Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Quilted purse

I wanted to make myself a new everyday bag. I love the Helios pattern by Anna Maria Horner that I used on the Cargo Duffle by Noodlehead (The Cargo Duffle pattern can be found here). Sadly the Cargo Duffle is way too big as an everyday bag. It would be nice to have this new bag match it though for trips, so I wanted the Helios print to be base color. I didn't want to make a smaller version of the same bag, so I set about creating my own pattern to use.

The Cargo Duffle (left) and the new bag. The new one is shorter and taller than the Cargo Duffle.
I went to Thread Bear Fabrics while I was in Georgia and had fun searching for some matching prints. Thread Bear is a wonderful, family run, quilt shop that has an amazing selection of fabrics at very good prices. They frequently run sales, so be sure to sign up for their email newsletter.

My wonderful husband helped me pick out some fabrics to use. He was the one who found the beautiful plum with gold fleck fabric. It was in the Christmas section, so I had gone right by it!

We then had to match a print for the front and back pocket to Helios, the plum, and my canvas color of black. This proved to be more difficult since I wanted a print I could fussy cut. Eventually I found a print called Fortuna by Tina Givens in her Chole's Imagination collection. This is an older collection, so not many prints were left, but I fell in love with yellow star flower. I also have a new love for Tina Givens, so expect to see more of her fabrics in my work!

The parts of the bag prior to assembly. Top-down:
outside of the bag, inside of the bag, zipper and ends
With my fabrics picked I set to designing the pattern. This bag was really made to accommodate the star flower on the front and back, so I based my dimensions around this.

I knew I wanted my straps to come down the front of the bag and I wanted to hide my pocket ends under these straps. I liked the accent base color technique (plum with gold fabric) so I used that to hide my raw edges for the pocket and straps in.

I took advantage of these straps to hide the extra seams created for the inside pockets. I love pockets in my bags, and by my standard, this bag actually doesn't have that many. I plan on making an extra zipper pouch or two for organization.

I debated for a while how I wanted to do the sides of my bag. I thought about attaching the zipper directly to the front and back panels and doing a triangular shaped side. I decided against that for now, but I may do that later. I went with a continuous zipper to base panel and I rounded out the top of my bag to minimize points. It took some math to get the dimensions right, but it turned out great in the end!

I also decided to use a metal zipper again on this bag, but I fixed the ends so they open from the center and act like act purse zipper. While I don't like metal zippers at first, once they wear in a bit, they are much better.

TIP: a fast way to break in a metal zipper is to draw on the teeth with a regular pencil. The graphite will help lubricate the zipper. They sell liquid graphite for this purpose, but it can be more expensive and may stain (when we had our house re-keyed, the guy at the hardware store used the liquid graphite to loose up the new stiff lock).

Designed and made March 2016

Monday, April 4, 2016

Butterick 5658 Take 2

Note: This is the second Butterick 5658 Tote that I have made. To see my first one, please click here!

I love my Butterick 5658 tote so much that I decided to make a second one. I really wanted a bag with unicorns on it, so I thought this would be a perfect bag to show them off on!

Interior shots of the bag. The top right picture shows the additional zipper pouch I added for easy access to small items.
This bag is almost the same, but with different fabrics, as my first tote. I did change three very small things though. First, I added a small zippered pouch on the liner above the main zipper. I did this so I could access small items without having to open my entire purse (This is really because I love my chapstick and found it cumbersome to have to go under the main zipper to get it). I think the interior slip pockets may be a little different too, as I didn't write down the dimensions I used before. Second, I changed the handle a little. I widened it and lined it with some fabric (note, how I do my handles is completely different than in the pattern. I also add zippers to the interior which are not listed in the pattern). My old handle was getting a little stretched from use, so I am hoping this will be a better system. Third, I added some snaps to secure my main top zipper (this zipper is not in the pattern either). These snaps will hold the ends up the zipper closed to the sides of the bag, making it very difficult for anything to fall out. So far, I am really enjoying these small improvements that I made!

The pattern for Butterick project number 5658 can be found anywhere Butterick patterns are sold. I happened to get mine at my local Hancock Fabrics store when it was on sale over Black Friday.

Fabrics used:

  • Side accents, strap, and base - Organic plum canvas
  • Main panel - Heather Ross' Far Far Away 3 Collection Unicorns on cream
  • Side panel and strap lining - Heather Ross' Far Far Away 3 Collection
  • Piping accent - Moda Bella solid in black

  • Top facing - Heather Ross's Briar Rose Clover in 
  • Main lining - Heather Ross's Briar Rose Frog Family in lilac 
  • Zipper sides - Heather Ross's Briar Rose Bee in purple
  • Slip pockets - Assorted Heather Ross fabrics from my scrap pile

Just a forewarning, Heather Ross' Briar Rose and Far Far Away collections are out of print now. You may be able to find some online, but they will likely be costly.