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

Expanding Nautical Tote Bag Pattern

Great free bag pattern. Side closures make it small and neat or expand for bigger loads. Great hardware options

Want to keep everything ship-shape as you go to the beach or the pool? This handy tote bag has lots of great features and optional extras to keep your organised.  It also has a handy expanding feature to keep the bag trim when you don’t carry much, and expand it out when you have enough ‘stuff’ for the kids too. With the use of really cool hardware and handles, this bag looks anything but home-made.  Use a nautical fabric in red, white and blue and big rope handles to be on-trend, or mix it up with cool prints of your choice for an everyday tote that is sure to bring admiring comments from all your friends. Change it up a little Of course, all the hardware and fancy stuff is optional.  If you want to skip the rope handles and … Continue reading

Don’t forget to vote in the Make It Yours Contest

Vote now

  Voting has been open since 1st June for all of the amazing bags submitted.  Have you voted for your favorites yet? There are two categories: Blogger entries Readers entries Both selections are stocked full to the brim with inspirational bags that should give you plenty of ideas on how to use the free Clutch Bag pattern and really style it to ‘make it yours’.  Do drop over and vote in both categories and show your support to everyone who entered. Prizes for you, just for voting! There will be a chance to win prizes just for voting on your favourite bags. 2 sewing patterns of your choice from Seamingly Smitten Any 3 So Sew Easy sewing patterns of your choice $50 voucher to redeem for purse supplies of your choice from Purse Supplies R Us  (USA Mailing addresses only) $35 voucher to redeem … Continue reading

Make a mesh lingerie bag

Sew a mesh lingerie bag for travelling, storage or laundry

I’m always keen to try new things so when I saw this ‘fabric’ I just had to give it a try.  Fabric that is far more air and holes than it is fabric.  I thought this was going to be a nightmare to sew, but I was wrong.  It’s easy! Where to buy mesh It’s not something you’ll find everywhere and might not be in your local fabric store.  You can find mesh fabric online at JoAnn, and Online Fabric Store. How to sew a mesh lingerie bag The size of your bag will be determined by the size of your zip, because the zip will go the full width of the bag.  My zip was 14 inches so I cut my mesh 15 inches wide and 22 inches long.  I’ll trim it later Cut a piece of mesh … Continue reading

Pleated Cosmetics Bag Pattern with Spoonflower fabric

Ingenious idea to make and line 3 cosmetics bags all from the same 1 yard of fabric. Can buy this on Spoonflower.

Today, a free pattern with a difference – there’s no pattern!  Well, and it’s not actually free.  Other than that – it’s a free pattern!  What on earth am I talking about?  Well, I’m not making any sense because I’m just over-the-top-super-excited.  You see, I made my own fabric and the fabric includes the pattern. Here it is. Ta dah! Looks a bit odd, right? My husband saw it and said, “Well, it looks a bit patchy!” Have you ever tried to design your own fabric?  It’s hard!  Very hard.  I’m still learning about fabric color theory in the Free Class on color theory for sewing and quilting.  I’m certainly no graphic designer, so I started out with some easier patterns in spots and stripes.  I learned how to make repeating patterns in Photoshop and used a pre-designed color palette … Continue reading

Reading glasses case using a Flex Frame

How to sew an easy glasses case using one of those flex frames that you pinch to open.

This week, something bad happened to my sunglasses.  Oops.  They were floating around in my bag while it was briefly raining and next time I took them out, the lense was broken.  That’s the second pair this month I’ve broken.  And don’t talk to me about reading glasses – even worse. I keep my best reading and sewing spectacles at home but my arms are no longer long enough to be able to read menus when I’m out and about, so I carry some small readers with me where ever I go, and they are always getting bumped about in my bag.  But I don’t want one of those big and bulky hard cases in my purse, so I decided to make myself some small padded glasses bags and these Flex Frames looked a really interesting option. Materials needed: Flex … Continue reading