Monday, 4 November 2013

Completed Bag!

Ok, so finally I have photos of the bag I worked on over the last month.  But first, my inspiration for the bag:  I came across the Coach Isabelle bag online - here's a photo of the COACH bag

Coach bag

I loved the sort of hidden vertical zipper and the bag has a nice, simple style. So I decide I would try to recreate it.  I found some nice green faux leather and it's been on my to do list for nearly a year I think.  When purse palooza came up, figured it's a good reason to finally get it done. I drafted my own pattern and used mixed techiques from the class I'm taking from Howtomakeadesignerhandbag.com, the Craftsy Leather Bags class and my own ideas that I've been stewing up for a while.

And here is my bag:


I think it came out quite well.. 

I think the metal label from Emmaline Bags kicked the bag up a notch. I also reused a zipper pull I had scavenged from an old bag. Without the zipper pull that pocket is completely hidden.

Love that pocket!


Inside is my standard - a zipper pocket and on the other side slip pocket with pen holders.  I had a hard time taking photos of the insde but you can see the zipper pocket here.  The lining is one of my favourite fabrics to use for linings. 


Side view:

I did plan to have a crossbody strap like the orginal but nixed it after some complications that you can read out in my previous post.

Bottom line - I'm happy how it turned out but would like to tweak how I made it..  If you want to follow my progress on making the bag, check out my posts in October as I worked on it.

Now to enter it to Purse Palooza!
 

Linking up to

Bag Brag Tuesday 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Building a Bag - Part 5

More progress pics of my bag. (Secret - the bag is done, but still need to take photos)

Exterior and Lining sewn. 


Nearly done.. I had a few challenges at this point. That zipper closure is now recessed, due to the thickness I was unable to sew around the corners. I secured those points with rivets which I'll discuss later.


Handles in contructions.. Using the awesome tutorial by Emmaline Bags.


Now here was where I hit a stumbling block.. I couldn't figure out how to sew these handles on.  In the end I just used rivets to secure them.  That top rivet also secures the top where I couldn't sew around the corner seam.

And here is also where I made my big mistake.. I wanted those handle tabs right in the middle.. so I installed the rivets right on the side seam.. so of course the hole broke the thread and started unravelling.. eek.. luckily I left the lining opening unclosed, so was able go in and restitch around the holes.  On the other side I installed them slightly of center. Cause I didn't know what else to do..

I also wanted to make a crossbody strap, but since I installed that top rivet on the handle, it doesn't fold down..so using a crossbody strap would be awkward with the handle upright and I decided to forgo it.

I reused a zipper pull to highlight the hidden zipper pocket in the front..

 
My next post I'll post photos and the final bag and show you the bag that inspired this. You can tell me if I did well recreating it! 

Friday, 25 October 2013

Building a Bag - Part 4

Being on vacation for the last couple weeks, I haven't been able to work on my bag for Purse Palooza until today.  Let's ignore that laundry and unpacking ok?

I had my exterior and lining piece ready for assembly.  The bag is going to have a zipper closure so the first thing I did was to sew the zipper on.  I needed to use my walking foot, my previous attempts with the zipper foot with this faux leather failed. 

Luckily my zipper was a few inches longer than my bag so I could move the zipper head completely out of the way.  I then moved my needle to the right so I could get closer to edge.  The bag is assembled similiar to a zipper pouch. But instead of sewing wrong sides together to the zipper, I turned the edges and then top stitched to the zipper. 

 
Now my brain must have been functioning slow, because I begun sewing and then realized my lining was facing the wrong way.. so I had to unpick what I stitched.. and there was one part where my orginal sewing was a bit wonky so I didn't sew over the same holes.. sigh..
 
 
but I wasn't going to make that piece over, so I got over it and continued..
 
Zipper closure attached.
The bag is basically a squared bottom bag. If you have seen my previous post, that vertical seam is a pocket.  Since the pocket couldn't run through the bottom, the bottom piece is a separate piece.. I sewed that on and installed purse feet
 
 
Having the extra long zipper was very useful.  Since now the exterior is basically a tube when the zipper is closed, having the longer zipper made it easier to work with the bag.
 
 
 
At this point I decided to call it a day.  I need to figure out how I'm going to attach the single shoulder strap. And my next step is making that strap, strap tabs and an adjustable crossbody strap. Usually my least favourite part!
 
Till next time...
 
 


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Building a bag - Part 3

This really should be "Building a bag in really small increments".  I was able to do a little more work on the bag.  I'm off on vacation soon, so I'm trying to get this made in 1/2hr - 1hr time slots when I find the time from packing/shopping for packing/packing.    And I'm really slow, so not too much is getting done in that time.. Anyway, here's what I did


Attached a  collar to the top of the exterior panels.. both are done, just took photo in the midst of working on them.

 
Pockets pockets added to the lining. Your standard slip pocket with pen sections on one side and zipper pocket on the other side. 


I misplaced the screw driver to remove my walking foot, which I needed to do to attach my zipper foot.. Not wanting to spend my time searching for it I tried installing the zipper with the walking foot and my needle position to the left.  Worked out, phew!  Now I still need to look for that screw driver!

And that's all I have done :( Well at least I have something to look forward to when I'm back from vacation in a couple wee

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Building a Bag - Part 2

So I worked a bit on the bag I'm working on for Purse Palooza

I decided to work on the front which I broke into 3 parts.  The 3 parts are sewn together with a small pleat between each piece and there's hidden pocket behind one pleat.

Here is a photo of the pieces cut. The middle 3 pieces are what I worked on today.

 
 I attached a zipper to create a veritcal zipper pocket. The pocket lining is attachd to the zipper as well.
 
 

 Zipper was then hidden behind a small pleat.  My tutorial on how to do this is here
 

 
Attached bag bling purchased from Emmaline Bags
 
  
Dry fitted the other side also with a small pleat. The left side is not sewn yet, I had to stop working on the bag for the day.. boo to responsibilities..
 
 
 I have to attach the base and collar and this side will be done.  I might add some backing, haven't decide yet. 
 
The back of the bag is the same without the zipper pocket so should be easy to put together. Maybe tomorrow!

 

Monday, 30 September 2013

Building A Bag

I have started working on a bag. It's one I've had in mind for a while now, just haven't had the chance to start it. Purse Palooza started today and I'm hoping to get this bag done in time to enter it in the contest.

Things are a bit busy in our household, so I'm going to have to force myself to find the time to work on the bag.. to keep myself motivated I thought I would blog/instagram photos and share the bag taking shape..

The bag is actually inspired by a designer bag.  I'll share that inspiration bag when my bag is complete.

I selected my fabrics and hardware a few days ago.  I've had this green faux leather for a year now, and knew I wanted to use it for this particular bag.


I planned out my pattern  and created my pattern pieces..


Today I cut out my exterior and lining pieces..  I had to change my lining choices as I discovered I only had 1/2 yard of the my orginal choice above. 





I hoping to cut out my interfacing for the lining today and try and figure out if I need to stablize the faux leather or not.

I'm excited about the bag, there's a tiny bit of pleating, a hidden pocket and I'm using some new (to me) techinques.  And some awesome bag bling!

( and I apologize to my 4 Instagram followers for the repeats in photos! :)  )


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Bag News

I nearly missed the fact that my blog will be turning 1 year old  in a few days!  Well, the rest of the blogging world is celebrating with with some exciting bag making events!  haha. of course none of these have anything to do me.. (Just the Sewing Summit is in my honour ...  not really)

First Maria of Mia Creates is giving away an aweseme new Sew Sweetness pattern. 

Paco Bean Patterns (who I just discovered recently) is doing a bag swap (for US sewists)

And Purse Palooza by Sew Sweetness will be starting up soon.. I'm very excited about this. Every day some awesome bloggers will be reviewing bag patterns.  There is also a contest of bag makers to enter.. I'm not sure if I'll have the time to make one in the contest's timelines but I'm going to try!




Friday, 13 September 2013

Quarter Note Clutch

Janelle of Emmaline Bags just released a new clutch pattern this week.  The pattern called the Quarter Note Clutch comes free when purchasing a large flip locks (which are awesome!) from her purse hardware store.  I recieved the pattern as soon as it was released as I had purchased some of the locks a while back.

I decided to give the pattern a try as it seemed like a quick project

 
 
I used a twist lock instead of the large flip lock, just cause I'm hoarding those faboulous flip locks. This was actually my first time installing a twist lock.. 
 
Pretend you don't see the crooked topstitching
 
I used some vinyl I won a while back. It has this crackled like finish. No interfacing was used on the exterior, the vinyl was thick enough.  In fact I was a bit worried about the thickness but my machine handled it fine.


At some point I got too confident and didn't read through all the directions.. This resulted in me forgetting to leave the hole my lining for turning through. So I unpicked that.. and I also put the pocket a tad too high which I discovered too late..


I love the end result.. quick project, cute clutch, I'm happy!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Sewist Interview with ChrisW Designs!

I am so thrilled that Christine of ChrisW Designs asked me to take part in her awesome series of sewist interviews!

Hop on over to read her interview with me and also to enter a giveaway a bag pattern and hardware..

Thanks Christine for including me.. very honoured!

I've Been Featured
 
 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Recycling Purse Hardware

So a side affect of being addicted to bagmaking is having a purse hardware collection.  I have a stash of rings of all shapes, swivel hooks, magnetic snaps, purse feet, etc bought from various online stores.

But part a small portion of the stash is from the back of my closet (and my sister's closet).  Old worn out, store bought purses usually will still have some hardware that you can salvage... here are a few items I have saved from old bags.

Interesting twist lock and awesome D rings

Tublar handles with rings

Wallet/Clutch closure with flip lock and bag handle

And see this bag I'm currently using.. it's a interesting bag, that can be worn several ways by folding the bag and attached handles at different spots..



Well,when this bag bites the dust, I'll be able to get 20 D-rings, 2 swivel hooks, a pair of handles with swivel hooks attached and an adjustable strap with swivel hooks. There are also a few magnetic snaps but not sure if those are salvageable due to the way they are installed

There's also other places to get purse hardware.. I have a pair of cargo pants with quite a few d rings.. I also have a purse in mind using a piece from a photo frame.. hopefully something I'll be sharing later...


Monday, 2 September 2013

Modified Dawn to Dusk backpack

So my son is starting kindergarten tomorrow. Of course I wanted to make him a backpack to use. 

ChrisW Designs released an awesome backpack pattern called the Dawn to Dusk backpack a few months ago and I excitedly bought it. 

Modfied Dusk to Dawn Backpack
Then I went for an info session at the school and the teachers had some requirements for the kid's bags.  The main thing was the size - they suggested a full size backpack which I would never think a 4 year old would need. But it needed to hold their lunch and library books which could be big.  They also asked the bags be simple so the kids could put their stuff in and out quickly



So I decided to make a few modfications to the pattern.  First I omitted the flaps and buckles to keep the bag very simple. I know, I know.. booooring.. but simple!



 I added elastic to the side pockets so his drink bottle could be secure.

I think the bag is smaller than a normal full size backpack so I increased the size of the outside zipper pocket and  I am hoping that his lunch and snacks can be carried in there most of the time.  I also omitted the pen pockets.

Front zipper pocket
I also added loop in the front to hook an insulated lunch back for times when it doesn't fit in the pocket. I don't think I got a good photo of it, it's just a loop of webbing on the top front.

Extra large zipper pocket

The exterior is a laminated fabric. It was my first time working with it and I couldn't have done it without my trusty walking foot.  I couldn't use my zipper foot. Luckily I had extra long zippers so was able to move the pull completely out the way and set my needle to the left or the right to get close to the zipper.  I also could only stitch with the laminated side right side up for topstitching.  I was lazy and didn't try other tricks like machine oil or tape on the foot.

I was able to interface the laminated fabric using a press cloth.  I was pleased with how my heavy weight interfacing worked with the laminate. I used fleece and interfacing on the front, back and bottom and only interface on the sides.

The interior was an outdoor fabric I found at my local fabric store.  I thought it worked well with the superhero exterior.

Inside out - large elastized pocket
 
Inside out - zipper pocket on other side.
So ChrisW Bag Patterns.. wow.. so, so detailed and thorough. I LOVE that her pattern pieces included nearly every piece even the retangular pieces and seperate pattern pieces for the fleece interfacing that needed to exclude seam allowance.  Less thinking for me!  I also learned some new things from doing this bag which is great.

Now let's all hope the kid can fit all those important things a 4 year old needs into the bag!

Linking up to

Bag Brag Tuesday

and other parties on my party page



Thursday, 22 August 2013

Identifying fabric

So a couple weeks back I took a photo of a project I was working on.. (and am still working on).  This was the photo

 
 
I used  my smartphone to take the picture as I was playing with Instagram
 
I put the phone down and when I picked it up, somehow I managed to open the image in the Goggles App.   This app searches the internet via images rather text.
 
I had never used it before.  The app scanned my image and focused on the fabric piece on the bottom middle. It was able to match the image to a thumbnail from a fabric store and thus identify the fabric.
 
I couldn't figure out how to take a screenshot from my phone,  so I took a photo with my husband's phone. Sorry, it's not a very good picture but you can see how it matched the fabric.
 
 
 
I was too lazy to get out some of my fabric to test it more. So I took some photos of my screen with some fabric images from online stores. It was able to match 4/5 designer fabrics I tried
 
So if you come across some fabric you can't identify, this might be a way of finding out!  I thought it was kind of neat!
 
 


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