December 3, 2015

Easy Street Patterns by Chris W Designs - Abby's Alley

How exciting to see a new line of bag patterns from Chris W Designs!  I love Christine's detailed bags that take some time to cut out and to sew.  I am always so happy with the results.  But once in a awhile I just want to make something that takes less time but still looks great that I can make for craft markets.  Enter the Easy Street Patterns.  Christine released the first two bags today.  I was lucky enough to test both.  Today, I'll share my Abby's Alley Tote Bag and tomorrow, my Brandt's Boulevard Wallet.

I have had this fabric for awhile (Woodsy Winter by Hoffman Fabrics) and was looking for the perfect bag to use it.  Abby's Alley was that perfect pattern.  The bag is big (18"W x 12.5"H x 5.25"D), so it gave me room to use a large print or a print like this that needed some length to show off its beauty.

The front and back are the same and the inside duplicates the outside of the bag.  That leaves 4 large pockets on the exterior and 4 large pockets on the interior.  The original pattern calls for square grommets and uses rope for the handle.  I love that summery look but this was a wintry fabric and I decided to use oval grommets and webbing for the handles.

There are optional bag feet on the bottom.

The inside is neat and clean

This pattern works with very large pattern pieces.  Give yourself plenty of room to cut and assemble.

Christine calls these patterns Sew and Sell.  She is right.  This bag sold at the first market I did after I made it.  Cardinals are our state bird and I had several interested buyers.  Unfortunately for me, I can't find any more of this fabric anywhere.  If anyone sees any, let me know.

A few other things about this line.  The number of pages of directions has been cut considerably but don't worry, there are still enough detailed pictures to make assembly easy.  The other thing is that this pattern line is less expensive.  Don't we all like that?

You can get the Abby's Alley pattern here or you can get both of the Easy Street patterns at a discount here.

Tomorrow I will show you the second pattern in this line, Brandt's Boulevard Wallet.  Isn't that a special name??

December 2, 2015

Just the Ticket Luggage Tag from Uniquely Michelle

I love being a pattern tester for several bag designers.  That is what I do,  make  bags.  But once in a while those bag designers come up with a project that is not a bag and that is fun, too. Today, I get to share with you a project that I had the pleasure to test...Just the Ticket Luggage Tag by Uniquely Michelle.

This is a great project that uses smaller pieces of fabric from your stash.  I used some 10" squares from a layer cake that I had.  This is Moda Figures by Zen Chic.  I love the privacy cover that snaps over the ID window.

This is the privacy cover open.  As you can see, there is an opening at the top of the ID window where you can slide a business card.

Think about how fun this would be to hold a gift card, too.  A double gift.

This is what the back looks like.  What a fun, fast project that would be great as a Christmas gift.  The only change that I made to the pattern was to cut two separate strap pieces and piece them together because I was working with 10" squares  The luggage tag measures 3.25"W x 5.5"L with 6.25" long straps.  So cute!

Uniquely Michelle patterns are easy to follow with great directions and lots of pictures.  The pattern is available on Craftsy here.  It is also available on Etsy here.

November 22, 2015

Wheelchair Bag

I received an order for a wheelchair bag from a customer looking to replace a bag that her mother currently had.  After asking her many questions, this is what I knew:

     She wanted it to be about 10"W and 6"H.
     She wanted it to be like a pouch but did not want it to zip but rather partially close with velcro.
     She wanted straps that could be wrapped around the wheelchair and be velcroed to the bag.
     Her mother wanted the bag next to her on the inside of the wheelchair.
     She wanted no pockets inside the pouch.

Here is what I came up with.

 I put a large pocket on the front to add some interest to the front.

I used the same fabric as the pocket for the lining.

This shows how the straps will wrap around the wheelchair which will be much narrower.  I, also, squared the bottom corners to give the pouch a little more capacity.

Hope she likes it!

October 25, 2015

Right Outside My Door

I was taking photos of a test bag this morning and was so distracted by how gorgeous the fall colors still are. I opened my front door and had to capture what I saw.

And out the back...

October 23, 2015

Bella II and I Have Been Spotlighted

I entered my Bella II Bag from Chris W Designs in Tula Pink Eden Crouching Tiger fabric in the linky party on Sew Can She blog last Saturday.  I found out today that I was one of two people that got the most clicks this week.  So my Bella II was in the spotlight today.  You can see it here.  How fun is that ???

October 21, 2015

Sugar and Spice Is Still Very Nice

It was time to revisit one of my all time favorite Chris W Designs bag patterns.  This one is the Sugar and Spice.  I love how this bag comes together.  Like all of Christine"s pattern , they are loaded with directions and pictures.  I have to say that Christine's patterns have given me such an education.  They are professional and the bags turn out that way, too.  Christine knows how I feel about her and her bag patterns.  I guess everyone else does now, too.  On to my new Sugar and Spice.

This fabric is a light blue and black quilting cotton.  There are two slip pockets on the front  and two slip pockets on the back.  Instead of putting piping around the entire bag, I chose to limit it to the top of the bag and all four pockets.  Because the squares on the fabric were so big, I wanted to spend extra time fussy cutting so that the pattern would not be disturbed.  I like how it turned out.

As you can see, the back of the bag looks the same (except no Shades of Bold tag).


The top of the bag is enclosed by a recessed zipper and I cut to get the pattern lined up there as well.  You also get a peek of the lining fabric here which is a light blue Kona cotton.

Inside the bag are two slip pockets on each side to keep you organized.  There is also a pen pocket on each side.

I used a faux leather for the straps and handles.  The finished bag measures 14" x 8" x 3"..  There will be another Sugar and Spice in my near future.  You can get the pattern here.

October 17, 2015

Bella II in Tula Pink Crouching Tiger

I fell in love with the new Tula Pink Eden line and especially with Crouching Tiger.  I ordered it online and was surprised by the size of the tigers and I knew it would take a special bag to set it off.  Enter the Bella II from Chris W Designs.

The tiger was the perfect size for the front pocket and I thought with a Kona solid and a muted print I could make the tiger be the highlight.

Of course a little bling from Emmaline Bags on the back topped it off.

And why not a tiger on each of the inside pockets since they were the perfect size.

It was as if Christine made this pattern just for this fabric.  I love the fabric and I love the pattern.  You can get the pattern here and you can read about my review of the Bella here.

October 14, 2015

Megan Travel Tote and Sidekick Tote

I recently got to test a new pattern from Michelle of Uniquely Michelle.  Well, it is actually a pattern for a bag in two different sizes.  I made the largest bag, The Megan Travel Tote.

How big is the Megan Travel Tote?  Really big!!! The finished size is 19" x 15" x 7.5" D.  It is large enough to pack for a long weekend and then some.  To help you see how big it is, I took mega rolls of paper towels to see how many it would hold.  The answer is 6 with a little room to spare and still have the ability to zip it closed.

The other size is called the Sidekick Tote.  It is smaller and is great for everyday.  It measures                  15" W x 12" H x 4" D.  Both of the bags look the same except for size.

Let's talk about the pockets first.  There are 12 of them! There are 7 slip pockets, 2 expandable slip pockets, 2 zipper pockets and a padded tablet pocket.

Here is a great look at the inside and many of the pockets.  You can see the 2 side pockets have elastic around the top and are great for keeping water bottles in place.  You can see here, also, that the top is closed with a separating zipper.  This allows the top to open wide while packing.

The slip pockets on the exterior have piping.  The base of the bag is reinforced for a heavy load.  The straps have strap pads to make it easier on the shoulder. This is a great pattern from Uniquely Michelle and you get both sizes.  It is an intermediate pattern.  There are directions for making with a fleece batting or with foam .  I used the fleece because of the size.  I wanted it to be easier to store and fold up a little, but if I made the Sidekick Tote, I would probably used the foam.  Patterns from Uniquely Michelle are easy to follow with great directions and pictures to help along the way.  You can get the pattern here and check out Michelle's other patterns.

October 4, 2015

The Epiphany Bag from Chris W Designs

I'm in love...with the new bag pattern from Chris W Designs, The Epiphany Bag.  I was so excited to test this bag because I love Chris W Designs patterns.  They are so detailed and easy to follow with so many pictures of all of the steps.  Best of all, they produce bags that are so professional looking.  I loved this one so much, I decided to make two of them with the colorway reversed on them.  Here they are.

You can't see the handles here, and I didn't include the optional second adjustible strap that is removable with the addition of grommets and a gate ring on the sides of the bag.  There are so many possibilities with this bag. As you can see, there is a slip pocket on the front.  There is a zippered pocket on the back.

The top of the bag has a zipper closure.  And I love the inside.  As some of the testers discussed, this lining fits perfectly without having to make any adjustments.  There are two slip pockets and one larger pleated pocket (for sunglasses, etc.) on the inside.  You can also add an optional zippered pocket on the other side of the interior.  I added it on the blue bag but not the red one.

I wanted to show the side view, too.   The gussett gets larger the further down you go.  This makes this bag nice and roomy.  It is the perfect size.  It measures 14" W x 11" H x 5.25" D.

For the blue bag, I used quilting cottons for all of my fabrics.  I used Pellon SF101 and Thermolam as my interfacings and fleece.  I used Pellon flex foam and Vilene Decovil 1 (from Germany) on the inside.
For the red bag, I used faux leather and quilting cottons.  Even though I have a semi-industrial machine, the faux leather was too thick on the strap tabs so I used a top layer of faux leather and a bottom layer of quilting cotton and it was just barely thin enough to sew through.

I know you will love this bag.  You can get the pattern here.

September 24, 2015

Clutchmates by Imazzpatterns

It was fun to test another pattern by Rahimah Othman of Imazzpatterns.  This pattern was just released and it is called Clutchmates.

What I like about Imazzpatterns is that the designs are relatively simple, have multiple options, are fast to sew and look great.  The Clutchmates pattern is a zippered clutch/wristlet that has 6 different flap designs that add to the fun.  You can also change the look by changing your interfacing and changing your closures.  The first one that I made was out of some left over dark purple and black plaid.  I combined it with some matching faux leather.  I used Pellon Decor Bond as my interfacing.  On this pouch, I used a snap closure.

I changed the flap design and closure for the second one.  I used a magnetic snap on this one which was a combination of quilting cotton and faux leather.  I used Pellon SF 101 as my interfacing.

 I did not put interior pockets in mine but there are directions to add one if you would like.

The other great things about this wristlet are that it has a recessed zipper and a boxed bottom.  This allows you to put more essentials in and makes sure they stay there.

The completed wristlet measures H 5.5" x L 8.5" with a base of 1.5".  If you hurry, you can get this pattern at 40% off the regular price but you have to act by Sept. 6.  You can find it on Craftsy here or on her Etsy site here.

September 12, 2015

The Layla Bag by Cozy Nest Designs

Wait until you see this one!  I was asked to test this new bag by Sarah at Cozy Nest Designs.  I fell in love with it the minute I saw it.  It is Layla. The pattern was released today.

Isn't this a beautiful design?  The thing is, it looks great in all fabrics.  If you don't believe me, you can check out Sarah's bags and all of the testers' bags here,

Layla has such a sleek and curvy shape.

It has a zippered closure. (Sorry this is such a bad picture).  Another great thing about this bag is that the depth starts out narrower at the top and gradually gets larger.  This gives you plenty of room to carry more than you think.

I used green polka dots for the lining to go with the red, black and green camillias on the outside. There is a zippered pocket on the inside.  I haven't even mentioned those fabulous handles yet.

Layla has these gorgeous oval handles and a removable shoulder strap. Sarah has made it easy for you to get these handles by teaming up with Janelle at Emmalline Bags.  You can get the handles here.  The silver handles do not have to be used...there is an alternate way of finishing the bag without them.

Layla is 14.5" wide, 6.75" high and 3.5" deep.  It is a great bag to showcase some fun fabric.  It only takes 1/2 yd of exterior fabric and 5/8 - 3/4 yds of lining/contrast.  The pattern calls for interfacing and foam stabilizer.  I used Pellon SF 101 and Pellon Flex Foam.

What are you waiting for?  Go get the pattern here.

September 6, 2015

Bella II, the Revamped Bella From Chris W Designs

First of all, let me tell you how much I loved the original Bella from Chris W Designs.  I have made many, at least a dozen of them, probably more.  I was sad that Christine decided to retire the pattern.  She later decided to revamp the pattern and just released it today as Bella II.  I was excited to test this one.

I decided to use coordinating quilting cottons ( Purrsnickitty by Terri Degenkolb of Whimsicals for Red Rooster Fabrics) and combine those with a green suede for one of the front pockets and straps. I used smaller grommets on the front of my bag than what was called for.  Christine suggested 13/32" ones and I used Dritz 1/4" large eyelets.  Instead of ribbon, I made a 1/4" wide strap from one of my fabrics and wove it through the opening.  Dritz also has 7/16" extra large eyelets that would work, too.

If you remember the original Bella, you will notice that the front of the bag is very different.  The side pockets are gone but the front of Bella II has 4 separate slip pockets.  The tab with the magnetic closure is gone, too.  The Bella II is now closed with a recessed zipper to keep all of your contents secure.

The back of the Bella II still has the large zippered pocket.

The bottom of the bag has new bag feet.  I ran out of washers to attach them and I had heard you could use plastic canvas.  I loved how that worked.  It gives them such support that I might try this with other closures.

 The inside of Bella II is loaded with pockets.  There is a large zippered pocket with a slip pocket behind it on one side.  When making this pocket, I questioned all of the interfacing on all of the pieces. It seemed like too much, but this pocket is substantial and will hold belongings in place.  I like the support it gives the bag, too.

The other side of the interior has 2 more slip pockets and a pen pocket.  My pictures don't show off the beautiful strap back so I am including this pic of all of my exterior pieces before assembly.  You can add a strap of one of your fabrics for that extra pizzazz.

There are so many possibilities for this bag.  Click here to see the testers pics.  You can purchase the pattern here.  If you already have the original Bella pattern, Christine will give you a coupon code for 50% off that is good until Sept. 30, 2015.  Just email her with the email address you used to purchase it and she will send you that code.  What a deal!!  You are going to love this one.