Sunday, November 23, 2014

Leona Hobo Bag

Another bag completed, not only am I behind with my sewing but my blogging too. I'm drowning in patterns, fabric, testing, reviews and orders but wouldn't have it any other way. This isn't work for me it's pure pleasure and as if I didn't have enough on my plate already I decided to become a tester for designer Maria Petrova.

Maria wrote to me and asked if I'd like to look over some of her patterns. When I saw her work I just couldn't refuse, her bags are gorgeous. This is the first one I chose to make. It's the Leona Hobo Bag.

I loved the fabrics Maria used for her bag and wanted to make mine similar but with the shops closed and me wanting to make a start I took my scissors to hubbies jeans LOLLL yes that's right I made this bag from his trousers.

This bag is really spacious and I liked the way the trim was made rather than doing piping which I'm not keen on tackling.

I also liked how the handle was made. I ran out of hubbies trouser fabric so used a dark brown cotton to make it. So easy and you just tie the ends in a knot which means you could make a regular strap as an extra and change over when you want a different look. I didn't have small rings so I used these large ones but they worked fine.

The way the zipper was installed was new to me but was easy to do.

The pattern only had a couple of slip pockets on one side of the bag interior so I added a zipper pocket as the bag is so big I'd need somewhere to keep little things that would otherwise get lost in the bottom.

The slip pocket was also a new method to me. Don't know if you can make it out but there is a pleat in the middle.

Maria's pattern was well written with clear photos of the steps involved and I was impressed at how quickly she answers her emails so if you had a problem she's quick to help.
If you'd like to take a look at Maria's beautiful bags you can go to her Etsy HERE and HERE and also on Craftsy HERE.  On Craftsy she has a free pattern for a double sided pillow with buttons and in her Etsy shop you will also see that she has pillows, scarves and jewelry as well as her bags.
She's getting a pattern ready for testing and it's gorgeous and I'm really looking forward to making that one.
More things to show you soon.
Happy Sewing
~ Maria ~

Cell Phone Case & Key Holder

This was a custom order for a cell phone case and a key holder. The lady chose the fabrics from my stash of new fabrics I bought the last time I was at my daughters.

Her cell phone was a bit larger than mine so had to alter the size to fit hers and instead of using those sew in poppers I added these which are easier and quicker to install.

I put my cell phone in for this photo and as you can see it's to small for the pouch. Ummmm I wouldn't mind a nice big cell phone.

At the moment I'm testing a bag that is very top secret then I have to get on with my orders but tomorrow I'll be celebrating my sons 23rd birthday so probably won't get much sewing done.

Hope you all had a restful weekend. 

~ Maria ~

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sexy Zippy Wristlet Pattern Review

I was over the moon to be doing a pattern review for Jane's Sexy Zippy Wristlet and even more so when she sent me the exact same fabric she used for her wristlet so I could make mine.

The fabric was gorgeous and it's nice to be able to compare the quality of fabric from other countries with fabrics I use.

Being as I was using the same fabric as Jane I decided to follow the pattern and make it without fleece which is what I would have done normally. I was delighted with the result but when I use my own fabrics I'm going to try it out with fleece to see how it works.

Just look at this wonderful 1970's fabric. My photos unfortunately don't do justice to the fabric as the lighting wasn't so great.

I made a couple of  Jane's patterns which you can see HERE and HERE and was really impressed with them. If you're thinking it's just a pouch there are tons of free tutorials out there then you're wrong. You won't find anything quite like Jane's patterns. There is so much detail like how to secure your stitching at the beginning and end of your stitch row. There's a diagram and instructions to show you how to do it and she explains about fabric selvages. She also shows clearly with photos and instructions how to put the paper pattern together and how to put it on your fabric to cut out.

I would definitely recommend Jane's patterns to anyone who is new to sewing she really makes it so easy and because she is so thorough even the experienced sewer would probably come across some new tips.

Along with this gorgeous fabric I also got some of these nice hooks for the strap.

When it came to making the zipper I noticed it was done slightly different than I normally do them. It's topstitched on the lining next to the zipper but not the outer fabric.
The strap too was made different to how I would normally make it. It was easy to do and also saved on fabric.

When I sew from Jane's patterns she reminds me of my mum. She'll explain how to do something and then reminds you not to forget to do it before you do it, save's on unpicking. Thanks mum Jane.

I also finally got to learn how to make the zipper end on the left perfect when turned inside out. I'd tried these before but they never really looked tidy and professional looking. I'll be able to do them properly from now on.

Summary of this pattern : BRILLIANT, FANTASTIC !!!!!! and no I'm not saying that because I got a free pattern and fabric. Just as I am honest with designers when I test a bag the same goes for a review. If I didn't like it I wouldn't rave about it and I think you'd probably be able to tell I'm making it up anyway. In fact I love Jane's patterns so much I've asked to do another review on a bag she has. I've just finished making it, only the strap needs to be made and as I expected I wasn't disappointed with this one either, but that's for another post.

I highly recommend this pattern and any of the others that I have made from Jane's collection especially if you're a beginner and if you're not you'll still love them.

You can buy this and other patterns over at Jane's Etsy shop HERE and you can also check out Jane's blog Projects by Jane where you will find tutorials to try out.

Tomorrow I'm going to be starting on a top secret project and I'm really looking forward to that. I've also done a pattern review for a new designer to me that I'll be sharing with you in a few days time plus some projects I've finished in the last few days. Still some custom orders to make. I was aiming for the end of the month to finish everything but I now think I'm being a little optimistic but then that's me I thrive on stress and deadlines.

Hope you all have a nice weekend.

~ Maria ~

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Meet Rose

I'm off to my friends house for dinner tonight and wanted to give a present to her little girl who I haven't seen for some time. I was going to buy something and then decided to make something instead as I knew she'd appreciate it more.

So meet Rose.
Isn't she adorable. The last time made a rag doll was when my daughter was tiny. That was about 25 years ago so I'm a bit out of practice.

Embroidery is not one of my strong points but in the pattern there are two face templates. I chose the happy face one which is the easier of the two.

You can also choose two kinds of apron. The one I made or using the corner of a hanky so it comes down in a point.

I'd like one of these just to put in my sewing room. I love the feet. The hardest part was attaching the legs to the body becasue of the stuffing but a bit of hand stitching and then machine stitching over that sorted it out.

I found this pink polka dot ribbon on my last visit to my daughters. So cute.

I really enjoyed making Rose, it was a nice break from bag sewing. I'm out tonight but it's back to the sweat shop tomorrow. To be honest with you I could do with a nice evening out for a change.

 Rose is designed by Sarah and you can find the pattern HERE.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Serendipity Hip Bag Pattern Review & Tilly The Card Holder

I'm really excited to be showing you this bag today because the design is just wonderful and I used fabric that I bought while I was away visiting my daughter and absolutely love the outcome.

I really wanted to take it out for a spin but it was too late so I put it on and walked around the house stroking it and saying how beautiful it was. Hubby really thought I'd lost the plot LOLLL
Finally the following day I took it out to see how it performed for my needs.

I normally make my bags with upholstery fabrics because I can't find the right interfacing to make them nice and firm but just lately I've found the perfect interfacing for bags so I'm switching over to using quilting cottons which gives a larger variety of designs.

Isn't this fabric just adorable.

I've been wanting a hipster for ages but never found just the right one until I saw Christine's Serendipity Hip Bag and fell in love with it. This isn't a large bag, it measures Approx: W 20cm X H 25cm X D 4.5cm. (W 8" X H 10" X D 1¾”) but is perfect for those days when you don't need everything but the kitchen sink.

Although small it still has loads of pockets to keep things organized and has an adjustable strap so you can choose how to wear it.

The front has a slip pocket behind the zipper pocket and also a slip pocket for your cell phone.

The main curved zipper pocket compartment also has 2 card pockets and a slip pocket behind those. In the pattern there is also an inside zipper pocket that is placed above the card pockets but I didn't put mine here, instead I added this zipper pocket to the back of the bag. It leaves the inside uncluttered. Ok honesty is always the best policy, I actually misread the pattern and added it to the back of my bag by mistake LOLLL but I'm really happy with it there as I find it's easier to get to things.

I keep my cards in my wallet so next time I make this bag I'll replace the card pockets for a larger slip pocket and maybe even put one on each side.

This is the back view with the zipper that shouldn't be there LOL. I also quilted my bag with these wavy lines to make the bag even firmer plus I think it looks pretty.

I can't stop looking at this fabric.

Christine's patterns are first class and this one is no exception and I promise you I'm not just saying that to advertise her patterns. If you want a bag that has loads of pockets to help you stay organized and a good quality bag that looks like you bought a designer bag then you must try them out.

All of her patterns are very detailed with loads of instructions and photos galore to help you make your bag without having to pull your hair out wondering what you should be doing.
When I first started testing bags I didn't have much experience and had only made bags from free tutorials. Christine was the first designer I tested for and  I was a bit worried I wouldn't be able to do it but after receiving the first pattern I was amazed at how easy she made it. It wasn't just a pattern I was getting, it was like getting sewing classes thrown in.

The Serendipity Hip pattern has 58 pages which includes printing instructions, fabric suggestions, links to where you can buy the hardware, instructions, photos galore and your pattern pieces and becasue you probably wouldn't want to print out the whole lot there is a Text Only Instructions For Printing.

At the moment Christine is having a GIVEAWAY on her blog. Her sponser the Fat Quarter Shop is offering a fat quarter bundle of fabric and Christine is giving away the Serendipity Hip Pattern and if you've already bought the pattern you can still enter and if you win you'll be refunded the price of the pattern. How good is that!!!!!!

Entry is open WORLDWIDE and open until 12:00 am 20th November EST (USA & Canada) so head on over and try your luck. If you can't wait that long to see if you're the lucky winner then you can buy the pattern from Christine's pattern shop or etsy

Now because I love this fabric so much I wanted to make a matching wallet but didn't have the time so opted for the Tilly Card Holder.

This card holder is so quick too make it took me longer to open my FB page than it did to make it.
Tilly is the design of Karis at CloBird Designs and you can find the pattern HERE.
Remember the Fiona Folding Wallet I made HERE well this is also a design by Karis and is the one I wanted to make to match my bag. As soon as I have a spare moment I'll be making one.

Today I'm finishing off something completely unrelated to bags and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you as soon as it's finished. It's a gift for my friends 2 year old which is tomorrow so I'd best get my skates on.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pattern Parcel #7 Blog Tour - Butterfly Sling Purse

This is the last Perfect Pattern Parcel for this year and if like me you haven't heard of it before then let me tell you a bit about it before I show you my bag.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

Parcel #7 includes:

Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo
Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns
Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs
Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White
Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns
BONUS PATTERN: Daphne Bag by Clover & Violet 

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Bonus Pattern:
Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #6 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That's only $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the brand new Daphne Bag pattern from Clover & Violet. The Daphne is a slouchy satchel that can be worn cross body or as a shoulder bag. The zip top keeps your gear secure and the internal pockets keep your accessories where you need them. This is a brand new, never been seen before pattern and is an exclusive opportunity for Parcel #7 customers!

How Pattern Parcel Works:
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Its our goal to raise over $20,000 for Donors Choose this year.

If you'd like to get your parcel then you can do it here. Don't delay, the parcel is only available for 2 weeks.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Now you have an idea of what's going on here's the bag I chose to make. The Butterfly Sling Purse by Janelle at Emmaline Bags. I had been wanting to make this bag for ages and never seemed to find the time so this was the perfect opportunity.

I love this bag with all it's pockets for keeping everything organized and although it's not a big bag it's surprisingly roomy.

I made a few changes like the twist lock which I didn't have so I added a snap button instead.

Under the inside zipper was a clear vinyl pocket for an ID card but I wouldn't use it so I added a pocket to match the one on the opposite side. I decided to add a flap, which isn't in the pattern, because I knew I would put something in it and would probably loose the contents when I opened up the bag. Nothing will fall out now.

Both main zipper pockets have 6 card slots each.

And the two halves are held securely by the magnetic buttons on each side. Mine are pretty strong but just to make sure there is a strap feature which keeps everything safe and secure.

Another change was I didn't use D rings on the side bag tabs. I used detachable hooks so I could put the whole thing into a larger bag when I don't want to use the strap. It works great as a clutch also.

I have this teapot with flowers in my sewing room and thought to put it next to the purse to give you a better idea of the size.

I would have loved to have made the other bags also but as always time is an issue.

Over the next two weeks you'll get to see what each blogger made from the parcel so make sure you check out the ones before and after mine.

Parcel #4 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, November 7 Stitched || Sew Exhausted

Saturday, November 8 Made by Sara ||Oliver's Fancy || Strawberry Patch Ramblings

Sunday, November 9 from a box || Mia's Creations || MOMENTS

Monday, November 10 owen's olivia || While she was sleeping

Tuesday, November 11 Nutta || Radiant Home Studio || La Pantigana

Wednesday, November 12 Sew Fishsticks || Stacy Sews || Stitching Insane || GnomeAngel

Thursday, November 13 Needle and Ted || Patchouli Moon Studio || Sprouting JubeJube || The Crazy Tailor

Friday, November 14 Casa Crafty || A Jennuine Life || 'So, Zo... What do you know?'

Saturday, November 15 Stitches by Laura || Rebekah Sews || Serger Pepper

Sunday, November 16 Blogs Like A Mother || Vicky Myers creations || Blossom Heart Quilts

Monday, November 17 Shanni Loves || So Sew Easy || GYCT Designs || Tiger In A Tornado

Tuesday, November 18 The Nosy Pepper || Keep Calm and Carrion || There & Back || Sewing Sober

Wednesday, November 19 Sew Like My Mom || Knot Sew Normal || Stacy Sews || sewVery

Thursday, November 20 Mimi's Mom || Our Family Four || shades of BOLD || Modern Handcraft

Friday, November 21 Shawnta Sews || Lulu & Celeste || Amanda Rose || Robin's Fabric Nest || House of Pinheiro
Hope you have fun checking out everyone's bags.
~ Maria ~

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fiona Wallet & A Giveaway

I was delighted to be accepted as a tester for Karis of Clobird Designs. As much as I love making bags I love wallets even more. I think it's becasue they come together so quickly, instant gratification and the Fiona Wallet is no exception.

The pattern hasn't long been released and already these wallets are popping up in the most fabulous fabrics.

I tested this one below, took it out shopping and someone ordered two exactly the same. I can't wait to get some of my orders out of the way to make more of these. In fact I'm making a bag at the moment and it's screaming for a Fiona wallet to accompany it.

Here's mine.

Because I have to find substitutes for ShapeFlex and Peltex I made mine slightly different but the result is more or less the same. I used a very stiff interfacing that I sewed into the purse instead of slipping in Peltex pieces when the wallet was completed. I also quilted my wallet with squiggly lines becasue I wanted it to match the handbag I made.

The pattern was very easy to follow with clear instructions accompanied by photos of each step for those of us who are visual sewers.

The Fiona Wallet has 6 card slots, a zipper pocket for coins, pen holder and cash/checkbook pocket. I think the thing I like the most about the wallet is the pen holder because I'm always loosing mine in my bag.

This was the first one I made but felt I needed to make mine a little stiffer so when I got an order for two more I tried out a stiffer version and they were perfect. If you use the ones recommended in the pattern yours will be perfect too and will be a lot easier to make than the way I did it. The finished size of the closed wallet is approx 7 3/4" wide x 4" high.

Here's my set. The Fiona Wallet to accompany my Kentucky Bag by Numbskull Patterns and a key pouch which I just ran up myself.

These are the two that were a custom order.

Now for the giveaway details and this is a fabulous giveaway because not only can you win the Fiona Wallet pattern but also fabric to make 2 wallets and if you don't sew or would rather have one made for you then that is another option of the giveaway. Check the photo below.

All you have to do is
1) Go over to Clobird Designs Facebook Page and like the giveaway post.
2) Leave a comment there below the giveaway post saying either: Fabric or Wallet -- you choose your prize!
3) Share on IG, FB or Pinterest with #fionawallet and get additional entries
4) Winner will be announced on Sunday at noon, EST

If you can't wait to see if you win you can buy the pattern HERE on Craftsy.

Best of luck to all of you. I know you're going to love this wallet as much as I do. I'm busy sewing up orders and doing a bag review but as soon as those are out of the way I'll be making more of these wallets.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~