Saturday, 29 September 2012

Useful Bag Making Techniques Part Deux

Here are a couple other useful techniques

Boxed bottom bags. This is an easy method of addig a flat bottom and gussets to your bag.  And all with two pieces of fabric!  This post on Creative Daisy does a good job of explaining it. 

The fabric bucket I made (with this tutorial on crafster) uses the same concept, is just a bag with no handles.

If you use a basic rectangle shape, generally your top will be wider than the bottom.  By modifying the shape of your pattern you can get completely different bags.  All these bags were made using this technique for creating the bottom and gusset.

And you can also create gussetted pockets using a very similiar technique, although I have not tried it myself.. I'm still learning too!

The next technique I think is handy to learn is how to make a LINED zipper pouch.  There are many tutorials online.  Here is one on See Kate Sew .  Its a good way to get comfortable with sewing zippers and getting used to sewing bags inside out.
Again you can combine these techniques to get something similiar to these:
The first is based on this Craftster tutorial.  The second is similiar to this on It's a Pretty Modern Life. The fourth bag in the collage above shows what a bag that is a zippered pouch, with a curved opening, boxed bottom and handles.
Roll credits for blog tutorials:

Friday, 28 September 2012

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Useful techniques

Thought I do a post on some useful techniques I learnt early on.  These are techniques that I continuely use when making bags.  Some of them are quite simple but can be expanded on and/or combined with other techniques to produce a more complicated product.  (And yes I used the word technique to much in that paragraph.. was no help!)

 As mentioned one of the first things I made was this card holder.


Followig this tutorial, it is quite easy to make.  (And the poster who came up with that method is brillant!) Once you can make this you can make it bigger and add a removable strap.  Tada! You have a clutch/wristlet!
Add a crossbody strap and you get a easy messager bag!  Add a zippered pocket to the lining or back of the outside and there's one functional little purse.  
And zippered pockets is another one of those useful techniques.  I use them in every single bag I make.  Always one in the inside of the bag and sometimes on the outside. 
 There are a lot of tutorials online and I can't remember which one I first used, so I'll just link to this one which follows the same procedure that I used when I first started.    A few tips
  • stitch the tail ends together as in the 3rd step
  • use interfacing behind the zipper, it makes it easier to get a nice clean opening
  • iron down the rectangular opening
I would try to skip these steps but learnt that I'd have an easier time if I did them.and end up with a neater end result.

I'll continue with a few other techniques in my next post. 
And here's a linky link to credit the blog I referenced above:

Emmaline Bags & Patterns

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Two Great Resources

Came across this event too late, it took place in June.  However there's a great list of bag pattern reviews and lots of handmade bags to ogle.

Sew Sweetness
I also enjoyed browsing through the Travel Handmde section of the Sewing Summit webpage.  Make sure you scroll down and check out the 2011 posts, again lots of bag posts to enjoy!

Travel Handmade with The Sewing Summit


Link Party that is.  I've begun linking up my post on the foldover triangular handle bag (think I need to come with a better name for it) on various Link Parties.  If you are new to blogs and don't what they are, here's  a good explanation .  I've added a page on my menu that displays parties I've linked up with.

I also found one party dedicated to handmade bags/totes so am highlighting it here for other dyi bag makers.  Great way to find blog posts about handmade bags. There's one party for Bags/Totes and one for Purses/Clutches/Pouches

Bag/Tote link Party!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Finished bag and entry to Purse Week!

Here is my most recent bag!  It's a "convertible" bag that can be carried by the handle or folded over and worn on the shoulder or crossbody using the adjustable strap.  This was inspired by a manufactured bag I saw online. I can't seem to find it now otherwise I would link to it.


It was made with a very thin faux leather fabric.  Which I think I got for $4/m last year - wish I bought more!  I used this fusible fleece to give it a bit of body.  It was the first time I used the fleece on an exterior and I really liked it.  The brown trim is a faux suede.
Inside the bag, there is a zipper pocket one one side and  the other side has 2 slip pockets and 2 pen slips.
I spent a loooooong time trying to figure out how to do the triangular opening and handle.  Executing that part was also a bit of a challenge, but the rest of the bag was pretty simple.  I used a cardstock like paper to make the handles stiff and had to handcrank my machine when sewing that.  I also used a walking foot on my Kenmore machine which I think helps alot when sewing the multiple layers of fabric.
I made the bag over 3 weeks including drawing up the pattern so I'm glad it complete! I do like the end result but if I make it again would try to figure out a different way doing the triangle opening.  There are also other small things I would change like use D rings instead of rectangular rings and put a zipper pocket on the outside.
This bag will be my first entry to Purse Week at A Lemon Squeezy Home.  I have never taken part in anything like this, so am excited!  I am hoping to have another entry - a diaper bag which is my next project.  Not sure if I'll have time to complete it by the deadline - we'll see.

 Linking up with parties here


Monday, 24 September 2012

Breaking the ice...

Hmmm.. not sure how to start my first post, so I guess I'll just dive in.

I started this blog to share some of my DYI projects.  Most of the projects will be sewing ones.. specifically bags and purses.  I begun sewing about 3 years ago after my son was born.  When I was on maternity leave I begun browsing for some handmade pouches on Etsy and thought I'd like to trying making some myself.  Google searches resulted in a lot of online tutorials and that's where I started.  I begun with a simple card holder and have slowly progressed to making handbags/purses.  Sometimes they are gifted to others, but they mainly get added to my collection!

I will probably also blog about other things I do and make, including cake decorating, baking and random crafty stuff.

To start things off here is one of the first things I made 3 years ago - a card holder based on this tutorial.

And here is the last bag I made, based on a pattern I drafted myself.

I'll be posting a few more pictures in the "Finished Projects" page.

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