A Preview

I haven’t had time to sit at my sewing machine for two weeks, yet I have been holding back on you! I finally finished adding some new one-of-a-kind bags to my shop, so now they can all be found in the New Products section.

Some are meant to be functional and practical, like these Artist Totes below. (my sister has already claimed the one with the blue lining)

Others are fun because they are impractical, like these patchwork party clutches below! (Update: I sold the one in the middle at my craft show, but I can always make another if someone has a custom request.)

Some of these new patchwork handbags could be carried for daytime running around (pink and grey version listed here and maroon and grey version listed here) or

They could complement a trendier look for a girls’ night out. (Update: I sold the middle wristlet below at my craft show, but I plan to make another since I really love that city scape print.)

I have been wanting to try a new messenger bag/laptop bag with a flap in a more modern romance look. Check out the link to that laptop bag – it has the coolest newsprint fabric inside the flap! (Note: I also made myself a funky new handbag, shown below, out of plaid suiting with lace, sequin and stud accents.)

I am happy to offer all of these styles as custom designs, in addition to what I patch and piece together based on my own inspirations. I provided more details in the descriptions in my shop, if you’re interested in more specifics.

Sorry for the bag overload today! I’m super excited about all these one-of-a-kind designs. I’m hoping to develop most of these patterns into a collection, so this is a preview of a regular series of goodies to come. Thanks for hanging out with me today!

From My Stash – Meadowsweet 2

I have tried to resist buying every new fabric collection this year. But there was something about Sandi Henderson‘s new Meadowsweet 2 collection that I loved, especially that print on the right with the mix of berry and salmon colors. They remind me of the fall colors we are starting to see as our gardens and landscapes change. I have always adored her Henna prints too (sneak peaks here in raspberry and grey).

I try not to blabber on too much around here about patchwork projects for my shop, but I’m so excited about all the new products I’ve been making lately.

I made several patchwork bags with these gorgeous fabrics, along with a few other fabrics from my stash just to stretch the stash further.

I thought a new party purse would be nice to offer. That’s the bag in the front of each of these photos.

I named it a party purse because everytime we go to a party or a concert or a festival, and I don’t want to carry my day purse, I end up filling my pockets and my husband’s pockets with my stuff! I really don’t like doing that, so I decided to make one to fit my needs, thinking there might be others out there with my same issues.

It measures about 10 inches wide and 6 inches tall, has a pocket inside to hide your id and money, and a strap for slinging over your shoulder, just long enough to tuck under your arm. Notice the little embroidery details? (see close-up here)

I also made new project bags (that’s the version in the back of these photos), similar to those clear plastic ones you get from quilt shops and quilt retreats, but prettier, in my opinion. I’m just saying.

These project bags measure about 10 inches wide and 7 inches tall, perfect to hold your needle case, scissors, hand sewing supplies, rotary cutter or whatever you travel with,  and have a pocket inside to store your small, loose items like a box of pins or stitch markers for knitting.

I am happy these are finally listed since I think they will be nice additions to my collection for Fall.

I used up almost all of these fat quarters, so I’m debating on whether I need to order a few more, you know, just in case another idea comes up. (wink wink)

Shop PR

Take time to visit Cheryl of The Stitchen Chicken – she did a feature about my Etsy shop! She is beginning a series on Etsy shop owners, and I am honored to be the first feature.

It can take as much effort getting traffic to an Etsy shop as making the products, so I greatly appreciate Cheryl’s PR. Word-of-mouth, adding new products, and blogging about my shop have been good for me so far. I’ve got a few new products for Spring, so stay tuned! Thank you Cheryl!

Custom Order for Two Bags

My mission this weekend was to complete a custom order I received from one of my sister’s friends. Wahoo, another custom order for my shop!

cheerful fabrics for custom order

One of my sister’s friends in China requested two zippered bags to carry her techie gadgets. She requested patchwork in cheerful fabrics similar to my zippered bags and laptop bags, so I selected these fun fabrics in various pinks and reds.

Since she wanted cheerful, I used this fabric for the  lining. These charming birds and the whimsy connecting them remind me of spring and happy days.

cheerful fabric for lining

She needed a zippered bag to carry her MP3 player and headphones.

zipper bag for mp3 player
zipper bag for mp3 player

She needed another zippered bag to carry her DVD player.

zipper bag for dvd player

Using the measurements she gave me of her DVD player and MP3 player, I drew templates onto cardboard to gauge the size and fit. I am getting hooked on sketching patterns and templates to work my way through a custom order or new project idea.

template for mp3 player bag

I added handles to both bags with the option to disconnect them if she wants to carry them inside her tote bag. I think (hope) they will both work fine for her needs.

template for dvd player bag

Mission completed, which makes me happy this Monday! I’m always honored when someone asks me to make a custom patchwork project for them. I am so in love the bright, girlie colors of these bags, so I hope my new customer likes them as much as I do!

Gifts for Friends

I am so bad at keeping my own secrets! Seriously. I want to jump up and down and yell out to the world. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t steal your thunder and reveal your secrets.

friendship bags for gifts

I made these two friendship bags for two sewing friends of mine who I felt compelled to send handmade gifts to. I am going to fill them with sewing notions. I used Rachel’s tutorial, which I highly recommend. It was a very easy pattern to follow, so these projects came together in less than two hours.

I won’t elaborate too much more yet about the recipients of these friendship bags because they read this blog, and I want them to be surprised when the package arrives in their mail. Let’s just say I am thankful for their friendship, and they deserved a little something sweet.

Stash Bags

I made a couple makeup bags from Amy Butler’s Stash Bag pattern, which I really liked. The directions were easier to follow than I expected, since this was my first time making pleats.

Here’s the large stash bag with a handle (making it a wrislet, right?):

After some time has passed of NOT using this bag, I decided I didn’t like the handle.  It just seemed too stiff and too big to use this one as a makeup bag. But I liked how the pleats turned out on this larger bag. Here’s a peak at the lining:

Here’s the small stash bag:

I’m not crazy about the pleats on this smaller stash bag, making it seem like there’s too much fabric.  I’m not so sure about this size . Here’s a peak at the lining in the small stash bag:

I gave the pattern another chance this past week, thinking mabye I just didn’t care for the smaller size.  I don’t often make a pattern multiple times, but I made these two bags thinking I would use them as makeup or travel bags.

Garden Party makeup bags

I like how these turned out, and still need to finish hand-sewing the place where the zipper ends get sewn over and hidden inside the fabrics.  I plan to use these, but I am going to brainstorm some other ideas because I wasn’t happy with how the zipper ends turned out, not very neatly tucked inside.  The directions weren’t very helpful in getting those ends neatly sewn with all that bulk.

Has anyone tried any other zippered bag designs or patterns you would recommend?