Tag Archives | bags

Genuinely useful new baby makes with Zoe: Drawstring bag

This is the third in a series of blog posts by Zoe Edwards offering tips for gifts you can make for a new baby! Take it away, Zoe!

Hi everyone! I’m back to state my case for another genuinely useful new-baby sewing project. This one, at first glance, may not scream ‘new baby’ to you, but hear me out. When my daughter was almost brand new, a friend (blogger Handmade Jane, to be precise) gave us a drawstring bag similar to this that she had made. We have used it, in one way or another, almost every day since she gave it to us. Almost every day for two years! That’s a lot of days. Nothing we were given or bought for Dolores has been used so consistently, which is why I suggest you make one the next time someone you know reproduces.

Drawstring bag tutorial

‘Well, how is a drawstring bag useful for a baby then?’ you may be asking. Well, from my experience, the use of ours has changed a bit, as Dolores has got older. This next sentence requires a graphic description warning: when babies are tiny, they do lots of wees and runny poos, which oftentimes leak onto their clothes. A parent attempting to leave the house with their baby for more than an hour without at least one entire outfit change is, quite frankly, a fool. We used to keep our drawstring bag loaded with a change of clothing at all times. It was useful to keep the change of clothing in a separate bag, as the changing kit would sometimes get transferred between the main changing bag that lived on the pushchair and her dad’s backpack for when more outward bound type travels were being attempted.

Now that Dolores is a toddler, the drawstring bag is still useful for changes of clothes that are, thankfully, these days usually required due to mud or food-based mess. It is also really useful for chucking in just a nappy, pack of wipes, a drink and snack for mini trips out.

Drawstring bag tutorial

Convinced of their worth as a new-baby sewing project?! Good! Well, I guess the next question is how to make one. For this one, I decided on what the final dimensions should be and kind of made it up as I went along. I was pretty pleased with my efforts because all the seam allowances are enclosed which gives a nice neat finish. But there are heaps of tutorials and how-to’s out there each with their own variation. This tutorial by Quilting Bees looks like a good contender, IMO, but a simple Google search for ‘lined drawstring bag tutorial’ will bring up heaps of other options.

Drawstring bag tutorial

Perhaps even more so than the baby trousers or baby shoes, with this project you can really go to town with your fabric choices. We used some 100% organic Cloud9 cotton called Whimsical Wood from the Sweet Autumn collection, which was complimented by some solid lilac cotton for the lining. And you needn’t hold back with the trims either, as the simple addition of a row of ribbon, ric rac or braid like this neon pom pom trim used here, are easy to apply and can really make your project pop.

Drawstring bag tutorial

Drawstring bag tutorial

I’ve seen some fantastic garments and craft projects via Pinterest recently that combine delicate ditsy floral fabrics with a POW! of neon, which was the inspiration behind this bag. What fabric and trims would you pick?

Drawstring bag tutorial

Drawstring bag tutorial

Drawstring bag tutorial

Other posts in this series include:
Elastic-back baby shoes
Trousers/nappy covers

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Rachel’s Striped Tote tutorial

This pretty and cheerful striped tote tutorial comes to us from Rachel of Brodrick Design Studio! I love the idea and the gorgeous pastel colour palette Rachel chose, plus I was thrilled to see all of the neat details Rachel included in her construction. Read on for the tutorial! Thank you, Rachel!

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

Materials
• For the main bag cut six pieces measuring 7cm long by 98cm wide of the following Kona Cotton Solids:
Baby Blue
Ice Frappe
Honey Dew
Sunflower
Ice Peach
Peony

• In Petunia cut a piece 7cm x 98cm plus a 12cm x 40cm piece for the base:

• For the lining, in a neutral colour (I used Kona Natural) cut a piece 37cm x 98cm plus a 12cm x 40cm piece for the base:

• For the straps cut two 70cm pieces in webbing (I used Japanese striped webbing)

• Matching thread, fabric scissors and general sewing supplies.

Overall size of bag – 38 cm wide, 35 cm tall and 10 cm deep (excluding straps).

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

1) Sewing the stripes together

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

• Decide on the order you want to have the different coloured stripes. The stripe that is the same colour as the 12 cm x 40 cm piece (in this example purple) should be at the bottom of the bag. Overlock or zigzag the long sides of the seven pieces of cotton measuring 7 cm x 98 cm.

• Sew the seven stripes together along the long sides with a 1 cm seam allowance. Press the seams open.

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

• Overlock or zigzag the two side seams and top and bottom of the bag.

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

• Fold right sides together and sew the side seam with a 1 cm seam allowance. Press the side seam open.

2) Attach the base of the bag

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

• Overlock or zigzag all four sides of the purple piece of cotton measuring 12 cm x 40 cm.
• With right sides together, pin the 12 cm x 40 cm purple piece of cotton to the base of the striped bag. Sew this in place with a 1cm seam allowance and press.

3) Preparing the lining

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

• Overlock or zigzag around all four sides of the lining piece measuring 37cm x 98cm.
• With right sides together, match the side seams measuring 37 cm and sew together using a 1cm seam allowance. Press the side seams open.
• Overlock or zigzag around all four sides of the lining piece measuring 12cm x 40cm.
• With right sides together, pin the 12 cm x 40 cm cotton lining piece to the base of the bag lining. Sew this in place with a 1 cm seam allowance and press seams open.

4) Fitting the lining into the striped bag

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

• Turn the lining inside out. Fold over (wrong sides together) and press 1.5 cm all the way around the top edge.

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

• Fold over (wrong sides together) 1cm around the top edge of the striped bag.
• Place the lining into the striped bag and pin 0.5 cm below the top edge.

5) Attaching the straps

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

• On each side of the bag, place a strap between the striped bag and lining pieces, pin in place. Leave a 15 cm gap between both straps. To ensure they are central on both sides of the bag, use the corners of the bag base to guide you.

6) Sewing the bag together

• Turn the bag inside out and edge stitch close to the top edge of the lining fabric, attaching it to the striped bag and securing the straps.

7) Finishing touches

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

• Turn the bag right sides out. To further secure the straps, sew a crossed box over each strap.

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

Striped Tote Tutorial from The Village Haberdashery

• To give the bag more structure, pin the four edges of the bag (up from the four corners of the base). Edge stitch just the striped bag fabric, starting and finishing 2 cm from both ends.

Finished!

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Emily’s Circular Knitting Needle Case Tutorial

This week the multi-talented Emily of Strawberry Patch Ramblings is back with a new project for us! This time it’s a handy circular knitting needle tutorial sewn up with the beautiful Botanics collection by Carolyn Friedlander. I absolutely love knitting on circulars and this tutorial is so handy for keeping them neat and not ruining your cords. Plus the part about adding a zip pocket can be used in lots of other projects too. Thank you, Emily!

In-the-Round

I am so delighted to be back with another tutorial for The Daily Stitch! Annie’s shop has such an exciting range of fabrics its always fun looking through them and there are lots of new arrival that are enticing me to sew with them!

For this project I used Carolyn Friedlander’s super cool new collection Botanics. I love that she has kept with the geometric background prints that also featured in Architextures but really its the metallic gold finishes that won me, so good!

I’m going to show you how to make a really useful pouch for storing your circular knitting needles. They can be pesky things with their little cords refusing to stay tidy but this pouch will have them sorted in a jiffy, there is even a little zip pocket for keeping stitch markers safe! Lets go….

You will need:

1 FQ for the exterior
1 FQ for Interior
1 FQ for Pockets
1 FQ for Zip pocket and binding
1 FQ wadding
1 FQ medium weight iron on interfacing
6″ Metal Zip (if using a nylon zip you can use a longer one)
5″ Elastic cord
2 Buttons
Coordinating thread

Optional : Cotton tape and rubber stamps and ink pad for making size labels.

Cut:

one 13″ x 16″ from exterior fabric
one 13″ x 16″ from interior fabric
one 13″ x 16″ from interfacing
one 13″ x 16″ from wadding
two 3 1/2″ x 8″ from zip pocket fabric
two 1 3/4″ x 16″ from binding fabric
one 5 1/2″ x 16″ from pocket fabric and interfacing
one 5 3/4″ x 16″ from pocket fabric and interfacing

Fuse interfacing to back of the two pocket pieces and exterior piece.

If adding size labels:

Make up size labels using the cotton tape and stamps if you wish to include them in the project. Mark the top edge of the two pockets at the following intervals, starting from the left hand side:

2″, 5″, 8″, 11″, 14″

and pin the size labels in place over these marks. The larger pocket piece will sit at the top/behind.

001

Place a binding strip down over the labels, right side facing the right side of the pocket piece, align edges and sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance (this will secure the labels in place).

002

Press the binding up away from the pocket and fold around to the back, press. Stitch in the ditch along the edge of the binding, this will catch and hold the binding down at the back.

003

Mark a line along the bottom edge of the larger pocket 1/4″ from the edge. Put the wadding behind the interior piece and lay the larger pocket on top of it, 2″ up from the bottom edge. Stitch along the marked line.

004

Lay the remaining pocket on top, aligning the bottom edges and mark the following lines starting from the left edge:

3 1/2″, 6 1/2″, 9 1/2″, 12 1/2″

006
Sew down these lines to create the pockets and then baste around the 3 sides.

Now we move onto the zip pocket. On the reverse of one zip pocket piece draw a line 1″ down from the top edge, ending 1″ from each side. Draw an identical line 1 1/2″ down and connect the two to form a box.

007

Place on top of the outer piece 3/4″ from each edge on the bottom right corner, rst.

Sew around the box using a short stitch length then cut down the center of the box and out into the corners.

008

Push pocket through the hole and press to the back.

009

Centre zip behind the opening, glue baste or pin into place and top stitch in place. If using a metal zip you will have to ensure you do not top stitch over any of the metal teeth, my zip was a little too long so I used pliers to remove a few of the teeth. If you are using a nylon zip you can use a longer zip and sew across it with no worry.

010

Trim the ends of the zip away and place remaining zip pocket piece rst on top of zip pocket and stitch around all 4 edges using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

012

Take two 2 1/2″ lengths of elastic and loop then baste into place on the left hand side of the interior piece placing them 2 1/2″ and 6 1/2″ up from the bottom edge.

013

Put outer piece RST with the inner piece, making sure to line up the zip pocket with the elastics. Stitch all the way around the outside edge using a 1/2″ seam allowance and leave a 3-4″ gap in the top edge for turning though.

014
Clip corners and turn right way out then press well. Top stitch 1/8″ from edge. Draw a line 2 1/2″ down from the top edge and top stitch along the line to create a flap.

016
Load up with your knitting needles and roll the pouch up to determine where you’d like the two buttons to be positioned and attach the

019

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In-the-Round-newsletter

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Tutorial: MacBook Air cover

We have a gorgeous bolt of Robert Kaufman’s Railroad Denim in the shop and a steady stream of ideas for it. Sturdy yet lightweight, modern yet classic – there is no end to the possibilities for this fabric! It’s also extra wide, so even a little goes a long way. This MacBook Air cover used just a fat quarter of Railroad Denim! Plus, the lovely indigo colour pairs excellently with so many fun lining fabrics. Now on to the tutorial!

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Supplies list

FQ Railroad Denim – Medium Stripe in Indigo by Robert Kaufman (Please note this fabric is 54″ wide so the FQs are bigger. If you choose a 44″ wide fabric instead you’ll need .5m)
.5m lining fabric – medium weight quilting cotton. I used Sun Print – Feathers in Magenta by Alison Glass.
Craft size wadding (or two offcuts measuring 24″ x 14″ / 61cm x 36cm)
1 package of 3/4″ wide sew-on velcro (you’ll need approx 8 inches so if you have a scrap piece that’s fine too). I used black velcro.
Coordinating thread

Cut your materials

Cut one 25″ x 15″ piece each of your main fabric and lining fabric
Cut one 25″ x 15″ piece each of your main fabric and lining fabric
Cut two 12″ x 6″ pieces of your lining fabric
Cut two 24″ x 14″ pieces of wadding
Cut one 8″ piece of velcro

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Round the corners of your flap

Fold your outer fabric and lining fabric in half lengthwise. Place a mug or bowl (the cup of coffee I was drinking worked fine for me!) at the outer corner and trace, then trim, to create round corners.

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Repeat with your wadding. The rounded end of your materials is now the flap.

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Baste your wadding to your lining

Double your wadding on your lining fabric and pin in place, leaving a 1/2″ seam allowance on all sides.

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Set your machine to it’s longest stitch and baste the wadding in place about an inch from the edge. You’ll pull these stitches out later.

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Attach your velcro

Centre the scratchy side of your velcro to the lining fabric, 1″ from the top of the flap. Pin.

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Centre the soft side of your velcro to the main fabric, 3 3/4″ from the bottom of the bag. Pin.

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Edge stitch the velcro in place on both pieces.

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Attach your lining

Place your main fabric and lining fabric right sides together and pin.

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Sew all the way around with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving about three inches open to turn.

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Clip corners to reduce bulk.

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Turn the bag right side out and press.

Sew your pocket

Pin your pocket pieces right sides together.

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Stitch all the way around with a quarter inch seam allowance. Leave about two inches gap for turning the pocket right side out.

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Carefully clip your corners to reduce bulk

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Turn your pocket inside out and use a point turner or knitting needle to gently push out the points.

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Press.

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Your finished pocket will look like this!

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Attach your pocket

Centre your pocket on the right side of your main fabric, 6 1/2″ from the top of the flap. Make sure the side of the pocket that you left unstitched is toward the bottom of the bag. Pin in place.

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Edge stitch around the sides and bottom of the pocket to secure, closing the unstitched edge of your pocket in the process. The top of your pocket is on the flap side.

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Measure 3.5″ inches from one side of the pocket and stitch through all of the layers to create an iPhone pocket, if you want one!

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Gently remove the basting stitches that were holding your wadding in place and give your bag a press.

Finishing

Top stitch 1/4 inch from the edge of the bottom edge of your bag.

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Fold the bottom of your bag up 9 1/2″ inches. Double check everything fits as it should – your velcro lines up and your MacBook Air fits! Pin.

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Start at the bottom left corner of your bag (when it is facing you) and top stitch 1/4 inch from the edge, around the flap and down the right side. Reverse over the places where your bag meets the flap to reinforce.

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You’re finished!

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I did try this one other way, with the pocket inside the flap and fusible fleece rather than wadding, before I decided on the version you’re seeing in the tutorial. This uses Feathers in Fluorescent. Also a fabulous combination!

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Now your computer is ready to travel!

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Havana Monaluna messenger bag

Scoot Scoot kid-size messenger bag

Next month we’ll be featuring the Havana collection by Monaluna in our window, and I’ve been sewing up a few things to go on the “boy” dress form (which is also sometimes a girl!) Although our little man won’t be able to use/wear anything I’m making for a good six years, it’s kind of fun to imagine. We sort of picture him as a little future web entrepreneur, so this kid-size messenger bag in a scooter print seemed fitting!

Scoot Scoot kid-size messenger bag

The idea came from Sarah Jane’s Out to Sea booth from last Spring Market but when it came time to sew I decided to use the free pattern from mmmCrafts that I used to make the typewriter messenger bag. I love this pattern. It is so incredibly easy, and I made it even easier by eliminating pockets and using velcro instead of a snap for the closure. It’s for the kiddo, after all. To make it kid-size, all I did was reduce the pattern to 75%. And since there really isn’t a pattern, that’s super quick to do. Of course I won’t copy the pattern here, but to illustrate how simple it is to adjust the size, have a look at the pieces:

mmmcrafts messenger bag

Credit: mmmcrafts

If you’re also making this for a kid sans pockets, all you’ll need to cut are the following. I just grabbed a cup nearby to cut the curved corners on the flap – don’t stress about getting the perfect size for that.

  • Main piece and lining: 10.5″ x 18.75″
  • Flap and lining: 9″ x 10.125″
  • Strap: 33.75″ x 3″

Havana Monaluna messenger bag

You can seriously whip this up in an hour if you’re good – it took me about two as I was partially distracted re-watching Freaks and Geeks. If I were to offer any other tips on sewing this, I might suggest interfacing the lining to give it a bit more strength and structure. Both the Havana and the Kona Surf I used for lining are fairly substantial medium weight cottons, but it could take a beating when it’s actually being used by a small person. Your call!

Watch this space for more project ideas from our upcoming February window!

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Emily’s frame purse tutorial

Coveting all of those adorable frame purses in blogland? This week, Emily from Strawberry Patch shows you how to draft a pattern and construct the purse of your dreams in her incredibly detailed frame purse tutorial! You can buy the purse frames, wadding and glue Emily uses in this tutorial in the shop.

Thanks Emily!

This tutorial will take you through both for making the purse pattern and making up the purse itself for a 6” x 3” glue in frame. All seam allowances are ¼” throughout.

You will need to draw out your own pattern, as all frames differ so much, my method is great for those who no longer have that old school maths set! It does not require a protractor or working out of pesky angles but it is specific for the 6” x 3” frame from the Village Haberdashery, you may find that this fits other frames of the same size, you could also adapt it to fit different sized frames.

Start off by drawing directly around the top edge and shoulders of your frame

Find the centre of the frame and mark

Measure down 7” from this line and mark

Line up the 5” on your ruler with this mark you have just made, draw a line from 0-10”

Draw a line vertical to the top frame line, 2” down from it, transfer the centre mark too.

Line up the 5 ¼” on your ruler with this centre mark you have just made, make marks at 10 ½ and 0”

Join up the marks you have just made with the bottom line

Extend the shoulders at the apex of the curve to meet the marks too

Mark the end of your hinges on the pattern by lining the frame up (add on seam allowance of ¼” plus a little for ease)

Okay, so now you have your pattern, albeit a little messy! I like to flip mine over and make it look all swanky and professional! (make sure you transfer your hinge markings)

That’s your pattern drafted, now onto the purse construction…..

Cut:

2 from lining fabric, 2 from batting, 2 from outer fabric (can be pieced if desired)

Quilt outer onto wadding as desired.

With right sides together sew outer pieces around the two sides and bottom edge, starting at one hinge mark and ending at the other (luckily on this pattern the hinge marks sit right on your ¼” seam allowance making this nice and easy). Repeat with lining pieces.

Now we are going to box our bottoms to make our purses stand up all by themselves and make them nice and roomy and easy to see into when you are hunting for those pennies!

Get hold of one of your corners and wiggle it so that the side and top seams are sitting together, forming a point

Finger press your seams open and measure 1” up from the tip of the point, making sure your ruler is lying straight along the seam, mark.

Sew along this line (making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end) and trim the corner to a ¼” seam allowance. Repeat this until you have done all 4 corners (2 for the outer and 2 on lining)

Turn the lining right side out, slip inside the outer and pin in place along the raw edges.

Sew along this edge MAKING SURE to leave a gap of around 3” for turning though (again back stitch at the beginning and end)

Turn through and push out corners, slip the lining inside the purse body and press carefully, remember to press the seam on the opening inwards. No need to stitch this closed as it will be hidden inside the frame once glued.

Now you are ready to glue!

Do one side at a time, leaving plenty of drying time before attempting to glue the second.

Run a thin line of glue all around one side of the frame, try and get right down into the base, starting and stopping just before the hinges. I find that as you push the fabric in the glue can seep out here and run onto the hinges so leave a little gap at the beginning and end and it should prevent this.

Now wait a while before pushing the fabric in, it helps to make the glue slightly tackier, holding the purse better as you push it in.

Starting in the middle, push the fabric into the frame, small embroidery scissors are my go-to for this job! I work from the outside of the purse, I find that if any glue does seep out it tends to go onto the lining side if I do it this way.

Work your way along the frame, bringing the corners and then the sides in. Go around again making sure the purse is seated right up inside the frame (give it a good push in!) and is lined up correctly, do this now before it dries!

Now go and make a cuppa, pop to the shops, do some blog reading but just leave that purse alone! Nothing worse than the first side coming out whilst you are trying to glue the second.

When you are sure it is dry, repeat the gluing process with the second side. I recommend leaving your purse a good 24-48 hours if you can before using it, I know it is tempting to show it off immediately but you need to give that glue a chance to really set.

Don’t panic if you have any glue seepage! Acetone and a lint free white cloth is your friend, rub a VERY small amount of acetone onto the frame and it will remove the glue…this should also work on fabric but be careful as it may also remove some colour (I have used it successfully before).

Congratulations, now off to the shops you trot to flash your purse! Of course these are really roomy so I love to use mine to hold toiletries for trips away or even hand sewing projects!

 

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Pennie’s Vintage Icons

How much do you love the Ruby Star Vinyl tote bag on our homepage? Want to make your own? Read on for a review of the Pretty Pleats Tote Pattern and top tips for stitching these beauties from Pennie Haslehurst of Tuppence Ha’penny Quilts. Thanks Pennie!

I’ve been coveting Melody Miller’s new range, Ruby Star Vinyl for some time now, so I was so excited when a parcel of the fabric arrived through the post from Annie at The Village Haberdashery. This range comes in yardage for the records and panel lengths with Bakelite telephones and instamatic cameras, and in the Starlet designway.

Having seen images of this bag on the Melody Miller stand at market, I decided to give it a go myself. I made a version with the panel as per the original and also using the records fabric from the range. It was a really easy bag to make, even with the turning through of the handles, but there are a few tips I’d add for both fabric and pattern.

Fabric
When making the first bag from the panel, I realised immediately that it really mattered where the panel was cut for using the telephones as the main motif! However, one panel is more than enough fabric to make the bag – you just need to get a bit creative and be willing to cut it and re-stitch it.

Take good care of the seams, carefully pressing them open, then once the interfacing is ironed on, they become more or less invisible.

Choose a vibrant lining – matching the colour to the telephones really made them stand out.

With the records, cutting the whole pattern piece would result in a lot of incomplete records left over. Consider using a solid which matches one of the colours in the main design and use the records for the body with solid handles for contrast.

Pattern Cutting

If you are fussy cutting the pattern, instead of following the pattern instructions and placing the edge of the pattern on a fabric fold, print two pattern pieces and tape them together. This also means you can put the two exterior pieces right sides together and properly line up the seams and changes from pattern to solid before cutting to make sure they will meet when sewing the bag together.

Steps 4 & 5 – Sewing seams

It’s easier to press open the base seam if you sew that first, and press after sewing.

Then sew the side seams and press after each. Lastly sew the gusset seams. This is a slightly different order to the pattern.

On the second bag, I chose to iron in a stiff piece of Pellon into the base to give the bag some structure at this point.

Step 7 Turning the bag and handles

The pattern calls for a bodkin here – I found a simple quilter’s safety pin worked perfectly well, the handles were easy to turn through.

Once the handles are turned through, the pattern says to push the lining into the exterior, then later says to sew shut the base seam. It’s easier to sew the seam shut before pushing it into the bag, to save pulling it back out later.

The pattern is designed to make a reversible bag, but if you want to you could add an internal pocket – sewing it to the lining before step 6. Also, you could insert a magnetic snap if you wanted to be able to close the top of the bag – again, add this to the lining before step 6.

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Tutorial: Karen’s Foldover Pouches

Today we’ve got a great tutorial for you from Karen of Blueberry Park! She’s used the lovely Simpatico collection from Cloud9 to create the clever little fold-over pouches you can now see on our home page. These are the perfect size for filling with pens, sewing kit, makeup or anything else you need to keep organised or tucked out of site (i.e. lady stuff, if you know what I mean). If you’d like to make pouches like Karen’s, grab our Simpatico fat eighth bundle and read on for the tutorial. Thanks Karen!

To make 1 purse you will need:

3 pieces coordinating fabric approx 20 x 20cm each to allow for variation.
2 pieces of plain fabric 19 x 17cm for lining.
1 piece approx 3 x 12cm for button fastener.
1 button!

1. For the front cut out 1 piece 19 x 12cm and a second 19 x 6cm and sew together with a ¼” seam allowance. Press with seams to one side.


2. For the back cut 1 piece 17 x 7cm, a second 17 x 6cm and a third 17 x 10cm and sew together with a ¼” seam allowance. Press with seams to one side. Have the widest piece at one end so can trim overall size to match the front.


3. With right sides facing sew along 3 sides, keeping top open, with a ¼” seam allowance. Turn right side round and press.

4. For the lining with right sides together sew along 3 sides, leaving top open.

5. With the outer piece, turn a hem inwards of about 1cm and press. Repeat with the lining but turn this hem outwards.

6. Push the lining into the outer and line up with the lining being slightly lower than the outer.


7. For the button fastener – fold into the centre and press. Repeat on other side and then press in half. Sew together the open edge with a 1/8” seam allowance.


8. Mark the midpoint with a fabric pen and position the fastener either side of the mark. Pin in place.

9. Starting at front corner sew the lining into the outer with a seam allowance of ¼” from the lining and 1/8” from the outer. Stretch as you are going to keep everything well positioned and avoiding the fabric gathering.

10. Fold over the top and with a fabric pen mark where you want the button to go and then sew in place.

Finished! You now have a beautiful fabric pouch, perfectly sized to carry around in your bag! I often have 3 or 4 of these in my handbag each with different essentials!

You can always increase dimensions to make larger pouches.

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Typewriter messenger bag

We have a new project featured on the shop’s homepage – the typewriter messenger bag – and I wanted to give you some info in case you’d like to have a go at it yourself! This free pattern is from mmmcrafts and I love it – easy peasy, quick and a great result.

I made this for my friend Rebecca, who has been such a good friend in recent months (not that she isn’t always!) and she picked the colour from among the three Ruby Star Shining typewriter prints. Who knew Karen at Did You Make That? would also fall for this print and make herself a bag! This fabric is flying off the shelf so get in quick or go for one of Melody Miller’s other lovely designs. I used Kona Candy Green for the lining.

Here’s the front:

And the back. A back pocket!

And an inside pocket that’s the perfect size for an iPhone:

The corners look nice and neat!

The two changes I’d make are visible here. The typewriters are upside down on the front! I suppose that doesn’t really matter, but you could fix it by cutting two pieces for the outside of the bag. I also should have interfaced the places where I added the snap – that was an afterthought that wasn’t in the pattern, so it was too late to do it.

It’s the perfect carry-all for your reading material!

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Organic shopping bag

I brought Ed’s mum Sarah with me to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham this year and she admired the Grove print in Straw from Cloud9’s Nature Walk collection. Afterward I ordered a couple of metres with the intention of making a quilt…but the time just got away from me. She may still get a quilt someday, but in the meantime our Christmas gift to her was a selection of local and artisanal foodie treats from our visits to Healdsburg, California and Seattle so I made her a shopping bag for the goodies.

It's awfully hard to take an interesting photo of a flat bag!

I’d call this a tote bag but every time I say that Ed looks at me funny – clearly “tote” is not a widely used bag description here in England. So I’ll call it a shopping bag, even though I used the Reversible Tote pattern from Stitch by Stitch, a wonderful beginner sewing book by Deborah Moebes of Whipstitch. It was easy and quick to sew and very professional looking (a lining will do that, won’t it?)

I sewed this on Christmas day whilst our turkey was in the oven, with Ed by my side writing on his blog. We were together on our own for Christmas dinner this year which ended up being very cozy and comforting. And did I tell you how last minute everything was? We bought our turkey literally in the final hour at Waitrose on Christmas Eve and it was only £11 down from £30. Sometimes, procrastination pays off!

In case you’re wondering what’s in the bag, I’ll tell you. Truffle salt (a-mah-zing*), chocolate port, fig jam and cheese from Healdsburg and Market Spice tea, smoked salmon and Theo’s chocolate from Seattle. If you go to the West Coast of the U.S. call me first, would you? I’ll send you with a shopping list…

*Heather that’s for you. And anyone else who watches Happy Endings.

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