Wednesday, August 21, 2019

B.E.S.T. Shopping Tote & Stow-Away Folding Tote

I made 2 bags from Moments Designs. Both are free pdf's too. I made these bags using ripstop nylon scraps leftover from Hot Air Balloon making. I have made the Stowaway Tote before using the ripstop nylon material, but I wanted to try making the B.E.S.T. Shopping Tote to see how it would turn out. I am pleased with how it looks and it is nice and lightweight and foldable, while still being able to hold quite a bit of stuff.

In order to make the B.E.S.T. bag I had to first piece together the scraps of nylon material and then I topstitched each seam on the front side. Once I had the size I needed then I could construct the bag. This is a wonderful size bag for carrying all kinds of things. I take it to my quilt and knitting meetings to carry stuff and this Saturday it will be with me when I head off shopping at a quilter's destash sale.
I will make more of these bags to use up the ripstop nylon material I still have.

This is the B.E.S.T. Shopping Tote (which by the way stands for Big Easy Shopper Tote)~

One side with pieces ripstop nylon scraps.

The other side pieced.

Side view. I used this hot pink fabric for the sides and bottom and only needed piece it on the bottom of the bag.
Next is the Stow-Away Tote, which folds up in order to stow it away in your purse or glove box of your car. I used Velcro instead of a snap and added a postcard button for decoration over where I sewed the Velcro.

This is the front and how it looks when all folded up.

When the bag is opened there is a pocket and the flap hanging down. Since this bag folds up flat, there are no boxed corners, but the bag can still hold a lot and it quite sturdy.

This is the other side. I had a large piece of the green, so not as much piecing on this side.
The Stow-Away Tote above is a free pdf on Bluprint (formerly Craftsy). You can get this pdf here.

If you would like the B.E.S.T. pdf, you can join Liz's Facebook group and find this pdf in the files.

If you are not on Facebook, contact me and I will forward your email to Liz. Liz is selling her pdf's through her FB group using PayPal too, so whatever is no longer on Bluprint, you can ask Liz to email you the pdf after payment to her for any pdf's that she sells. It used to be so easy when it was Craftsy and they allowed designers to sell their pdf's, but things change and designers have to figure out what works for them now.
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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Coco Bag with Boxed Corners & Lots of Changes

This is the Coco Bag, which is a free pdf by ChrisW Designs. This bag and pdf have been around for several years now, but I have never made this bag until now. I think one thing I wasn't wild about is the darts on the bag. I guess darts aren't my thing when it comes to bags. but one day I was looking at some pdf patterns and I saw the Coco and I had one of those aha moments. I could change the things about Coco I didn't like and add things I do like and do a total remake of Coco, so I did, lol!

I made lots and lots of changes to this bag. I added a bit in height to Coco so when I box the corners, I wouldn't lose as much of the bag. I didn't want to use the tubing in the handles, so I made more traditional handles and I made some strap tabs with rings too, instead of grommets and swivel hooks. I used foam instead of fleece. I added a zippered pocket inside and I added a phone pocket on the back of the bag the way Christine does in most of her bags now, but Coco was created before Christine did that. I added Peltex base and purse feet on the bottom of the bag. I added 2 magnetic snaps to close the bag and added them to the top band, rather than the separate tab the pattern called for. I also added foam to the top band instead of using Peltex there.

The basic top shape of the bag is the same as the original Coco, but I changed so much to Coco that I now really love this bag! I am sure the original Coco is loved by a lot of people who make her and it is a great looking bag too, but you know I have learned so much being Christine's bag tester for so many years, that I just applied a lot of my bag making skills to this bag and made changes that I liked (some are strictly sewing changes and doesn't affect the look of the bag). I can certainly credit Christine for all that I have learned in the bag making world. I usually make at least one change to nearly all the bags I make, whether it is a Christine design or a design from another designer. That is the beauty of bag making for me is that I can make changes that I like to see in a bag. I love to see what changes other people make in bags they make too. Sometimes it is those changes I see that sells me on a particular bag pattern that I otherwise might not have given a second look to. And I know some people have told me when they see my bags and the changes I make that they are sold on that particular pattern because of the changes I made.

So don't think you have to make a bag exactly as the instructions tell you to. You can enlarge or reduce the bag to suit the needs of you or a customer. You can add or subtract or change pockets. Of course you need to have the skills in bag making to make changes and for me that took years and years of making bags and taking chances. I have had great results and some clunkers too that I either donated or sold cheap because it didn't work out the way I wanted. But with every bag I make I learn something and can make whatever changes I want to. 

So back to Coco. Here she is with all the changes that I made~
I like this blue and brown print paired with the dark brown.

Side view.

I added a phone pocket on the back top of the bag.

Inside a zippered pocket and 2 magnetic snaps.

A slip pocket with a pen pocket.

I added purse feet and Peltex (inside) to keep Coco's bottom clean and sturdy too.

Oh and so you can compare my updated Coco to the original Coco, here is the photo of Coco from Christine's pdf:


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Friday, August 16, 2019

Retreat Bag with Handles and a Tab Closure

I made this Retreat bag with handles and pockets last year and sold it at a craft show. I tried making this one with a closing tab with a magnetic snap instead of a zipper closure. It works okay, but was tricky to get it just right to keep the bag closed fully.

I quilted the bag to a foam stabilizer so it stand up nicely. I added front and back pockets, handles, the closure tab on the outside and inside are more pockets. I love making patchwork bags, especially out of batik fabric.


Side view.

The other side.

This is the back of the bag. I goofed on adding the rivets and the tab! It looked fine from the front, but somehow (don't ask, I don't remember) I got the placement of the tab and rivets off! So I discounted this bag. A woman bought it and I did point out to her the reason I was discounting the price because of the tabs. She didn't seem bothered by that. I was glad it sold to someone who liked it in spite of it's flaw. It is still a great looking and so useful bag! I think I will stick to the original zipper closure from now on, lol!

Inside there is a zippered pocket and a divided slip pocket. I love how this bag opens and stays open so wide with the internal frame. 

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Large Zip Top Knitting Bag

I made this knitting bag last year and sold it at a craft show. I forgot to post about it. I combined a few bag designs into one to create this large knitting bag.

The exterior fabric is a home dec fabric in a Paris print. It has dressmaking tools in the print too.

I used a foam stabilizer to make the bag stand up and I quilted it too.

Nice wide depth to the bag.

The back side also has a slip pocket.

Inside I added a lot of pockets, but I forgot about the boxed corners! So some pockets are going around the corner into the sides of the bag. On one side I made smaller pockets on top of the larger pockets, so there are lots of places to put tools. I even quilted the larger pockets. I discounted  the price of this bag because of the pocket goof I made. A knitting friend of mine bought this bag, so I know she will put it to good use.  

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Basket Made with Selvages

I taught a class several months ago on how to sew selvages and first I showed how to make a mug rug and then how to make a basket using selvages. This little basket was one of my samples I showed.
These are fun to make and a great way to use up selvages and some small scraps of fabric too (for the base, top binding and lining). These baskets can be used for all kinds of things, such as a thread catcher, a pen and pencil container, small project container and more.

I like to add some button embellishments where there is a white space on the selvages. This not only looks good, but covers up such a large white space.
This is the back side.


The side of the basket.

The bottom of the basket. I used a white thread to topstitch because I was showing how to make this basket in class and only brought white thread to sew the selvages with. It won't be seen unless someone picks it up to look at it.
If you would like to learn how to sew selvages and make a mug rug and a basket, you can purchase my pdf pattern on Makerist. I show you several ways to sew the selvages. My way is a bit different than others I have seen.
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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Patchwork Marilyn Zippered Pouch

I made a blue patchwork Marilyn zippered pouch (by Imazz Patterns). The bag features a removable wrist strap, so you can carry it like a clutch/wristlet bag, or use as a cosmetic bag or put whatever you want inside it. These zippered pouches are so useful for all kinds of things. The pattern includes the patchwork version as well as making it out of one fabric. You can add a pocket inside too.


This is the back side of the bag.

Inside is nice and roomy.

I used denim for the base and the strap.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Quilted Market Bag

I made this Batik Patchwork Quilted Market Bag (from Annie's Quilting) and added a lot of my own changes (of course!). It looks great in the patchwork and especially the batik fabric. My friend gave me the batiks that were wide cut strips and I have made 3 different bags with these batiks so far and still have batik strips and pieces left.

This was a free pattern last month if you signed up on Annie's Quilting Facebook site. The pattern shows the handles differently, going from the back to the front, instead of one handle in the front and one on the back, as I made mine. The handles going the other way is supposed to be for putting on the racks to fill your groceries. However, I wanted a normal carry handle and I am not certain we will even have those racks here when they do away with plastic bags. Sewing the handles traditionally makes this bag more versatile so it can be used for other things besides groceries, like a knitting bag or just carrying whatever needs to be carried.

The pattern is for sale on Annie's Quilting site. You can see what I mean about the handles when you click on the link.

So here is my version of this bag. I will point out my changes in the caption of the photos.

I quilted this to fleece and not batting. I added strap tabs, rings, straps and rivets instead of the handles shown in the instructions. I also made my handles narrower for easier grabbing.

Side view on one side of the bag.

I also added a zippered pocket on the back of the bag. Whether this bag gets used for groceries or not, it is nice to have a place for keys to access easily or a phone.

My signature zipper pull that I make and add to all zippers.

Inside I added a slip pocket that I divided with a pen pocket. This makes a nice place to have a pen or pencil and your shopping list, ins case you need to add something to the list before you forget. The bag is rather roomy as you can see also.

Closer look at the pen pocket on the left and larger pocket.

I also added a heavy interfacing (Peltex) to the bottom of the bag for stability and some purse feet to keep the bottom cleaner too.

Closer look at the purse feet. I quilted the bag in a diagonal grid with variegated thread as you can see better here too.

I put some of those packing pillows inside to show how this bag would look with something inside it.

The bag stand up nicely. I also added interfacing to the handles for a sturdier handle.

The other side view of the bag.

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