Sunday, 30 December 2012

Deconstructing and Reconstructing a bag

Hoping everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far! As usual it is a busy time for us with a lot of visiting and parties. I guess you can't complain about that!

I have a quick project to share. I found this interesting store bought bag. What was interesting about this purse is it had a removable middle divider that when detached was a complete separate crossbody style bag.

Now, I  loved the main bag but wasn't thrilled with the second inside purse. It was a laminated fabric I didn't like and a bit bulky when it was attached as a divider since it had a flat bottom.  So of course I think to myself, I can remake it.. and I did..   I wanted to reuse parts of the store bought bag so I deconstructed it with my trusted seam ripper.

Here's a pic of the original interior bag.   It has a zipper top that I had already started to open up.



My main goal was to save the straps.  To do this I had to seperate the lining and the outside of the bag.  I opened up the stitches across the zipper.

 
 
Then turned it inside out to get to the seams that held the straps in place.  I was amused to find that a few staples were used to secure the straps! 
 
 
Once those straps were released I was done with the original bag.  I was thinking of reusing the lining but it decided not to in the end.
 
I then made a simple bag - really simple, two rectangles sewn together, with a magnetic snap for closure.  The inside had a zipper pocket.    It was made with a lovely purple faux leather.
 
 

 
On each side is a tab with a snap. This is how the bag attaches to the interior of the main purse.  The original bag had these tabs attached together with the straps but my machine wouldn't handle thickness of the tap + strap so I installed them in separate locations.  
 
 

 The photo below shows it attached to the main bag.
 
 
So there it is.. a half store bought and half handmade bag! 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick post to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Best wishes for the holiday season and throughout 2013. 

And Thank You for taking the time to read this little blog of mine.. I have enjoyed sharing with you for the last few months and look forward to more next year!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Fingerprint Tile Magnets


Thought I would share small project I've been doing with my son.  Both my husband and I have a large extended family who spoils the little ones in the family. I usually get my son to make something to give to each person or family at Christmas.   

This year we are making these cute fingerprint magnets, one for each person. 

 
 
Well, right now they are just finger print tiles, since the magnets are not glued on yet.
 
I used this book for ideas on what animals to make with finger and thumbprints.  
 
I used these tiles purchased from our local hardware store and easily cut through the glue to separate each 2x2 tile.
 
 
 
With my direction, my son used acrylic paint to put finger prints on the tiles and I used Sharpies to draw in details.
 
I did have some issues with the Sharpies working on the paint so I probably should have used some other kind of paint.  Or perhaps the finish on the the tiles was the problem as the paint sometimes would get scrapped off by the marker.  
  
Here are a few close ups of my favourites.  The car is Lightning McQueen at my son's request.
 
   
 
 
 
 
We still have about 20 more to make... They don't take too much time to do, but my son being 3.5 years old, gets bored and so we have being doing them in batches.


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Strap Tutorial roundup

T'is the season for no sewing for me..  But I do have some more online resources to share. 

I have a bookmarked a collection of tutorials on various techniques related to bag making. So today I'm going to share some tutorials on making different types of straps.

First one is the well known"folding" method, there are many tutorials for this, here is a one from Emmaline Bags


 
From the same blog is this great tutorial on making straps with rings. I LOVE this method, end results are nice and neat
 


 
The Bari J blog has video tutorial on a making these cute handles. 
 
Handles

 
Check out this neat way of doing handles from Sew Fearless
 
 
 
 
 

If you know if any other interesting methods of making straps/handles, I'd love to know!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Bag Blog Love

This week I'm sharing a blog/site that is probably known to most people who enjoy bagmaking.. But for those that don't you MUST visit  it..

 
 
UHandbag is written by Lisa Lam, author of two bagmaking books. So obviously she has a lot to say about the topic!    She has many free bag tutorials on her blog too.  I really need to order a frame and supplies to try out her Graceful Kelly bag, it's one of my favourite on her site.
 
A fun section Lisa has showcase some of the bags other people have made.  Lots of eye candy
 
Of course tips and advice is always good. She also has some posts on the business side of making and  selling bags if that interests you.
 
Lisa doesn't seem to update as often as before but it's still a great resource!
 
 

Monday, 3 December 2012

To make or not to make .. That is the question.

And by "not make", I mean buy. 

I'll admit, I buy quite a few bags and purses.  I think in the last year, I (or my husband) bought 5 bags for myself. (including the ones I'm going to tell you about below)

This weekend I went to a warehouse sale for ESPE .  I had just discovered this company and wanted to buy some of their wallets as Christmas gifts.  However going to the sale, I knew there was a good chance I'd pick up something for myself.

And I did.. two somethings..  a small purse and a convertible tote.  I could only find a photo of the tote online.

Espe Groovi Bag
 
At the core, it's simple bag - it's even unlined.  Material is a faux leather with suede like backing. It can be a tote of several different sizes, a crossbody bag or shoulder bag.  It comes with a detachable zipper pouch that can be attached on the inside or outside of the bag or be  worn as a small crossbody purse. (I'm was quite tickled to see this as I've done the detachable pouch myself on a previous bag)
 
I did debate on buying it as I have made bags somewhat similar (albeit not as professional looking).  I ended up taking it home in the green colour.  I love the feel and colour of the material. And the price at the sale was about 1/3 of the regular price! It was hard to resist.
 
The irony of it is each time when I spend a little too much at the fabric store, I justify it by saying I won't buy another purse for x amount of time.. I don't think I've held up the other side of that bargain!
 
Oh and the other purse I bought, I've told my husband to wrap it up as my son's Christmas gift to me.. :)
 
How about you.. do you buy bags (or other goods) for yourself, even though you make them?
 
Note: I have no affiliation to ESPE (Although I would love to, they have some great bags. haha)

Sunday, 2 December 2012

For bagmakers...

Last week I posted about the Christmas word art I printed from a few other blogs.

I decided to try my hand at making my own, the theme was obvious.. :)

It was easy and fun to do..  

Thought I would offer it as a free download to any fellow bagmakers who would like some fun art in their sewing room.   Click on the image below to get to the full size image and save it.  Print at 11x14.  




Thursday, 29 November 2012

Sharing more bag blog love

This week I want to share with you the blog Project by Jane.  Jane shares her bag making antics and her sense of humour makes me laugh when reading.

Jane just finished a self-imposed challenge of "1000 projects before I die" and indicates most of those were bags!

She has some great bag making tips, including an interesting way of doing her zippers in pouches.

Jane also has some great tutorials - A lined front zipper pouch with hidden seams (coincidentally something I was planning on doing soon - most of the other tutorials out there have exposed seams) and a box pouch

Take a look around..  Here is a collage of some of Jane's projects.

 
 
 


Monday, 26 November 2012

A fish/shark/dolphin ate my homework

I'm likely not going to be at my sewing machine much during the holiday season, so I'm sharing an old project I did.

 
 
I can't take credit for the idea of this pencil case, my friend saw something like it and asked me to try and make something similiar.  Cute, huh..
 
 
 
 
I made a second one for my son who was 2 years a the time.. He named him "Dolphin".   I told him it was a fish. He's really supposed to be a shark, but with the floppy top fin, he looks more like a fish of some sort)
 
And don't forget to check out the Happy Pouch Blog Hop
 
 
Mommy’s Nap Time

 
 
 




Sunday, 25 November 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like..

Well, you know the rest..  The holiday season has official started in my household.  Decorations are in the midst of being put up.  My dining room is full of gifts and wrapping will commence soon.

This post has nothing to do with sewing or bags.. I just wanted to share some fun holiday printables I found.



All the creators are nice enough to share their lovely work for free so thought I would give them a shout out.  Here are the links for them:

Let It SnowHoliday Cheer
Balancing Home Printables



Betty Crocker {Wannabe}



Smile like you mean it

I love them!  I printed them at a photo lab at 8x10 and inserted into frames.. How easy for some cute decor. 
 
There's plenty of options if you google "Christmas subway art" or "Christmas Word Art".   I'm thinking I might take a stab at making my own... Bag making related!  Would be great sewing room decor, don't cha think?!  

 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Bag Blog Love

This week I wanted to share the blog Creative Cutie:


BWS tips button
 
 
Unfortunately the blog isn't updated any more.. But there is a really interesting collection of articles on making bags.  Some examples are
 
She also has some full bag tutorials
 
and just browse through the blog to see some of her beautiful bags.  Here are a couple that I just love
 
  
 
 
Yeah..


Monday, 19 November 2012

Hobo bucket bag

Here is my latest bag. As mentioned before it is for my assignment to a online class I am taking. Although the class is a "work on your own timeline" deal, I really wanted to complete the bag by early November, so I could concentrate on getting ready for the holidays. Sick with the flu for a couple weeks, I was delayed a bit. 

I was aiming for a hobo bucket bag..  I ended up with a slouchy hobo bucket bag.. close enough I think.

 
 
Comparing the photo above and below, you can see how the top slouches when the bag is hung.
 
 
 

The front has a zipper pocket and two large slip pockets that wrap around the sides. I had installed the zipper pocket first and then sewed down the middle of the open pocket to make it into two.. Of course while doing this I also sewed down the middle of the zipper pocket.

arrgh!
Luckily, it wasn't too bad to rip out those stitches and then resew over the holes in the faux leather.  Good lesson to check things like that.. Doubt I'll remember for next time though!

The back has just one large pocket that has a magnetic snap closure.

 

 

The bag has a zipper closure that I puzzled over for a while.  Happy that it turned out ok.

 
 
Sewing the bottom to the sides was the most challenging part. The pockets were sewed into the seams to I had multiple layers of fabric to sew on to the oval bottom.. Far, far, from perfect.. a few puckers and gathers. 
 
 
 
 
I ran out of steam when doing the lining.. Just one zipper pocket, which you can't see in the photo.. It's there, trust me.  :)
 
 
 
 I am very happy with how it turned out.  midway through I was sure I wouldn't like the end result and lost a bit of motivation.. however it came out quite nice with a few flaws here and there.
 
I think this will likely be my last bag making endeavour for 2012. <sad face>  I have a lot of Holiday crafting and baking (and shopping and wrapping) to do.  My mind is already working on my next bag though. And I'm hoping to find some time for some pouches for the Happy Little Pouch Hop
 
Linking up to link parties on my party page





Saturday, 17 November 2012

Sharing some more Bag Blog Love

Here is another bag blog I enjoy..

ChrisW Designs
 
Chris's blog showcases her great bag patterns.  I have been very tempted to try a few of them, but I've been focusing on making my own patterns, so I've resisted.  For now.. I looove her new Abigail Bag.
 
She also has some great tips. I just used her tip on clipping and notching curves a couple days ago when working on a bag.   Many other useful posts on installing hardware and making straps.
 
Then there's a free pattern for her Coco Bag.   
 
And if you check Chris'  most recent post she is offering a fantabulous discount on her patterns if you link to her blog via her button.
 
Enjoy!
 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Bag Blog Events

I was browsing around today and come across a couple Bag Blog events going on.

 
 
Participants of the Long Weekend Blog Hop are sewing Amy Butler's Weekender Bag.  I've never made this pattern but I do really like the look of the bag and have read quite a few blog posts about it.  It seems to be a challenging bag but with a great result.  Check out some of the particpants to oogle some bags.

 
Mommy’s Nap Time
 
This upcoming event is all about Pouches! Hopefuly I'll have some time to take part by making a pouch or two.. The flickr pool is already open, so I'm going to start with my magentic top pouch.
 
I love these kind of events. I'm new to them, so if you know of anymore bag related events going now or in the future let me know!



And a quick shout out to
 
Pincushion Creations
 
for featuring the magnetic top pouch!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Walk with me

Just wanted to share a little friend that has made my bag making a little easier. 



Meet my walking foot.   He helps feed thick layers of fabric when sewing, very useful when making straps.  Before using the walking foot attachment, I've had to slightly pull my straps through.

My only grudge with this guy is that I loose a bit of clearence under the foot, but I've managed so far.

I don't quilt but apparently this is very useful attachment for quilters too.

And it's Tuesday, so check out Tips and Tricks Tuesdays at Sew at Home Mummy

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