Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014

To all my followers, visitors and new friends I wish you a New Year 2014 full of blessings. For some of you it's already 2014. I still have 6 more hours. My getting ready involves preparing an area for our dog to feel secure with all the loud noise. A day like today is all about her!! Yes, we spoil her.
Resolutions!? I'll think about it tomorrow!!  

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Some Christmas Gifts

Hi everyone,
I hope you had a great Christmas and holidays!

Here in Puerto Rico the Christmas Season hasn't ended. It goes on until January 6 with Three Wise Men Day. At night I still hear music from partys going on nearby.

I had a great day. My family is mostly in the US but hubby, younger daughter and I visited my in-laws where all the siblings and grand kids get together.

We had a secret Santa for the adults and I was happy I received a sewing ruler. My brother in law had visited us sometime before Christmas and I mentioned how I broke my ruler. He asked how was it used and other questions and I didn't suspect anything. Other gifts from my sisters were sewing related too.
Here's a picture of them:

Another great gift or I should say the best one was actually some great news. My older sister has leukemia and was looking for a bone marrow donor. All of her siblings had been tested and none of us were compatible. Lists were checked and no donor was found. So the doctors decided to use a son's for the transplant even though they are in theory just 50% compatible. And this is the gift God gave us. Her older son turned out to be 100% compatible. It's supposed to be rare for that to happen. We are all very grateful to God for this great present. We cried and laugh. So sometime hopefully in January my sister will have the transplant.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Feliz Navidad / Merry Christmas

To all of you my followers, friends and visitors I wish you a Merry Christmas and hope you have a great holiday season with family and friends.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Last Day of 15% off Sale

Just a reminder that today is the last day of the Last Minute Sale on my shop.
With Coupon LASTMINUTE you get 15% off every item $20 or more. Even Sale items. There are many bags, wallets, polymer clay pens and jewelry.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Last Minute Before Christmas Sale

There's a sale going now on my etsy shop. With coupon code: LASTMINUTE you get 15% off every item $20 or over. The sale lasts until this Thursday. I figured out that will be the last day peoplpe can order and get items on time for Christmas. No guarantees but it'll most likely get in time if it's shipped priority mail. I still have polymer clay items available and they'll make great one of a kind gifts.

Go visit the shop and get that last gift for someone or yourself.

Update: If you want to know a bit of myself you can check Chris W. Designs Blog to read the interview featured here.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Another Purse with Passport Fabrics

Yesterday I finished this bag:

I used my pattern again (first time here) to be sure all measurements and notes were written well. I liked these fabrics from Kelli Pannacci's Passport Collection so much that I decided to use what I had leftover (from this bag). I still have some scraps left. Hmm!

The front has a flap pocket and the back has a zipper pocket.

 The bag closes on top with a zipper that opens wide. And there's an inside pocket with zipper.

This bag is already available on my etsy shop, here. More information about measurements is on the shop listing.

With Christmas approaching I've been doing some shopping what left my body a bit achy. I don't like going to stores gift hunting. I prefer to shop online. But some things had to be bought on stores. I stood an hour on line in ToysRUs. Ouch! No more for now. I might not be able to avoid the post office line!!! Argh!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Giveaway Winner

Thanks to all who entered and specially to those that decided to start following my blog on the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway.

And the winner is: Jessica which was entry #134

She won 48 zippers.

Congratulation Jessica!!!

I sent an email already giving her the good news.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Got my Prize from Purse Palooza

Yesterday I received my prize pack from Pat Bravo for my fourth pace winning in Purse Palooza. Sara's Book I had already received. Look at the goodies!!

I felt so happy! Like an early Christmas. Look at the threads' colors.
It was surprising that Pat Bravo's patterns come with: a CD (in a plastic box) that has the pdf for the instructions, the full size pattern pieces in a nice white envelope and all in a zip bag! So cool and professional!

I made some more Cellphone little purses for an order. Some were repeats plus this one:

I made an extra one for the shop here. It's very coloful!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

Welcome to my blog Norma's Bag Boutique. Here I post about my adventures sewing bags.

The day is finally here! Is Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!! A whole week to enter on many giveaways by different blogs and the opportunity to get to know about blogs and start following them.

I'll be giving away an assortment 48 YKK zippers. I'm sure they'll be very useful for a lot of sewers. YKK is one of the best brands of zippers. They are all 10" and the assortment includes 12 of each of these 4 colors: beige, navy blue, seal brown (light brown) and slate gray (blueish gray).

***Enter by first leaving a comment telling me WHAT SIZE OF PURSE DO YOU USE THE MOST? (This question doesn't have any relation to the prize.) Then sign in into rafflecopter and press the "I commented" button. Just leaving the comment won't work. You really have to press that green button. THIS REQUIREMENTS ARE A MUST TO WIN.

Sorry but the giveaway is open only to the USA, and will close December 13 at 5 p.m. PST. Only entries collected through the Rafflecopter widget are included. Winner will be selected at random, displayed on this blog post and emailed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway So after you enter go ahead and enter more giveaways. Go back to Sew Mama Sew.
Good Luck!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Piccadilly Circus Handbag

This is another bag from Sara Lawson's new book Big-City Bags. I think the name has to do with the fabrics she used for the one in the book. This bag is the one in the cover of the book.

I used fabrics from the Kelly Panacci's Passport Collection. I bought them back in the summer and now thought they were great for this big bag. The Travel reference and images make you think that whoever is carrying the bag just came from a trip around the world. The black fabric almost work like a solid in comparison with the colorful main fabric.

The bag is 15" wide x 8" high x 5" thick. The nice accent pieces in the corners and the curvy bottom caught my attention. Also the tabs that hold the handles have such a great shape. I changed their placement to be a bit closer. That curvy bottom was a challenge because I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I just wanted everything to match as it should. There was some time spent with the seam ripper. We almost became friends. ;-) I hand basted a lot to get the results I wanted. It took more time than I thought but the end result makes it worth it.

I used some Peltex (firm interfacing) for the bottom instead that the recommended Décor Bond because that's what I had on hand and I like how it worked out. The bottom is very flat and the bag stands by itself. For the rest of the bag I used Thermolam Plus and Shape-Flex as recommended.

In the inside I made a slip pocket and a zippered pocket. I added a bit of width to them. For the slip pocket I added a closing tab with velcro and left it without any division so that a tablet can fit in it.

I also used a shorter zipper for the top ( 18"instead of 24") because I really wanted to use this kind of zipper. It worked well and the bag still opens pretty wide. To tell you the truth when I got these fabrics I liked the black more but after using it on this bag I changed my mind. They are both pretty cool.
Update: Another bag with these fabrics can be found here.

I'm entering this bag in the Sew Mama Sew Contest. There are many great bags entered already.
So, what do you think?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Small Cellphone Purses

Have you used a pattern that makes you keep making more and more?

I used the Zip Pocket Pouch pattern from Michelle Patterns and I just couldn't stop myself.

I ended up making 10 of them!!

 It's a great project for those small pieces of fabric or just any fabric at all. I think they make great gifts too.

I made five of them using the pattern "as is":

Then I just couldn't resist and change the small flap to a tuck closure for the next five. Don't they look cute?
Oh, and a little secret: I added some small D-rings inside so they can be used with a wrist strap or even a cross body strap! I thought it would be great to have a small purse where you can just carry your cellphone, I.D., some money and run out and be hands free!!
The zipper pocket is very convenient:

Here with the wrist strap:

And you can use it crossbody to free your hands!!  
Now let's see if I can stop making them and start some new big bags.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chandelier Swing Bag

I hope you all had (or are having) a great weekend.Other than taking care of my daughter who got a terrible 7 day long virus last week I was able to sew a bit.

This bag is from Sara Lawson's new book: Big-City Bags. It's called Chandelier Swing Bag (and please don't ask where the name comes from).


I used some black twill and a beige and black houndstooth home dec weight fabric. The size of this bag is great for when you want to look elegant and sleek. It has a removable strap so you can use it as an envelope style clutch. I added a faux piping to make it more interesting at the top seams. There's a back zippered pocket and a lining zippered pocket. I made a bit of a mistake while sewing the lining but it was easily fixed. The instructions are easy to follow. Although I'll say that the bottom is a bit tricky to install since it's a separate piece that you attach after sewing the front and back panels together. Sara recommends some slits to be cut so you can make those 90 degree turns and that helps.

I'll be entering this bag to the Sew Mama Sew Contest.

I have some pouches (or maybe I should call them Cellphone Free Hands Small Bags) sewn that I haven't show you but I'm still working on the straps. These I made a few at the same time and have others cut already. Is one of those projects that you just can't make just one.

And just a while ago I finally put some Christmas decoration on the house. I'll show you later too.

**********Remember: The BLACK TO CYBER SALE is still going on in my Etsy Shop: www.NormasBagBoutique.etsy.com Use coupon BLACKTOCYBER for a 10% off everything in the shop including sale items.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

To all of you on the US, have a happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.

PD: Remember the sale going on my etsy shop.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Etsy Shop Sale

I started the Black Friday to Cyber Monday Sale in my Etsy Shop.

Visit www.NormasBagBoutique.etsy.com and pick your gifts for the holidays. When checking out use Code: BLACKTOCYBER and receive a 10% discount of your total purchase. My prices are already low so this code will give you great prices. Sale includes everything in the shop (bags and polymer clay items) including sale items. Sale ends on Dec. 3, 2013.

I ship to United States and Puerto Rico only.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Two Alanis Clutches and an Emmaline Bag

I've been absent for a while. A few things got in the way but I kept sewing even if it was at a slower pace. Here's what I've done.

First the Alanis Clutch from Sue Kim of I think Sew.

Alanis in black:

This pattern is great for all those fat quarters I have around waiting to be transformed. You can also add a fancy buckle in the middle strap but this time I opted to keep it simple. I narrowed the strap for this black version.

Alanis Clutch in brown:

 I think both clutches look elegant. Maybe the brown a bit more casual but they are great to carry for a wedding or holiday party. They are easy to make. I used interfacings in them: ShapeFlex and Thermolam to give it shape. They close with a magnetic snap and have a small slip pocket inside.

Then I re-visited the lovely Emmaline bag from Emmaline Bags. I had used this fabric for this pattern before and loved it so much that I kept the bag for myself. Now I added some height since I see so many women carrying big bags. I love this large version. I don't use big bags but I can see this one having many fans.

Some Peltex was used to give the bottom for sturdiness and shape. The fabric is a home dec but I still added Shape Flex for strength.

Inside there are two pockets: one easy slip pocket and a zippered pocket. It closes with a magnetic snap.

Oh and I received my copy of Sara Lawson's book Big-City Bags a couple of days back. It's great! I already have plans to make a couple of the bags.

I also want to thank all of you who have congratulated me on my fourth place win in Purse Palooza 2013. I'm so happy!! I love this wallet and I just can't stop making them. Is from Emmaline Bags pattern The Necessary Clutch Wallet. This is one of the versions I've done. Have you seen her tutorial for an alternate flap? Go check it out here.

This was my winner: 

All of these available from my Etsy Shop: Norma's Bag Boutique.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cute Elizabeth Paris Bag

Just before Purse Palooza 2013 comes to an end this Monday I was able to finish this Big Bag.
One side
The other side

The Pattern Cute Elizabeth from Sue Kim's book: Bags: The Modern Classics. Is the first time I make this bag. The sewing of that bottom part to the main panels is a bit tricky. Mainly where they all meet. But not impossible. I like that curious shape.

I thought the pattern was a good one to feature this Paris fabric which I still have some left from previous bags. Lots of Paris and Eiffel Tower fans around. And I used rivets again. I think it results in a stronger grip to the handles. The black fabric used at the bottom and handles is a black cotton twill.

The bag is available in my etsy shop: www.NormasBagBoutique.etsy.com

Monday, November 4, 2013

Houndstooth Tote with Pockets

After sewing my previous tote (here) I wanted to keep going with leather handles totes. This time I wanted to add a zipper pocket outside. I repurposed the zipper from a bag that was hardly used. Before even cutting I folded some fabric and set up the design to be sure I will like the result:

And here it is:

A closer look at those pockets:

 An iPad fits in the slip pocket:

There's another slip pocket in the lining inside for a total of three pockets. For a tote that's a lot.

For the exterior zipper combination I was inspired by the Two Zip Hipster pattern from Dog Under my Desk. I played with the size until I got what I wanted. I can see College girls using a bag like this. It will fit books and notebooks on the main compartment and the personal stuff can go in the big pockets. I like it pretty much!! I want to keep it... Ooh! Maybe I'll sell this one and make one just like it for me!!
Of course this one goes to Purse Palooza too. I have a couple more bags cut that I should finish before Purse Palooza is over. Let's see if I get the time.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Leather Handles Tote

Recently I had the opportunity of getting a big piece of dark brown leather at a very good price. I plan to use it mostly for handles but who knows what kind of experiments I might do with it. So I used some canvas and the leather together on this tote.

It's my first time using leather handles and rivets. I used the Ethnic Fabric for the pocket.
I think I'm in love with leather handles!

 I love the clean look inside. I lined it and added an inside slip pocket.

This one I'll keep.
Of course it will be another entry for the Purse Palooza.