Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Backpack Modification

Here is a design of backpack I came up with modifying the Edelweiss Backpack from Sew Sweetness. I took the main flap and two small front pockets off and designed a big flap pleated pocket for the front. I used the same geeky fabric for the front pocket that I used for the wallet a while ago.


On the back I made some modifications mostly to make the bag stronger just in case someone wants to pack it with those heavy books you have to carry to school. The first thing was too add a strip of fabric on the top where the straps are attached. I made several seams across. Then for the bottom of the straps I added a triangle to hold the straps from the side and not the bottom of the backpack. These are also held with several seams inside.


The pleats on the front pocket allow to store some bulky stuff in it. It closes with a magnetic snap on the flap.


I thought the top of the front panel looked a bit bare so I added a piece of the print fabric, the power button. I love how it looks! Hopefully I sell it to someone for back to school. I'll be making more of these. This one is available at my Etsy Shop.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Card, Avocado and Wallets

Funny title, isn't it?!

My sister Betty knew I was on the search for a sewing machine, so she made this card for me without knowing I had already bought it. I received the card a couple days after receiving the sewing machine. Isn't it cute? She made it herself. See the strap on the sewing machine and the bag inside the card? Very clever!






In another topic, my husband was doing some yard work and discover that our avocado tree had some for the first time. It actually has a lot of them! They still have to grow a bit. I see lots of guacamole on the future.



Finally some pictures about my sewing. I made more wallets. One is a repeat of the geeky one I made for my daughter here. The print has so many different images that each wallet turns out very different.


I made these with a modified version (very modified) of a tutorial by VeryPurplePerson here.

I made another wallet with the Paris, France print fabric I used for this bag.





All my bags and wallets are available in my etsy shop: www.NormasBagBoutique.etsy.com
Next I'll be working on some backpacks. Although my wrists are feeling a bit tired and achy lately and I must take things slowly. That's not going to be easy.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

First Date Night Purse

I previously told you I made a messenger bag for my niece and will show you after taking some pictures. But is a gift so I'll have to wait until she gets it; just in case she checks out the blog. Is the first bag sewn with the new Juki machine. I just love that machine!!!

Recently Erin from Dog Under my Desk released her Date Night Purse Pattern. She's really meticulous and precise when she designs a pattern. She had been working on designing a purse with a new top zipper technique for a while as she explains here. She finally made it! If you're interested in the pattern she has a special introductory price for a while. Knowing her great instructions and construction from previous patterns I was sold since I first saw it. So here's my first bag with the pattern.


 Check out this beautiful oval bottom.

And here's a closer look at that top zipper.

I added a zippered pocket inside instead of the pattern's slip pocket.


The bag is a small size bag and it only takes 2/3 yd of exterior fabric to make. These are some features she mentions on the purse pattern description:
  • 25-page full color excessively detailed instructions with photos
  • 7 computer generated pattern pieces
  • Measures about 11.5″ wide x 7″ tall x 3.75″ deep with a 9″ strap drop
  • Fits nicely under the shoulder or can be held without touching the ground
  • 9″ zippered opening at the top keeps everything inside secure
  • Patch pocket inside for pens, keys, and phone
  • Single pocket on the outside for whatever you need to access quickly
  • Lining is completely finished with no raw edges
  • Requires a long-pull purse zipper, single or double pull
  I can say that I consider that the instructions are very well written (with plenty of pictures) and I had no trouble making the bag. The measurements and cutting have to be very precise for great results but that can easily be accomplished by following her instructions. I see myself using this pattern many times.

Monday, July 7, 2014

My gift for myself

Here it goes. I finally got my dream sewing machine! It's a Juki TL2000Qi. I ordered it from the US on the middle of June and just received it last Thursday. It was hard to find a store that will deliver to Puerto Rico. I finally got it from ShopJoya.com. They shipped it fast but I chose standard shipping and that's why it took so long. I'm not sure if it came on a boat or airplane. After all I'm on an island. But I finally got it and I'm thrilled about it. Their price was very good compared to others, even amazon.


I researched several models and brands and based my decision on the strength, ability to handle many layers, throat space, knee lifter and reliability, mostly. It has some other features that I've learned to love in these few days, like the thread cutter and of course the speed. I learned to sew on an industrial machine my grandma had. My mom also had an industrial one. I really missed that knee lifter all these years! You can see it better on this picture:


And check the difference between my Brother machine and the Juki. The throat space is the first thing you notice. Of course when someone that doesn't sew sees these two together they hardly notice the difference!!! Like my hubby! So funny! I had to show and explain the added benefits to him.


 These are the accessories included, plus the extension table and a plastic cover. I was surprised by the real screwdriver. Lol. And that walking foot... wow! I used one on my Brother machine but with this one I'm not sure I need it. I don't quilt so the quilting foot won't be used. The other foot is a 1/4" seam allowance foot that they call compensating foot. Don't know why but I googled it and found the explanation on a blog. I would've appreciate a zipper foot. Actually I'm surprise it didn't come with one included. I already purchased one. That I can't live without.


I already made a messenger bag with the Juki and it sews so smoothly!!! Wow! No fuss at all even when going through many layers. Smooth as butter!!! I know I'll still use the Brother but a lot less.

I should show you the bag I made with my Brother machine just before receiving the Juki.
It's a backpack made with Sara's pattern: The Edelweiss Bag from Sew Sweetness.


I made a big front pocket on it instead of the two smaller ones in the pattern. I also changed the way the straps are sewn in the backpack. I think this way makes it stronger. The fabric is a home dec fabric from Joann Fabrics. The backpack is available at my etsy store here.

I still have to take pictures of the messenger bag I made with the Juki. It might end of being a gift for a niece. I just have to ask her if she uses a backpack or a messenger bag for school.

I should stop blogging now and go to my Juki. I hear her calling my name!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Totes Ma Tote Bag Pattern

Today Janelle from Emmaline Bags released her pattern Totes Ma Tote Bag.

I have been waiting for this day to finally show you my version, since I had the pleasure of testing the pattern some time ago.


As you can see this pattern provides a good "blank canvas" to use any nice print fabric or patchwork. I used this canvas fabric from Premier Prints Hooty Owls Village. You might recall it from my January Bag. This was a great opportunity to use it again since the owls are big and need a good space to be displayed. The accent side strips were done with some leftover from the same fabric collection: Premier Prints Zig Zag Village Rust.


The pattern feature some straps with buckles, attached through oval grommets. I didn't have the oval grommets and living here in an island it  takes quite a bit of time to get them. So I took the opportunity to use my leather again. I cut the straps 1-1/2" wide and used rivets to attach them to the Tote. As I told Janelle I love using canvas and leather together anyway.


The Tote closes with a recessed zipper. Inside it has some great big pockets. The zippered one for stuff you want to keep out of immediate sight or secured. One of the slip pocket has a tab that closes with a magnetic snap. This one is very convenient for your tablet or other electronic gadget. Then you have another slip pocket that is divided in two sections, maybe for keys or other smaller items. So there are plenty of pockets for all kind of uses.

Here you can see I even added a leather tab to the main closure zipper. !!


For interfacing I used Pellon SF101 Woven Fusible Interfacing, Thermolam Plus and some Peltex on the bottom. I also used some bottom feet.

This pattern is very easy to follow. There are many pictures with the instructions so that you can make your Tote with no trouble. Go check Janelle's blog: here to see other tester's Totes. There are all really great, for sure.

Be sure to check back soon when I'll show you a new backpack and a little gift I gave myself!!