UCAB: Front and Back Panels Finished

During the tutorial session on Saturday during Sew Day for the Ultimate Carry All Bag, Lynette showed how to complete the front panel. I had tried and messed it up. Don’t worry, though, I will write a tutorial for this step now that I know how to make it to post here later.

UCAB front and back panels
UCAB front and back panels

Lynette went further than I had planned. I had planned on just doing the front zipper pocket, which I talked about the other day. She showed us how to complete that pocket, plus apply the pocket to the front, add handles and make the back panel with handles. I am really glad as it makes the tutorials move along faster and I have to create fewer. I am not afraid; the work just takes time.

One thing that came out is one piece was missing from the list on the pattern of pieces we needed for this step.  On part 2, pg.16, you need to add L6, an 8×8 lining piece, to the list of pieces you’ll need. This pattern would improve significantly if the designer went through and numbered all the pieces. I know you know that we did that at the beginning, but you can’t number pieces in the pattern that aren’t listed.

One thing I did was use the handles I made for the All Rolled Up Tote, which I ended up not using for that project. I decided that those handles would work for this bag even though they are a little wider than called for in the pattern. One side, which you can see in the other blog post, is pleather and the side you can see above is the accent piece I sewed from Philip Jacobs Brocade Peony fabric to cover the pleather seam.

I had to unsew and redo the back luggage sleeve because I forgot to put SF101 on the back. I thought it would be ok, but decided it was too flimsy. I am much happier now that I redid it, though unsewing takes awhile.

Finally, this project is starting to look like something. With the back and front panels finished, I can see the end of the road in the distance. In some part of my brain, I feel like I am wasting time when I am working on this project. I feel like I could be working on better projects. In another part of my brain, I tell myself that I am making progress, this bag will use up some fabric in my palette, etc. It is so weird. I just think this project has been hanging around for longer than I like and I want to be done with it.

I have to remind myself that one of the reasons we started this was to encourage people to make bags and show them they could do it. Perhaps we didn’t choose wisely with this weird and difficult bag. Fortunately, it will be a  useful bag. I don’t know if people will be encouraged to make other bags or be daunted.

UCAB Front Pocket Finished

UCAB Front Zipper Pocket
UCAB Front Zipper Pocket

We had another tutorial session on Saturday during Sew Day for the Ultimate Carry All Bag. This time Lynette was the teacher. I was relieved not to have to do the tutorial, because I was confused about how to complete the front zipper pocket. I had tried and messed it up. I hadn’t quite given up, but had put it off for awhile.

The directions seemed to be more complicated than necessary, but once Lynette discussed the steps, I was able to follow. The key is that L7 is sewn to the rest of the zipper panel by top stitching the top part of the zipper. you sew around the outside of the whole panel eventually, but this top stitching is such a weird instruction. I have never seen that type of instruction before.

Mustang Purse Organizer

Cutting out the Mustang Purse Organizer
Cutting out the Mustang Purse Organizer

The Mustang Purse Organizer is another project from Minikins Season 3. I decided to try out the pattern to give as a gift. I am making both sizes so the recipient can choose which works best in her handbag.

I started cutting them out at Craft Night earlier this week. I had other things to do, so didn’t get to spend the whole time on this pattern. I was able to cut out and interface the main exterior panels. I also cut out grab handles for both sizes.

There are so many great patterns in Season 3 (no affiliation!). There are really interesting shapes. It is also interesting to see how the different sizes of each pattern sew up.

All the Jane Market Totes

The other day I talked about the Jane Market Tote I made for the guild’s monthly door prize. it occurred to me that I had made a lot of Jane Market Totes, but I had never seen them together.

Voila! Here they are!

I am surprised to say I can’t remember making most of these. I guess they are kind of ephemeral since they go together so quickly. I am sure I will make more. I am definitely getting my money’s worth out of this pattern.

Superbloom Finished!

Superbloom Finish
Superbloom Finish

I am really thrilled with the Superbloom finish!

First I am excited with how well the bag came out.

Next I am excited at how well the fussy cutting looks.

Third, I am thrilled with how the Linework print and my strips fit together.

Superbloom top closed
Superbloom top closed

Fourth, I am ridiculously happy about the top zipper placket. I don’t know why this bit of a bag makes me so giddy. I don’t think I have ever done one before, so that may be part of it. I’ll probably come down off my cloud tomorrow.

Superbloom open
Superbloom open

Finally, I just love those turquoise zippers. Could they be any better? They add such a spark of color.

The lining is a little baggy even though I followed the directions and used different seam allowances. Not sure what that is about, but I will do better next time.

I was surprised at the size of the bag. I thought it was much larger. It isn’t a stupid size or anything. It is a reasonable size, just smaller than I thought. I really like the angled shape, though I don’t know if you can tell that from the top photo. I forgot to put a D-ring in it, though I know where I will put one next time. I plan to make another of these, especially since I bought the templates. So many bag patterns…so little time.

March Guild Door Prize Bag

St. Paddy's Jane Market Tote
St. Paddy’s Jane Market Tote

Last weekend I made a bag for the door prize at today’s meeting. I used the Jane Market Tote for the pattern again. This is a practical pattern that isn’t too big and goes together relatively quickly. I spent about 3 hours from finding the pattern to clipping the last thread.

It is scrappy green. I chose green for St. Patrick’s Day. I thought it would be fun to have green/St. Patrick’s Day as a theme.

I chose to make it scrappy so I could use up some smaller pieces of green.

Superbloom Returns

Anna Maria Honorable Mention
Anna Maria Honorable Mention

My first attempt at putting the exterior of the Superbloom Tote together was unsuccessful. I was disappointed and distraught. I left the bag for much too long and considered not finishing it.

Briefly, I thought about quitting.

This was a terrible idea, because I have other fabric that I want to use to make another one. AND the fussy cutting I did with the Linework fabric is fantastic. The fussy cutting on those side pockets was fantastic. Finally, after mulling a lot, I realized that I had been working on the bag without the benefit of the video. Many of Sara Lawson’s pattern packs come with the pattern and a video. The video is very helpful. She has improved the videos by tagging them to steps in the pattern. I was able to navigate right to putting the exterior together easily.

Superbloom Exterior
Superbloom Exterior

Watching the video really helped and I was able to get over the hump of adding the side pockets and the straps to the exterior. There was one step I did a little wrong, so I had some ripping to do, but it came out really well.

I am well on my way!

Next is the lining.

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. 😉  )

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.