All Rolled Up Tote Yet Again

Some projects never die.

I told you that I finished this project back in January. According to the pattern, I did finish it. However, ever since then, I have been contemplating handles. Mostly, I have been thinking of adding handles because of the way Vanessa (Crafty Gemini) stuff the thing full of tools, notions and everything sewing imaginable in the video introducing the Organizer Club**. I just couldn’t imagine how I could carry this thing around.

I thought about handles a lot and finally, months later, had an idea. I bought some pleather and tried making handles out of that, but it just didn’t look good on the bag. I saved the strap for possible use with another project.

So, the bag sat until last weekend. Post Flying Around, I am finishing up bag projects. I talked about the 4 Zip Organizer and the Running with Scissors tote. On Sunday, I turned to this bag and decided that Sunday was the day this bag was getting handles.

All Rolled Up tote with handles
All Rolled Up tote with handles

I thought I would make really good progress on the Poolside tote I am making, but I spent most of the day slowly working on the handles for this bag.

For some reason, I am convinced that these bags need to be supported. Part of it, again, is the videos showing how much stuff can be stuffed into these bags. The other part is that I don’t want to be trying to repair bags whose handles have ripped off. Thus, you may see some similarities between the handles on this bag and the handles on the 4 Zip Organizer.

Taking good photos of these handles was a challenge. In the above photo, you can see how far they extend off the top. I made the initial strip about 80 inches long. The black & white Peony Brocade fabric acts as an enhancement, but the outside of the strap is meant to blend into the outside of the bag itself.

Adding the handles also made the bag have more of a defined round shape. I tried to install the handles so they wouldn’t interfere with the wide opening of the bag. I think I achieved that. I think, though, that the bag takes on a different shape once holding the bag by the handles.

I am still not sure how I am going to use this bag. I wrote a dissertation about that before so I won’t got into it again. I do think that I will put Wonder Clips in one of the pouches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

**N.B. The Organizer Club is still available for purchase, but this is the club that was new in 2018, so any announcement of early bird specials is no longer valid.

4 Zip Organizer Finished!

4 Zip Organizer: Finished (inside)
4 Zip Organizer: Finished (inside)

I finished the 4 Zip Organizer on Saturday after a nice long day of sewing! I am pretty excited about the recent finishes, and this one in particular because it has been hanging around for so long.

I used fabrics that went with the All Rolled Up Tote. I am trying to create a matching set of bags and totes, but I keep switching fabrics!

4 Zip Organizer: Pen/pencil holder, D-Ring
4 Zip Organizer: Pen/pencil holder, D-Ring

As you can see, my Organizer has 3 pockets and a pencil holder. The pattern talks about making 4, but I used the directions from the Classmates tote to make the pencil carrier instead. I had to add another facing to the vinyl pocket above it. Though, Vanessa’s video didn’t say to do this, I figured it out from how she explained what pieces were covering others to finish them. I had an extra zipper facing, so I was all set.

4 Zip Organizer: D-Ring in action
4 Zip Organizer: D-Ring in action

While I was taking photos, I decided to try out the D-Ring. I grabbed one of the vinyl pouches I made for the All Rolled Up tote and clipped it on to the 4 Zip Organizer. I filled it a little too much for this bag, but it will work.

I didn’t want to put any fabric pockets in this bag, but somehow the bit of vinyl I had left disappeared after the Retreat, so I made one fabric pocket. I fussy cut the flower and think it looks nice.

Kam Snaps tools & Supplies
Kam Snaps tools & Supplies

After watching Vanessa’s video about snaps, I was shocked when I opened the KamSnaps supply bag. Included was the device that secures the snaps included! I knew I bought some snaps, but was convinced I had forgotten the device. It took me a few tries and some wasted snaps, but I finally was able to install the snap closure.

4 Zip Organizer: Thread Holder
4 Zip Organizer: Thread Holder

The Running with Scissors tote had thread holders on the center facing. I decided that I would add the same thing to this bag. Why not? I know I said I would use it for knitting, but who knows? I may need some thread or storage for Wonder Clips is always needed. Fortunately, the center is kind of round when the bag is closed so it can accommodate some thread or Wonder Clips. I bought the double fold elastic from ByAnnie.

I used a variety of colors of zippers from the selection I bought recently. I was pleased that I had a few extra for this project. I thought the zippers I used would be too small, but I had to trim less zipper tape on these.

I am pleased to check another Crafty Gemini Organizer Club project off my list.

4 Zip Organizer in Process

After finishing Flying Around, I needed a little break from serious quilts. I didn’t want to start a new quilt yet, though I have some fabric lying around waiting for their time in the sun. I decided to work on some bags that were hanging around. I am almost finished with the Running with Scissors tote and the Poolside Tote is cut out.

The 4 Zip Organizer won out. The last time I worked on this project was with Gerre back in June. Then, I quilted the pieces I needed to quilt and put it away to concentrate on Flying Around.

Friday was the day. I started working on it and got excited about it again. This was one of the bonus projects for the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. Ever since I started knitting the Lightweight Raglan Pullover, I have wanted to finish this bag, so I would have a carrier for my notions.

4 Zip Organizer: Long Handle
4 Zip Organizer: Long Handle

I decided to do some different things with this piece. I made a long handle put it all the way around the bag, so it would support the weight if I stuffed the bag full. It was kind of a hassle, because I forgot and sewed all the way to the edge. That meant I had to rip, but eventually I worked it out.

Since this handle worked, I have more of an incentive to finish adding the handle to the All Rolled Up Tote. I know! Yes, that bag is still hanging around waiting for me to deal with the handle. Perhaps soon, now that I am on a Bag Binge.

4 Zip Organizer: Thread Holder
4 Zip Organizer: Thread Holder

I had to add a center facing anyway, so I added some thread holders. I learned how to do this by doing the same thing on the Running with Scissors tote. I thought it would make a good addition, especially since I had that seafoam elastic, thought I think it will only hold small Aurifil spools. I am able to also use that elastic feature for Wonder Clips.

In making this, I found that the large Wonder Clips came in handy. I have only ever used them to keep my design wall under control, but they were useful in putting this bag together.

I also added a pencil holder and a D-Ring to the bag instead of one of the pockets. I thought I would like to have a pen handy (and under control). Also, I think i mentioned, I am adding a D-Ring to all of my bags, so I can move the small vinyl bags around as I fill them with critical supplies. I first came across this with the All Rolled Up Tote.

Stay tuned for the big finish.

Progress on 4-Zip Organizer

Sewing at Gerre’s house was great. In addition to progress on the gift bags, the Lobster and another Flapper apron, I also made a minute amount of progress on the 4-Zip Organizer.

Outside of 4 Zip Organizer, quilted
Outside of 4 Zip Organizer, quilted

My next step was to quilt it. Quilting is always a step that stalls me on a project. this was such a small amount of quilting that it shouldn’t have been a problem. It wasn’t a problem this time and I did the quilting at Gerre’s while chatting. It doesn’t look that different now – just quilted. I have to trim the quilted piece to its correct size, but that part is done.

I wanted to work on this project over the weekend, but I was absorbed by Flying Around. Also, DH and I went out to the movies. Still, I am thrilled that I have made some progress.

Organizer Club So Far

After completing the All Rolled Up Tote, I thought I would layout the massive number of projects in the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club that I have completed.

Crafty Gemini Organizer Club completions, February 2019
Crafty Gemini Organizer Club completions, February 2019
Sewing Machine Mat from front
Sewing Machine Mat from front

Four.

Yes, I have completed 4 projects. I still have 3 more projects to go to complete the club. I do want to make all of the projects since I did sign up and pay for them. I did not sign up for the subsequent clubs since I have not yet finished the three projects left in the club. Also, I have a lot of other bags and organizer type projects I want to make.

I also want to make another Roadtrip Bag that has a vinyl window rather than using vinyl all the way across the front. I realize that is not the design, but I want to try my design change in order to not have to turn the vinyl. I am not sure how I will use the Roadtrip bag, but I like the design.

Crafty Gemini Organizer Club completions, February 2019-open
Crafty Gemini Organizer Club completions, February 2019-open

You can still buy the club (no affiliation). Check out the video showing all the projects.

All Rolled Up Tote – Finished!!!

All Rolled Up Tote - finished (closed)
All Rolled Up Tote – finished (closed)

I am thrilled to tell you that I finally finished the All Rolled Up Tote!

Yep. Finished. Done. Complete.

It was a big project. Not difficult, but with a lot of steps. The steps made it somewhat daunting. I say daunting only because the project was unfamiliar and the sheer number of steps seemed impossible to complete. I had done most of the techniques before, if in different patterns, so that wasn’t the problem. I have a new appreciation for video tutorials.

All Rolled Up Tote - size comparison
All Rolled Up Tote – size comparison

The Tote is HUGE. I didn’t really understand how huge until I had sewed the main parts of the project together. It is really hard to understand the size without seeing the thing in person. I have included a photo with my most recent Sew Together Bag side by side with the the All Rolled Up Tote for comparison. I know many of you are familiar with the Sew Together Bag.

All Rolled Up Tote - open
All Rolled Up Tote – open

I am thrilled that I made such a complicated and different project. It is similar to the Sew Together Bag, but the construction was different in some places.

The other thing I did differently was the front panel (see blue/turquoise vertical strips). This panel calls for a 1/4″ piece of elastic to be installed horizontally. I didn’t want any pens I might want to carry around to be accidentally opened and bleed on to my fabulous Philip Jacobs fabric. I also thought the 1/4″ inch elastic was not sturdy enough and looked a bit cheap. I decided to install wider elastic, which I happened to have, having bought it somewhere along the line. I measured out a few items that I might want to have with me, if I carry this around as a project bag, and sewed the elastic down. I think it looks nice.

All Rolled Up Tote - sleeve view
All Rolled Up Tote – sleeve view

One thing that was hard to understand without the video was the sleeve. I tried to understand it before watching the videos and it was a mystery. Finally, I watched the videos and could see what it was for. There is an extra area below the pockets (thus the changes in construction in comparison to the Sew Together Bag) where one can store flat items. I put a ruler halfway into the sleeve (see right), so you can see the sleeve. I haven’t tried filling this bag yet as I haven’t quite decided how I will use it, so use of the sleeve may change once I decide.

My pouches fit nicely in the Tote. Of course they are the correct size, but my lobster clip plan worked well. It was pretty easy to clip and unclip them from the D-rings on the tote. Crafty Gemini shows putting WonderClips into one of the pouches, which might be a good idea, since I could take the pouch out and put it somewhere if I knew I had to refill it because I had used my ‘on the go’ supplies (like clips) for a project. I also think that these little pouches might make good small gifts. They do require a lot of steps, but are unique as well.

One issue I had with the pouches was zippers. I happened to have zippers that were the exact right size. Crafty Gemini doesn’t say anything about having zippers the right size. In terms of whether we needed to secure ends or add a zipper tab. I might do that next time just to make sure everything was sewn together tightly. I am concerned that the zipper ends will come out.

Some of the problems I had with a recent Sew Together Bag were alleviated by the pattern’s suggestion that makers hand sew on the second side of the binding. I did hand sew the second side of the binding. It took me somewhere between 4-6 hours, I think. I am pleased with the way the binding turned out. No sloppy looking stitching because of multiple layers and a cranky sewing machine.

I am I still contemplating handles. Some of the other people in the Organizer Club who made this project added handles, but I wasn’t completely happy with their design. If I were to add handles I think that I would like to add them all the way around the bottom of the project in a loop design. I imagine that these would not go over the top of the bag, so access would not be impeded.

Off hand I can’t think of other changes I would make to another version of this bag, but I have the feeling I want to make another one. *I*, of course, don’t need another one, but I am sure I know someone who needs it as a gift.

All Rolled Up Tote – Pouches

All Rolled Up Tote - pouches (front)
All Rolled Up Tote – pouches (front)

Part of the All Rolled Up Tote pattern includes some pouches that can be clipped on to the D-rings I inserted when installing the pockets.  I worked on those over the weekend and was able to finish them up. I am not 100% happy with the zipper ends, but done is better than perfect.

They turned out larger than I thought they would. Yes, the finished dimensions were readily available, but somehow I had it in my mind that they were about 3/4s the size.

All Rolled Up Tote - pouches (back)
All Rolled Up Tote – pouches (back)

I am pleased with how they turned out. The fabrics are cheerful and they fit well into the Tote itself. I also think the pattern would be useful for gifts to others. Even without the Tote, they could be clipped to other bags.

The clips are the one thing I did differently than the pattern suggests. I put the lobster clips on the pouches rather than in the All Rolled Up Tote. I wanted to minimize interference with items I put in the Tote and thought the D-ring in the Tote would be less obtrusive. I also thought that I might want to fill these with something that I would want to transfer to other bags, so the lobster clip would allow me to clip the pouch on to other bags without needing that other bag to have a lobster clip. I’ll have to start adding D-Rings to my other bags!

I just have a bit more to complete before the All Rolled Up Tote itself is complete.

All Rolled Up Tote – Serious Progress

The All Rolled Up Tote is finally starting to look like something. It is amazing to me how I can sew and sew on a bag project and it looks like a bunch of disparate parts, then all of a sudden it looks like something. It’s like magic.

All Rolled Up Tote - pockets assembled
All Rolled Up Tote – pockets assembled

Just as I needed the sides, the fabric arrived from HipStitch and I had time to wash it. For once I cut the outside properly and was able to move forward.

As I said, it is similar in shape and use to the Sew Together Bag, but much larger. The finished size is 15in./L x 9in./W x 6in./H. I placed my rotary cutter in the photo above so you could get some idea of scale. This bag is much larger than the Sew Together Bag.

I am also finding the construction to be a little different. For example, the pockets are assembled separately unlike the Sew Together Bag. I am sure I will find some other differences when I get farther along.

All Rolled Up Tote – Pockets

All Rolled Up Tote pockets
All Rolled Up Tote pockets

I finished the pockets for the All Rolled Up tote. As mentioned, this is part of the Crafty Gemini 2018 Organizer Club. You can buy the stand-alone pattern on her site. Above three of the pockets are shown. I have decided to alternate where the zippers start to lessen bulk.

The first pocket, which will go in the front of the bag has elastic on it for writing implements, glue sticks, etc. the pattern calls for a 1/4″ piece of elastic placed horizontally all the way across. I thought a thicker elastic placed vertically would work better for me. I didn’t want tips of pens to be too close to the fabric in case they should open and stain. I am also not a fan of that 1/4in. elastic. I think it looks a little cheap. My fat turquoise elastic (I wish I could remember where I bought it in case I want to make another) looks super fun as well.

Progress!

All Rolled Up Tote Progress

All Rolled Up Tote pieces cut
All Rolled Up Tote pieces cut

I am working very slowly on this All Rolled Up Tote bag, but I am making some progress.

I started cutting back in September and haven’t really put it on the front burner until now. It is part of the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club that I bought last year. I bought the course and am determined to finish all the bags in it. I have made several and plan to alternate them with quilts in the beginning of the year.

It isn’t difficult, but the bag has a lot of steps. It is similar in shape and use to the Sew Together Bag, but much larger. The finished size is 15″L x 9″W x 6″H. I am also finding the construction to be a little different. I should have watched the videos before I started cutting, but didn’t think I needed to. I know how to cut, but there are some tips and tricks. It would have helped.

The videos are a great way to make a bag. No fumbling with written directions and trying to figure out what they mean. I don’t even really like watching sewing videos, because I can’t listen to an audiobook while I am watching a video. I am, however, getting more into the swing of video courses.

I had to get some more fabric for one outside piece as it was challenging to cut and I cut it wrong.  Twice. Bleah. I can continue on and go back to that piece when the fabric arrives.

Gift Post #2: Sewing Machine Mat

Sewing Machine Mat from above
Sewing Machine Mat from above

You might remember this mat from back in May?

I gave it to Gerre for Christmas so she can use it for retreats. I sent it to her the week before I went to Portland. I made her wait until Christmas to open it, though I really had no control. She told me she really likes it and that makes me happy.

Sadly, the photo (above) is the best photo I have of the mat. I’ll try and take a better one when I see it at Sew Day.

All Rolled Up Tote Begins

All Rolled Up Tote cut
All Rolled Up Tote cut

I started cutting for the All Rolled Up Tote Saturday at Sew Day in between the Boxy Bag class. This one of the projects will not necessarily match my other Crafty Gemini projects even though that was the original intention. I wanted to use some text fabrics, so I veered away from my original idea.

This is sort of the like the Sew Together Bags. I haven’t, however, seen one in person, so I can’t really tell the differences. I do know that it is much bigger than the Sew Together Bag. One website says that the finished size is 15″L x 9″W x 6″T. 6 inches, which is as tall as my square ruler. This will be a large bag. Between this and the Tool Tote, I am not sure how my Go/travel bag is going to change.

There are about 2,000 pieces in this pattern and I only got about 653 cut out. I am happy that I got most of the fabric pieces cut out. What I have left to cut is batting, fusible interfacing and vinyl. Vanessa at Crafty Gemini loves her clear vinyl!

I didn’t print out all of the directions – just the cutting instructions, because I didn’t want to waste ink. I don’t know when I will sew on it, but since I have more cutting to do, it might be some time.

Finished: Sewing Machine Mat

Sewing Machine Mat from above
Sewing Machine Mat from above

I finished my sewing machine mat Friday evening after work. I got off a little early for the holiday weekend, which was nice and had some time to sew before the DH got home from Grand Parlor**

I had very little left to do, but it just seemed like something was always grabbing my attention away from sewing. There is a lot of house stuff going on and it just has to be dealt with step by step.

Sewing Machine Mat from front
Sewing Machine Mat from front

There were a couple of things I did differently. Vanessa of Crafty Gemini called for the threadcatcher to be held on to the mat by a loop (see an image on her site). I thought that design looked weird-I didn’t want stuff hanging off of the mat I was making, so I used sew-in magnets. I used two on the threadcatcher. It will not hold up to heavy garbage, but the threadcatcher is named “threadcatcher” and not garbage can for a reason. Since I had my giant stack (ooops purchase!) of sew-in magnets out, I used a set for the pincushion as well. The pattern calls for a snap.

The snap and the loop work fine! I just wanted a little different look.

I also made mine a little wider to accommodate a machine with a larger throat. The pattern was really good about mentioning this type of adjustment.

Sewing Machine Mat - threadcatcher detail
Sewing Machine Mat – threadcatcher detail

I think the project came out very well, but I am not a huge fan of this particular pattern. I think the threadcatcher is too big and somewhat unnecessary. Most of us have a garbage can by our sewing machine. I also think the pink cushion is extraneous. How many pincushions do you have?

However!

This is a great piece to have on a retreat where you may not have all of your pincushions or a garbage can nearby.

I found a pattern in Issue 35 of Love of Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I am going to make one of those as well – sometime – just to compare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

**I had to leave early to go back to work.

CG Sewing Mat Progress

I really wanted to get this finished on Sunday, but I talked with my Mom for an hour for Mother’s Day.

This pattern has committed a sin I am pretty firm on: make small bits first. This pattern does not have the maker sew the thread catcher and the pincushion first. I have the whole mat made and need to go back and sew some fiddly bits.

I am changing the way the mat looks. I am using sew-in magnets to hold the thread catcher instead of a strap from which the thread catcher can hang.

The directions are clever in the way it makes the thread catcher. Crafty Gemini uses a larger seam allowance for the lining to make the lining fit inside the thread catcher.

I don’t know how the pincushion is attached and will have to figure that out.

CG Sewing Table Mat

As mentioned back in April, I am a member of the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. I made a couple of the projects, but haven’t been able to keep up the pace since the beginning of April. After getting the Octagon Nine Patch ready for the quilter, I decided to work on a club project.

Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Mat
Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Mat

For reasons you will find out later, this project not going to be part of the set. I chose the ice cream cone fabric, because it is super fun.

As you can see, I am part way through the project. I cut the mat slightly larger than the pattern called for to accommodate larger machines.I have bound the vinyl pocket and basted it to the main fabric, but have gotten no further.

Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Mat detail (in process)
Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Mat detail (in process)

Crafty Gemini projects are known for zippers and vinyl. This project only has vinyl and I have an idea in my mind to make several of them for gifts. I saw another similar project in Issue 35 of Love of Patchwork & Quilting magazine. It looks very similar with a few differences. I am thinking of making that one to compare the two projects. Stay tuned to see if I do it. I have a lot of plans for gifts.