Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Reversible Lunchtime Pouch Pattern Review

I was delighted to be able to do a pattern review for this cute Reversible Lunchtime Pouch by Jane at Projects by Jane. It's always fun making bags but I adore making quick easy projects and this is perfect to make in a spare hour.

This little pouch pattern is Jane's baby. It was her first pattern ever back in 2011 and has been very popular. After making it I can see why. This is the second pattern of Jane's I've used and it's excellent. For a first pattern it's very well written with loads of photos of all the steps and a diagram showing how to cut out your pattern pieces from the fabric.

I knew straight away which fabric to use. I chose one that I bought last time I visited my daughter and it's my favourite colour. This is an easy project and although I've made drawstring pouches in the past non of them were made using this method, very easy and even better is that the pouch is reversible.

The pattern uses a plain fabric for the bottom of the pouch but I love this fabric so wanted the whole of the outer side of the pouch in this floral fabric. It would have looked nice with the plain blue on the bottom side too.

The inside is a gorgeous blue which is the reversible side of the pouch. I just tied my ribbon ends in a knot because the beads I had didn't have a large enough hole, next time I'll make the band from fabric and make it narrow enough to fit the beads. I was hoping to keep this one to myself but a customer insisted on buying it. Never mind, I still have more of this fabric so it's a good excuse for making another one. This would be a great project to make for craft fairs.

This reversible pouch is so useful for so many things. I personally think it's too cute to use as a lunch bag though. Ideas that sprung to mind were for carrying your stitching projects or even a holder for carrying a ball of wool while knitting. It would also make a lovely little makeup/manicure pouch or even as a gift bag.  

What would you use it for?

If you'd like to make one you can buy the pattern HERE and from now till the end of December 2014 you can get 25% discount by using the etsy discount coupon code  MIASCREATION2014 (all caps).

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

OMG!!!!!! It's two weeks since I last posted. Where has the time gone. Well I've been busy preparing for another craft fair.
In between making all of these I've also tested a pattern which will be released soon and also did a pattern review which was so much fun because I used one of those fabrics I bought when I went to see my daughter last.

These are my things for the market. I've also got some bags that I tested previously so will be taking those along too and see if they sell.

 These are miniature hearts and were so quick to make.

My friend Liz loves red and white polka dots and I think it's starting to rub off on me now.

The first time I made these strawberries I hand stitched all around the green stalk which took ages so these were fun to make because apart from the actual strawberry all the other parts are stuck with glue.

These heart book marks were another project that was easy and quick.

 Some mobile cases. Which I will do a tutorial for when I get some spare time.


 I absolutely adore these little gift pouches. You can find the tutorial HERE

 I put a ring in the one on the bottom left hand side so you can see the size.

These painted bottles were also a fun project. These were jars of honey, lemon juice bottles and bottles of soya sauce. I gave them a couple of coats of blackboard paint but only decorated two with ribbon and a pearl until I decide how to do the rest.

I love these scrappy roses. Very easy to make and although I didn't use a particular tutorial for them I've seen them made also on the internet.

 The plan is to attach a piece of chalk with each bottle so the whoever buys it can write their own message on it.

Again another quick and easy project is this fabric basket. Instead of sewing the corners together I decided to add grommets and tie with ribbon.

Hope you're having as much fun as I am. I'm off to visit my daughter for about 6 days so it will be all fun shopping, we have everyday planned out so far.

Happy Sewing.

~ Maria ~

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jane's Little Boxy Bag Review

I've been following Jane's blog Projects by Jane for ages and have always loved her bags. Then back in March when she was holding a giveaway for her cute little drawstring bag I won the giveaway, you can see my post on that HERE, I was over the moon.

A short while ago I thought I'd try my luck and get in touch with her about testing. I was too late for this little boxy bag but she said I could do a review if I wanted. Even better, I get to make a bag without having to check the pattern over.

Here's my boxy bag.

The pattern arrived in my inbox and I took a look expecting it to be pretty ordinary but was I in for a surprise. I test for a lot of independent bag designers who are all brilliant at what they do, they'd have to be to get me to understand a pattern LOLL but this pattern was just amazing. All the questions I used to have when I first started pattern testing were answered in this one pattern. She explains about stitches, curved edges, how to determine the seam allowance, how to use the pattern pieces and how to place them on the fabric, all with illustrations and photos. It's extremely detailed and very well written. It even shows you how to measure your zipper, something I had always wondered. Do you measure from the ends of the zipper or the metal tabs? It's all in this pattern.

Jane's pattern has beautiful large photos of each step with digital illustrations as well just to make sure you know what your doing and it made me smile to see she does something that I just recently started doing and thought I was going mad. We mark our seam allowance with a marker to make sure it's nice and straight and even LOLLL. Is that the perfectionist in us or are we nuts? LOLLL

I stuck to the pattern but only made one change and that was I used fusible fleece which I quilted onto the fabric with wavy lines but it's hard to see in the photos because the thread is so similar to the fabric. There is a lot of thickness at the folded ends so I would suggest sticking to Jane's recommendations for interfacing unless you have a good industrial machine.

 I love how the ends fold and I love that it has handles too.

If you notice inside there are no bound seam allowances. The inside seams are all hidden between the lining and the outer bag.
I'm going to keep this bag for myself as a toiletry/makeup bag. It's just the perfect size measuring approx 8.75" (22cm) across the bottom, 4.5" (11.5cm) depth and 4.5" (11.5cm) from top to bottom.
I didn't interface my lining becasue I had used fusible fleece on the outer bag and it was fine that way.

There are tabs at both ends to make opening and closing the zipper easy.

I've made this type of bag before from free tutorials but they had bound seam allowances which can be a bit of a pain. This method is much easier and tidier. I definitely recommend this pattern and because it's so detailed I'm sure someone new to bag making could tackle it without any problems.

If you'd like to make one then you can find the pattern HERE at Jane's etsy store and up until the end of December there is a coupon, MIASCREATION2014 (all caps) for 25% discount.

Now I'm back to making more things for the Olive shop and even tried to take photos to do a tutorial for the mobile pouches I showed you HERE but the lighting is so bad that I'm going to have to put it off for when the sun comes out. We've had nothing but constant rain lately.

Thanks for stopping by

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

For The Olive Shop

Nearly one week of sewing like a mad woman produced this little lot. These are now in the Olive shop that I showed you in this post HERE.

Eight gift bags, twenty fabric baskets, ten sets of six coasters and four mobile pouches and two hearts.

I can't believe I actually sat and made sixty coasters. I was getting a bit bored after less than half and my daughter suggested that I listen to music. So I got out my mobile phone, plugged in the headset and played some fast music, amazing how quickly they got done although I did get a bit carried away listening to the music and sewed over stitching that had already been completed several times.

Don't think I could do all these again in a hurry.

These mobile pouches are really easy and I'll be doing a tutorial for these and the coasters after I had some interest on a FB group I'm on.

The gift bags were super easy too so I'll be showing you how I made these too.

After all that sewing I took a day off and then made this one. Much easier and quicker to make than the other ones I made so will be making more of these in the floral fabric.

Somewhere on Pinterest they were showing how to make these pretty bows with a fork. So cute and easy and they come out perfect every time.

Today I finished making a Boxy Bag. I did it as a review for someone who's patterns I've never seen before but I won't give any more away until tomorrow. Hope you come back then.

I'll be off to visit my daughter again soon so looks like I'm in for another crazy week of sewing before I go.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Kentucky Bag

Remember the Mississippi Bag I posted about HERE. That was the first time I'd made a bag from Numb-Skull Patterns. It was so easy to follow that I was delighted to be approved as a bag tester for Sarah Goodall. Not long after came my first test bag for Sarah.

The Kentucky Bag. The pattern was really great to follow. All the steps flow easily so that each step is completed as you go. You don't have to make one piece then set it aside for later to use again on another part of the bag and I really like that for every piece there is a pattern print out. Even the strap which is always something I hate having to measure out.
I decided to quilt the outer part and flap of my bag but in the pattern it's plain. The pattern also uses a twist lock on the flap which makes it look really professional. I couldn't get hold of one so I used a magnetic button instead.

Under the main flap is a large zipper pocket. Don't know why the photos show the pocket all crumpled, it looks nice and smooth in real life.

The back of the bag also has another zipper pocket.

The key pouch I made at midnight a few evenings after the bag was made. It occurred to me that the one I was using didn't match this bag so made one in matching fabric. All I need now is a matching wallet.

It's not often I can get good photos of the inside of my bags but this one turned out ok. As you can see there's loads of room with another two zipper pockets. This is as much as I usually take out with me. I keep my bank books, ID card and birth certificate in the blue plastic pouch, I'll have to make something for those too, a large wallet and a small one, sunglasses, perfume, my reading glasses and my mobile phone. Just wondering how many of you take everything but the kitchen sink with you.
I find the larger the bag the more I stuff in it. Most of the time with things that aren't necessary. This size bag is just perfect for the essentials and a bit more and with all the zipper pockets everything is organized.

I've been using my bag since I made it and love it. It's light and with only one strap really easy to carry. I find that if a bag has two handles one always drops off my shoulder. Do you have this problem too or is there something wrong with my shoulders? LOL

If you'd like to make The Kentucky Bag then you can find it HERE along with another 16 bag designs that are a part of the 50 State Bag Range that Sarah is in the process of designing. I can't wait for the next one.

Thanks for letting me test your bag Sarah.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Sunday, October 5, 2014

September In Pictures

I'm running behind on my posts due to a week of crazy sewing for the Olive shop. I made a load of stuff which I'll show you in a few days.

Here are the things I made in September. Some were actually finished in August but had to wait for pattern releases and there are a couple of other things made in September one of which I can show you which I'll do tomorrow. The other I'm still waiting for the go ahead to post about it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~