Why I made a bag from someone else’s pattern

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Have you ever heard of Pattern Parcel?  Until recently I hadn’t either but then several blogs I followed promoted a recent ‘pattern parcel’ and I clicked through to find out more – I’m so nosy! Here’s what they say about themselves: “Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel it is our mission is to offer high-quality pdf sewing patterns written by independent designers while supporting charity. We go about this in a unique way, by allowing the customers to choose  their own price in supporting the designers included in the Parcel. In addition to determining the total sales price, each customer purchasing the Parcel is able to allocate how much of their price goes to the designers, the company, and to the charity, DonorsChoose.org. As a company we cover the costs of web hosting, design and payment processing fees from our allocated position, … Continue reading

The Ultimate Wallet sewing pattern

The Ultimate wallet sewing pattern. Space for 28 cards, coins, notes, receipts, list etc. Looks like a fun pattern.

  I think you’ll all love this pattern. The original Super Simple Wallet has always been popular, but what if you have more cards?  Need more space?  Want to carry all your bills, coins, cards and receipts in the one wallet?  Then the ULTIMATE Wallet sewing pattern is for you. You can even fit in your cell phone. Features: Enough space for 28 cards, even more if you double them up Large coin purse with zipper Full width space for notes and bills Space for receipts and papers behind the card slots Slide a phone inside too?  Or your shopping list, notepad and pen? Full written and photo tutorial AND a video tutorial too Finished size - approx. 6.75 inches, by 4.75 inches by 1 inch. Rating – This pattern has been rated by the pattern testing team as Intermediate. See … Continue reading

How to sew a recessed zipper on a bag

Great video on how to sew a recessed zipper for a bag. This is the easiest & clearest way I've seen to do it.

I’ve been working on some new bag ideas and one of the areas of bag-making that has been a bit of a puzzle to me until recently is how to close the top of the bag. Of course, not all bags need to be closed. Some simple tote bags are left open, and that’s just fine. With these examples of the Expanding Nautical Tote Bag and the Turning Japanese Purse, in each case simply holding the handles keeps the bag closed. The Zipper Top Tote bag as a zipper right across the top and isn’t very deep.  Other bags I’ve made have either had magnetic closures and snaps or zippers at the top, like the Easy Cosmetics Bag.  So I was up for a challenge and looking forward to learning something new so I’ve got a video for you today … Continue reading

Anke’s Brushes Bag – now with Video

Free pattern and video tutorial to make this cute cosmetics bag with brush roll attached.

Do you remember that awesome tutorial and pattern that Anke shared for how to add a brushes bag section to the Easy Cosmetics Bag? I couldn’t make up mine right away because I had to wait for my closures to arrive from overseas but I was so keen to give this bag a try.  I just love it when people send in photos of things they’ve made with my patterns, and especially this one where it was such a big change from the original. This is my version – what do you think? Knowing how long her tutorial was, I had set aside a whole afternoon, but in fact, it went together very quickly. The tutorial was just long because she had been so very thorough and included great photos and instructions for every step. None of it is difficult or … Continue reading

Fancy reusable market tote bag

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My guest post over at Little House Living this month is for this reusable market tote bag. It has a vinyl bottom to make sure the bag lasts and lasts and doesn’t get worn or poked through in the bottom like my usual reusable bags from the supermarket. My favorite thing about this bag – the lovely handles. Nice and soft to carry a heavy bag full of groceries but strong and attractive at the same time. Drop on over to Little House Living to take a look and make your own. There’s a video too.

Baby changing mat pattern – two options

Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

  Babies will soon be popping out everywhere so my sewing for all the new babies continues.  There’s one thing I know, when they aren’t sleeping / feeding / screaming, babies are pooping.  One of my expecting friends showed me the changing mat she used first time round and just told me – it’s just so big.  I don’t need all these pockets and things, all these bells and whistles.  Just make it simple and small enough to carry about, but big enough at the same time. And it needs a wipe clean inner surface. So I made one, and although it’s great and is already on its way to a new home, I wanted to make one that closed up even smaller so I made a second version too.  Here is the pattern and brief instructions for both. Making … Continue reading

Anke’s Brushes Bag – free pattern

Brushes roll and cosmetics bags combined. Love this idea. Free pattern.

I’m delighted today to share with you a tutorial written especially for you by Anke, one of the So Sew Easy readers.  She used the Easy Cosmetics Bag pattern and improved it immensely.  When she sent me photos, I knew I wanted to sew this so I begged her to share it with us all.  I’m so pleased she said yes.  Please welcome Anke from Germany. [Anke uses cm and mm so if you need to convert because you are used to inches, here is a handy online measurements converter here or a ready made table here.] UPDATE – you can now find my own project including a step by step video for how to sew this bag – click on the image here.  * * * * * * Hi everyone! I have sewn several zipper bags, but usually I … Continue reading

Turning Japanese Bag – some variations

How to make changes to a simple bag pattern to make it something a bit more special.

Have you tried the Turning Japanese Bag pattern yet. You should give it a try – it’s really easy! Part of the ‘My First Bag series’ it’s a single pattern piece, no fancy zippers or closures, the handles are ready made and it’s perfect to showcase a really nice fabric or a large scale print. However, just because its simple, there’s no need to stop there. A simple pattern is often an ideal base to start from if you want to add a few additions of your own. In this example: I add a hard bottom and some shiny bag feet It has a couple of small d-rings on the side where you can add a removable shoulder chain I split the pattern to use two different fabrics instead of just one. You can split it in any direction, sew a … Continue reading

Zipper Top Tote – free bag pattern

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made. Free pattern.

Did you ever see my review of the Craftsy Design your Own Handbag class?  It’s a great class and I wrote 3 articles about it which you can review here (Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3).  This bag today is inspired by one of the bags completed as part of the course, and uses some of the techniques and hardware I learned about in the class.  You can get this class at 50% off if you want to learn about how to design your own bag patterns. 50% off Design Your Own Handbag This pattern isn’t for beginners.  I’m calling this an Intermediate pattern and as such it comes with regular pattern-style instructions rather than the full step by step tutorial you might find with beginner patterns.  So some previous experience in sewing bags before and an understanding … Continue reading

How to add a zipper pocket to any purse pattern

Tips and video on how to add a zipper pocket to the inside or outside of a bag pattern.

So you have a basic purse pattern, or have a pattern that includes a basic slip pocket and you would like a zipper pocket.  Not a problem – this sort of thing can usually be added to any bag.  You can add them on the outside like in the Nautical Expanding Tote Bag, or on the inside of the bag in the lining like this example from the Carry All Bag.  Or both if you want lots of pockets and storage.  The exposed zipper can really add a nice pop of color and an interesting design feature to any bag. Here are a few of my tips and tricks to help you insert your first zipper pocket, as part of the My First Bag series of patterns and tutorials. Watch the video Here is an extract from the Nautical Tote … Continue reading

Back to school sewing ideas

35+ ideas for Back to School sewing projects. Bags of course, plus lots more.

Hasn’t the summer break been great this year.  For me, I had a great couple of weeks staycation here on Cayman and enjoyed some fabulous scuba diving.  At the time of writing, we’ve not had any hurricanes (fingers crossed) and we’ve still got plenty of summer weather to look forward to yet.  Here’s a look at what I like to do when I’m not sewing. But for some, summer is almost over, and the kids will be soon back to school.  Does that mean you get more sewing time?  Here are a few back to school sewing ideas to try.  As one sewist put it, it’s not just a home-sewn backpack, they’re carrying my love with them. Hover over any of the thumbnails below to see more details and click to go and visit the original page.   Back to … Continue reading

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