October 25, 2015

Right Outside My Door

I was taking photos of a test bag this morning and was so distracted by how gorgeous the fall colors still are. I opened my front door and had to capture what I saw.

And out the back...

October 23, 2015

Bella II and I Have Been Spotlighted

I entered my Bella II Bag from Chris W Designs in Tula Pink Eden Crouching Tiger fabric in the linky party on Sew Can She blog last Saturday.  I found out today that I was one of two people that got the most clicks this week.  So my Bella II was in the spotlight today.  You can see it here.  How fun is that ???

October 21, 2015

Sugar and Spice Is Still Very Nice

It was time to revisit one of my all time favorite Chris W Designs bag patterns.  This one is the Sugar and Spice.  I love how this bag comes together.  Like all of Christine"s pattern , they are loaded with directions and pictures.  I have to say that Christine's patterns have given me such an education.  They are professional and the bags turn out that way, too.  Christine knows how I feel about her and her bag patterns.  I guess everyone else does now, too.  On to my new Sugar and Spice.

This fabric is a light blue and black quilting cotton.  There are two slip pockets on the front  and two slip pockets on the back.  Instead of putting piping around the entire bag, I chose to limit it to the top of the bag and all four pockets.  Because the squares on the fabric were so big, I wanted to spend extra time fussy cutting so that the pattern would not be disturbed.  I like how it turned out.

As you can see, the back of the bag looks the same (except no Shades of Bold tag).


The top of the bag is enclosed by a recessed zipper and I cut to get the pattern lined up there as well.  You also get a peek of the lining fabric here which is a light blue Kona cotton.

Inside the bag are two slip pockets on each side to keep you organized.  There is also a pen pocket on each side.

I used a faux leather for the straps and handles.  The finished bag measures 14" x 8" x 3"..  There will be another Sugar and Spice in my near future.  You can get the pattern here.

October 17, 2015

Bella II in Tula Pink Crouching Tiger

I fell in love with the new Tula Pink Eden line and especially with Crouching Tiger.  I ordered it online and was surprised by the size of the tigers and I knew it would take a special bag to set it off.  Enter the Bella II from Chris W Designs.

The tiger was the perfect size for the front pocket and I thought with a Kona solid and a muted print I could make the tiger be the highlight.

Of course a little bling from Emmaline Bags on the back topped it off.

And why not a tiger on each of the inside pockets since they were the perfect size.

It was as if Christine made this pattern just for this fabric.  I love the fabric and I love the pattern.  You can get the pattern here and you can read about my review of the Bella here.

October 14, 2015

Megan Travel Tote and Sidekick Tote

I recently got to test a new pattern from Michelle of Uniquely Michelle.  Well, it is actually a pattern for a bag in two different sizes.  I made the largest bag, The Megan Travel Tote.

How big is the Megan Travel Tote?  Really big!!! The finished size is 19" x 15" x 7.5" D.  It is large enough to pack for a long weekend and then some.  To help you see how big it is, I took mega rolls of paper towels to see how many it would hold.  The answer is 6 with a little room to spare and still have the ability to zip it closed.

The other size is called the Sidekick Tote.  It is smaller and is great for everyday.  It measures                  15" W x 12" H x 4" D.  Both of the bags look the same except for size.

Let's talk about the pockets first.  There are 12 of them! There are 7 slip pockets, 2 expandable slip pockets, 2 zipper pockets and a padded tablet pocket.

Here is a great look at the inside and many of the pockets.  You can see the 2 side pockets have elastic around the top and are great for keeping water bottles in place.  You can see here, also, that the top is closed with a separating zipper.  This allows the top to open wide while packing.

The slip pockets on the exterior have piping.  The base of the bag is reinforced for a heavy load.  The straps have strap pads to make it easier on the shoulder. This is a great pattern from Uniquely Michelle and you get both sizes.  It is an intermediate pattern.  There are directions for making with a fleece batting or with foam .  I used the fleece because of the size.  I wanted it to be easier to store and fold up a little, but if I made the Sidekick Tote, I would probably used the foam.  Patterns from Uniquely Michelle are easy to follow with great directions and pictures to help along the way.  You can get the pattern here and check out Michelle's other patterns.

October 4, 2015

The Epiphany Bag from Chris W Designs

I'm in love...with the new bag pattern from Chris W Designs, The Epiphany Bag.  I was so excited to test this bag because I love Chris W Designs patterns.  They are so detailed and easy to follow with so many pictures of all of the steps.  Best of all, they produce bags that are so professional looking.  I loved this one so much, I decided to make two of them with the colorway reversed on them.  Here they are.

You can't see the handles here, and I didn't include the optional second adjustible strap that is removable with the addition of grommets and a gate ring on the sides of the bag.  There are so many possibilities with this bag. As you can see, there is a slip pocket on the front.  There is a zippered pocket on the back.

The top of the bag has a zipper closure.  And I love the inside.  As some of the testers discussed, this lining fits perfectly without having to make any adjustments.  There are two slip pockets and one larger pleated pocket (for sunglasses, etc.) on the inside.  You can also add an optional zippered pocket on the other side of the interior.  I added it on the blue bag but not the red one.

I wanted to show the side view, too.   The gussett gets larger the further down you go.  This makes this bag nice and roomy.  It is the perfect size.  It measures 14" W x 11" H x 5.25" D.

For the blue bag, I used quilting cottons for all of my fabrics.  I used Pellon SF101 and Thermolam as my interfacings and fleece.  I used Pellon flex foam and Vilene Decovil 1 (from Germany) on the inside.
For the red bag, I used faux leather and quilting cottons.  Even though I have a semi-industrial machine, the faux leather was too thick on the strap tabs so I used a top layer of faux leather and a bottom layer of quilting cotton and it was just barely thin enough to sew through.

I know you will love this bag.  You can get the pattern here.