Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Quatro Bag in Paris Print

I found the pattern to the Quatro Bag at a thrift shop and bought it. I had seen this bag online before and thought it was a cute style. It's a Studio Kat Design.

When I started to sew this bag, there was a lot of confusing parts. First the pattern was printed in such a tiny size font and in a light brown color, that it was hard for me to even read it. I literally had to scan the pages into my computer and enlarge the size in order to read it clearly. This is my number one reason for loving and preferring pdf patterns versus paper patterns, is that I can read them and enlarge if need be on my screen.

Next the text and diagrams were crammed onto the page too, making it hard to follow and know what went with what. Some of the instructions were very good and some questionable. Some things had no explanation whatsoever, such as the pocket that is open on both sides. What in the world is that pocket used for? Nothing mentioned in the bag description, nothing mentioned in the instructions. I am still baffled as to what you would use it for exactly.

I had to make some changes such as adding interfacing to the interior pieces and outer pieces, and adding a firm interfacing to the bottom, as well as adding a zipper pocket to the interior.

Overall this bag did really turn out cute and I am pleased with it. Would I make it again? Probably not. This took a lot of time to make and had too many pieces to sew, with hard to read instructions.

On the front here is a pocket thingee that is open along both ling sides. See the topstitching? You can put a magazine, newspaper and closed small umbrella or? through this slide through pocket, but no mention on the pattern anywhere what this is supposed to be used for. Maybe you take off your cardigan when it's hot and slide it through the opening? Would you lose it stuck in there? Things could fall out or be pulled out by someone else. So unless you know what you would use that for, it seems rather useless and a waste of material and time to sew it to the bag. I should have put something in there so you could see it better. I couldn't even find one photo online of this pocket being used either.

And on the sides, there is only one pocket and what looks like a pocket but isn't. You can see the gap between the red and aqua fabric, that is the pocket. But where the aqua and Paris print fabric meet, no pocket. 
The bag has a recessed zipper

The back of the bag has a zippered pocket.

I added a zipper pocket inside as there weren't any pockets for the inside of the bag.

I sewed the lining with a larger seam allowance to try and make the lining fit snugger, but it still is a bit loose. The directions had you use the same seam allowance as the exterior, which would make for an even baggier lining.

A pretty button on the zipper end.
I didn't show the bottom of the bag because it is an oval that is sewn to the bag and you are told to ease in the larger bag to the oval shape and make pleats evenly around. I didn't care for that. I think the bag would have looked better if the oval fit the bottom (making the bag taper at the base perhaps) or there were designated places around the bottom to make a pleat so that it fit better. No one really sees the bottom of this bag, but the person using it, but it bothered me it wasn't a better fit. I did add a thick interfacing to make it a bit more sturdy at least.

The pattern for this bag is rather pricey and I would never have purchased it if I hadn't found it at a thrift shop for cheap. I really do not like how in most paper patterns that they cram so much into as much space as they can and that makes it hard to read and hard to follow and some things seem to be missing or confusing. For a bag like this that is quite involved to make, it should have been a pdf and had photos, lots of them to help you understand clearly each step and written in black and a larger font so it could be easier to read.

I also prefer each step to be on one page and not have to scroll down and then back up (like newspaper columns), before moving on to the next page and then repeating the scrolling. That is a pain to do the scrolling and makes it easy to skip something. There are even pdf instructions for bags that have this format and I don't understand why they use that format? Most people I know do not like that format. Those designers who sell both pdf and printed patterns, I guess they want to use less paper? There are those people who print out the entire directions too, (why I will never understand) and not just the template pieces, but all of it. Some pdf instructions can be 50-70 pages long, so why would you print all that out, especially without knowing yet if you even want to make that pattern again? Talk about being an expensive pattern! Even the free patterns would cost a lot of $ if you printed every word.
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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Companion Carpet Bag in Paris Fabric

I made this Companion Carpet Bag in a home dec Paris print fabric. The pattern is from Sewing with Mrs. H. This is the small sized bag, which is a really nice size and quite roomy inside. The pattern also includes a large size bag as well.

I have made several of these Carpet bags over the years and still love this pattern. When I cut this Paris fabric, I fussy cut the pocket so it matched the rest of the print exactly. When it came time to add some handles, I realized that whatever kind of handles I were to add would cover up the face of the woman on both the front and the back of the bag, since the back is exactly the same, except no pocket on the back. So I looked around in my box of assorted made handles and found these wooden handles, which would work well. I just had to add strap tabs and sew them at the top in the seam so it wouldn't cover up any of the fabric print.

The bottom of the bag I added purse feet and a stabilizer to keep the bottom shape.

The back is the same as the front, except no pocket here.

This bag opens nice and wide. I added a zippered pocket and a slip pocket inside.

Now you can see the bag with the handles up.
This is in my Etsy Shop for sale.
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Monday, March 23, 2020

Cloth Mask

My husband asked me to make him a mask since he is the one going out and buying groceries during this whole COVID-19 thing going on. I used a batik batik for the exterior and flannel for the lining. I added shoe laces for the ties and then put a couple of cord stops on the shoe laces to be able to tighten the mask and so it won't loosen as it is worn. I came up with the cord stop idea myself. Elastic breaks down so quickly and the elastic I had on hand that has been unused, but sitting in a drawer for years, is less stretchy now than when new. In fact, a lot of my elastic seemed to lose it's stretch, so I had to toss it out.

Here is the mask, being modeled by my Golden Retriever puppy. The puppy is very life like, even though she is made of concrete. Darn, I should have taken a photo of her before the mask went on. 

Side view.

The cord stops can be tightened on top and bottom.
Not sure how much protection hubby will have wearing this, but it's better than nothing, that is if he bothers to wear it at all. I think this mask will come in handy when he is doing stuff like sanding wood where there is a lot of dust in the air, so I hope he at least keeps it for that, especially since it can be washed and dried for many uses.

I think the cord stops might not be a good idea for healthcare workers if they cannot be sterilized, but for personal use they are great!
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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Harry Hound & Miss Kitty & Think Green

It's my day to share for the QQQ (or the Quilt Qwasy Queens) to help make you laugh or at least smile! With all this virus stuff and closures going on we need to connect with others (and virtually online is the safest way). Thanks to the Queen of making us laugh all the time, Joan of Moosestash Quilting for hosting this fun-fun-fun blog hop.

My projects aren't fall-on-the-floor hilarious by any means, but I know I cannot help but at least smile when I look at them and I hope you will too.

First up are Harry Hound & Miss Kitty. I made these two cuties and they were so much fun! I love how they are so patchwork looking and a great scrap busting project too. The pattern is from Red Boot Quilt Company. They have an Etsy Shop and also sell on Makerist.

When I made these it had snowed, so I wanted to grab a few snow shots.

The tail was supposed to made using a cording and sewn into the "tail spot". but I just made my tail using fabric and sewed it on through a cute button. I think Miss Kitty looks cute with this tail. I also added her collar using Kam snaps instead of just sewing it on. I did sew Harry's on, but I thought adding the Kam snap closure was better in case the collar should need to come off.

Next just in time for a belated Saint Patrick's Day, is my small Think Green quilt. This is an Amy Bradley design. I added the shamrocks along the bottom instead of making it into a shamrock necklace. Amy designs the cutest quilts and so whimsical.

Did any of my creations make you laugh or at least smile? I sure hope so, but if not please visit the other bloggers on this hop to see what funny rib-tickling projects they might be sharing with you. I know I am looking forward to seeing what these ladies have created.

Wednesday March 18

Thursday March 19

Friday March 20
Monday March 23
Tuesday March 24
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Monday, March 16, 2020

QQQ Blog Hop Coming Soon

The QQQ Blog hop starts on Wednesday. What is the QQQ you ask? Well, it is short for Quilt Qwazy Queens and hosted by the Queen of Fun herself, Joan of Moosestash Quilting. The fun all starts on Wednesday March 18. Come along and hop from blog to blog listed under each date for 5 full days of hopping, laughing, smiling and giggling. I am looking forward to seeing what the bloggers on this list have sewn up for us.

Here is the schedule:

Wednesday March 18

Thursday March 19

Friday March 20
Monday March 23
Tuesday March 24

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Monday, March 9, 2020

Twister Tote

I made this Twister Tote last month. The pattern is from Around the Bobbin. It is a fun bag to make and I love the Twister look as it's fun and playful. This is a good size bag too. It measures 15" H x 15" W x 6" D.

Lisa's instructions are excellent. If you don't have the Twister ruler or don't want to make the Twister section on the bag, Lisa shows you how to make it with just fabric instead; like using a fun novelty fabric would look great. The pattern is available in pdf or paper form. Your local quilt shop may sell Around the Bobbin patterns too, so have a look next time you are there.

And as usual I made some changes to the bag. First, I chose to use batik and hand dyed fabric instead of solid fabrics. Then I added purse feet to the bag, riveted my handles to the outside of the bag and folded over the center of the handles to form a tube-like handle for easier grabbing. Inside the bag I added a zippered pocket and a shorter slip pocket on one side and the larger pocket on the other side. I added Kam snaps to keep the slip pockets closed, since they have a wider opening.

Back of bag.

Inside is a large slip pocket on one side and a zippered pocket with a shorter slip pocket across from it. Bag closes with a magnetic snap.

I added these 2 pockets, the zippered and slip pocket with a divided pen pocket.

On this slip pocket I added a pen pocket on the left, but the remaining pocket was too small to divide it again and a bit too large as is, so that's why I added a Kam snap to keep the pocket closed when not in use or when small items are inside. If something fits that is large and sticks out the top of the pocket, that's okay.

This pocket was part of the pattern and you were supposed to make 2 pf them, but I made one and the other pockets above instead. I didn't want to divide this pocket in half as then the 2 sides would be too narrow and not as useful, so I added the Kam snap here too to keep it closed.

I added a heavy interfacing to the bottom of the bag and then added purse feet to help keep the bottom clean. 

Lisa has another Twister bag called Simply Charming Twister Tote and I hope to make that one sometime in the next few months. It's really cute too. It is a little smaller than this one. These Twister totes are so much fun to make the Twister part and so useful to turn them into a bag. It satisfies both my patchwork-quilting and bag making creativity.
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