Sunday, February 26, 2017

Marilyn Cosmetic Bag

I made one Patchwork version of the Marilyn Cosmetic Bag last year and I loved the pattern, the size and ease of making this bag that I knew I would make more. The pattern for the Marilyn Zippered Cosmetic Bag was designed by Imazz Patterns. I like that you can make it in all one fabric, 2 fabrics or use up those scraps and make a scrappy version. You can also add inside pockets or not, and a wrist strap or not, so this pattern is versatile too.

I took 2 Marilyn Bags to show at my quilt group and was asked how much they were and the woman sitting next to me purchased both of them to give to her daughters. I used a Southwest print fabric for one and used the same fabric on the second one, but I used a yellow fabric on the bottom half. But darn it I didn't take photos of the bag first, so I cannot show you those 2 bags. That will teach me to take photos before showing my bags next time, lol!!! Someone did photograph the Show & Tell, but so far they haven't posted those photos, so when they do, I will share them with you. This bag is so great for using small amounts of fabric, whether you do the scrappy version or the 2-toned version.

I also reduced the bag size in order to use some smaller pieces of fabrics that I had. On the smaller versions, I did not add the wrist strap or inside pockets, so those went together even faster.

Here are my large and small versions of Marilyn. These are for sale, with the prices listed under each photo. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing any. Thank you.
I made this large Marilyn all scrappy. For sale $15, plus shipping.

I quilted it with wavy lines.

The other side is a bit different with some different fabric scraps.


I added a divided slip pocket inside.

The verse side of the bag.

This orange SW print is what I used to make the other 2 Marilyn bags that I had sold before I got a photo of them.

This fabric was a rayon batik scrap that was donated at my quilt group. I added fusible interfacing to stabilize the fabric and it worked well. The rayon has a soft feel to it. I am keeping this one!

I also quilted this in wavy lines.

I added a divided slip pocket inside this bag too.



Nice size depth to the bag.

Yes I took lots of pics of this one, because I love it and it's mine, lol!!!

I made this bag smaller with no pockets or wrist strap. 

Same fabric as above, but this one is a bit larger, but still smaller than the original pattern.

You can see the size difference here. I didn't have enough of this fabric to make 2 the same size, so I made one of them even smaller. The larger one is still a smaller version that the original pattern. For sale $12 for the large; $11 for the small, plus shipping.

I made 3 bags using this colorful SW fabric and the bottom of all 3 bags turned out looking great, so I had to show you how they came together, forming a cool looking pattern after they were stitched.

The bottom of this one is slightly different than the other bag 2 photos below this. On this one you can see the black formed the same shape as the colored shape.

All 3 SW colorful print bags, made smaller than the original Marilyn bag.

The pattern on the bottom of this one shows a smaller black pattern than the bottom of the bag 2 photos above this one.

All 3 SW colorful bags from the same piece of fabric. For sale $13 each, plus shipping.

This is the interior I used for the brown Kokopelli print fabrics, which I show further on down.

Inside of the SW colorful print bag above with the fuchsia zipper.

I had a small piece of this fabric, which is a SW print designed by J. Michelle Watts (of Roswell, NM). SOLD!

Side one here. (SOLD)

Side 2 here. They turned out very close. I lined it with an orange print fabric. The photo of the lining came out too blurred to show you. (SOLD)

2 smaller sizes here of the Kokopelli print fabric. For sale $11 small; $12 large, plus shipping.


This is the same Kokopelli print as above in a different colorway. For sale $11 small; $12 large, plus shipping.

This is another smaller bag. This is a companion fabric to the Mola print fabric that I made 2 bags and showed up earlier in this post. No Molas on this fabric, just the same background as the Mola print fabric. For sale $12 plus shipping.

So there you have it, 13 Marilyn Bags (plus I made those other 2 that I already sold, and another small 2-toned Kokopelli that I didn't photograph yet, for a total of 16 Marilyn Bags)! These make great gifts to use for more than just cosmetics. I will be selling these bags. Thanks Imazz for a well written pattern that is easy and fun to make with fun variations.
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Friday, February 24, 2017

The Absolute Bag

A good friend of mine gave me a bag pattern, batik sunflower fabric and Soft and Stable already cut to size to make the Absolute Bag. The pattern was designed by Marilyn Forestell, who is the owner of QuiltWorks, a quilt shop located in Bend, Oregon. This bag is a large bucket-style tote bag which holds a lot. Marilyn says you can wear it as a backpack and shows a photo on the back of the pattern worn like this, but I would be afraid small items would tend to fall out of the bag if worn that way, so I would just carry it by the handles or on my shoulder. It's a fun and easy to sew bag.
The Absolute bag, with changes I made to the bag.
This is the Absolute Bag photo on the cover of the pattern. See the handles sewn to the top of the bag? Then look at how I changed this and sewed the handles to my bag differently.  

As a bag tester for several online designers, I found a few things in the instructions to be a bit confusing. The cutting measurements for one were not listed as to which measurement was the width and height, so if it wasn't cut on the true grain then there could be problems with the fabric sagging and puckering. (I did find my lining was a bit saggy, but not sure if that was "operator error" or not, LOL!). A quilter knows how to cut 2 1/2" strips, you would cut 2 1/2" wide (parallel to the selvage) x the length of the fabric. You wouldn't cut the fabric 42" first and then the 2 1/2" strips. But this pattern listed the long measurement first by the shorter measurement, which seemed backwards to the way most bag designers list their cutting measurements, so that is why it would be helpful to list the width, such as cut 42" W x 12" H, or 12" W x 42" H. If you cut fabric for an article of clothing that you are making, you can see the true grain line marked on the pattern piece. The grain line is marked so that you place your fabric correctly on the fabric or else your fabric might not drape properly. Luckily this was a simple bag pattern and I could figure it out or do it my own way.

Some of the wording was not easy to understand what she meant, especially without a picture to go along with it. Maybe I am spoiled, but I find the wording and picture together really help me to understand the instructions so much better. Sometimes having a picture really does help to clarify things that the wording alone doesn't. The format used for the pattern was essentially a paper folded in half with the photo on the cover, the material list on the back and the instructions in the center. This leaves only so much space for instructions. There was an addendum included too, which tells me the pattern could have and/or should have been thoroughly tested first. Apparently this bag was taught in a class, and of course having questions asked and answered in a class is great, but for those people not taking the class, then that's where things can get confusing trying to understand the wording with no pictures in places that needed some pictures for clarity.

I also like to make changes in bags that I make to suit my taste and needs. The only thing about the Absolute Bag that I didn't care for was sewing the straps to the top edge of the bag. If you are carrying something heavy that would put a lot of stress on the bag straps. I prefer tote style bags to have straps that are sewn the full height of the bag because it reduces the stress on the bag and it also gives you the perfect place to add a pocket in between the straps and having extra pockets is always a plus in my book! So that's one of the changes that I made was I lengthened my straps and added a pocket in between each strap.

I have small hands and grabbing a strap that is too wide will crunch the strap in my hand, so I also folded the strap in the center and sewed it, making the strap narrower in the center and easier to hold and also by doubling it over adds more cushioning.
Interior of bag with slip pocket. You can see the lining is a bit saggy on the right side.

This bag pattern did not call for interfacing, but knowing that I do add interfacing to all my other bags that I make, I did fuse Pellon SF 101 interfacing to both the exterior and lining fabrics and the pockets and straps too. I also quilted the exterior and bottom of the bag. If I were to make this bag again, I think I might quilt the lining and exterior fabrics together to avoid having a saggy lining and then add the pockets and straps.

I am not trying to be negatively critical about the instructions, just helpful. After all we all want patterns that we use to be easy to follow, right? If it's not easy to follow, would you want to make it again? That's one reason that I became a bag pattern tester, because I bought way too many patterns in the past that were poorly written or confusing. Once I discovered several online designers, I found their patterns to be well written and with lots of pictures, making it so much easier to follow the patterns. I am partial to pdf patterns for that reason because they are very thorough! Some bag pdf patterns I have are 70 pages long! I do not print the entire instructions out, only the templates. As my eyes are aging, I also find it easier to read a pdf online and I can enlarge the text on the pdf if I need to. While with those paper patterns I find the font size too small to read. So sometimes I will scan the pattern and turn it into a pdf to make it easier for me to read and I can type notes on the pdf too and then save it. So pattern writers out there if you are reading this, I just want to give you my observations about patterns so that you will make sure that your patterns are easy to follow. :0)
The bottom of the bag I quilted to hold the layers together better. This is the lining view.

You can see the handles at the center top where I folded over and stitched to give me a smaller and more cushioned place to grab and hold.


You can see here how the bag is a round bucket shape.
All in all I am pleased with how this bag looks and it was an easy sew too.
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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wine Cork Key Ring

I have been saving wine corks from Mr. P's wine for years and have quite a lot of corks. I have a Pinterest Board for what to do with wine corks too. When I saw several key rings made using wine corks, I thought I can do that! So I made myself a key ring. I made several more key rings, but haven't photographed them yet. I will try and sell those and see if they will sell. I will have several on hand gifts ready to give too. Since it's cork, it will float, unless there are too many heavy keys weighing it down, lol!!!

A few keys and plastic stuff like library cards, loyalty cards.

A cute little handbag/purse charm.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Passport Wallet

My daughter will be visiting my son (her brother) in a few months, so I made her a Passport Wallet to carry all her essentials for the trip. She chose the fabrics, and I made it for her. Bon Voyage my sweetie.
This is a large and tall wallet, but not thick.

Inside there are lots of pockets to hold her ID, passport, currency, coins, a pen, credit cards and airline tickets. Everything needed in one place. 

The outside opened to show the entire wallet.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Pillow to Hold Kindle Tablet

I got an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet late last year. After holding it and using it, I found my hand and wrist started aching as there was not an easy way to to hold this tablet in either direction for very long. I thought about making a cover style book that I have seen on the internet to hold the tablet, but I thought I would have the same issues with holding it, unless I made the cover that could also stand to sit on the table, but that's not how I would be using this tablet. I got the tablet in the first place because I wasn't able to sit or stand for more than a few minutes when I had the very painful sciatica pain last year and thought I could use a tablet while lying in bed or in the recliner. As soon as I was able to sew, I made a pillow that would hold my tablet in place and that was more comfortable to sit in my lap as well as to hold on to the pillow. Since I have a tablet that is fuchsia and black, I used fuchsia and black scraps of fabric too. Here is the result and I really love using my tablet now.
This is a comfortable way to hold my Kindle Fire Tablet. I used elastic hair ties in the four corner to hold it in place.

Here is how it looks without the Kindle. The pillow I sewed log cabin style.

The back of the pillow is just a flap to easily insert the pillow form I made for this pillow. I can pop out the form and easily wash the cover this way. 

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