June 27, 2014

Buttercup Evening Bag ... and an Orchid

While I am still waiting to show you a bag I completed a while ago as a tester for Janelle at Emmaline Bags, and while I am currently testing another bag from a designer that is new to me, I thought I would show you another Buttercup Evening Bag that I just completed.

I make these evening bags from fabric swatches that are dressier.  It allows me to use beautiful, expensive fabric but still keep the costs down.  Here are others that I have posted about.  I make them from the Buttercup pattern by Made by Rae.   I made another black one because they are the ones that are the most popular with my customers.

I also had to take a picture of it in front of my beautiful orchid that was given to me by a dear friend.

 When she gave me this orchid there were no blooms yet but several pods.  It has gone on to have 8 blooms with one more (the last one) getting ready to bloom.  That will be nine in all.  I am so happy because when she gave it to me, I was afraid that I would not be able to keep it alive long enough to see any of the flowers.  I really have no green thumb.  I have sent her several photos of the orchid as more blooms arrived because I just knew it would not live long enough for all of the blooms to open.  But only one left...hope I haven't jinxed myself!!!!

It reminds me of a story from when I was first married.  My new mother-in-law gave me a beautiful African Violet that she had broken off from another one she had.  She had grown it until it, too, was blooming and well established.  Within a few weeks of giving it to me, the plant "didn't look well".  That is what she said but I will be honest with you... it was dying.  I felt horrible that I was killing her gift to me.  It was such pressure.  She took it back to see if she could revive it.  Well, within 4-6 weeks, it had grown so large that she split it into two plants.  She tried to give one back to me but she understood when I told her that I would just visit it at her house! I just better stick to sewing!

June 24, 2014

Maddie's Brookfield Bag

Well, most of you know that my granddaughter posed for pictures with various Chris W Designs bags for Christine's photographic contest.  I decided to "thank" Maddie with a new handbag.  She picked out the Brookfield Bag, a free tutorial by Sara at Sew Sweetnesss because she likes smaller bags.  Find it on Craftsy here.  She picked out a summery turquoise travel print with sunglasses, flip flops, cameras, palm trees, motor scooters, boats, planes and recognizable destinations.  The Eiffel Tower grabbed her attention because she would really like to go to France with her French Class.  We decided on using the brown faux leather for the trim.  Here it is...

I used a purse lock from Emmaline Bags.  It is more expensive than the locks I usually use but it is perfect for this type of plain bag.  It is the jewelry.  Like putting on a necklace to complete your look.  And it fit the space so well like it was made for this bag. It looks a little gold in the picture but it is nickel. Check the lock out here.

Although the bag is plain it is set off by a trim of piping.  I used the faux leather for this as well.  It makes the bag look a little richer.

Maddie picked out the turquoise and brown striped fabric for the lining and I think it really complements the outside of the bag.  The pattern calls for elasticized pockets that I put in the first time I made this bag.  To me they seemed to take up alot of the interior room so I decided to replace them with two slip pockets instead.

The back of the bag is plain except for the faux leather trim.

There it is.  I hope she likes it!

June 20, 2014

New Chris W Designs Pattern: Stow It All Tote

It is time to show you the bag that I was testing for Christine at Chris W Designs.  She just released this new pattern today and it is called The Stow It All Tote.  You can find out more info on this pattern and see the variety of bags done by all of the testers here.  By the way, "Thank You" to my granddaughter, Maddie, for posing with this bag for me.  She is also my model for Christine's Photographic Contest found here.  (Christine has extended the deadline for that contest until the end of June.)

 This is a very large (16" W X 12" H x 4½" D) tote that stands on its own.  It can hold anything and everything that you could need to take with you.  The front of the bag has a pocketed area that is divided into three separate compartments.  It is closed by a large tab with a twist lock.  You could also put a magnetic snap there instead for a different look.  I used a very heavy black and green upholstery fabric that I had been saving for something special.  I did not have a lot of it but had enough to showcase the front, back and inside pockets on this bag.  I also used a prequilted fabric in black as the contrast.  I think it softens the bag a little.  Both the pockets and the top of the bag are trimmed with a very easy method that gives the look of a much harder to do binding.  I love that look!  It truly sets off the bag.

The back of this bag has another pocket that can be divided as the front is or left as one to house a tablet.

The top of the bag has a recessed zipper closure to keep everything in its place

The interior of the bag is roomy and has a zipper pocket on one side and a large pocket divided into 2 slip pockets and a pen pocket on the other side.

I love this bag.  It is rated as an intermediate sewing project.  The most difficult parts of this bag are the gussets on the sides of the bag and you can certainly tackle those if you take your time.  Christine's patterns are professional as is the bag you end up with.  She explains each step clearly and concisely and shows pictures of the steps along the way.  Even if you look at the pattern and think you can't do that....I bet you can!

You can expect to see more of these bags on my blog and on my soon to come Etsy store.  Yes...I finally put that in print.  People don't believe me anymore when I say it is coming because I have been saying that for so long.  Look for it by the first of July.  Uh Oh ...now I really better get busy!!!!  I haven't left myself much time.

June 17, 2014

Fun Lunch Bag

The time had come to make something else that had been on my to do list.  Ever since I made my sister a lunch bag from a purse pattern some time ago, I wanted to make a different pattern that would be quicker and more fun to make.  I have been putting it off because so many other things had to be made first.

When I got on Bloglovin' last week and looked at the new post from Sew Mama Sew, I saw the lunch bag I had been meaning to make.  It was from Sherri of Thread Riding Hood.  Find it here.  It was cute, looked fast and easy, was insulated, had a zipper top and folded flat for storage.  Just what I was looking for!

I decided to use the fabric that was left over from the Butterfly Bag I made back in February.  I wanted it to be fun and bright.  There are also directions to piece and quilt the front, for a completely different look.

This lunch bag has a zipper top which goes in easily...don't let it scare you.  The pattern called for a separating zipper.  I used a regular zipper.  I just used a larger zipper than what was used in the pattern and trimmed the excess when adding the zipper tab on one end and when sewing the zipper into the side seam on the other side.  It worked great. If you don't want to add the zipper, there are directions for adding a magnetic snap instead.

Look at how big the bottom of this bag is.  But the best thing about it is that it folds back in half onto itself to allow the bag to lay flat for storage. 

How great is that?

The inside is large.  The tutorial called for using rip stop nylon for the lining but I chose to use a heavier laminate fabric for extra body and I love how that turned out.  The bag has a layer of Insul-Bright to make it insulated.  It holds everything you can need  for lunch.  I love it and will definitely make more.


June 13, 2014

Playing With Even More Fabric Swatches

Well, even though I haven't been here on my blog for a week, don't think that I haven't been busy.  I completed the two bags that I am testing, one for Janelle at Emmaline Bags, and one for Christine at Chris W Designs.  I love them both and can't wait to show them to you when they are released.  Until then...

As you know, I have been given fabric swatches to play with.  Most of these swatches are about
17" x 11-1/2".  I have made a wallet with a couple of them that you can see here.  I have also made Buttercup Evening Bags from them that you can see here.

Today, I want to show you two more things that I have found to do with these swatches.  The first thing has been on my to do list for awhile.  It is a Open Wide zipper pouch from Anna at Noodlehead.  I made the smallest version because I wanted to run the stripes up and down.  I think I have enough fabric to do a medium size pouch if I cut it out side ways.  I'll try it next time.

The second thing that I did was make a Zip and Go from Erin Erickson of Dog Under My Desk.  I have made many of these bags already and found that if I combine a swatch with a solid fabric for the back and straps, I have enough fabric to make this bag.  I'm sure you recognize that the fabric on both of these projects are the same but in different colors.

I still have this fabric in two more colors left.  I'll have to see what I can make with them.

June 6, 2014

My Brookfield Bag is Featured on Sew Can She

It is always fun to go to one of the blogs you follow and see something you created there.  My Brookfield Bag, the new free pattern from Sara at Sew Sweetness, got the most hits from the Sew Can She linky party last week.  Check it out here.

Since I am testing two bags currently and I can't share them for awhile, I thought I could at least share my fabric selections.

The first bag that I hope to complete today is a bag for Janelle at Emmaline Bags.  I am waiting for a zipper order that should arrive today to complete this bag.  I have made several bags and wallets from a couple of Janelle's patterns and I love the quality of the pattern and the end product.  Almost everyone has made her Necessary Clutch Wallet, haven't they??  If not, what are you waiting for??Here are the fabrics that I am using on this bag I am testing....


I know it IS bold but it is summer here and look at the name of my blog ...it is not called shades of BOLD for no reason at all!!!

Carrying that theme onto the next bag I am testing...  I am cutting out a bag I am testing for Christine at Chris W Designs.  I have made multiple numbers of bags from almost all of Christine's patterns.  I just love them.  Every bag looks so professional when it is completed with all of that shiny hardware. I am going to use an upholstery fabric, a prequilted fabric and a tame lining fabric. (My rule of thumb...if going BOLD outside, tame it up inside and vice versa.)  Let's see how good my new semi-industrial machine really is!!!

Unfortunately, this picture doesn't show these fabrics in all of their BOLD gloriness, but it was still dark when I took pictures this AM.  Yeah, I got up real early again  today.  Who can sleep when there is so much fun to be had sewing???!!??

June 1, 2014

The June Bag of the Month, The City Slicker, From Chris W Designs

I have been waiting a month and a half to show you this bag.  I was a bag tester for Christine of Chris W Designs on her bag of the month for June, the City Slicker Bag.  I was excited for June to come to show you the beautiful bag she created for the Bag of the Month Club.  This pattern comes as a bundle.  There is an advanced version (which is the one I made) and an intermediate version.  I will tell you what makes them different a little later.

This version is loaded with pockets.  Here on the front of the bag, you see the first pocket which is closed with a turn lock.  This is a roomy pocket that extends out from the front of the bag as you will see in this next picture..

 This is the top view of the bag.  Instead of one long zipper, I decided to add a double pull zipper to make it easier to open and it fit this bag well because of the shape of the bag.

 Here is the back of the bag that shows pocket number two.  It is a welt pocket that is open on the top but because of the design appears more closed than a slip pocket.

The inside of the bag is loaded with pockets.  On one side (pictured on top here), there is a zippered pocket with two slip pockets below it.  On the other side, there are two slip pockets and two pen pockets on top (under the yellow trim above the bottom pockets).  There are two slip pockets and one pleated pocket large enough for sunglasses below that.  Are you still counting?  If you are you should be at twelve pockets, including the pen pockets!  That's a lot of pockets, plus the bag interior is so roomy beyond the pockets and the bag opens wide to see and have access to everything. 
If you have never made one of Christine's bags, don't be intimidated.  There are lots of pages of instructions but the instructions are written clearly with so many pictures to show the steps that if you just take it a step at a time, you will end up with a beautiful bag that people will be surprised is handmade.  Don't be intimidated by the hardware.  Most of the hardware goes on pretty easily but makes the bag look so professional.
The intermediate version changes some of the pockets I have listed in the advanced version.  The back pocket is an easy slip pocket instead of the welt pocket.  There is an easier version of the interior zipper pocket.  This version is minus the extra pleated slip pocket inside.  The intermediate also has easier to sew triangular strap tabs and a slightly easier version of adding the zipper closure.
Whichever version you choose, you will have a great, unique shaped bag that you will love.