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.

Ultimate Carry All Bag Review

I decided that I needed to get busy on the Ultimate Carry All Bag. The BAM Virtual Retreat is this weekend and that would be a good time to finish- or at least make progress- the bag.

The last thing I worked on was the front pocket. I did it wrong and it is still in that state. That is the first thing I need to work on once I get going again. I also want to make one of these for myself, to replace my current Quilt To Go bag, and I am thinking of making the front pocket for that bag at the same time I finish this one. I know I would be skipping a bunch of steps, but at least one piece would be done.

Lynette said that she is working on a different way to add the binding. Since I am scared of that binding based on Cyndi’s and Mary’s experience,  I am waiting for her to try it.

Mary’s bag looks really good and she went around the binding by doing part of it by hand with some exceptional detailing. Her example is one I am considering. I have done a number of bag bindings by hand when the bag was too unwieldy for me to do it by machine. I also get better results by hand on awkward shapes. I am not scared to sew the binding by hand.

Writing about this project makes me want to work on it. Of course, I have to keep up with the Journey2Nebula as well.

First Catch All Caddy

This post should have really been the first one I wrote about the Catch All  Caddy class. I should have posted it before the Baseball Catch All Caddy post. I realized that my mom, to whom I planned to gift it, reads my blog and I wanted it to be a surprise.

Paint Tube Catch All Caddy
Paint Tube Catch All Caddy

As mentioned in the Baseball Catch All Caddy, this was the project from my first Zoom class and I really liked the pattern. Lynette taught the class and she did a great job. I was impressed with her overhead camera set up (she used her iPad on a tripod). I need to figure out that kind of setup for when I teach. Things take time.

I used the color scheme of the original, because I really like that slate grey. I used a Cotton Couture solid from Michael Miller. It was easy to work with, though I didn’t like the fact that the holes where the basting stitches had been showed even after I took them out.

Instead of making a scrappy border for the pocket, I used one piece of fabric. It is the paint tube fabric that goes with the set of bags and holders I am making for my mom. I was actually glad to add this one to the group, because I am running out of useful bags to make for her. She really liked t he bag and thought she might use it to carry a project between her recliner and her sewing room

Paint Tube Catch All Caddy
Paint Tube Catch All Caddy

The bag went together pretty easily, which was why I could make two in one day, though I did cut the fabric for this one the day before the class.

I kind of like the simplicity of the bag and the opportunity to highlight favorite fabrics or scraps on the pocket border. I was thinking that I could use ribbon as well. I have some of that Renaissance Ribbon and this project would be a good way to highlight some of it.

I had some trouble with the lining, but was able to fix it when I closed the turning hole. I don’t think Mom will mind.

Mini Maker Case SAL Progress

Mini Maker Case - Friday Progress
Mini Maker Case – Friday Progress

I spent some time over the weekend working on the Mini Maker Case Sew-a-Long with Lillyella. She sent out more instructions on Thursday and some corrections to the pattern. I was behind. I had work to do, and did some, but also wanted to think about some things, so I spent time on Friday catching up.

I normally don’t use a zipper foot, but decided to try it this time as Nicole, of Lillyella, had some good reasons for suggesting it. After breaking a needle and having the zipper foot go disastrously crooked, I ripped out the zipper and put it in again using my quarter inch foot** and a stiletto**. After sewing in the zipper and top stitching it down, I was super pleased with how it looks. It may be the best zipper I have put in EVER. Maybe.

Mini Maker Case - handle detail
Mini Maker Case – handle detail

The handle was really interesting. I definitely like the look of it, but there were no instructions on holding it in place so it could be sewn. I tried one of the newer super strong Sew Tites**. That worked a little bit, but I had to hold on to it and check the placement until I could get it anchored in place.

Mini Maker Case - Saturday Progress
Mini Maker Case – Saturday Progress

On Saturday morning I went to work, having all the flat parts done. The assembly of the body was pretty confusing for me. You know how I am with pattern directions. Again, some ripping went on, but I eventually got the body together.

My next step is to assemble the entire thing. I know I should wait for the SAL, but I may want to keep the momentum going.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mini Maker Case SAL – Fabric

Since it hard for me to access my design wall in the way I like, due to my foot, I decided that I would work on small projects this week. This included the lillyella Mini Maker Case Sew-a-Long. Yes, I am also still doing the Journey2Nebula. I really just want to win the prizes they are offering. Not really, though a little bit. I like the push to keep up and get these projects done.

Mini Mkaer Case SAL fabric
Mini Mkaer Case SAL fabric

This is a cute little train case looking tote. It is designed for the Oliso mini iron, but you can use it for other things as well. I chose the fabric for the project this week.

I started out with the couches fabric and wanted more purples, but the couches fabric is more red-violet, so I found other fabrics to match. I might also make one in the same fabrics as my All Rolled Up Tote.

Catch All Caddy

BAM had its first Zoom workshop the other day and I took it despite some challenges. First, we had to do some prep work, which I did, but I think I went a little beyond, because I had a presentation and wouldn’t be able to join until late.

Catch All Caddy prep-complete
Catch All Caddy prep-complete

The Catch All Caddy was a bag that was given away at the 2013 retreat. I think it was one of the best bags given out when bags were still being made for retreats. Since then people who attended that retreat bring them to Sew Day and workshops, using them to organize tools and carrying their other stuff. Everyone else is envious, thus Lynette decided to teach the rest of us how to make the bag.

I felt good about my progress Friday night when I finished for the evening.

Tim’s Bag

Tim's Declassified Bag
Tim’s Declassified Bag

Tim has done great work again. He was inspired by Cyndi, another guildmate, so they are making Range Backpacks in tandem. Tim has made three so far and I am very impressed with his work.

The Range Backpack is a Noodlehead pattern. Tim likes it very much and says it is concisely and clearly written. He made some changes after making the first one such as using only SF101 as the interfacing and using a lobster clip instead of a buckle for the closure.

This is the pattern that spurred our discussion of the Hump Jumper.

Starting another Cell Phone Wallet

Start of Paris Cell Phone Wallet
Start of Paris Cell Phone Wallet

I have a favorite dress that was made for DH’s Grand President events. It is the one dress for which I forgot to make a matching cell phone wallet. I have used others, thinking they looked ok, but I like the matching ones.

I still wear these dresses when I go to certain types of events, so this project was sort of on my list. One problem was that I didn’t have anymore of the fabric and it was so old I couldn’t get anymore. At the January CQFA Mini-Retreat, I saw Marie with some of the fabric and asked her if she had more. She found a little more than a FQ and gave it to me. The fabric has been languishing since then. I was on the phone for an extended call and decided that was a good time to start cutting out the piece.

I didn’t have enough of the fabric for the whole thing so I used an AGF solid pink I really like. The outside will match the dress.

UCAB Front Pocket

UCAB Front Pocket
UCAB Front Pocket

I worked on the UCAB again the other weekend. Last weekend? I don’t remember. It started off so well, then I got lost. I couldn’t figure out how to finish the front pocket.

I really tried hard to understand the pattern, but just didn’t get it, so I contacted the designer. I still couldn’t understand the explanation, so I asked Lynette.

Lynette sent me some info she had sent to another bag maker. It didn’t answer my question, but I woke up the next morning with an idea of how to make the pocket. It may not be the way the designer intended, but it will get the job done – as long as I do it!

Arty Running with Scissors Finished

Arty Running with Scissors Tote
Arty Running with Scissors Tote

As I mentioned, I made another Running with Scissors tote. As you can see, it is for my mom and made with the paint tube fabric I bought last year. It will go with the rest of the set (Poolside Tote, Persimmon Pouch, Mega Pinnie and Scissor Cozy).

This version is an improvement on the previous version, but still not where I want it to be in terms of quality of sewing.

Arty Running with Scissors Tote-inside
Arty Running with Scissors Tote-inside

The best part is that I think the binding looks great. I am also pretty pleased with the inside. I made an effort to make the stitching really even and consistent. I think I succeeded, but we’ll see what mom thinks.

I have, actually, had this done since March. It was killing me not to talk about it every step of the way. However, my mom reads the blog and I wanted to surprise her. As soon as she saw the fabric, she would know it was for her, so I had to keep quiet.

I can’t wait to see what she puts in it and whether or not she uses the ironing pad.

 

Gift Post: Cotton Candy Pouch

I finally bought the Minikins Seasons 1 & 2 (no affiliation) a few weeks ago when I received a bonus from a vendor with whom I work on occasion. I talked about being obsessed with these patterns back in January since they came out. They are on sale when they first come out and then they went up in price. I plan to buy Season 3, if there ever is one, when it is on sale.

Cal themed Cotton Candy Pouch
Cal themed Cotton Candy Pouch

Anyway, I made my first project from the patterns, the Cotton Candy Pouch. I made this for my SIL for her birthday. Fortunately, she lives around the corner, so I just put the bag on her doorstep during my morning walk and then texted her to take a look. Not as good a party with cake, but something during this shelter-in-place situation.

There are a few things I had trouble with. I am pretty pleased with the evenness of the zipper, but the ends were a bit of a problem. Next time, I think I will use a coordinating or solid fabric for the side pieces. I think it will highlight the themed fabric better. I find that making a project the first time is always an adventure and a learning experience.

Cal themed Cotton Candy Pouch
Cal themed Cotton Candy Pouch

I also added a leash. I don’t know if she has a bag with a D-ring, but when she does, she will be able to attach it.

This pouch takes an 18″ zipper, which I thought was long. I don’t have many that size, so I’ll have to think about getting some.

Pockets

Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1
Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1

I spent the weekend working on my Ultimate Carry All Bag. I really needed to get on it since a few people have already finished it, like Cyndi. I am supposed to be one of the leaders, after all!

I already made the small front pocket, which is actually the third sewing step. As I think I mentioned, I don’t recommend skipping steps, but I needed to create the tutorial. Needs must.

Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1 back
Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1 back

With the small front pocket done, I only needed to create the two larger pockets. The one shown above is pocket #1 and is almost finished. I haven’t sewn up the sides or made the pleat in the bottom.

The green pocket with the pink binding on the mesh is the back of pocket #1. This is a hack I added. There was nothing on the back of this pocket. I know I might put stuff in it and forget about it. Still, why not have more pockets? More pockets are better IMO.

Pocket #2 has the pen holder. I don’t like white elastic, so I used more of the ByAnnie double fold elastic. I like the variety of colors and the elasticity. I wasn’t sure I would put the pen holder elastic on, but I did. Actually, I shortened it and added another Clippy pocket I thought it would be useful.

I made a ton of t mistakes and a lot of ripping went on over the weekend. These pockets are not difficult, but the instructions are unique. Also, I am experiencing a low level of anxiety generally and that is making it hard for me to focus on something as complex as bagmaking. Working on the HRTs is satisfying and not too difficult.

Almost Perfect Binding

I am working on another Running with Scissors tote. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment.I am trying to get my head around the process.

I was able to get the stripes in order this time, which was great.

Running with Scissors tote binding
Running with Scissors tote binding

I also did the binding really well. I am pretty pleased with how it looks.

This time I did better , thought I still don’t have a handle on the process. It is as foreign to me this time as it was last time. I think this might mean I have to make another one. πŸ™‚

 

More Running with Scissors

I am working on another Running with Scissors Tote and am heading towards finishing. It is another gift, so I can’t show the whole thing right now.

Running with Scissor Tote -Mesh Tape Trick
Running with Scissor Tote -Mesh Tape Trick

I did want to show my tape trick, though. The directions say to mark where to sew – to divide the mesh pocket in half. It is difficult to mark mesh, so I had a brainwave and used blue tape.

I did not sew through it, but sewed next it, where I would have marked a line on regular quilting fabric.

I am kind of proud of myself for this little idea. I hope you can use it, too.