February 27, 2012

My First Sew Along :: The Pleated Boxes Pillow by Craft Bud

Craft Buds Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew AlongI'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I hadn't heard of a blog "Sew Along" before, but this morning as I was "blog browsing", I came across a sew along that is just starting over at Craft Buds.  Lindsay, the host of the sew along, is providing the free pattern download for an awesome pleated pillow, and if that isn't enough right there - there will also be 5 awesome prizes drawn to random participants.  All you have to do is sew... along.

While I know this is a bag-making blog, I'm not just a bag lady!  I just can't help but get drawn in immediately when hearing the beautiful words: patch, pattern, and prize.  After imagining the completed project made with lovely scraps from my Amy Butler fabrics, I was hooked and reeled in.  Instant download, here we come.

As Lindsay from Craft Buds says, "The sew along lasts just over three weeks. With an estimated 2.5 to 3 hours of total sewing time, you can whip up a cheery throw pillow to brighten up your living room, guest bed or any place that needs a little sunshine!"

I hope you sew along too!  Click on the picture to see the details.

Thank you for looking,
Janelle


February 25, 2012

Make Your Own Vinyl/Leather Look Handbag Straps - A Tutorial

How awesome do these faux leather vinyl handbag straps look?
The Emmaline Bag with 1" handbag straps.

If you want to make some great leather look straps from vinyl that don't show raw edges and messy threads, keep on reading because I can show you how.  They are super easy to make and they turn out so good.  I must say, I'm loving them.  Recently, I took one of my bags down to the local quilting shop and the ladies working there marveled over my handles and thought they were real leather.  If it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn here, I apologize, but I guess I am!  If you need a bag to try them out on, you can put these straps to use on my new ePattern, The Emmaline Bag, available in the shop HERE.
The Emmaline Bag with 1.5" handbag straps.

A few months ago I was making a handbag from a pattern that called for premade leather straps, and after looking around, I found that they were either really cheap looking, really expensive or available only by order and had a huge wait for delivery.  Now I am a really impatient person, so waiting for a strap delivery when I wanted to make my bag RIGHT NOW wasn't going to work.  So I went down to my local Spotlight (fabric and craft store) and found some gorgeous soft, leather look, vinyl called Utopia and away I went.  They didn't turn out great at first, because I had to figure out how to hide those raw edges without having to turn them inside out, and I didn't want any thread ends or back-stitching showing.  You can't have thick seam allowances either, but eventually, through trial and error,  I worked it out and was really happy with the results.

February 22, 2012

The Teardrop Bag ePattern is this weeks featured pattern and give-away on patternpile.com!

I've been searching the web lately for awesome new sites to promote my new sewing pattern and somehow in one of my very short surfing sessions (in case my husband is reading, who thinks I spend way to much time on the internet), I happened upon a relatively new Facebook page called PatternPile.com.   They post awesome links to free patterns.  Continuing on to the website, I couldn't help a little, slightly audible "cooool..." as I search through their collections of designer patterns for purchase.  Also, free pattern contests!  I love contests.  I had to contact them and desperately try to get involved in some way, and WOW they said yes!

Thank you to the wonderful team at Pattern Pile, and Susanne, for featuring my new pattern on their website, facebook, twitter, pinterest and latest give-away.  Pattern pile is the new place to go to get the latest designer handbag epatterns as well as heaps of free patterns and tutorials.  Not only do they feature amazing designer epatterns for purchase, but they are literally adding new free patterns and projects by the day. 

Join the website and get on the mailing list to receive free patterns links right into your inbox!  
Here is the link to mine, I would love it if you popped over to have a look: 
The Designer Teardrop Bag ePattern - A Beach Bag, Diaper Bag, Shoulder or Tote Bag

Thank you for looking, and I always enjoy your comments!
Janelle

February 20, 2012

A New Bag & Sewing Pattern on the Way!

Presenting The Emmaline Bag

Click on the pic to zoom!

The birds are back! I just can't get away from that Joel Dewberry fabric, so here it is again.  With wine coloured birds perched on bright white, with the aqua background.   LOVE. 

This is just a sneak peak of my new pattern line coming up. It will have a few options for the handles, pockets and magnetic closures.  I haven't decided if I'm adding a zipper closure yet.  There will be instructions for making your own handmade vinyl/faux leather handles as well - you can't tell the difference!

If you are interested in purchasing one of these bags, the aqua coloured sparrow one will be available soon, but the grey canvas version was sold it's first day in the shop.  I'll be working on another in a week or so.  There is a beautiful linen one (black toile!) coming soon too, I'm just finishing it up.  

The PDF Sewing Pattern is going to take about another week or so to be ready; I am in the writing/photography process right now.  Stay tuned for the release and inevitable pattern give-away contest.  Yay! I love give-aways!

Thank you for looking, and please leave a comment!
Janelle

February 15, 2012

Teardrops in Pink Stitches and Raspberry Sunshine

Last week I started a facebook contest, and the prize was a copy of my new PDF Sewing Pattern, The Teardrop Bag.  The winners were "carefully chosen" by a panel of judges, (me and my dog, Toohey) using strict criteria.  In order to win the amazing prize, you first had to enter the contest, and then you had to... WIN.  Yes, everyone who entered won!  Trust me, it felt really good anouncing that all eleven entries were winners, and the positive, grateful, responses were enough to make me want to do it again some day very soon!

Christy's Cute REG size Teardrop Bag
First, out of the gate to whip up a Teardrop Bag was Christy from Pink Stitches in Fresno, California.  Christy made the Regular size, she loved the pattern and can't wait to make another very soon.  She also added her own flare by making her bag reversible.  You can see all of the pictures of her scrumptious pink bag in our Flickr group (please add yours too!).  Christy Packard  has found a new addiction in bag making and you can find several in her facebook shop, which she is adding to daily.  Her passion for colour shines through and shows up in all of her bags, totes and clutches.  Check out what Christy is doing HERE. 

February 11, 2012

Make Your Own Printed Fabric Craft or Sewing Labels

Do you want fabulous labels for your craft or sewing products, but are totally discouraged by the price, wait time, and selection?  Make your own like it did.  It's too easy and they look so professional!


I sourced a lot of label companies, and yes there are a lot of choices.  There are woven and printed, satin and twill etc., but not only are commercial labels quite costly, but there is usually a minimum order quantity.  I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to fork out a large amount of my well earned crafting cash to order 500 labels that I may not like or use later on down the road.  The truth is, when I printed my own labels, it was mostly because I was too impatient to wait for a label order and needed a bunch for a market right quick, so I made my own and was very happy with the results.  If you are making something in a very large quantity, it still could be easier and cheaper (per label) to order them.  There are a lot of websites out there that handle woven labels, so do your homework and get a few prices.  But if you want to print your own, I can show you how.

February 9, 2012

Sew an Internal Zipper Pocket Method 2 - A Tutorial

 
How about trying another way to do an internal zipper pocket.  If you have already tried Sew an Easy Zipper Pocket - Method 1, you might want to now expand your fabulous zipper skills and try one slightly different.  

This still a very easy pocket, but it does have a couple more steps than the other.  It's done a little differently so that the zipper edges are hidden on the inside.  The bag pocket itself, provides a facing.  You can't tell the difference from the outside of the pocket, the big secret is how it looks from the inside.  See the photo!  

If you are feeling adventurous and really want to look like a zipper pocket pro, try Method 2.

February 7, 2012

Post Pics to our Flickr Group!

Do you want to get inspired by other people's awesome sewing skills? Or just share your own handiwork?  Sometimes I need a little inspiration and it's so helpful to have a look at photos of bags or projects that other people have made.  It's fun to "oooh" and "aaah!" over photos.
 
I've created our own Emmaline group so we can share bags made from Emmaline patterns.  If you want to share something else you've been working on, that's OK too. Upload away!
 
Have a look on the right of the blog, and you'll find the link to the group.  If you are searching for the group on Flickr, it's called Emmaline Bags Eye Candy.  I've upload 5 pics to get us started, but the pics won't show publicly for a couple days and you won't find the group in the search results for a couple days either, because it's sew new...    That's ok, that will give some time for you all to sew from those new patterns I sent out to you in the pattern give-away contest.

Show us your stuff!  CLICK FOR FLICKR


REGULAR SIZED TEARDROP BAG, See the shop for the pattern!

February 5, 2012

FREE Pattern Give-Away on Facebook! - CLOSED

UPDATE:  Contest Winners are - EVERYONE THAT ENTERED. I just love giving things away!

Do you want to try my newest PDF Sewing Pattern for free?  Hop over to my Facebook Page and read all of the details in my contest post and simply comment on the post to enter.  In 24 hrs I will draw out 2 or 3 (probably 3 depending on how many entries I get) names and the winners will receive a free pattern by email.  Everyone, whether I draw your name or not, will get to purchase my pattern at the shop at the discounted rate of $5.00!!

I would love to get your feedback on my new sewing pattern, so please visit Facebook and enter.

Keep reading below to read the bag description & pattern details:

How To Install A Magnetic Snap Closure - A Tutorial

So you are making a handbag; welcome to your new addiction!  Does your handbag pattern tell you to put in a magnetic snap, but it doesn't tell you how?  It's funny how those magnetic snap sellers just assume that everyone knows the tricks, so they don't enclose instructions.  Frustrating!  I hope this little tutorial is the help you need.  No more velcro please!  You are banned from velcro, these magnetic snaps look so professional and are way too easy to put in.

** Update: You can now buy magnetic snaps in my shop HERE!

Let's get started:

1.  You should ALWAYS put on some type of interfacing on any fabric surface no matter how thick the fabric is.  Magnets get pulled at and treated roughly and you need to reduce fraying, stretching and ripping as much as possible.  The iron-on adhesive helps keep the fibers together too.
Cut a 1.5" square of Heavy weight fusible interfacing. Center the square exactly where your pattern tells you to place the magnet.  I like to draw a line on each fabric piece and line the upper edge of my square on this, this ensure that both fabric pieces have their own half of the magnetic closure in the exact same place.  In this tutorial, I am going to fold my bag lining in half to find the center, and on this center line I am going to draw a line exactly 1" down from the top.

February 2, 2012

New Sewing Pattern: The Teardrop Bag

Updated:  This pattern is available at my shop HERE.

Yay!! My new, and first of many,  PDF sewing pattern is all ready to go.  It's all done and ready to put up on the website and the online markets for sale!

All I have to do is tweak a few shop photos, and write my item description!  I'll get that done tonight, but in the mean time, I can't resist posting a photo.

I really do need some photos of the bags on a model, and would LOVE them taken at the beach.  I'm just waiting for the next sunny day and a very fun photo shoot will ensue!

What do you think of the first page?




Now, I'm off to see The Muppets with my sweet little boy. 
Thanks for looking,
Janelle

Updated!  I was able to get some photos taken with a model (my gorgeous friend Rawinia).  Although they are not at the beach like I first imagined, I think the garden looks fab!

February 1, 2012

How to Sew A Slip Pocket For Your Bag - A Tutorial

How about a slip pocket in that bag you are making?  Try one of these super easy slip pockets. They are so handy for your mobile phone, your keys, your cards or even your favourite lipstick.  They are quick to make and look fab!  You can't create a bag without pockets!
Slip pockets can be any size you like, you just need to alter the width and length of your fabric to adjust the size.  In the teardrop bag (coming soon), I want very big pockets so I can slide in something big, such as flip-flops or sun block so I make the large double pocket shown in the instructions below.
A double pocket has two openings.

Materials:
A rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
Fabric:
1 - 5” x 10” for a single pocket
1 - 10 x 10” for a double pocket
1 - 16 x 16” for a large double pocket
OR use your own measurements
depending on what size you require

NOTE: If you are using quilters weight cotton or poplin, I highly recommend some light-medium weight interfacing on the back of half of a square cut as above, if not the whole thing.

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