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.]  * * * * * * Hi everyone! I have sewn several zipper bags, but usually I end up with a different result than I planned and so this time I searched for a pattern – and I found Deby’s. The perfect size for … 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

Insulated ‘Keep Warm’ Baby Bottle Cover

I love these for baby shower gifts. Practical but pretty 'keep warm' insulated feeding bottle bags.

I’ve made a few projects with the insulated thermal lining before, the Long Arm Oven Mitts, the Can Cozy and Easy Quilted Pot Holders.  So when Daniela from On the Cutting Floor wrote to me with some more ideas she had, we were inspired to create a couple more projects to share.  See her project at the bottom. With so many of my friends expecting new arrivals to their families, I wanted to make a insulated baby bottle cover that could help to keep a feeding bottle warm.  I thought this could be used while out and about, or for night time feeds.  I did a little online research and many looked difficult to open with round zippers and the like.  With a baby in one arm, who needs complicated so I decided on a simple drawstring version which could … Continue reading

Free bag pattern – Turning Japanese Bag

Free bag pattern. The handles make this bag really easy to make, but it looks fab! I want one!

Never sewn a bag before or just looking for a quick and easy project? The use of metal handles in this bag means there is no need for fiddly zippers or closures, but the bag still looks super cute and just like something you could have bought in a nice store. Feedback to the site, comments on Facebook and emails I’ve received show that you all love to sew bags!  You asked for more quick and simple projects, more bags, more for new and beginner sewists and more projects that can be made with small pieces of fabric, or short periods of time.  I think this bag fulfills all of those. My First Bag Series - In fact, I’ve decided that over the next 12 months I’ll try to bring out several new bags that could all be sewn by beginners … Continue reading

Make it Yours – the winning bags

Make It Yours clutch bag sewing contest on So Sew Easy. 3 categories with lots of fun sewing prizes. Sew a bag and win!

Thank you to everyone who voted in the Make It Yours Contest.  It’s time to announce the winners. Blogger Category The winner is number 5 – Gosia from As I Sew who sewed this awesome fox bag.  She had to work out how to piece together the fabric and how then to turn the bag once she had made her design.   It was a close run thing right through to the end and a special mention goes to Georgia at I Believe I Can Sew for her great Owl bag.  Seems you all like bags in the shape of animals. You’ll be hearing more from Gosia, because she’ll be writing a guest post here in the near future and we’ll be collaborating on a bag pattern – I’m fascinated to learn more about her ideas. Readers Category The winner with the … Continue reading

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