July 12, 2016

Seat Belt Market Tote from Cozy Nest Designs

It was time for me to test another Seat Belt Bag from Sarah at Cozy Nest Designs, and I was thrilled.  I loved the Crossbody Bag and Wallet I made from her seat belt line but this one is my favorite.  It is the Seat Belt Market Tote and it comes in 3 sizes with options to do them in a striped pattern or block pattern. I decided to make the small tote, not once, but twice.  I did one in a block pattern and one in a striped pattern.  The other sizes are on my to do list.

This small tote measures 14"W x 9.5"H x 3.75" D .  The medium sized tote is 15.5"W x 11"H x 3.75"D   and would have one additional strip of seat belt added to the top of the small size.  The large is 17"W x 13"H x 3.75"D and would have 2 additional strips of seat belt added to the small. The tote on the left is done in a block format and uses the colors snow, periwinkle and dark periwinkle.  The tote on the right is a striped format and it uses the colors yellow, copper and chocolate brown.  The big ring is attached to a flap that provides great bling for this bag.

The top of the bag has a zippered closure to keep everything secure.

The front of the bag has 2 slip pockets for your phone and keys.

The back of the bag has a contrast strip that becomes the flap on the front.

The inside of the bag has a zippered pocket.

Sarah has the webbing and ring available as a kit for all 3 sizes and in 1, 2 or 3 color combinations in the striped or block format.  Until July 20, 2016, she is selling the pattern at a discounted price of $5.00 and is offering her Tri-fold Seat Belt Wallet pattern for $5.00, too, so you can make a matching wallet.

Trust me,  this is a great bag to make.  It is so fun using seat belts for that unique look. The webbing is easy to sew and Sarah's patterns at Cozy Nest Designs are so concise, easy to read and follow.  You can get the pattern here. You can also see all of the bag sizes compared to each other and some sample bags.  Don't miss this opportunity.  Sarah just got some great new colors of seat belt webbing.  But save me some webbing,  I have more of these to make!

July 10, 2016

Gabby , April Bag of the Month Club, by Emmaline Bags

I know I have posted the Bag of the Month Club bags out of order, but I have a good reason this time.  I wanted to complete two April bags before I finished this post.  This is Gabby, the April Bag, and I love this pattern from Janelle at Emmaline Bags.  Because I waited so long to post this bag, the January - June Bag of the Month Club is over and this pattern is now available to everyone.  You can get it here.

The first Gabby I made was from casual fabric.  I fell in love with this Serengheti fabric and I matched it with this caramel colored faux leather.  The front of the bag features a  bit of "handmade" bling from Emmaline Bags.

The back of the bag features a zippered pocket and the top of the bag has a zippered closure.

The other Gabby I made is a little dressier and I made it from a great cotton fabric that I found at JoAnn's paired with a black faux leather.

Isn't the side of the bag cute? 

Inside the Gabby are more pockets.  There is a zippered pocket and a slip pocket divided into two compartments.

The bag is the perfect size.  It measures 12" W x 9" H x 3" D. This pattern is so clear, concise and easy to follow. I see many more of these in my life.

June 23, 2016

Isobel Grab & Go from Liz of Moments

Liz, from Moments, and I have tested designer bag patterns together for some time.  I have always admired the bags that she has made and her use of faux leather. Now that she is a designer, I have to say I am so impressed with the bags she is now designing.  They are unique in how they look and so creative in how they are put together.  I was excited to test her newest pattern, Isobel Grab & Go.

I had silver faux leather that I was wanting to use and thought this would be a great bag to use it on.  I combined it with a dark grey faux leather accent and white and grey cotton lining.  The zippered front is actually an outside pocket and the trim that you see is a wrap around slip pocket.  Here you can see the pocket wrap around the back.

The strap is adjustable with the buckle and eyelets  Here is a close up look.

There are several more pleated pockets in the interior.

Isobel measures 11" H x 10" W x 3" D.  It is large enough to hold an IPad.  The top of the bag is closed with a zipper.

Isobel is rated as an advanced pattern, but if you take your time and read and follow the directions, it is doable.  I would not pick it as my first bag to make but, if you have made bags for a while, don't be afraid.  Moments patterns are very well written with lots of pictures.  Liz includes directions for using faux leather but this bag can be made from fabric as well.

You can get the pattern for Isobel on Craftsy here.

June 3, 2016

June Bag of the Month...Lunar Bags...from Chris W Designs

I was excited to test another bag from Chris W Designs.  This time it is from her Lunar Collection for the Bag of the Month Club.  This is the last release for this year's club and I will tell you, it is the biggest ever.
Christine designed travel bags in three different sizes and also added a pocket addendum to allow you to personalize the pockets in your bag.

I chose to do the Full Moon which is the large size.  And large it is!  This is the largest bag I have ever made at 24"W x 17"H x 10" D.

This is the front of the bag.  There is a pocket between the straps that is closed.  The pattern calls for a half moon magnetic clip but since I did not have that available, I used a regular magnetic snap. This bag has handles and an adjustable shoulder strap That you can see in the next picture showing the back of the bag.

If you look closely at the picture above, you can see a luggage strap.  This allows you to slide this bag over the handle of a piece of wheeled luggage to make sure it does not fall off.  If you prefer, you can close the bottom to have an additional slip pocket.

The two side pockets are great for shoes or water bottles.


Inside is a large zipper pocket but there is plenty of room to add more pockets on the other side.

A few words of advice.  Christine writes very thorough patterns.  There are many pictures throughout to increase the understanding of the pattern.  Many people get flustered by the number of pages.  This one is 73 pages, but, remember that includes instructions for all three sizes, pattern pieces for all three sizes, labels, and a text only section for those that want to print only the directions.  This is an advanced sewing pattern.  That being said, don't choose this as your first go at bag making. However, if you have been making bags for some time, maybe it is time to stretch.  For me, the most difficult part of this bag is the size of it. My RA was not happy with me! This isn't a bag that you will make in a day or two.  Take it step by step.  Enjoy the process. In the end, you will have a beautiful bag that others won't believe you made.

This pattern is available this month only for the Bag of the Month Club members.  It will be available to all others starting July 1.

The other two sizes available are the Half Moon (medium) that is 18"W x 14"H x 7"D and the Quarter Moon (small) that is 14"W x 11 1/2"H x 6"D.

May 29, 2016

Leona Knot Strap Hobo Bag Sling Tote by Delinda Boutique

Here is a new bag pattern from Maria of Delinda Boutique called the Leona Hobo Bag. This bag is perfect for a person that loves the slouchiness of a true hobo.

I tested this bag for Maria a while ago and used a faux leather that was very soft and thin so it would maintain that slouch and combined it with a cotton/polyester blend in a pink and brown plaid that I used for the flat piping, underside of the strap and the lining.

Leona is a large hobo.  It is 18" wide at the widest and 12" wide at the narrowest. It is 13" high and 6 1/2" deep so it will hold everything that you will need. The straps are tied onto the hardware for a unique look. You may want to adjust the length of the strap if you like a longer strap.

The inside of the bag has one large slip pocket that is pleated on one side.  I did mine differently from the pattern by using a double layer of fabric rather than single layer.  It would be easy to add additional pockets inside or a zipper pocket outside if that is what you desire.

The Leona Hobo is a quick sew.  You can buy the pattern on Craftsy here.

May 22, 2016

Eve by Moments

I have tested bag patterns for many independent designers which I really love doing.  By my side was Liz, testing for many of those same designers. Now, guess who is designing bag patterns? Yes, Liz, from Moments. I have been excited to be one of her testers through her first two releases, Up, Up & Away Passport Wallet and The Fine and Dandy Pouch. But now, she has released her first handbag pattern in two styles.  Introducing Eve...

The first version of Eve is one with a flap.  I made mine from two different faux leathers with quilting cotton for the interior.

If you have been wanting to try faux leather, this could be the pattern for you.  Liz gives lots of tips throughout for sewing with faux leather. The bag can be made with cottons as well. The back mimics the front design.

Liz includes patterns for a faux leather overlay for the inside zipper.

I love the linings in Liz's bags.  She uses a special technique to keep them fitted and snug to the bag.

The second version I did was with a zipper top instead of the flap.  It is made from upholstery fabric, faux leather and cotton for the interior. These three fabrics are from three different places, purchased at three different times.  It amazes me sometimes when things just match.  My explanation of that is that I must just tend to migrate to certain shades of colors that I love.

You will really enjoy making this one.  The pattern is clear and concise with many pictures along the way.  You can purchase the pattern here on craftsy.  Can't wait for the next pattern from Moments.

April 21, 2016

Bag of the Month Club - February's Window Shopper's Tote by Sewing With Mrs H

Well, I decided to post about my April Bag of the Month but realized I hadn't posted about February yet. (I still haven't made March ). So let me show you Miss February.  It is the Window Shopper's Tote by Samantha at Sewing Patterns by Mrs H. You have to belong to the Bag of the Month Club to receive this pattern now.  It is not too late to join.  You will receive the first four patterns that have been released and May and June patterns as they are released on the first of that month.  Beginning July 1, the designers can release the individual patterns for sale on their own sites.  I'll tell you how to get more info at the bottom of the post.

This is one large bag.  It measures 15" W x 16" H x 2 1/2" D. The fabric should look familiar.  It is a second colorway of the Kinetic Triangles by Windham Fabrics.  I used this same fabric in a different color in my post yesterday. I combined it with a turquoise faux leather.  The front of the bag has a large slip pocket.  The directions called for the pocket to be pleated at the bottom, but I liked the look of a flat pocket instead.

The back of the bag looks almost identical, except the slip pocket is the width of the entire bag.  I added piping to the top of the pockets to give them more definition.  As you can see, there are handles, but what you can't see is that there is a removeable, adjustable crossbody strap, too.

 On the inside, there is a zipper closure below the handles to keep everything in. There are two slip pockets and a zippered pocket on one side of the lining and two larger slip pockets on the other side.  The lining fabric is also from Windham Fabrics that I have in several colors called Swirl by Whistler. This one is navy and turquoise and the picture doesn't do it justice.

The pattern was great and easy to follow.  You can find out more about the Bag of the Month Club here.

April 19, 2016

Set To Go Cosmetic Set by Uniquely Michelle

I had the pleasure to test a new pattern from Michelle at Uniquely Michelle, The Set To Go Cosmetic Set.

As you can see, this is a two piece set, a pouch and a case. The strap on the pouch can be hooked through the loop on the case so that they can be carried as one. Let's look at each of these pieces individually.

The pouch measures 9 1/2" W x 7"H x 2 1/2" D. With boxed corners, it is plenty roomy. What I really love is the inside. The interior lining is covered with a layer of clear vinyl to make it easy to wipe out when needed and so that you can still see the beautiful lining.  There are 2 clear vinyl slip pockets inside as well.

It is hard to see the vinyl, but trust me, it is there.  I used a combination from Windham Fabric's Kinetic line, Triangles and Zig Zags in purple. I combined them with a polka dot I had in my stash.

The case is a little smaller and measures 7 3/4" W x 5 3/4" H x 2 1/2" D.

The lining in the case is covered with a layer of clear vinyl.  There is only one slip pocket in the interior.

 I really love this set.  It was fun to make and is so practical with the vinyl layer. Even if you have not sewn with vinyl before, there are tips throughout the pattern that will make it a breeze for you.

If you have never made one of Michelle's patterns, you should know that they are very thorough, concise and easy to follow. They are full of pictures to help you every step of the way. You can get her patterns at her Craftsy page here or on Etsy here.

To see more fabric combinations for this set, go to Michelle's blog here.

March 26, 2016

The Seat Belt Series: The Crossover Bag and Trifold Wallet by Cozy Nest Designs

Okay, let me just tell you up front that I really had fun testing the first two patterns in the Seat Belt Series from Sarah Gido of Cozy Nest Designs.  These two patterns, working with seat belt webbing, were different from anything else I have done.  So much fun that I just ordered three more webbing kits, and I will tell you how to get those after I tell you about the patterns.

 Let's talk about the bag first. You have the option of making your bag out of a single color, two colors or three colors.  As you can see, I chose three colors. (Can you tell that I live in Ohio and the colors I chose just happen to be the colors of a really great college team in my state?) The completed bag measures
10-1/2" W x 11" L x 1-1/2" D. Seat belts are great to use because they are durable and stain resistant.  Since the seat belts are top stitched to a background fabric and the edges of the belts abut, not overlap, this bag does not get too thick to sew. And imagine this...Sarah was concerned about which shoulder that you might want to wear it on, that she gives you two sets of directions so the zippers will open correctly and the vertical seat belt strip will be on the correct side..

If you look at the next picture, you can see the front pockets. The top pocket is a zippered pocket underneath the second seat belt strip.  Under the third seat belt strip, is an L-shaped slip pocket that allows you to put your phone in it so it won't slip out.  Did she think of everything?

The inside of the bag has another zippered pocket and the bag closes with a recessed zipper.

The second pattern is for the Trifold Wallet.  There are directions for using seat belts and also directions for using fabric.  The choice is yours.  I made mine out of a single color of seat belt webbing.  

The inside of the wallet has six card slots and two zippered pockets.  It closes with a magnetic snap

You can get both of the patterns here.  They are on sale for an introductory price of $5 each through April 2, 2016.  Sarah, also, sells the webbing kits with the hardware here.  Patterns from Cozy Nest Designs are clear and concise and easy to follow. 

I love this bag.

March 24, 2016

The Girl Next Door Bag from Imazzpatterns

I recently enjoyed testing a bag for Imazzpatterns called The Girl Next Door Bag. I enjoyed the simplicity and the practicality of this bag.

I used Tula Pink Mini Owl in orchid from her True Colors collection for the main fabric.

If you look closely on the back, you can make out the owls.  The bag measures 11-1/2" H and the width varies from 11" at the top to 13-1/2" at the widest point.  It is 2-1/4" deep.  The flap is closed by a magnetic snap.  But the special part of this bag is the hidden zipper pocket under the contrast strip on the front of the bag.

 Here is my phone sticking out of that pocket.  The pocket is very large as it encompasses the whole front of the bag.  The pleats allow it to expand further without crimping on the space on the inside of the bag.

The inside has an optional slip pocket that I added.

You can purchase this pattern on her Etsy page here.

February 10, 2016

Bag of the Month Club - January Bag - Backgammon Bag by Betz White

OK...of course I am signed up and ready to go for the third year of the Bag of the Month Club 2016.  I have made all of the bags from the first 2 years (12 patterns, but multiple bags of most of them).  The club provides a new bag pattern from 1 of 6 designers on the first of the month from January to June.  You can go here to find out how to join, the cost and all of the designers that are involved.

Introducing the January Bag...The Backgammon Bag by designer Betz White.  I've had this made for some time and thought I better post it because I am now cutting out the February bag.

This bag has a pieced pocket on the front and the back that resembles the triangles on a backgammon board.  These pockets close with a magnetic snap. No, the picture isn't in back and white.  I chose to use a grey fabric from Windham Fabrics called Swirl by Whistler.  I combined it with a dark grey faux leather for the triangles, tab and top of the strap.  I loved the swirl fabric so much that after I used this, I scoured the internet for more and ordered it in three more colorways, purple, teal and brown.

Gorgeous fabric, isn't it? It was also available in red with pink.

I used a grey checked fabric for the lining.  As you can see, there is a zippered pocket on the inside.  The finished measurements for this bag are 16" W x 11" H x 2 1/2" D.

On to the February bag.