastic.

The inside has a removable divider held in place by velcro.

Yet more pockets which keeps things organized. One year on and my daughter is still making use of hers for her sewing things. I could do with a few of these myself.

On the Go Bags (Dec. 2015, Stash Books)

 Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for On the Go Bags—15 Handmade Purses, Totes & Organizers by Lindsay Conner and Janelle MacKay (Stash Books). The book is available this month at and January 7th on Amazon! Add it to your holiday wishlist now, and comment below for your chance to win a copy!

On the Go Bags Blog Tour

Tuesday, Dec 1: Shannon Fabrics / Sew Sweetness 
 Wednesday, Dec 2: Clover & Violet / Ann Kelle  
Thursday, Dec 3: Radiant Home Studio / Melly Sews 
Friday, Dec 4: Sew Caroline / Mia's Creations 
Saturday, Dec 5: ikat bag / imagine gnats 
Monday, Dec 7: sewVery / The Girl Inspired 
  Tuesday, Dec 8: Stash Books / Fabric Mutt 
Wednesday, Dec 9: Pellon  
Thursday, Dec 10: Simple Simon and Co / Mrs. H 
Friday, Dec 11: Emmaline Bags / Lindsay Sews 
Monday, Dec 13: Sew, Mama, Sew

Would you like to win a copy of On the Go Bags? Leave a comment on this post telling us what style of bag is most useful in your everyday life and why. Giveaway ends 12/15 at midnight EST, and we'll choose one random winner. U.S. winner will receive a hard copy, and winner outside the U.S. will receive an e-Book.

~ Maria ~ 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Mini Carryall

The house is all quiet so as not to disturb anyone I thought I'd post some photos of my two most recent Mini Carryalls designed by Jane Poh from Projects by Jane.

I made these two today. The first is a custom order. I sent photos of my fabrics to the customer and she chose this one which also happens to be my favourite fabric.

This one is to be used as a makeup bag but you could use it for so many different things.

I used batting on mine to give it a firmer feel. 

 The pattern is excellent as is usual with Jane's patterns. Well written and illustrated with plenty of photos to help you if you are a visual sewer.

The part that I got stuck on was the lining. Nothing to do with the pattern just which colour to use. I was undecided between pink and aqua as in the background of the main fabric. In the end pink won.

 This next one I used this rope type of handle and tabs. It speeds things up a bit not having to sew the straps and tab.

Jane has some lovely patterns all simple that a beginner could tackle and an experienced sewer could whip up in no time at all. You can find them all HERE, or HERE on Etsy.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Super Drawstring Pouch Pattern Free Until Dec 1st

Here is a cute little pouch I tested for Lisa Ratford from two pretty poppets.

This has got to be one of the quickest sews I've ever made and super cute too. The pattern comes in three sizes. I tested the smallest one. As always Lisa's patterns are excellent. Very easy to follow with clear photos and instructions.
  •  ROBIN SIZE (small)
  •  SUPERMAN SIZE (medium)
  •  HULK SIZE (large)
I'm not going to make you read to the end of my post as this pattern is only free until 1st Dec to Mrs H blog readers so go over quickly to get your free download. After that date you'll have to pay for the pattern.

Just look at that cute little cape.

These would look great in super hero fabrics with capes to give as gifts.
They can be used for so many things and kids will love them.

I'm using mine to keep my clips. 

Just perfect. 

Then I went on to make another without the cape.

My daughter makes jewelry. This set was for a customer so I quickly made the pouch to give her.

If you've come this far then quickly go click on the link above for Mrs H blog to get your free copy of the pattern

Thanks for stopping by

~ Maria ~