Monday, 21 July 2014

Totes Ma Tote Bag

My oh my.. so many months since my last post and much too long since my last bag!! Time is just getting away from me..

I was very happy to test a new bag from Emmaline Bags in June.  The pattern was released early this month. It's called the Totes Ma Tote.  A fun name for a fun bag!

My version:

The bag has some lovely details.. I love the side accents.

I used a cotton canvas for the exterior, with a vinyl for accents. I choose to do the base of the bag in the accent fabric.

The vinyl got quite thick and the straps were a bit of a challenge.  I had to leave the short ends unfinished and used rivets to secure the straps as I couldn't get through 2 layers of straps.

I love the grommets on the bag.  But cutting the holes for them was a bit nerve wracking! The buckles give the straps some extra bling.  The pattern had instructions for adding multiple buckle holes with eyelets.  I just did one hole and forgo the eyelets. With the vinyl the hole the punch made was nice and clean.. and I didn't have eyelets.. :)

The top has a zipper closure to keep your valuable neice and secure.

Instead there is a large pocket that is secured with small flap with a magnetic flap.  There is also a zipper pocket and slip pockets.

I love how the bag turned out! Its a roomy, functional, good looking bag. The hardware and details make it very professional.  And if you are looking for the hardware Janelle does sell them in kits or separately in her store.  

And it's been the year of Emmaline Bags on nissaMade. The 3 bags I've made this year have all been Emmaline Patterns!  So YAY for that.. but booo to only making 3 bags.. hope to fit some more in the next half of the year.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Vinyl Art

Wow, it's April.  I had blog-less March.  And not much sewing.  I did however use my Cameo cutting machine for a few wall art projects.

First for my son's play room, a series of super hero canvas.

My son painted the canvas the background colour.  I cut the images out of various colours of vinyl using my silhouette machine.  I used transfer paper to apply the vinyl to the canvas.  Pretty straight forward. The only slightly complicated part of was the Batman with multiple colours.   I had to apply each colour separately so just had to make sure spacing etc was ok.

My other project is something I really love..

Each of the 6 canvas was painted blue or red and the white is vinyl. 

This was more complicated as I had to break up the map into 12x12 pieces. Applying the vinyl so it everything lined up was a bit tricky but not too difficult at all..

I love the aqua and red colour combo.  I've been seeing it in a lot of fabric.  This is now up in my new sewing/craft space that I will share sometime soon.  Just waiting for my husband to put some finishing touches.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Bag Events

I've come across a couple Bag-making events that I thought I would share.

First if you own Sara Lawson's Big City Bags book, there is a sew-along for a bag a month from the book.  It began in January so this month is the second month with the Go-Go bag .

Also the u-handbag blog is hosting a Bag Making Clinic.   You submit your bag making questions and next week there will be some answers!  You know this will be very infomative as Lisa Lam the person behind the blog has written two bag making books and her blog is full of tons of great information already.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Butterfly Sling Bag!

I just completed making a  Butterfly Sling Bag.  The pattern is by Emmaline Bags and part of the Bag of the Month Club

I was very excited when I saw the pattern arrive in my email on Febuary 1st.  A very orginal design and well written pattern!

I used a brown suede like fabric I had in my stash.  I originally wanted to use a gray faux suede but didn't have matching zippers.  The zippers are long pull ones which I think gives them a nice, substantial look and feel.

Between the zipper compartments there is a zipper pocket and and slip pocket (which can't be seen in this photo.  The pattern is also includes a id window pocket but I didn't have any clear vinyl so forgo that. 

You can flip down the front zipper compartment.  The id window would have been right under the zipper pocket.  I added a small flap with a heavy duty snap. That pocket would be used for a phone and the flap insures it wouldn't slip out when opened this way.  I likely won't need to open it up though, since both the zipper pocket and slip pocket are accessible when the bag is folder together.

And can I tell you that I really, really dislike snaps.  I have a plier-like tool to install them. I still had to go through 3 attempts and wasted snaps,to get one properly installed on.

Inside each zippered compartments is 6 card slots. So lots of built in storage.

I attached the adjustable strap with swivel hooks as I wanted to be able to switch out the strap for a wristlet strap.  It's would be an oversized wristlet but I can see myself throwing it into a bigger bag when traveling  and having the wristlet option handy.

So there you have it.. my February bag.. I haven't made up the January bag yet. I couldn't find fabric I wanted to use for it in my stash and I'm determined to dwindle down my stash before buying some more.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Crafty Traveler Blog Hop by Elison Lane

I just came across this blog hop by Elison Lane and had to share as it promises to feature patterns and tutorials for handmade bags .. and we can't get enough of those right!!


Today was the first day of the hop.  One stop was at the Fabric Mutt blog, the zipper closure on the featured bag there was especially interesting to me as I have be wondering about trying something similar. (I have a a manufactured bag with a zipper application resembling it)

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing the other stops on the hop and maybe even finding some new  blogs to follow..

Friday, 31 January 2014

Friday shoutout!

Thought I would do a shout out to one of my favourite blogs, At Home with Mrs H . Samantha is a bag pattern designer and makes some fabulous bags.

Samantha just released a FREE bag pattern about a week ago.  Looks like a great, versatile bag... and free!
FREE Pattern!

Among, several handy tutorials. are some recent ones on how to attach a tongue locks (need to get some of those!) and another on how to make an adjustable bag strap

Samantha posts the many bags she makes from her own patterns and other designer's.  This is one of my favourites!.  So browse around, plenty of good reads and photos to enjoy.  I'm sure you'll have a chuckle or two with this lovely lady's witty sense of humour!

For more bag blogs that I love, check out my "Bag Blog Love" page.  I've been neglecting that page  but hope to add some more favourites soon.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Hanger for a Bride to be

Just wanted to share a little DIY gift I made for a bridal shower gift.

I had seen these hangers on Etsy last summer and as usual thought I would try to make one.  I rounded up my supplies.  White hangers and wire from the floral isle at my craft store

My husband pulled the bar of the hanger.  I used numerous things from around the house to bend the wire around.  The wire was easy to bend but bending it around an object gave a smoother curve.  I used pencils, markers, a pestel - really anything I thought had the curve size.

I had a bit of trouble with the d and e.  I had made the d too small and had to try to fix so that part of the wire is not as smooth as I would have liked.

To finish it off, I cut the wedding date on my cameo in some adhesive vinyl and added that. 

I think these hangers are really a nice memento for a wedding.  You can have them made to say "Mrs. New Last Name" if you wish. Or the bride and grooms first names. They are cute gifts for bridesmaids, mother of the bride too..  Since I was DIYing it, I figured it was best for me to keep it simple :)

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Laundry Room Art

I broke out my Silhouette Cameo machine after a long time and created some fun art for out laundry room.


There are different variations of this floating around the net.  When I first saw it I knew I had to do it because it is completely true in my household!

I designed the sign in the Silhouette software and cut it out on grey vinyl.

After cutting it, the next step would be to weed the design.  This means to remove the unwanted vinyl so just the design is left on the backing paper.  Now I should have done some research on how to do this as I had some trouble.. as I peeled the excess vinyl, it got stuck on itself and started pulling up the letters..

Weeding trouble
I decided to cut out each word and weed them separately so I wouldn't be working with big pieces of vinyl.  I lost a couple letters still but quickly cut those again

All weeded
Now I had to transfer over to the canvas.  It would be a bit more work since I had to place each word and line up as I went a long.. Instead of using my transfer paper I used some washi tape. Basically I took a strip of tape, pressed it along one word and carefully peeled back.  The letters stuck to the tape.

Next I placed the tape on the canvas and rubbed the word down with a credit card.  Then slowly peeled back the tape.  If the letter didn't stick I would just burnish the letter a bit more.

And repeated for each word.


So some cute art for our newly finished laundry room..I should learn how to do the weeding the correct way so I'm able to keep the sign one big piece. That would allow for more complicated word art pieces. Something to add to my list of things to learn!
I'll be linking up to some parties on my party page. 

Sunday, 5 January 2014

My Necessary Clutch Wallet!

I just finished my first sewing project of the year and boy do I love it!  I had purchased the Necessary Clutch Wallet pattern from Emmaline Bags a while back.  It looked like a great little wallet.  The only wallet I've tried before was my own design and a complete fail and since then I never even thought about trying a wallet again.  But I was intrigued by Janelle's design and the function of her wallet/clutch. 

I hadn't had the chance to try the pattern until last week.  I came across a Facebook group dedicated to this pattern and once I saw all the lovely versions being created I decided I need to try it out.. and straight away.


I choose to use faux leather I have in my stash for the exterior.  Both the red and black are very thin and I had no problem working with it.  I used my walking foot as usual.

Now this pattern is AWESOME.  That interior has 12 card slots - 6 in the front and 6 in the back. Behind each set of slots in a large pocket for cash or receipts or lottery tickets (my preference). There are 3 roomy compartments and a zipper pocket. 

Here is another pic with contents.  It's hard to see but my smart phone is also in there in the rightmost compartment

The wallet comes together so well. My only issue I came across was when I made the zipper pocket. I got sloppy and didn't keep to the seam allowance, which made it a bit short and had thick zipper ends at the edge that I would have had to sew into the sides. I redid that part and use tabs at the ends to make sure the zipper was away from the side seams.

Oh and I forgot two things while constucting..  the loops for an attachable wrist or shoulder strap.  Booo.. would have loved to have the wrist strap.

I also forgot to attached my custom tag that my husband made for me.  I had sewn up the exterior and lining when I realized.. Determined to get it on, I careful used a blade to slowly scratch in two slits in just the exterior and was able slip the tag prongs in and bend them to secure. Phew! I had to forgo the washer so it's a tiny bit loose but at least it's on!

As you can see the tag is quite large.  I usually make bigger bags so my husband choose a bigger size..

I am so thrilled with the clutch.  I was expecting more issues since it does look like a complicated piece but I was happy when it went quite smoothly. I would definitely recommend the pattern!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a good holiday season! Can't believe it is 2014!  I have been an awful blogger over the last few months.. Hopefully I can approve on that ...

So I haven't done much sewing hence the lack of posts.. I did receive a couple bag making gifts that I thought I would share..

My husband got this custom tags made for me!

I had just purchased "handmade" ones from Emmaline Bags and I'll admit her's are a bit more professional looking and higher quality.  But these custom ones are still awesome and I can't wait to use them.  I have 100 to use up so I better get cracking!

I also received a copy of Sara Lawson's book: Big City Bags.  It looks like a great book with some awesome bag patterns.

And I just couldn't resist joining the

I really don't need anymore more bag patterns I have MANY I have not even tried yet.  But I couldn't help myself..

So here's hoping to more sewing and bagmaking this year!  And more blog posts!

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