Superbloom Side Pockets

Superbloom Side Pockets
Superbloom Side Pockets

I spent some time on Sunday sewing the Superbloom tote. I am particularly happy with the Side Pockets.

First of all, I always forget how easy those internal zipper pockets are. They really go together smoothly. I always wonder why I don’t just add them to every bag. I should.

Second, I am super happy with fussy cutting. I basically lined up the motifs with the template pieces. My one issue is that the swans heads got cut off when I added the zipper. I plan to add some markers on the template where the zipper is so I know where the zipper for the next time I make one of these.

I started putting the bag together and am excited to see how it will look.

Superbloom Tote Start

My YM’s girlfriend (YMG??) has a birthday at the beginning of January. I thought I might be a week late in getting her a gift, but here it is a month later and I have not made progress on the tote.

Linework Superbloom Tote pieces cut out
Linework Superbloom Tote pieces cut out

I decided to make her a Superbloom tote. I wanted to try this pattern and her birthday seemed like a good opportunity.

I used some of Tula Pink’s Linework fabric for the outside. YMG likes dark green, which is not a color of which I own a lot (shocking, I know), so black and white it is.

This is a Sew Sweetness pattern (one of the new ones) so I have every confidence that it will go well.

As you can see, I haven’t gotten very far. I still need to get beyond the cutting and hope to work on it this weekend.

Finished: Sew Together Bags

I finally finished the Sew Together Bags and they are now in the hands of their new owners.

The outsides used different fabrics and embellishments, as I mentioned, but the insides were similar. I used most of the same fabrics for the insides. While the white insides make tools and supplies easy to find, I think they are a bit boring and might use one or two pieces of colored fabric to break up the white next time (yes, I am sure there will be a next time. πŸ˜‰  )

As I mentioned in one post, the placement of the hexagon embellishment feature was off. I tried a few different things and considered some others. In the end, I left the original embellishment where it was and added a couple of extra hexagons. I think it looks nice and the original embellishment provides a surprise for the bottom if anyone looks there.

The recipients all claimed to enjoy their new bags. Tim doesn’t do much handwork, so I hope he finds a use for this bag.

Drawstring Bags

Drawstring Bag - Project size
Drawstring Bag – Project size

I have made various sizes of the drawstring bags from the Jeni Baker pattern a number of times. I had an idea to use them as gift bags and, more recently, I made one to house some juggling balls. At the last minute, I grabbed some Marcia Derse fabric that has been nagging me lately to make some more of these bags.

I have made her bags using the free tutorial a few times, including one for the juggling balls, but also bought the pattern, which has a number of different sizes.

Drawstring Bag - Artist size
Drawstring Bag – Artist size

Last week I cut out two – the Artist size and the smaller Project size. They go together very quickly once cut and are really great for wrapping gifts.

I do like that Marcia Derse squares fabric. I think it is a little hard to use, though, except for, maybe, on the back of a quilt. I think this is a good use for it.

I bought some twill tape awhile ago. I used that for the handles, but am not 100% happy with the look. I may go back and make handles that match.

Now that these are made, I am not sure how I will use them.

Retreat Pouch Finished

Sometime ago I bought the frames for the Retreat pouch. The Retreat pouch is a free pattern from Emmaline Bags. The pattern, as I said, is free, but the frames are not.

Retreat Pouch closed
Retreat Pouch closed

Over the New Year holiday, I decided I was going to make some bags, the supplies for which had been hanging around. The Retreat pouch was one of the bags I sewed.

I started out with the small size, which is about 8 inches x 4 inches. I didn’t think the small size was tiny. Once cut out, this is not a difficult bag to put together. I was able to finish it in a couple of hours while I catted with a friend.

Retreat Pouch open
Retreat Pouch open

I thought the installation of the frame was a little weird because the pattern says to remove stitches you have already sewed in order to install the frame. The pattern didn’t say whether to sew up the hole that I made, so I did.

I just used a frame for the Sheffield Tool Bag. That pattern uses a casing to house the frame. Since I haven’t used a lot of frames in bags, I don’t know what is normal. I prefer the casing.

I plan to use this pouch for my bag making tools. I might need to make the larger version for the tools as I have a lot of them, but I plan to make the larger one anyway.

I found a video that shows how to add handles and make some other changes to the bag while showing how to make the pouch. I have watched it, but I didn’t watch while making this pouch. I may add handles to my next one.

N.B. on Frames: I still don’t have a good handle on frames. I know how to install them in a bag or pouch in a couple of ways, but I don’t know if different frames can be interchanged in different bags. I haven’t made enough bags with frames to understand them very well.

Sheffield vs QI Tool Tote

After thinking about the two tool totes, I decided to compare them. I already talked a little about them in the Gift Post, but I think showing photos would help you decide which you want to make. I made the Quilts Illustrated pattern in 2018. I use it for my bag making supplies. It is handy to keep them all in one place.

Sheffield Tool Bag v. Quilts Illustrated Tool Tote
Sheffield Tool Bag v. Quilts Illustrated Tool Tote

As you can see from the photo above, the overall shape of both bags is substantially similar. The Sheffield Tote is larger than the QI Tool Tote. The Sheffield also has some 3D pockets in addition to the slip pockets on the outside. These additional pockets provide extra storage, though I wonder if the items in those pockets would fall out in transit?

The other thing I notice is that the handles are different. They are different widths and made from different techniques. I picked up the QI Tool Tote the other day and found it heavy. With all of my bagmaking hardware and supplies, it would be. That made me worried about the handles breaking. I think if I made the QI version again, I would make the handles wider.

That being said, I have not filled the Sheffield Tool Bag so I don’t know how it will feel with items inside. I do like the padded version of the handles (see tutorial – you can add these to any bag) for a bag like this and will add them next time I made the Sheffield.

The other thing I like about these bags is the frame. I haven’t made a lot of bags with frames, but the wide mouth aspect, enabled by the frame, on both bags is awesome. The maker can see into the entirety of both bags.

Again, the pockets are different. The Sheffield has more 3D pockets on the inside while the QI Tool Tote has slip pockets, including some on the ends. In a way I like the slip pockets better. I can see making a smaller slip pocket for the second pocket on the outside of the Sheffield instead of the 3D pockets. I might also make slip pockets for the inside of the Sheffield.

There is a lot of scope for imagination, as Anne Shirley would say, in this style of bag. I encourage you to try it out.



Gift Post #4: Sheffield Tool Bag

Sheffield Tool Tote - back
Sheffield Tool Tote – back

As I said earlier this month, I finished the Sheffield Tool Bag the week before Christmas.

I am usually pretty pleased with the Sew Sweetness patterns, but I found this one particularly easy to put together. The ease of putting together this bag was in direct contrast to my memory of putting the Quilt Illustrated Tool Tote together.

Sheffield Tool Tote - top
Sheffield Tool Tote – top

I found two tricky parts and the zipper was involved with both. First was the zipper panel and the video remedied my confusion. The second was the other/non-zipper tab end of the zipper and I am not sure how to remedied that beyond using a matching thread to the zipper and hoping for the best. I’d like to put a zipper tab on instead of folding over the ends of the zipper on that one end. I’ll think about that for future versions. I’d like to make another one of these bags.

On the bright side, I feel like I finally got the concept of ‘veering the zipper’. I talked more about this during the making of the Pink & Green Cotton Candy pouch. There is something about the way it was presented in the Sheffield Tool Bag video that fixed the concept in my head. Yay!!

It has a different feel than the Quilt Illustrated Tool Tote, though I believe the supplies were similar. I haven’t checked the Quilt Illustrated pattern recently, however, and I know I quilted the outside of the QI Tool Tote, though that is an option for the Sew Sweetness pattern as well.


Sheffield Tool Tote - inside
Sheffield Tool Tote – inside

I am particularly fond of the inside. Despite being canvas and VERY loosely woven, I love the design motifs of the fabric I used for the lining.

Now that I know where all the pieces are going to be used, I would make different fabric choices for future versions. Still, I believe the white fabric makes the inside light enough to see all of the supplies (and stuff) that would go inside.

Sheffield Tool Tote - front
Sheffield Tool Tote – front

I didn’t have enough fabric for the slip pockets to be the same on both sides of the bag, so I used similar colors, but different fabrics. I think they look ok. The ice cream fabric was used so that it goes with the Classmates tote I made last year.


Gift Post: Mini Maker Case

Mini Maker Case
Mini Maker Case

I finished the Mini Maker Case in September. I wanted to save the post  for after I gifted it. The recipient, Friend Julie, reads this blog on occasion and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

The small Oliso irons didn’t arrive until after her birthday, so this ended up as a Christmas gift. I sent it off with the iron and a couple of other gifts last week. I meant to take a photo of my iron inside the case, but forgot. I hope she will take one after she receives it and has a chance to look through her gifts.

I want to make one for myself. It is kind of a talisman for when Sew Days start up again.

Sew Together Bag Progress

Gift Sew Together Bag Linings
Gift Sew Together Bag Linings

After a good day of gift sewing on Saturday, I got back to the Sew Together Bags, finally.

As you know, I am making three. I spoke with Gerre on the phone on Saturday.While we talked I was able to get the pincushions stuffed and stitched to one of the panels. It is a good quiet task and I hadn’t spent the time to do it before Saturday.

Once Gerre and I finished getting caught up, I set to work sewing the lining together. As you know the lining is made up of the 4 pieces you see in the photo plus 6 pocket linings as well, which are on the bottom.

I did have to resort to the Quilt Barn Sew-a-long tutorials, which were really helpful. I saved them as PDFs and was able to make some annotations that are helpful.

Embroidery Sew Together Bag Open
Embroidery Sew Together Bag Open

Seeing the way the all white linings look, I think I will add some color next time. I like the red-violet inside of my embroidery Sew Together Bag.

I was also able to make some progress on the third lining. I didn’t quite finish, however.

Sheffield Progress

Sheffield Bag Exterior in process
Sheffield Bag Exterior in process

I made good progress on Sunday on the Sheffield Bag. There was very little ripping until I got to the zipper installation, which was all ripping all the time.

I have the handles clipped so they are out of the way. You can see a good view of the various pockets. I think the pocket construction on the gathered pockets would be much easier than the similar pockets on the Oslo Craft Bag. If I make the Oslo Craft Bag again, I will use this pocket construction.

I am kind of on a Sew Sweetness binge lately, aren’t I? Oslo Craft Bag, Sidewinder Pouches and the Sheffield Bag all within a month. I do have quite a few of her patterns and feel like I need to make my way through them.

Sheffield Tool Tote Begins

I started cutting out the Sheffield Tool Tote last week during Sew Happy Hour. I really got busy on it Friday, which is when I finished the cutting and, then, yesterday I started the sewing. Cutting out projects really makes me feel like I am getting nowhere so making pockets and the exterior made me feel like I was making progress.

This is a pretty structured bag by Sew Sweetness. It is similar to the Quilts Illustrated Tool Tote I made a few years ago (?). I bought it as part of the His, Hers and Furs bundle when that bundle was on sale (no affiliation). This is the first project I have made from that bundle.

Gift Post #1: Oslo Craft Bag

Oslo Craft Bag Swap Gift - side 2
Oslo Craft Bag Swap Gift – side 2

I joined the most recent guild swap and made an Oslo Craft Bag for Cyndi. She said she wanted any kind of tote bag. I was on the fence about this bag as it doesn’t strike me as a straight tote bag.

A few years ago I wrote about this bag and have been wanting to make one ever since. This was a great opportunity. I put a note in the bag that I would make her a real tote if this wasn’t what she was expecting. I thought about making her a Multi-tasker tote as well, but lost steam and didn’t get to it. I kind of want to make her a Superbloom tote as well.

Oslo Craft Bag Swap Gift
Oslo Craft Bag Swap Gift

This bag went together with no problems. I thought the pockets with the yellow binding were a little too fussy. However, I like it that they have dimension. I don’t know if I would make them the same way again, but I like to make the pattern as is the first time, as you know.

I saw another version in the Facebook group (a good use of FB, IMO) where the maker put two pockets like the top photo shows, but put a second mesh pocket over the first. I am thinking about making another one and I might do that. I like mesh for some reason, though I am not sure what it is good for in terms of storing sewing items.

Oslo Craft Bag Swap Gift - interior
Oslo Craft Bag Swap Gift – interior

I was disappointed in the interior. Not the design, but the saggy-bagginess of it. The seam allowance was 1/2 inch, which I thought meant that Sara had included enough to take up some of the lining so it wouldn’t sag. No such luck. The exterior was sewn with a 1/2 inch seam allowance as well. I tried a few things to make the lining fit better. Short of taking the whole thing apart, none of my efforts worked.

It is a nice rectangular bag and I think it would be useful for various tasks including bringing things to Sew Day. We’ll see what Cyndi thinks.

Gift Sew Together Bags

I decided to make some Sew Together Bags as gifts. I know I have whined and complained about making them before, but I was reminded how useful they are when I was using my Embroidery Sew Together Bag for Craft Night. I have a couple of friends for whom I want to make something special and these will also be useful.

I know I should be working on the UCAB! I can’t seem to get myself to do it, but I really need to get it done.

Cutting for STB gifts - November 2020
Cutting for STB gifts – November 2020

I spent the day on Wednesday cutting the pieces. I didn’t get all the way through the fusible nor did I have time to quilt the outside, but I am much farther along than I was before I started.

I didn’t bring the binding fabric, so I have to cut that, but all the other fabric pieces are cut.

Even though it is fiddly, I do want to make a pincushion for each bag. I have added them to all of my Sew Together Bags and I think it is a very useful feature.

Piecing for Sew Together Bag Exterior
Piecing for Sew Together Bag Exterior

One thing I am going to do is to try and embellish the outside. I am going to add a little piecing to the exterior. The pattern, which I have said is basic at best, talks briefly about ’embellishing’ the outside, but doesn’t give specifics. Since I have two Sew Together Bags of my own, I measured the outside of one of them and have an idea of where to place the added piecing. It will look something like the above example.

I read some of my posts again and found that this is a hard project. I have some good advice for myself. I will try to take it. πŸ˜‰ I know that I will be able to do them relatively quickly.

Retreat Bag

Mary and I were talking about something else when I remembered the Retreat Bag she and I decided to make. Neither of us have done it, but we both have all of the supplies, including the wire frame. This is a free pattern from Emmaline Bags. The pattern shows the frame you need and that is not free, sadly, but having a free pattern is helpful. And we have to support women owned small businesses.

Emmaline Bags Retreat Bag -free pattern
Emmaline Bags Retreat Bag -free pattern

The bag really doesn’t have anything to do with Retreats – as in going away to sew – I think that is just the name.

I also noticed  that Laura Coia of SewVeryEasy has a video on how to make the bag with the addition of an outside slip pocket and handles. This video is linked from the pattern page on the Emmaline site. I also saw a video from Birdcage and Thread that shows how to make this bag. The techniques in the two videos are a little different and one might work better for you. It’s good to have a choice.

I have two frames, so I can make two of these with the supplies I have on hand. I have been trying to think about what types of items/supplies I would store in this pouch and haven’t come up with anything yet. I could make one, or both, as a gift.

I am also thinking it might need a handle, leash or shoulder strap.

I seem to have a strong desire/need to finish things. I know I should be more enamored of the process. I have been trying for years to be more about the process, but I think I am sick of looking at things in my workroom and need to just make the projects and be done with them. OR fall in love with the process once I have tried it and go back for more.

Bottomline:  many bags and not enough time.