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. 

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.  

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