Thank you pouch and summer holiday update ;)

I have ben sewing a lot recently and drafting my patterns and working on new ideas but had no more time and energy to work on the blog. Now it’s time for a short update.

Firstly I don’t have agood camera as I have never been a photographer and that was putting me off from taking pictures which would be suitable for publishing. Nonetheless I have tried to take few snaps of Thank you gifts for my son’s teachers in July. Gifts were hand-made pencil pouches with slightly different design and colors. They  evolved during making so each on is different and hopefully teachers will enjoy using them as much as I have enjoyed making and designing them.

 

First one is black with pink lining and embroidered Thank you note with red thread.

Pouch

Pouch

Thank you pouch

Thank you pouch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second is quilted multicoloured pouch with white lining:

Pouch

Pouch

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally blue and white quilted pouch with blue lining:

Pouch

Pouch

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of them are interfaced with lightweight fusible interfacing and interlined with light cotton fabric. Lining is handsewn for high quality finish.

 

Additional to the pouches I have made few summer tops for me, but no photos I am afraid. And: I have done some technical reading, as improving techniques and quality of final product is what I need to work on at the moment. There is a brilliant very technical book: “The better bag maker” by Nicole Mallalieu which gives hundreds of tip on making bags.

Wish you lots of summer and holiday fun!

 

Weekender bag tutorial

Last weekend I was going away for an Easter holiday and realized that I have no weekender bag to take with, so after looking at my fabric stash I have made up this one. It is really spacious, strong with leather handles, inner pockets and it looks good!

 

2014-04-23 10.36.52 Weekender bag 2014-04-23 10.36.41

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is not difficult to make, except maybe for a leather handles, as you would need special tool for attaching them and a metal rivets, but you can attach any ready-made handles or make a simple handles from external fabric and sew them on at the end.

Quick tutorial how to make this pretty bag:

You will need:

  •  Heavy weight fabric for exterior. I used made in Italy Montgomery Interior Fabric. 35″ x 27″
  • Heave weigh fabric for bag bottom 17″ x 10″
  • Interior fabric of your choice, same measurements 35″ x 27″, plus for inner pockets: 2 x 15″ x 8″ and 2 x 8″ x 9″
  • Small zipper for inner pocket with matching color approx 8″
  •  Large zipper 24″
  • Handles of your choice
  • Matching thread
  • Seam allowance included 0.5″

 

Exterior:  

  • fold fabric lengthwise and cut 4.5″ x .5″  square at each bottom corner like on the picture:

weekender bag tutorial

 

 

 

 

 

  • take bag bottom fabric and press seam allowances, then attach to the bottom of exterior fabric ( you can use fusible heavy-duty interfacing on the bag bottom before sewing it on, I would have done that, but was making this bag in a hurry)

weekender bag tutorial

 

 

 

 

  • sew side seams together
  • sew previously cutted square corners as on the picture below

Weekender bag tutorial

 

 

 

 

  • press seams open

Interior:

1. Inner pockets:

  • sew two pieces of fabric for inner pocket together a the wrong site, leaving small opening then turn it over and press, top stitch
  • position on the inner site of the lining about 2″ from the top, pin and sew, sew a double line in the middle to divide into two pockets

2014-04-16 16.06.49

 

 

 

 

  • take inner zipper pocket fabric, attach to the other site of the lining, right site facing right site, about 2″ from the top

weekender bag tutorial

 

 

 

 

  • measure 3″ from the top of the other site of the lining and draw a rectangular shape 8″ long and 0.3″ wide for attaching zipper,
  • sew around the lines you drawn and then cut straight line in the middle leaving 0.25″ from each end, then cut towards the corner, as you can see on the picture, being careful not to cut the stitching:

weekender bag tutorials

 

 

 

 

  • turn the pocket fabric through the whole and press
  • attach zipper and pin:

weekender bag tutorial

weekender bag tutorialweekender bag tutorial

 

 

 

 

  • top stitch around zipper
  • attach second inner pocket piece to the back of the first piece, pin and sew together along the edges

weekender bag tutorial

 

 

 

 

  • sew side seams together, and bottom corners same as exterior

Assembly:

  • exterior and interior: fold upper edges 0.5″ and press

weekender bag tutorial

 

 

 

 

  • insert zipper between interior and exterior fabric and pin
  • top stitch on the exterior site,  securing zipper between the layers

weekender bag

 

 

 

 

 

  • attach ready-made or previously sewn handles

 

weekender bag tutorial

Hobo bag love

Hi, its another hobo bag, I love it, its spacious, very comfy to carry over the shoulder, neutral brown color, but surprising lovely green leafy cotton lining. It’s got inner zipped pocket as well as two open pockets, one for phone.  Handle decorated with some metal hardware and metal rings.

And one of the main futures of this bag is zipper closure, which means that all your possessions are safe, and nothing will fall off accidentally. Inserting zipper to a bag is not as difficult as it might look, the main thing is to fallow some few steps in right order.

Brown hobo bag DSC03756Hobo bag DSC03746

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bag is very light but strong, reinforced with double or triple stitching in sensitive areas. I love experimenting with adding different metal hardware, which gives a bag different look and makes it more eye catching with even simple fabrics. Lining fabric is really beautiful and gives a nice contrast to plain brown color or outer fabric.

Next project is something colorful, I have got few spring, very light, floral scarf ready, just need to take a few photographs for a blog. Hope you can get some inspiration and start sewing your own bags and accessories!

Hand stitched LOVE coasters

 

Hand sewn coasters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine is just few days away and even though I cannot say that I celebrate this day in any special way but I thought to give a go and sew something with LOVE.  Sew Mama Sew blog is running a contest for Valentine sewing projects and I am going to upload my coasters photos. I have stitched this coasters all by hand with hand appliqued LOVE letters and hand quilting around the letters. 

I used to hand stitch  a lot during my whole childhood and did love it! I remember before I had my first own sewing machine I was so keen to make my own clothes that I have bough Burda magazine, got a patter of a nice top, got a fabric from my mom’s stash and sewn it all by hand! Soon after that my dad bought me sewing machine, but I did a lot of embroidery by hand, all my friends got lovely embroidered handkerchiefs, collars, table coasters etc. I did a lot of “Richelieu embroidery” and it took me hours of hours of hand stitching delicate patterns with white thread. Now after so many years I do miss that relaxing and nearly meditative movement of hand with needle, when you can concentrate your focused and analytical mind on pattern and repetitive motion of hand but let you other side of the brain wonder, imagine, create, feel.

So, LOVE to all, and do try hand sewing, and find that primal satisfaction and peace within you!

Hand stitched love coasters Hand stiched coasters

 

Floral designer tote.

 

Who loves floral designs? I do! There is so many beautiful fabrics and motives around, with so many colors and patterns, but most of the handbags available in the shops are in dull colors, black, gray, blue or brown.  It’s not that I don’t like black handbags, in contrary, my favorite tote is black because it’s so universal and practical and I am kind of black lover. BUT sometimes I like to brighten the day, or an outfit with something so stunning like this Tory Burch Kerrington EW Tote:

Tory Burch Kerrinton EW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I went to my local fabric shop and found amazing home decor fabric with floral red patter and created that beautiful tote bag:

 

DSC03674

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floral tote

Floral tote

 

 

 

 

 

It has pretty pink lining and full zipper closure, it means that you keep your things safe, it has two inner pockets and one external pocket with a metal decorative closure. Bag is practical, functional, has got hard bottom which I love and keeps shape and possessions in place! And I can wear it with my favorite black outfit to brighten up my day!!

 

Fabric and beads makes bracelet !

I normally don’t wear bracelet, but this one is so soft and cute, that it’s a pleasure to wear! It is made of soft cotton interlined with soft padding and decorated with beads. To be hones,  it is my first ever bead work, but I love it. Recently I went in to my local craft store and was hooked to this masses of different color, shape and size beads!

DSC03657DSC03646 Beaded braceletIt does not take long to make it, you just need some remnants of fabrics long enough to wrap around your wrist, same size wadding, few beads and one metal snap. Instead of snap you can attach a decorative button or Velcro.

Attach beads to your top fabric and wadding, sew together on wrong site leaving small hole for turning. Turn around, press and then top stitch same time closing the whole. Attach snap or button and enjoy!!

Free yoga bag pattern

Recently some friend from yoga class was looking for yoga bag, and that gave me idea to make some. I have looked up in the internet and found free Amy Butler pattern for this lovely yoga bags:

Yoga bag
Floral cotton yoga bagThey both are made of floral pattern cotton fabric and fully lined. One is made of medium weight cotton lined with lovely shiny burgundy satin fabric, then other one is made of light weight cotton and lined with similar cotton fabric in contrasting color.

I just love lining my bags with contrasting color fabric, I thing it add some special effects, when you pick inside and find pretty colored and good quality cotton lining instead of grey or black polyester.

Both bags have two external pocket for some extra bits to fit in and extra wide belt. White bag is finished with elastic band gathering on the top and the black one has got a gathering string made of lining fabric.

They do fit perfectly to my yoga mat, but you would need to measure your mat if you wish to make one, as there are different sizes.

I loved making them, and love the effect!

Here is a ling to free pattern:

http://www.amybutlerdesign.com/pdfs/NigellaYogaBag.pdf

Fabric rose tutorial

Today I would like to show you  how I make this beautiful fabric flower or rose in this short “Fabric rose tutorial”. It is fascinating how quick you can make beautiful flowers from just scrap of fabric and you can attach it to your hair pin, or handbag, or even you can transform simple flip flops into something unique. There are endless deigns and possibilities and today we will learn one of them, which looks like that:

Fabric rose tutorial

 

 

 

 

You can use any type of fabric, light or medium weight, I have used slightly stretchy satin, long (about 18in x2in) but you can use longer or shorter, or slightly more or less wide, just do some experimenting and see what suits you best. First fold it in a half,  sew along longer edge and turn in on the other side, so seam is not visible. Mine looked like that:

DSC03528

 

 

 

Then use hand sewing needle with matching color thread and start stitching from one end like on the picture below:

DSC03529DSC03532

 

 

 

 

Then start gently folding stitched edge together and keep stitching it together

Fabric rose tutorialDSC03536DSC03538

 

 

 

Then turn your work and stitch together at the bottom. You want the rose to hold together well so make sure all the layers are stitched well. Keep rolling your fabric  and gathering slightly when stitching, you can also twist your fabric like on the third picture below and keep stitching:

DSC03540DSC03542Floral fabric tutorial

 

 

 

After sometime it will start looking like a rose! You can twist your fabric as many time as you like, and remember to stitch it well at the back, so all the layers will hold together.

DSC03548DSC03549DSC03552

 

 

 

In about half an hour you can have a stunning accessory, which cost nothing and has endless possible ways to use it. Hope you enjoyed my tutorial and I believe you will enjoy making fabric rose and will love the results!

 

Modern Tote Bag

Everybody loves tote bags and specially if they have some extra pockets. This modern black tote bag with pink lining is functional as well as stylish and looking great! I love external pockets in tote bags, because they are so handy and useful and also add something to overall look and design.

Black Modern Tote Bag

 

 

 

 

 

This modern tote bag I have design myself looking at some designer bags I love and functions I would like my tote to have. Its made of a luxury black fabric with a bit of a shiny silver threads woven into it. Its interfaced and interlined with strong cotton fabric and lined with lovely pink cotton medium weigh fabric for strength and durability. I just love that combination of black and pink sneaking from inside!

You can see that I have attached inner pockets, and external zipper pocket lined with same pink cotton fabric. It also has got inserted flat bottom.
Moder Tote Bag liningModern Tote Bag zipper pocket

 

 

 

 

I have to admit that it was quite a bit of work with designing and completing this tote bag but I absolutely love the effect. Again I am working slowly on pattern, but trying to find the way to simplify the design, so stay tuned and I will soon have a new version of similar tote bag.

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

Floral motives from Prada

Prada2

I love floral patterns and I do love those little bags from Prada fashion show in Milano last year.

Prada-18I also love floral patterns on the clothes which had Japanese theme, like those:Day2-03_SS13-Prada_03

I am thinking of making some bags which similar flowers attached. Please do let me know if you also like that idea.

In the next post I will show how to make fabric rose, which be sewn on the garment or turned into brooch or hair pin.

Happy sewing!