Sunday, November 30, 2014

Necessary Cluch Wallet # 9 and 10

I've made ten of the Necessary Clutch Wallets by Janelle at Emmaline Bags and can you believe I still don't own one myself.

These are my latest two. One is a custom order to be sent away with two Gizmo Garage Laptop Bags that I'm hoping to get done tonight. There's been a few swear words making those and I even took to using a hammer but I'll tell you about that when I've finished them.

These wallets are a brilliant design and my customers love them. They hold everything you need and can be used for different things. Holding a cell phone, coins, notes and cards as a wallet or use it for your sewing things. Plenty of room for thread, needles small scissors and more or you could use it as a makeup bag. Made in a nice fancy fabric and you could use it as a clutch for an evening out.

There is also the option to add a wrist strap or long across the body strap.

I've kept the second one so customers can see the design and then choose their own fabrics.

I highly recommend you make one if you haven't yet. The pattern is well written with instructions, digital diagrams and photos.

If you want to make one you can find the pattern HERE.

See you all in December when with any luck I'll be showing you my finished laptop bags.

~ Maria ~

Tins & Magnets

About a week ago I took an evening off from sewing to play around with some old tins I'd saved until I could decide what to do with them.

As I'm very slowly trying to change the colour scheme of my sewing room into pinks and blues I thought I'd cover these tins in fabric and add some paper flowers and a bow.

Then I wanted to play around with felt that I'd recently bought on my last visit to my daughters. After searching the internet for a few hours, it's amazing what you can find on here, I came up with these. They aren't tutorials, just photos I saw and liked.
I drew some templates and then cut out the felt from them.

Next up I wanted to play around making candle holders from glass cups. I didn't have any nice Christmas fabric but I do have a nice collection of paper napkins so I cut one up and stuck it onto the glass and trimmed it with some ribbon. I didn't have any modge podge so I used wood glue diluted with a little water and it worked perfectly. I also used this for sticking the fabric onto the tins.

Lastly I had a wedding invitation that I'd kept becasue it was so unusual. It's made from wood and lined with paper. On the front in the center of the heart was the name of the bride and groom, luckily that was just lightly stuck in place so came away without leaving a mark and I stuck a paper bow in it's place with some pretty paper flowers in the corner. I could also have removed the paper lining and replaced it with fabric but this particular evening was for making quick things.

I had great fun making these and wish there was more time for crafts like these but I have to get back to my orders. Another two customers turned up and ordered a load of stuff so I'm well behind and I have a gorgeous test pattern for a clutch/wallet to make which I'm dying to start. I'm testing it for another new designer that I haven't tested for in the past, in fact I've just recently found out about her. I quickly looked through the pattern today and it's realllllllllly good so hopefully in the next week I'll be able to show you that and give you more details.

I have one more post to show you before November finishes so I'll do that post tomorrow. Until then happy sewing.

~ Maria ~

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Get Up And Go Sling Bag Pattern Review

I finished making this bag quite a few days ago but was waiting for some good natural light to take photos but it wasn't happening.

This is another wonderful pattern by Jane at Projects By Jane. If you follow my blog you'll know by now that I'm a great fan of Jane's bags. Everyone I've tried so far has been plain and simple with no fuss and very quick to make. Jane's patterns are exceptionally well written with loads of photos, clear instructions and tips.

This bag is excellent for a beginner to tackle, even adding this kind of zip is a doddle. Even more so now as I've just discovered double sided tape which makes life so unbelievably easy when sewing in zippers.

My bag is a bit boring in comparison with Jane's but I wanted to make it in a fabric that would appeal to more people. I added a pink decorative zig zag stitch and pink zipper and a pretty floral lining fabric.

The strap for this bag in the pattern was a ready made bought one but if like me you can't get hold of one Jane has a tutorial on her blog that shows you how to make one for your bag. I used the tutorial HERE. It's very easy to make and you just tie the ends in a knot to the bag tabs.

I did the pink zig zag stitch pattern on the back too.

I used an upholstery fabric so didn't need to interface my outer fabric or lining and it worked fine.

There are no pockets in this bag, just one main zipper pocket. You just thrown in the necessary things and sling it across your body and you're ready to head out shopping leaving your hands free to fondle fabric.

One of the things that attracted me to this bag apart from it's simplicity are these corners. They may look a bit complicated but they're really easy.

Nice pretty floral fabric for the lining and by the way if you thought this bag would have seams showing inside you'd be wrong. All seams are concealed.

If you'd like to make one you can find the pattern in Janes Etsy shop HERE as well as all her other lovely bag patterns.

I've also finished my top secret project and have had two customers wanting to buy it but I've refused to let this one go. It's mine!!!!!!! I won't be able to show you it until January though.

Hopefully I'll be back to show you another couple of things I made before November finish's

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Leona Hobo Bag

Another bag completed, not only am I behind with my sewing but my blogging too. I'm drowning in patterns, fabric, testing, reviews and orders but wouldn't have it any other way. This isn't work for me it's pure pleasure and as if I didn't have enough on my plate already I decided to become a tester for designer Maria Petrova.

Maria wrote to me and asked if I'd like to look over some of her patterns. When I saw her work I just couldn't refuse, her bags are gorgeous. This is the first one I chose to make. It's the Leona Hobo Bag.

I loved the fabrics Maria used for her bag and wanted to make mine similar but with the shops closed and me wanting to make a start I took my scissors to hubbies jeans LOLLL yes that's right I made this bag from his trousers.

This bag is really spacious and I liked the way the trim was made rather than doing piping which I'm not keen on tackling.

I also liked how the handle was made. I ran out of hubbies trouser fabric so used a dark brown cotton to make it. So easy and you just tie the ends in a knot which means you could make a regular strap as an extra and change over when you want a different look. I didn't have small rings so I used these large ones but they worked fine.

The way the zipper was installed was new to me but was easy to do.

The pattern only had a couple of slip pockets on one side of the bag interior so I added a zipper pocket as the bag is so big I'd need somewhere to keep little things that would otherwise get lost in the bottom.

The slip pocket was also a new method to me. Don't know if you can make it out but there is a pleat in the middle.

Maria's pattern was well written with clear photos of the steps involved and I was impressed at how quickly she answers her emails so if you had a problem she's quick to help.
If you'd like to take a look at Maria's beautiful bags you can go to her Etsy HERE and HERE and also on Craftsy HERE.  On Craftsy she has a free pattern for a double sided pillow with buttons and in her Etsy shop you will also see that she has pillows, scarves and jewelry as well as her bags.
She's getting a pattern ready for testing and it's gorgeous and I'm really looking forward to making that one.
More things to show you soon.
Happy Sewing
~ Maria ~

Cell Phone Case & Key Holder

This was a custom order for a cell phone case and a key holder. The lady chose the fabrics from my stash of new fabrics I bought the last time I was at my daughters.

Her cell phone was a bit larger than mine so had to alter the size to fit hers and instead of using those sew in poppers I added these which are easier and quicker to install.

I put my cell phone in for this photo and as you can see it's to small for the pouch. Ummmm I wouldn't mind a nice big cell phone.

At the moment I'm testing a bag that is very top secret then I have to get on with my orders but tomorrow I'll be celebrating my sons 23rd birthday so probably won't get much sewing done.

Hope you all had a restful weekend. 

~ Maria ~

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sexy Zippy Wristlet Pattern Review

I was over the moon to be doing a pattern review for Jane's Sexy Zippy Wristlet and even more so when she sent me the exact same fabric she used for her wristlet so I could make mine.

The fabric was gorgeous and it's nice to be able to compare the quality of fabric from other countries with fabrics I use.

Being as I was using the same fabric as Jane I decided to follow the pattern and make it without fleece which is what I would have done normally. I was delighted with the result but when I use my own fabrics I'm going to try it out with fleece to see how it works.

Just look at this wonderful 1970's fabric. My photos unfortunately don't do justice to the fabric as the lighting wasn't so great.

I made a couple of  Jane's patterns which you can see HERE and HERE and was really impressed with them. If you're thinking it's just a pouch there are tons of free tutorials out there then you're wrong. You won't find anything quite like Jane's patterns. There is so much detail like how to secure your stitching at the beginning and end of your stitch row. There's a diagram and instructions to show you how to do it and she explains about fabric selvages. She also shows clearly with photos and instructions how to put the paper pattern together and how to put it on your fabric to cut out.

I would definitely recommend Jane's patterns to anyone who is new to sewing she really makes it so easy and because she is so thorough even the experienced sewer would probably come across some new tips.

Along with this gorgeous fabric I also got some of these nice hooks for the strap.

When it came to making the zipper I noticed it was done slightly different than I normally do them. It's topstitched on the lining next to the zipper but not the outer fabric.
The strap too was made different to how I would normally make it. It was easy to do and also saved on fabric.

When I sew from Jane's patterns she reminds me of my mum. She'll explain how to do something and then reminds you not to forget to do it before you do it, save's on unpicking. Thanks mum Jane.

I also finally got to learn how to make the zipper end on the left perfect when turned inside out. I'd tried these before but they never really looked tidy and professional looking. I'll be able to do them properly from now on.

Summary of this pattern : BRILLIANT, FANTASTIC !!!!!! and no I'm not saying that because I got a free pattern and fabric. Just as I am honest with designers when I test a bag the same goes for a review. If I didn't like it I wouldn't rave about it and I think you'd probably be able to tell I'm making it up anyway. In fact I love Jane's patterns so much I've asked to do another review on a bag she has. I've just finished making it, only the strap needs to be made and as I expected I wasn't disappointed with this one either, but that's for another post.

I highly recommend this pattern and any of the others that I have made from Jane's collection especially if you're a beginner and if you're not you'll still love them.

You can buy this and other patterns over at Jane's Etsy shop HERE and you can also check out Jane's blog Projects by Jane where you will find tutorials to try out.

Tomorrow I'm going to be starting on a top secret project and I'm really looking forward to that. I've also done a pattern review for a new designer to me that I'll be sharing with you in a few days time plus some projects I've finished in the last few days. Still some custom orders to make. I was aiming for the end of the month to finish everything but I now think I'm being a little optimistic but then that's me I thrive on stress and deadlines.

Hope you all have a nice weekend.

~ Maria ~

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Meet Rose

I'm off to my friends house for dinner tonight and wanted to give a present to her little girl who I haven't seen for some time. I was going to buy something and then decided to make something instead as I knew she'd appreciate it more.

So meet Rose.
Isn't she adorable. The last time made a rag doll was when my daughter was tiny. That was about 25 years ago so I'm a bit out of practice.

Embroidery is not one of my strong points but in the pattern there are two face templates. I chose the happy face one which is the easier of the two.

You can also choose two kinds of apron. The one I made or using the corner of a hanky so it comes down in a point.

I'd like one of these just to put in my sewing room. I love the feet. The hardest part was attaching the legs to the body becasue of the stuffing but a bit of hand stitching and then machine stitching over that sorted it out.

I found this pink polka dot ribbon on my last visit to my daughters. So cute.

I really enjoyed making Rose, it was a nice break from bag sewing. I'm out tonight but it's back to the sweat shop tomorrow. To be honest with you I could do with a nice evening out for a change.

 Rose is designed by Sarah and you can find the pattern HERE.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Serendipity Hip Bag Pattern Review & Tilly The Card Holder

I'm really excited to be showing you this bag today because the design is just wonderful and I used fabric that I bought while I was away visiting my daughter and absolutely love the outcome.

I really wanted to take it out for a spin but it was too late so I put it on and walked around the house stroking it and saying how beautiful it was. Hubby really thought I'd lost the plot LOLLL
Finally the following day I took it out to see how it performed for my needs.

I normally make my bags with upholstery fabrics because I can't find the right interfacing to make them nice and firm but just lately I've found the perfect interfacing for bags so I'm switching over to using quilting cottons which gives a larger variety of designs.

Isn't this fabric just adorable.

I've been wanting a hipster for ages but never found just the right one until I saw Christine's Serendipity Hip Bag and fell in love with it. This isn't a large bag, it measures Approx: W 20cm X H 25cm X D 4.5cm. (W 8" X H 10" X D 1¾”) but is perfect for those days when you don't need everything but the kitchen sink.

Although small it still has loads of pockets to keep things organized and has an adjustable strap so you can choose how to wear it.

The front has a slip pocket behind the zipper pocket and also a slip pocket for your cell phone.

The main curved zipper pocket compartment also has 2 card pockets and a slip pocket behind those. In the pattern there is also an inside zipper pocket that is placed above the card pockets but I didn't put mine here, instead I added this zipper pocket to the back of the bag. It leaves the inside uncluttered. Ok honesty is always the best policy, I actually misread the pattern and added it to the back of my bag by mistake LOLLL but I'm really happy with it there as I find it's easier to get to things.

I keep my cards in my wallet so next time I make this bag I'll replace the card pockets for a larger slip pocket and maybe even put one on each side.

This is the back view with the zipper that shouldn't be there LOL. I also quilted my bag with these wavy lines to make the bag even firmer plus I think it looks pretty.

I can't stop looking at this fabric.

Christine's patterns are first class and this one is no exception and I promise you I'm not just saying that to advertise her patterns. If you want a bag that has loads of pockets to help you stay organized and a good quality bag that looks like you bought a designer bag then you must try them out.

All of her patterns are very detailed with loads of instructions and photos galore to help you make your bag without having to pull your hair out wondering what you should be doing.
When I first started testing bags I didn't have much experience and had only made bags from free tutorials. Christine was the first designer I tested for and  I was a bit worried I wouldn't be able to do it but after receiving the first pattern I was amazed at how easy she made it. It wasn't just a pattern I was getting, it was like getting sewing classes thrown in.

The Serendipity Hip pattern has 58 pages which includes printing instructions, fabric suggestions, links to where you can buy the hardware, instructions, photos galore and your pattern pieces and becasue you probably wouldn't want to print out the whole lot there is a Text Only Instructions For Printing.

At the moment Christine is having a GIVEAWAY on her blog. Her sponser the Fat Quarter Shop is offering a fat quarter bundle of fabric and Christine is giving away the Serendipity Hip Pattern and if you've already bought the pattern you can still enter and if you win you'll be refunded the price of the pattern. How good is that!!!!!!

Entry is open WORLDWIDE and open until 12:00 am 20th November EST (USA & Canada) so head on over and try your luck. If you can't wait that long to see if you're the lucky winner then you can buy the pattern from Christine's pattern shop or etsy

Now because I love this fabric so much I wanted to make a matching wallet but didn't have the time so opted for the Tilly Card Holder.

This card holder is so quick too make it took me longer to open my FB page than it did to make it.
Tilly is the design of Karis at CloBird Designs and you can find the pattern HERE.
Remember the Fiona Folding Wallet I made HERE well this is also a design by Karis and is the one I wanted to make to match my bag. As soon as I have a spare moment I'll be making one.

Today I'm finishing off something completely unrelated to bags and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you as soon as it's finished. It's a gift for my friends 2 year old which is tomorrow so I'd best get my skates on.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~