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Entries in By April (36)

Pattern Review: Super Tote

 You may just find yourself saying super quite often while making this. 

 The details are what makes this bag super.  

There is a pleated gusset, zipper closure, multiple elasticized, segmented inside pockets and a giant outside pocket with a magnetic closure.  Sounds like a lot of work but this bag is pretty straight forward to put together.

Most of the details are optional if you are looking for a basic, nice shaped bag. The large outer pieces do offer the opportunity to highlight a nice big print if that is your style. I was trying to make a not too girlie version of this bag. I could see it being a good mid sized diaper bag.


 The main challenge of mine before starting this project was picking the right weight of fabric. The directions recommend that if you are using quilting weight fabric to add a layer of canvas between the inner and outer pieces. If one uses a heavy weight fabric on the outside no need for the extra layer. I did eventually just pick what I liked and did not worry about the weights. I went with a heavier option for the gusset and half of my straps. The outer pocket, shown above I originally had planned on using a quilting weight. I made a mistake somewhere in cutting, the layout was tight. I ended up using a scrap from my other fabric to make it work. A happy accident!


I mixed weights of fabric. The heavy weight fabric is a crosshatch from Alexander Henry. The quilting weight fabric is from Parson Grey’s Vagabond line, called “Souk” in a night sky color way. The lining I would call a medium weight it is a crossweave from Moda.

The pattern also gives some suggestions for interfacing. As per usual I opted to use stacey shapeflex as my main interfacing. I also wanted to try out craft fuse (the pattern calls for either or). I used craft fuse for the gusset in the lining piece. I really had a hard time working with it because it was so stiff. Looking back the craft fuse really helped this bag keep it’s shape. I would opt to interface a few pieces of the lining that were not called for in the pattern if  I were to make it again, and mix weights of fabric.  

Stop in, check it out and make your own super tote!





Getting Ready to Sew

Don’t you just love the anticipation of starting your next project. Taking home that brown paper bag and pulling out a beautiful stack of fabric and goodies is the best!
We are getting ready to close down the shop for a few days and go on a sewing retreat. I have my supplies ready and wanted to share. These pretty stacks are ready to become new samples for the shop. 

We will be posting progress and some other fun updates. Check out our instagram feed and stay tuned on the blog for some fun new projects. 

Closure dates are Monday and Tuesday February 24th and 25th. Reopening on Wednesday the 26th normal hours. 

See you soon.


Pattern review: Zippy Bag 

This bag was such fun to make. The name of the pattern does refer to the zippers and not necessarily the time it takes to make. I spent one evening cutting out the pieces and another putting it all together. I love this Liberty of London print. This bag called for scraps of small sizes. I was able to use a liberty fat eighth for all three scrap pieces on the pockets and had enough left over to incorporate into the gusset piece of the bag pattern.

This is a Jen Giddens pattern, she tends to go heavy on the interfacing, practically every piece in this pattern is interfaced. She calls for a craft fuse interfacing in the pattern which tends to be more rigid. I used Stacy shape flex in black because frankly that is the only interfacing I like working with. Stacy shape flex is actually fabric and not synthetic giving it a nice hand and is easy to use, also great for apparel.  

Because I used Liberty I opted to keep the pattern choice to a minimum only using one fabric for the inside and two for the outside. You can mix and match the outer and inner zipper pocket fabric pieces and get really scrappy if you like. The other fabric used in this example are essex linen blend in indigo (outer fabric). The interior fabric is an art gallery print that is available in a half dozen other colors here at the shop.  

The instructions were great. I had no problems or questions, the diagrams and sewing steps were easy to follow. This is an intermediate pattern, a great skill builder for sewing zippers! 

I am happy to have a purse that is more finished and not so much of a giant bag. The size is perfect for the basics (9”wide by about 12” tall). The long strap is comfortable to wear across the body leaving my hands free and the purse secure. 

This purse will be on display at the shop. Stop by and check it out.

Happy Sewing! 

By April