Thursday, October 31, 2013

Little Bo Pleat Handbags

Here are two Little Bo Pleat Handbags I finished sewing. The pattern is from Samantha from Sewing Patterns by Mrs H.

I wanted a classic look and that's how I ended up choosing these fabrics. (Well, the truth is Plan A was some satins but while cutting I noticed how slippery they were to handle and went with plan B.) I like the damask a lot. Could you imagine wearing a little black dress and using this as a clutch for a formal party? Wow! The houndstooth print is beige and black. For this version I made the bottom wider than the instructions so it looks lower.  It's an easy pattern to follow and the result is very elegant. After cutting and fusing, the sewing is made pretty fast. They have a zipper pocket inside and close with a magnetic snap. There are some ribbon loops at the sides inside for adding a chain strap.

I'm sure I'll be sewing more of these. These will be available in my Etsy shop soon. I'll be also entering them in Purse Palooza 2013. Go visit and see all the fantastic bags that are linked this second year of Purse Palooza.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bags Top Zipper Technique

In my last post I shared with you my new bag design. Now I want to tell you about the top zipper technique I used.

There are different ways to add a zipper as the main closure of a bag. I like my purses with top zipper. I keep thinking what if I drop it and everything spills out... The Horror! I thought everyone liked it like that but have learned that some people prefer an open top to reach for things fast. When I learned to make a top zippered pouch I went on and sew lots of them and gave them as gifts but I wasn't satisfied with the way the zipper ends looked. You know!.. the odd shape on the side. Soon I found a tutorial to solve the issue at There is some hand sewing needed but it looks much better.

So for my first version of the bag (the smaller) I used the technique and loved how it looked. So neat!

So clean!

 When sewing the regular size version I started using the same technique but before cutting the zipper end and hand sewing I noticed that if I left it uncut there will be a place to hold on to while closing the zipper. So I went ahead and added a fabric tab at the end of the zipper. The space that remained unsewn under the end of the zipper was then topstitched with the machine as well as the other end of the zipper. And Voila!! I got the neat top with some added bonus.

Closer view of zipper end:

Bag with opened zipper:

The technique provides a wide open bag when the zipper is open. Don't you love that?! So I'll be using this technique more. Go ahead and try it. Well, that's if you like a zipper closure.

Do you like a zipper closure in your bags?

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

My New Design

I've been working hard these days designing a bag. As you all know I love to sew bags. After all the bags I've sewn I tend to doodle sometimes (mostly late at night) about features I will like together.

Last year for Purse Palooza 2012 I designed this bag. Also here. It closes with a magnetic snap and it has a front hidden zipper pocket. The zipper is right under the solid black stripe. It's a small crossbody bag. At the moment I called it Dot Bag.

It wasn't until the second one I sew that I made a pattern for it. Somehow I haven't sewn any more of them but not because I don't like it. My excuse: There are so many great bag patterns out there from great designers that I've been busy using them. Some I've sewn a bunch of times, like the Two Zip Hipster by Dog Under my Desk and The Necessary Clutch Wallet by Emmaline Bags. I even own some designer patterns that I really want to sew and have not gotten to them, like the Olivia Bag from Chris W. Designs and the Daytripper from Dog Under my Desk. Other patterns I'm yet to buy but are on my list until I get to use the ones I already have (should I wait to buy them?).

So as I was saying I doodle some bags... (do I have ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder? :-)) I really wanted to at least try to make one of the doodles a reality for this year's Purse Palooza 2013 (it's almost getting to an end). So that's what I've been doing: preparing a pattern, choosing fabric, choosing hardware, writing some instructions and notes to myself, cutting fabric, etc. I got to the sewing machine on Tuesday and decided I will finish sewing the same day. By the end of the day I realized the pattern was smaller than what I had on my mind for the bag (much smaller). All the pieces were fused with interfacing and I was to far to stop. So I just finished it. I inmediately (late at night) blew up the size and made the main piece pattern again. Yesterday I cut, fused and started sewing and I was very happy with what I saw (what I sew, LOL, get it?). Today I finished it and took some pictures to share with you. So here is what I finished today. Ta da....

The front

The back

Closer look
Inside (Opens Wide)
*Closes with a top zipper
*Double straps that are held by some D-rings
*Front flap pocket: maybe for cellphone since it's easy access
*Back Zippered Pocket: maybe for keys so are at easy reach but secured
*Inside Zippered Pocket: "Every lady needs a zippered pocket inside".  I liked this phrase I read at a blog and now I forgot which blog was and who said it. I think it was Samantha from At Home with MrsH.

Did you noticed how I like pockets?
I like that the top opens wide.

Ok! I'll show you the small (tiny) version that I made first. It has the same features...but smaller.


Want to see the size difference? LOL Go ahead and laugh!!

I'll be sewing more of the regular version for my shop. This time I was really set on using this fabric: Timeless Treasures House Designer - Eclipse Collection - Overlapping Geo in Grey. That's why they are both with the same fabric. I'll be entering the purse in Purse Palooza 2013. For now I'll call it The Elegant Flap Pocket Bag.

****Update: I added a post on how I made the top zipper closure here.

So, what do you think? Please let me know.

If you still don't please follow this blog.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ethnic Fabrics

Since I bought these fabrics back in July they've been screaming: "Wallet". Uff! From the moment I saw them I knew I will sew some wallets with the Necessary Clutch Wallet Pattern from Emmaline Bags. I cut them like a week ago and I finally finished them yesterday. Today was photo shoot day for them and here they are:

Brown Tones Ethnic Wallet

 Again I made the changes in the flap and used the catch tuck clasp. It looks pretty elegant. Every time I make one that I love I want to keep it but that's no way to run a business, I guess!!

Three Colors Ethnic Wallet

For this one I was very picky on where to cut the pieces on the fabric so that it will look awesome, and I think it did! Really, really love it!!

Are you getting tired of wallets? Oops! I'm not. So let's see if I manage to sew a bag before I keep sewing wallets!! :-)

They are both available at my etsy shop:

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Busy Sewing Wallets

I've been busy sewing some wallets. I used The Necessary Clutch Wallet pattern from Emmaline Bags. I've used the Fusions Ombre Fabric previously and loved the look (here). So I used this brown and blue version.

I made some changes to the pattern. The flap was one of them. I used Peltex in the whole piece instead of just in the trim, which I didn't use. It gives the wallet strength in the flap and will stay straight when using the shoulder strap. I also used a tuck and catch closure and I love the professional look. I came upon some of these closures and will be using them for these wallets. I was using magnetic snaps. Some people are afraid of the magnetic snaps because of fear that the magnetism will mess up your cards. I've been using my wallet for quite some time and I have never had any trouble with cards or cellphone interference. The magnetism in the clasps is to small for causing trouble.

Here are other two wallets made with the same pattern and doing the same modifications. These two were made using home decorator weight cotton fabric.

All three are available in my Etsy Shop:

This pattern is awesome. I love to use it and the final product is beautiful and very functional. I've been using the first one I sew and I love all it's features. Mine doesn't have the straps so these with the straps are much better for added versatility.

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Saturday, October 5, 2013


I just created this blog to substitute Norma's Clay.
I was creating with polymer clay but recently made a change and started sewing fabric bags. This will be the official blog of Norma's Bag Boutique. Here you can read about my adventures in sewing. And I'll also include pictures of my bags. Please follow me along this new journey. I'll be improving the blog as time allows. There's a lot to sew!! Here are some of my most recent creations.

Using the pattern Crossbody Bag from Michelle Patterns

Using the Lombard St Bag Pattern from Chris W Designs 

Using the Aeroplane Bag Pattern from Sew Sweetness
 Using the Aragon Bag Pattern from Sew Sweetness
Using the Bigger in the Inside Drawstring Backpack pattern from Dog Under my Desk 
Using the Medium Messenger Bag Pattern from Michelle Patterns
Using the Necessary Clutch Wallet Pattern from Emmaline Patterns 

Using Vogue Pattern 8661
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