Monday, September 29, 2014

My Second Totes Ma Tote Bag from Emmaline Bags

So here I show you another Totes Ma Tote Bag made from a pattern from Emmaline Bags.

I like the simplicity yet elegance of this design. I had decided a while ago I wanted to use this canvas fabric for this bag. Then my first one sold on my etsy shop and I just had to get to it.

As you can see I used leather straps and rivets again. After I cut all the pieces and was about to start sewing I realized I didn't have an accent fabric for the "side seams cover". I like the feature so I just shopped my stash until I found a Fat Quarter of this one with dots.

I used purse feet at the bottom as recommended. It gives the bag a very sophisticated and professional feel.

 I ordered a zipper to match from Zipper Island at Etsy. They are great. They carry a very good inventory in handbag zippers.

Here's the bag opened. Inside there's a big slip pocket with a tab and magnetic snap as closure for an electronic tablet (iPad, etc). They're two additional pockets on the other side: one slip divided in two and a zippered one.

I used SF 101 woven interfacing on all pieces, even lining and canvas exterior. I also added Thermolam Plus on two main exterior pieces and bottom plus Peltex for bottom. I love the feel and how sturdy it is. It stands on its own. I recommend using these interfacings or Soft and Stable because it gives the bag a very nice stability and feel, as a non handmade feel.

Have you sewn this pattern yet? Which are your go to interfacings?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Two Emmaline Bags

Back in November of last year I shared an Emmaline Bag I made here. Back then I modified the pattern by adding some height to the bag. After this I kept thinking and looking at bags women carry. I noticed that most of the big bags out there close with a zipper. Since I love the Emmaline bag Pattern I made the purpose of working on adding a zipper closure. I can still make it either with or without. And here are my results:

Yes, I made two of them, both with chevron canvas fabric. I made one first to be sure it worked and then the other to be sure and to write down all the details for next time. I first added the height and then divided the lining in two parts to insert the zipper. Of course seam allowances for the zipper were added too. For the top portion I used the exterior fabric since it's going to be in the exterior. Here's how it looks from the top.

I used wide handbag zippers (#5) and added a zipper tab at the other end. I also topstitched the zipper seam towards the lining so the zipper won't get caught on the lining fabric. I made both a slip pocket and zippered pocket inside. A key chain holder was added too since the bag is big to facilitate the search for the keys.

Here are the two ends of the zipper. This method of adding the zipper allows the bag to open wide.

If you don't have this pattern you are missing on something great. Go get it at

So, what do you think about this addition to the bag?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Go Go Bag

It's been quite a while since I got Sara Lawson's first book Big City Bags. I've already made two bags from the book: The Piccadilly Circus Bag (blogged here) and The Chandelier Swing Bag (blogged here). They were both made on December 2013. There are twelve different bags to choose from in the book. The  first part of the book gives you some general bag making techniques and then you have the instructions for all the bags.

So I finally made another one: The Go Go Bag. This is what I'll call a messenger type bag. The final size is 12" wide by 9" tall by 2" front to back. So is not really a small bag but if you're going to call it messenger then it'll be on the small side. Great size for a purse. The great thing with my version is that I used some of Sara's own fabrics from her Jungle Ave. Collection: Word on the Street and Dotted Boulevard. These two prints I loved since I first saw the collection so I got some. So this one is an all Sara design!!

 I made a couple of modifications. First since I was going to use a tuck/catch closure instead of a twist closure I thought it will look better if I omitted part of the front accent piece which is sort of a middle strap where the twist lock will go. The second modification is in the strap. Instead of a removable strap, I made it fixed but adjustable for either shoulder or across the body alternatives. I should mention that I only used 1/2 yard of the dotted black print.

At the back there's a zipper pocket. Easy access to keys, cellphone or other. I hanged a small bead from the zipper head.

 I used gray color lining for the inside. I read somewhere about not making the inside with black or dark lining so things can be seen easier when reaching in. The back of the flap is a solid black. Inside there are two pockets: a zippered one and a slip with a pen compartment. The instructions on the book just call for the two ( one inside one outside) zippered pockets but I added the slip pocket. Why not have another one?!

The instructions where very easy to follow and you get a great bag. The part that might be challenging for some is the curvy accent on the flap. I noticed the size provides for an electronic tablet to fit inside, even a full size iPad. You might want to use a case for them for protection from the other things in the bag.

I'll be linking this post to Craft Buds Craft Book Month . All of us have several craft books sitting around our house. So go visit Craft Buds and link up your craft book project during September 1-30, and you'll automatically be entered to win some fantastic prizes from the Craft Book Month sponsors! Go ahead and get busy!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Second Convertible Bag and a couple of Necessary Clutch Wallets

Here's the second Convertible Bag (March Bag) that I've made. The pattern is from Samantha from Sewing Patterns from Mrs H. I sold the first one I did recently and I thought I should make another one. When looking through my stash I got excited on how it will look with this southwestern print cotton I got recently. I think they look great together!

I just had 1/2 a yard of the print so I decided to make the strap a solid black like the front pocket. I got lucky and the 1/2 yard was just enough!! Having some solid black cotton fabric around always comes handy.

 I narrowed the flap just a bit so it wouldn't look wider than the bag. This bag can be used as a shoulder/ crossbody bag or a backpack just by using the tunnel in the back to pass the strap through.

 For the lining I used some gray fabric (so it won't be so dark inside) for ease on finding things inside. I made a zipper pocket inside.

I have it available at my Etsy Store here.

I also found some Necessary Clutch Wallets (pattern from Emmaline Bags) that I had cut and fused some time ago and were not finished. When I started making these wallets I went a bit crazy making many versions and I guess that's why I left these two unfinished. Making this wallet is addictive. It should have a warning sign on it! :-)  I had used the fabric previously on the pattern but in other colors ( here ) . It's a match I really like.

For these I did not used the accent piece on the flap. I just kept it simple but used Peltex on the whole flap for sturdiness. The fabric is Robert Kaufman House Designer - Fusions Ombre.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Messenger, Gizmo Garage and Genevieve Bags

I have a few bags to share. I was thinking of dividing them up in different posts but I decided to share it all now so I have more time to sew later!! :-)

First I can finally share my laptop bag from Chris W Designs just released pattern Garage Gizmo. I was happy that she asked me to test it just at the right time when I had time and energy. I love to test her patterns of course. It was just released today. Check here for her post.


 A bit sideways


All the pockets under the front flap

I made the small version so I could check sizing with my daughters' laptop. Hers is an old macbook (2008 maybe) when they were not so thin and it fit very well. So new 13" macbooks should fit even better. The main compartment is for a small laptop. There are no other pockets in this compartment to protect your laptop from scratching. At the back there's a flapped pocket that will fit a tablet or iPad. Behind the main flap there are many pockets to store your charger, mouse, cables, paper and cellphone. She really thought of everything. The strap is a long adjustable one so you can use it as a shoulder or crossbody bag. 

I used this colorful owls fabric to match a solid black. I also used Soft and Stable and Pellon SF101 as suggested and the results are a very padded for security and protection bag. Isn't it cute? The pattern might fool you thinking that because of having so many features it will be difficult to make but no. Even that beautiful flap design is easy to make. There are lots of pictures and instructions so you can make your own laptop bag. And since it comes in three sizes you pick the right one for you.

Ok now the messenger bag. I used the Messenger Bag Pattern from Michelle Patterns. You might also noticed I used the same fabrics I recently used for a Noodlehead's Super Tote blogged here. I just loved the colors together. And with this pattern's big flap I knew it will look awesome.


Under the flap

This gray color gave me some trouble in the pictures. But I got it as close to what I think is OK. The bag is available at my shop. By the way, I have a sale going on on my shop. Everything is 15% off my already great prices.

Last week I got two more patterns from Christine at Chis W Designs; the Genevieve and Bella Bag Patterns. I started with the Genevieve. What an interesting shape!


 Under the Flap


I used some fabric from the Tim Holtz Eclectics Collection (1 and 2). I wanted to use mainly the Postmarks one (the name is Correspondence) but only had 1/2 yard. So I combined it with another fabric from the collection, French Script. This one I used for the back of the flap, the strap and the front main piece behind the front pocket. Since I was making the plain no piping version I decided to add an accent at the bottom of the flap. The Tim Holtz fabric is a bit pale and the bag needed some pop. I really like how it looks. At the interior I made a slip pocket and a zipper pocket. This bag is bigger than I thought it was. It looks like a messenger bag. So a tablet will fit inside even if it's on a case. I will definitely be sewing more of these.

Wow! This is a picture loaded long post. So please do comment and let me know what you think of my Genevieve Bag.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hi and welcome to my blog. 

This post is part of the Around the World Blog Hop. Recently my blogger friend Marilyn from Shades of Bold asked me to join in the Around the World Blog Hop. I was going through some tough times so I explained it to her and she understood my situation. Then Lorena (another blogger friend) from MyWay of asked me also. This time I said yes. Thanks Lorena for tagging me and writing nice things about me on your post. You can read Lorena's Hop-post here. You should take some time after you’re done reading here and visit her blog. Go ahead and open the tab before you forget. She blogs from England in English and Spanish. She sews beautiful bags and also makes some very cute amigurumis.

This Blog Hop requires I share a bit about myself answering some questions. If you already know me a bit maybe you’ll learn something else today.

1. What I’m I working on?
I’ve always been involve in some kind of creative venture. I learned to sew when I was a girl and although a bit frustrated with sewing clothing I kept learning and experimenting. Then I started sewing bags and I really got hooked. I have a stash of fabric and bag hardware just waiting for me to transform them in different kinds of bags and sell them on my etsy shop: During the month of August I got busy making backpacks (modified from the Edelweiss from Sew Sweetness) for the back to school season. I also made a Super Tote from Noodlehead for my sister on her birthday. Now I’m back to sewing bags. I just finished the Genevieve bag using the pattern from Chris W Designs. I'll share on my next post. I have a list of bags to make. So I’m ready for the next one. If this is your first time here go ahead and browse around to see my bags.

 Tote for my sister

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
There are many great bag designers and makers out there. I think everyone has a particular style. I try to find a balance between fabric and design to make a high quality, fashionable bag that will also be very practical for today’s women. I love to think that the person who buys my bag will love it and feel very proud of it while using it. Not sure if I answered the question!!

3. Why do I create what I do?
I’m blessed to be able to do what I love. For me making bags puts together my love to math (yes, I love it), geometry, color, construction, fashion, functionality and a bit of whimsy every now and then. It’s just so great to transform fabric into bags that have a function. So many possibilities of color, shape and design!!! Sewing is also like therapy. It makes me feel better if I’m stressful. Here's a bag I designed myself.

4. How does my creating process work?
First I get fabric that I love and think will look good as a bag in general. Then I work on a match making session where I try to match the fabric to a bag pattern. I have many patterns from individual designers. There are many great ones out there. I think about things like proportion and balance; color and size of print; designs that are simple versus the ones that have many features. From that I make decisions of what fabric or fabrics I should use for a pattern design. Sometimes I modify the pattern a bit to “fit” a fabric. After these sessions I have a list of bags to sew for a while. Although every now and then a bag sneaks up on me that is not on the list. Just inspiration! Or I'm testing a pattern for a designer!! Almost every day I either cut, fuse or sew a bag.

This is enough of me for now.

I should tell you that I'm very very sorry (sorry Lorena) but all my blogger friends have been tagged before me. I couldn't find someone to tag. But if you're reading this and you haven't participate of this Around the World Blog Tour feel free to write a post answering the 4 questions next Monday September 15 and let me know. You can then tag three blogger friends.