Small fur tote, a sweet gift for the holidays.

small fur tote

This is a quick tutorial on how to make a small fur tote.  Christmas is approaching fast and my gift list is looking rather daunting, so I need projects that I can accomplish in a couple of hours rather than a couple of days.  I notice little fur things everywhere –as decorations on the Christmas tree, as trimming on clothes and shoes, scarves, vests.  The possibilities are many and I think a small fur tote would be a great gift and an easy project.  So I came up with this design and pattern that I would like to share with you. If you enjoyed our last project with faux fur making a winter hat, then you’ll enjoy this small fur tote project as well.  This tote is really easy and fast to make.  It is both a perfect accessory and also … Continue reading

Stela, the coin purse pattern and tutorial – just in time for the holidays

coin purse pattern

This coin purse pattern and tutorial are a follow-up to the Leather and Fabric Handbag tutorial we posted last week.  While you certainly don’t need to make this coin purse pattern from leather –you can use vinyl or almost any fabric– it makes a good first project for those who have never sewn with leather before. I am calling it Stela because it just so happens I am going to have a Christmas party at home and every female friend who is coming will get one from my tree.  I am hanging these babies as both Christmas tree decorations and presents at the same time.  The kids will probably get one each as well, but being teenagers, they will almost certainly expect something more than just a few coins inside.. This tutorial is especially for those of you who are taking the … Continue reading

Leather and fabric handbag: the perfect mix for beginners

leather and fabric handbag

This leather and fabric handbag is the perfect project for those who are starting to sew with leather and for those who are bored with fabric only handbags.  You can make this with a normal domestic sewing machine so don’t be afraid to give it a try! I am not yet an expert in leather work.  But, I absolutely love the material for its durability and handling.  Furthermore, the shine of the leather will forgive a mistake should you need to unpick a seam, so I suggest to buy a whole hide and not to be afraid of trying.  It won’t go to waste! If you don’t feel like trying with leather, you can also use vinyl, oilcloth, canvas or another heavy fabric.  I just wanted to try with leather and it came out so well, my daughter won’t give it back … Continue reading

RFID shielded handbag: I’m calling it Gleam and the pattern is FREE

RFID shielded handbag

I have been looking for the perfect shopping handbag.  After a lot of research, I now realize there is no such thing.  Unless you want to walk around with a safety deposit box as a handbag, there is not a completely secure handbag.  However, there are certainly a lot of things we can do to make our handbags safer, more secure and functional.  I took some of the ideas from our last bag, the Anti Pickpocket Bag, added a few details from your comments and came up with this new shopping handbag that I’m naming Gleam. I have added RFID shielding fabric and made the bottom stronger.  I have kept the handles the same and added a removable pouch big enough for a camera.  The zippered internal pockets are hard for pickpockets to get to because they are hidden under the facing. … Continue reading

Sewing the Anti Pickpocket Bag: Final Video Released

Hi Everyone, here’s the final video in the the Sewing the Anti Pickpocket Bag tutorial series.  In this video we assemble the body of the bag and do all the finishing.  You can refer back to the original project by clicking HERE or on the image below. Due to a large number of reader comments on the tutorial on our website regarding the emerging threat of electronic pickpocketing, I have included some instructions on how to use anti-RFID shielding fabric to line the bag.  This should help prevent someone from being able to read your credit card, passport or other vital data by using an RFID scanner.  We’ve got a lot more coming out on this important topic so please stay tuned. If you’re looking for a good source of the anti-RFID fabric, we’ve put a good option in our sewing … Continue reading

Sewing the Anti Pickpocket Bag: New Video Released

sewing bag lining

Hi, just letting you all know that we’ve released the second video in the Sewing the Anti Pickpocket Bag series in which we sew and assemble the lining of the bag.  You can refer back to the original project by clicking HERE or on the image below. The first video in the series showing the making of the twisted fabric handles was released last week. There will be a third installment of the Sewing the Anti Pickpocket Bag series in which we assemble and finish the bag.  Expect that out in a few days.  We’ve also added some guidance for using anti-RFID fabric to prevent electronic pickpocketing as well. The pattern download has already been enormously popular, with almost 6,000 downloads in the first week.  In fact, the day this project launched, we had our biggest traffic day ever on … Continue reading

Bag Handles from Twisted Fabric – New Full Video Tutorial

bag handles from twisted fabric

Hi Everyone, just letting you know that we’ve posted the full video tutorial for how to Make Bag Handles from Twisted Fabric Scraps on our Youtube channel.   You can make the handles long or short depending on the style and functionality you want.  It’s totally up to you and explained fully in the video. You can also follow along and read specific instruction on our website by clicking here:  Making Bag Handles from Twisted Fabric Scraps. These handles not only work great with the popular Anti Pickpocket Bag which is featured in the video, but will compliment almost any sort of bag. Please check out the video and let me know what you think.  As always, any thumbs up on the video would be much appreciated!  Your words of support always keep us going.

Anti pickpocket bag: FREE pattern, tutorial, and video sew-along

anti pickpocket bag

This is my take on an anti pickpocket bag made of fabric with twisted handles.  I’m calling it Helsinki and here’s the backstory to this design: As many of our regular readers know, I was recently away on vacation with my family.  During the break, we managed to visit the Bernina factory in Switzerland, call in on what I’ll argue is the finest fabric shop in the world in Italy, and as a final stop, we went in search of the famous design house, Marimekko, in Finland –all of which I’ll be writing about in the near future. In any case, while we were in Finland, in supposedly one of the safest cities in the world, my teenage daughter was pick pocketed and lost her very, very expensive iPhone.  Needless-to-say, her father was none too happy about this.  The small handbag … Continue reading

Making Bag Handles From Twisted Fabric Scraps

making bag handles

Making bag handles and using fabric scraps from your stash is the aim of this tutorial.  To set the scene, it is 3 am and as usual I am working late or is it early? –I really don’t know anymore.  I realize that I do not have enough fabric for the bag I am making.  I could sew a few scraps together, but that would make it look “patch-worked.”  And I do not have the interfacing to stabilize it anyway.  I could use a thick chain, but unfortunately I don’t have one of those either.  Can’t use leather or canvas because yes, you guessed it, I don’t have that either. So I get the idea from the fabric covered beaded necklace that is hanging from the mannequin and the left over cord from the fringed bath mat.  These were both … Continue reading

The Minimalist Kraft Tex Wallet

Kraft Tex wallet pattern. I live the slimline and functional look of the this Kraft Tex wallet - must give this new stuff a try.

Is your style more functional than fussy? Like to carry a small bag without being laden down with weight and unnecessary items? Or have a special guy and you’d like to make something just for him? Then I have the ideal pattern for you – the Minimalist Kraft Tex Wallet. You’ve seen me talk about Kraft Tex before in these articles: Learn all about Kraft Tex Kraft Tex key fob Printing and coloring on Kraft Tex Now here is a new pattern for you to try out the Kraft Tex paper fabric if you’ve not used it yet. The Minimalist wallet is slim, light weight and simple in style – perfect for you to add your own touches with personalisation, embroidery, stamping, embossing or painting. Materials needed for the Minimalist Kraft Tex Wallet: Kraft Tex paper fabric (or real leather … Continue reading

Small Fringed Bag Tutorial

Small Fringed Bag

Small bags are really “in” at the moment and a small fringed bag like this one is particularly fun and easy to make. A small fringed bag for me represents freedom from the overwhelming amount of things I end up carrying around inside my normal bag.  I was in a restaurant recently and my bag fell off the chair and you can imagine all the things that spilled out onto the floor.  How embarrassing!  With a bag of this size, I will only be taking the essentials –which is fine for a night out or lunch with the girls. A small bag like this is really a key part of anyone’s wardrobe.  This pattern will give you the choice of making a clutch or to hang it over your shoulder so you have some flexibility. This is a self-lined small bag which means we’re using the same … Continue reading