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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Handmade Style Zip Top Tote

Today I have another Christmas present finished! Wo-hoo!!! 2015 presents are coming right along and this tote is a real beauty! Say hello to the Zip Top Tote from Anna Graham's fantastic book Handmade Style I highly recommend this book. It is full of wonderful items to create and enjoy and it's beautifully written. This Zip Top tote is my first creation from the book, but all the items are on my sewing bucket list.

If you've ever made a Noodle-Head open wide zipper pouch, this tote will feel very familiar. It feels like a jumbo sized open wide pouch with handles and some fancy pockets, but the general construction is exactly the same....and the result is awesome!!!

This tote is huge! It would be a great overnight bag, all day shopping bag, keep all the kids stuff for the car trip bag....anything really. It opens nice and wide so you can really fill it up and it has several pockets. The outside features a "hidden" pocket on each side that is 6X8 inches and is constructed into the exterior where the two fabrics meet. The inside has one large zippered pocket, but you could easily add more if you\d like.

The instructions include optional leather handles, or you can make fabric ones like I did. My tote features cotton and steel mustang canvas and a fun print from Valori Wells that I found in my stash, I think they made a really gorgeous combination. One word about the front pocket lining. It is only visible on the inside of the hidden pocket, but it is a pretty large cut of fabric since it makes up the bottom half of the tote front. So, you don't need to use a special fabric for this piece, a not-my-favorite piece would work fine.
The inside is huge!

The hidden pockets are tricky to photograph

Pretty proud of this zipper tab!

For size 4 1/2 year old

This tote will be gifted to my mother-in-law as she is an epic horse lover. I'm hoping she loves it as much as I do!

Linking up to purse palooza 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Swoon Olive

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I have finished another bag today and it's adorable! This vanity case is the Olive pattern from Swoon. I made it for my niece, so the Christmas surprise is ruined, but I couldn't wait to share because it's just so cute! I think every woman I know needs an Olive. This little bag has a great round shape with a patch pocket on the front and piping details. 

I think this bag would be perfect for hair or makeup accessories or even for a traveling sewing kit. The only drawback is that there are no inside pockets. However, with the curvy opening, inside pockets may be kind of hard to access. I may try to add some pockets next time though, just to see...I'm thinking elasticized mesh pockets may work.

Overall this is an adorable little bag. I love the vintage feel of the design and I think this classic camera print suits it perfectly. The fabric is from a Kanvas line called "That's Hollywood" and the pink is Michael Miller's mirror ball dots, which I will always love. A great sew, I have yet to be disappointed by a Swoon design.

I did lose a friend while making this project little ripper took a tumble while trying to rip those metal bits off of this zipper....RIP little ripper. You served me well!

linking on to purse palooza 2015....go check out the great bags!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Hello blogging world...I am still around! I have been sewing and attending to other life necessities...but blogging has taken a backseat to all of that jazz.

What better time to get back into the habit than Purse Palooza 2015 organized by Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness! Purse Palooza really lit my fire for bag making two years ago and I look forward to it each fall. If you happen to follow me on Instagram you know that I have been sewing a lot. I've been making for gifts and swaps consistently. I decided to slow down on my swaps with the holidays coming up so I can make some great bags to gift this year. I have declared 2015 the Christmas that I actually get all my handmade gifts done on time! A promise I hope to keep.

So, with that first bag is done and it's a beauty. This Blanche bag from Swoon patterns is heading to my mom. I made a Blanche over the summer for an aunt and my mom had commented on how much she liked the shape. I finally found some time and got this pretty sewed up.

This is really a "just because" gift...mostly because it's too pretty to wait around for Christmas. It's a great pattern and the fabric is "Skopelos" designed by Katrina Roccella. She is my favorite designer, hands down...I love her prints so much!

I'm quite happy with this bag overall...I'm still perfecting making my own piping and getting it "smooth" around curves. I'd also like to add some more pockets to the inside of this bag. It has side pockets on the outside which are great, but I'm going to try putting an elasticized divided pocket on the inside of the next one...which will be mine...and may include some of my hoarded wonder woman fabric...stay tuned!

P.S. I think I may have crossed the line between stash builder and fabric hoarder at some point in the last year....hard to tell though, it's a thin line.

Front of bag, super fun plastic handles I found in my stash! They matched so well. 

Inside, pink per my mom's request

Side view 

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