I've been working on secret sewing lately and it's been so hard to keep them all quiet. I'm bursting at the seams to share these awesome patterns and thrilled I can finally show you this one. It's the Prairie Girl bag, by Janelle from Emmaline Bags, for the December pattern in the Bag of the Month Club.
This bag has it all! The front zippered pocket has card slots, and even a pen loop! The main section is two separate zippered compartments and the strap is adjustable so you can wear it on the shoulder, or cross-body. Lining up the butterflies from the pocket to the main bag was an experiment that worked, thankfully!
I'm not a prairie girl myself, having lived on the west coast my whole life, but I wanted the fabric for this test to match the name. I envisioned butterflies in sunny fields and pretty foliage when I did this fabric pull, and I think they're so pretty together. These are prints from two Lizzy House collections: Natural History and The Lovely Hunt.
A great thing about this bag is that it's low on hardware. It really only needs an adjustable slide and 2 rings. I even managed to upcycle my hardware from a thrift store bag. You can also use rivets to attach the straps, but if rivets make you nervous, you can just stitch them on instead.
If you want to read more about the Bag of the Month Club, you can check out the Emmaline Blog. There's also a big announcement from Janelle in her post, you won't want to miss it.
Once again, I've joined Pattern Revolution's One Thimble Tour, this time for the release of Issue 13. One Thimble always has a great variety of patterns, and usually at least one bag pattern, so I was happy to have an opportunity to try this one out for the tour.
In case you haven't heard of One Thimble before, or if you need a refresher, let me fill you in: One Thimble is a digital sewing magazine, each issue filled with patterns, tutorials, articles and other great resources. There are even promo codes in each issue for other sewing related businesses.
Issue 13 is the Summer issue (they're based out of Australia, and those lucky bums are enjoying sunshine and warmth, while I'm heading into the cold, rainy season on the other side of the world), so the patterns are inspired by the season, including a swimsuit and an adorable applique. In the past, I've found the tutorials to be as valuable as the patterns in the issues and often make great gifts. The articles are great too; sometimes they're general interest, and often they can offer tips for a budding sewing business.
The Sakuro Clutch
This bag looks like a fancy clutch, but it actually doubles as a tablet case! It's padded, and offers plenty of space for a full-sized tablet. I like that this clutch offers a lot of room to personalize it. The main feature is a reverse applique on the back of the clutch which you can use to show off a favourite print. I used a small portion of the Tumbling Blocks Weave I recently made.
Another feature of this pattern from Little Moo Designs, is that the exterior fabric is meant to be a non-fraying material, like leather, vinyl or cork, because the reverse applique on the back is done without a finished edge. If you're wanting to try sewing with one of these materials, this is a good pattern to start with.
I received some cork from Sara at Sew Sweetness, and decided to give it a try for the first time on this pattern. The colour she sent me matches the tones of the weave perfectly, so it was meant to be!
The pattern comes with instructions on installing a turn lock and metal trim if you like, but I loved the texture of the cork, so I used a magnetic snap instead.
Another suggestion in the pattern was to add a tassel, and I was so pleased to put this tassel hardware from Emmaline Bags to use. It worked perfectly with the cork, and the tutorial linked in the listing was so easy to follow.
I almost forgot to mention how quick this one is to make. I started and finished on the same day, and that never happens for me, I'm slow and easily distracted, but this is only one pattern piece so it really cuts down on sewing and cutting time. It also makes for an easy gift for anyone.
Take advantage of the early bird bonus and get your copy of Issue 13 by November 14th to get a free printable 2017 Calendar with your magazine.
Even after November 14th, the value is still great. The latest issue includes 10 PDF patterns and is loaded with other sewing resources.
Make sure to check out the rest of the tour and see the other patterns come to life!
I made another bag from Sara Lawson's newest book, Windy City Bags! This time I chose Sweet Talk, which is perfectly retro and was calling to the Melody Miller typewriters in my stash. I also tried out glitter vinyl for the first time. I had planned on sharing what I learned with working with the glitter vinyl but it actually was so easy to work with I didn't have to do anything differently at all. I even kept my same presser foot. I did make sure to increase my stitch length a bit because I've heard that if your stitches are too close with non-woven material, then you can perforate it.
About the Bag
Sweet Talk has a front pocket with a flap and that front pocket is perfect for a fussy cut. You can choose to match the front of the bag, like I did, or make it a feature and have it different. Each side has a set of magnetic snaps, which you can leave closed, or open them up to make the bag a bit roomier.
The top panels are firm and close with another magnetic snap. There's also an interior zippered pocket. I used the interfacing and stabilizers called for, but I like my bags a bit more structured, so I think I'd add some Craft Fuse or Decor Bond to the lining next time, and use foam for the side panels instead of Thermolam. I think a firm base for the bottom would be good too, but I can always add a removable one to this bag.
The size is absolutely perfect for an everyday purse. I like to carry the essentials but I tend to bring too much if my bag is really big and then it's too heavy to be practical.
This was a fairly quick sew, especially once you finish the top panel assembly, then the rest is a breeze. I added rivets to my straps, mostly to bring out the silver glitter in the black vinyl, but also because I asked some sewing friends and the answer was a resounding "yes!"
Working with Glitter Vinyl
As I mentioned above, working with glitter vinyl was so much easier than I expected. I actually put my walking foot on, but then tried sewing with my regular foot and it was just as easy! This vinyl from Sew Sweetness is thin enough that you don't need an industrial machine, even when sewing multiple layers like the straps. I sew on a domestic machine, and it handled this bulk without hesitation. I do suggest trying on a scrap before sewing the real project, but I do that with any fabric combo I'm about to sew.
I'm not sure what would happen if you ironed the front of the glitter vinyl, but I suspect it wouldn't end well. I did fuse some interfacing on the back of mine with my iron on a lower setting, and didn't have any problems.
For straps, I simply folded the vinyl and then used my point turner to make a crease instead of with the iron.
Now the hard part is deciding which colour vinyl to choose next! There's flat rate shipping to Canada and US too!
Have you worked with glitter vinyl? Did you have to do anything differently? If you have any tips to share, let's hear them!
Once again, Instagram was a huge source of inspiration for me; when I started seeing images of woven fabric pop up in my feed, I just had to give it a try. By woven, I don't mean the type of fabric or the way it's made, I mean weaving strips of fabric to create a new design. If you haven't seen any examples before, you could try exploring some hashtags like #modernmeshwork, #fabricweaving, and #weftyneedle.
I made this!
I'm kicking myself that I waited so long. Seriously, you have to try this! It looks hard, but it really isn't. I know it can be a bit overwhelming starting a new skill, so I thought I'd show you how easy it is to get going on your first weave. First, you'll want to order yourself a Wefty Needle. You could probably do this without, but honestly, it's not very expensive and made the process painless; I actually couldn't imagine enjoying the process without this tool. I also found the bias tape maker really handy, but you can do without quite easily, just don't burn your fingertips!
Next, you need to decide on a pattern to weave. I chose Mister Domestic's Tumbling Blocks Weave; it's a free pattern on Craftsy. There are several tutorials available on tjaye.com as well. For the pattern I chose, I needed 3 different colours, all cut into 2 inch strips and then pressed with raw edges under to create a 1" strip (that's where the bias tape tool comes in extra handy). For mine, I chose an Andover chambray and 2 different Alison Glass prints.
The Tumbling Blocks pattern instructed me to draw these lines on my foam board. Then we pin a piece of fusible interfacing overtop, to go under the weave.
Now the fun really begins! I realized that my chambray would be the trickiest to use in my Wefty needle and weave over and under other fabrics, since it's thicker, so I used that as my first layer. Pin each end so the fabric is slightly taut.
After my first layer was down, I couldn't wait to get started on the weaving of the second layer. I didn't even stop to take a picture, because it was just too much fun. It's amazing when something seemingly magical is coming together right before your eyes.
The third and final layer is when you finally see the tumbling block. Raise your hand if the finished pattern reminds you of Qbert. I mean this in the most affectionate way of course, because who doesn't love Qbert? People 10 years younger than me who have no idea what I'm talking, that's who- but that's a story for another time!
If you're anything like me, you probably won't be able to stop once you start seeing the pattern and will have to finish the last layer immediately. For this step, Mister Domestic suggested using the Purple Thang and feeding it through the exit site, but I don't have that tool, so I used the second Wefty Needle (they come in a pair) instead, and it worked really well guiding the needle on some tricky spots.
After this step, it depends what you're doing with your project. I'm not telling what I'm using mine for, not yet anyway. Most likely, you'd at least want to fuse the interfacing and sew around the perimeter of the project to keep the ends in place.
This was such a quick project. I had several interruptions throughout the day and easily started and finished on the same day. I think it could be less than 2 hours including all the prep work, and even faster as you get more experienced, or do a smaller piece.
Have you tried fabric weaving? Had you heard of it before now? Share your thoughts in my comments, I'd love to hear them.
I've tried to scale back my pattern testing lately in an effort to make life a little less busy. I do enjoy it tremendously though; I'm definitely not a designer, so it's nice to still have a small part in bringing a pattern to life. When Anna of Noodlehead asked me to test out this latest bag pattern of hers, I couldn't say no. I always love her elegant designs, and this bag is no exception.
I've been hoarding Sarah Jane's Out to Sea since I bought it a few years ago. It's such a cool collection and I find it so inspiring. I still have a complete map from the collection that I'm saving for the perfect project. The name "Compass Bag" instantly made me think about navigating the open seas, so I paired Out to Sea with Sarah Jane's newest collection, Magic. The mermaids spark the imagination, a perfect partner to adventure. I also threw in some Michael Miller metallic arrows, because they went with the theme, and it helped tie in the metallic Essex Linen I used for the main exterior of the bag. This was my first time using the metallic Essex Linen, and my only complaint is that it's super hard to photograph how awesome the sheen from the metallic threads looks.
The bag comes in two sizes. I made the large. It also comes with instructions for two different types of exterior pockets. I chose the more simple version, to better show off the prints I used. The other pocket option offers pleated pockets with flaps. The construction of the bag is also part of the design feature, with its pieced main panels and topstitching along the centre line. The subtle curved top makes it trendy, yet classic. The flat bottom allows the bag to stand up on its own.
Inside the bag is ample room for your next adventure, or even just a trip to the bank, as the case may be. There's an interior zippered pocket, as well as a divided slip pocket.
There's a bit of hardware in this bag, so it's great for those wanting to try it out. The rivets are optional, but I think they look great and they're easier to add than you'd think.
It's a really versatile pattern and you can really change the look depending on the fabrics you choose. Oh! I almost forgot to mention: it's pretty quick, so would work really well for some Christmas sewing.
If you want to see other versions of this bag, or want to get the pattern, head on over to the Noodlehead website.
I bought this fun book a few months ago and I can honestly say that out of all my sewing books, this one has the most personality. The projects in here aren't necessities, but they're so cute you'll feel like you actually need them in your life.
When a friend was moving, I thought it was the perfect excuse to make this red stapler pillow, and give it to her as a housewarming gift. I've never done a project quite like this before. Each piece has its own order it needs to be applied, and then each one is appliqued to complete the look. It was a fair amount of work, but the results were so worth the effort.
I originally bought neon orange pompom trim for this pillow from Fabric Spark, but I wasn't thinking properly when I ordered, so I didn't get enough to go around. I could have made the pillow without, but it just wasn't my vision. Luckily, one of my local stores Overseas Fabrics in the Fraser Valley had some black pompom trim, and the day was saved!
For the back of the pillow, I used an old favourite. These cassettes are the perfect way to personalize a funky item. I used my fabric markers and wrote some mix tape names on some of them. I included "Power Ballads" and "Hot Hot Summer," they give me a giggle, because I like to be cheesy sometimes.
The book has plenty of unique projects, each one as fun as the last. I think these tooth pillows are next on my list. I can't help but smile when I look at them!
You can pick up a copy for yourself from C&T Publishing. I have the ebook version, which is great because I can print out the patterns instead of tracing or photocopying from the pullout. It is really visually appealing though, so a hard copy is also a great choice.
If you like this author's style (and what's not to like?!), then you'll love her temporary tattoos.
Hi! I'm Bree from My Crafty Crap over on Instagram and I'm excited to be sharing my thoughts today about On the Go Bags from C&T Publishing. It was put together by the amazing Lindsay Conner (of Lindsay Sews) and Janelle MacKay (of Emmaline Bags) and includes projects from so many of my favorite designers.
I really like that the book includes a variety of projects that are divided by experience level. I have actually had the book for a while now, and the cover bag is the main reason I picked it up in the first place, but I know I will make some of the other projects in the book as well. I generally can't justify buying craft books when I already have so many other patterns, but this is one I couldn't pass up. There are projects in all three levels (Easy, Intermediate, and Advanced) that I hope to make.
I recommend doing a quick search for sew-alongs for book projects if you are intimidated by them. Often times there will be additional tips and tricks that will help you with the more difficult parts. I have found that due to limited space in books, instructions are sometimes not as thorough or have as many pictures as I am used to with stand-alone patterns. That's not saying craft books are not as good, just something to keep in mind and get use to. Janelle and Lindsay both have multi-part sew along posts on their blogs for projects in this book (the Airport Sling and Sporty Strap Pack), and I've seen others too. Make sure you check them out!
I was provided with an eBook version of my choice of books for this series, but decided to go with one I had already purchased in book form. Personally I like to have physical copies of books/patterns rather than working from my phone or a tablet. I find it much easier to flip through a book than a digital pattern, but I do love having the pdf versions of the pattern pieces. Sometimes the physical books can be a pain to use though because they don't lay nicely, and it's annoying trying to keep your place in the book when you're trying to figure out what you should be doing next. To solve this problem, I took my book to a local print shop and had it spiral bound. What a game changer! It was relatively cheap (under $4.00) and worth every penny.
The physical book includes one large pull-out pattern piece that is printed on both sides. On the one hand, that can be annoying because it means you have to copy the pattern pieces in some way (through a print shop, tracing, etc), but that way you always have another copy in case something happens to the pattern piece you're using (I saw a woman recently who was looking for replacement pattern pieces from a book because her pattern pieces had been "toddlerized." I had to laugh because I knew exactly what she meant, but that's the problem with only getting one copy of pattern pieces in a book). The really nice thing about the pullout pattern pieces is that they are all one piece - no taping & matching lines! The eBook version comes with pdf pattern pieces that must be taped together before cutting. While not difficult, it does take extra time that I would generally much rather spend sewing. There are also a lot of rotary cut pieces for all the projects.
The book starts out with an introduction by Lindsay and Janelle, followed by general techniques that apply to all/most of the patterns in the book and are just really good general project tips to apply to whatever you might be making. There are also super handy tips & hints scattered throughout all the patterns in the book. They are definitely helpful!
As I said, the Sporty Strap Pack on the cover was the reason I bought this book in the first place, so this review was my excuse to let it budge in line a bit & move to the top of my "To Make" list. This pattern is the last one in the "intermediate" section, and in general isn't a hard project, but the unique shape and construction do land it firmly in the intermediate section. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly it came together (or would have, without my usual tendency to modify any pattern I make - more on that in a minute...), and was able to whip it up in less than a week of naptime sewing. A week might sound like a long time, but when you consider in the time I spend chasing a toddler to keep her from coloring on E-V-E-R-Ything, it wasn't bad at all. ;)
If you happen to know anything about me, you know two things - I love pockets and for the life of me I can't follow a pattern as written. It's not necessarily that I can't follow directions, I just always need to change something up, and pretty much always have to add pockets.
For my bag, I chose to add the zip around pocket from the Airport Sling pattern in the "advanced" section. This pocket is definitely the reason the Airport Sling is an advanced pattern, but it's just such an awesome pocket! It zips around the outside and has a pocket with card slots. It's like the Cadillac of pockets.
The other change I made was to add a pocket to the strap. This wasn't something I planned on doing, it was pretty spur of the moment because I happened to have a perfect zipper for it and was feeling reckless, but it might be my favorite part now! It ended up being not quite as functional as I had hoped after turning out the strap & top stitching (I did skip the second row of top stitching on the lower part of the strap to save as much space as possible), but it's still perfect for chapstick, keys, or some change.
My only real complaint while working on this bag is that zippers are listed in the materials for what size to buy, but I wish it also gave the total zip length after the tabs are added in the pattern. This may seem picky, but I don't buy zippers specifically for certain projects, but just keep them on hand in a couple standard lengths & cut to size for what I need. One part of the pattern called for a 14" zipper, and to attach the zipper ends outside the stops. Generally, when you buy a zipper, the length is the distance between the stops, but when you're figuring in the size of the stops (which can be slightly different with different brands and styles of zips) that adds a bit of length too. I know in the grand scheme of things it may not seem to matter, but that 1/4"-1/2" difference can actually make a big difference when it comes to fitting a zipper around a curved piece.
For example, I was putting in the zipper for the front pocket & did my best to guess at what my exact zipper length should be. The first time I tried piecing in the zipper, I ended up with quite a bit extra at the bottom.
I wasn't sure if I had guessed wrong on getting my zipper length just right, or if I didn't get it placed around the curve correctly. If the total zipper length had been provided, I would have known right away that I just needed to rework the curve around the zipper to get it to fit instead of trying to figure out which of two things was my issue. In the end I was able to reposition the zipper in the opening & get it to work, but my zipper still ended up wavier than I would have liked and I'm not sure if it's because I just didn't get it in there smooth or if it's actually the incorrect length. I'm sure I'm the only one who will notice, but it's still a bit of a frustration.
In the end, I really love how my bag turned out. I already used it at the park earlier this week and it was perfect for a few essentials and super comfy when chasing the kids around.
Overall, I definitely recommend On the Go Bags. I really enjoyed reading through it, working on this bag, and look forward to working on more projects from it. I think first up will be the Hipster Pocket Scarf!
Thanks for having me, Reece!
Andrea from Stitcharmony joins me today to review Make Pincushions 12 Darling Projects to Sew.
For my very first review I chose Make Pincushions 12 darling projects to sew.
Why did I choose this book? Well, I've been on Instagram now for just over 6 months and I am loving all the creativity, inspiration and support. If you sew like myself, part of the fun on Instagram is joining creative sewing swaps that are usually hosted by someone you may follow. The short of it is... you create something for someone and in the meantime someone is busy working creating something for you. It could be anything from a mini quilt, to a bag, etc... You get it right?
If you are in a swap you may also want to create "extras" for your partner to add to your package. Being a sewing swap who wouldn't need or want a pincushion? So I thought this would be the perfect book for me as I am always looking for fun quick gifts to add.
First off, I love ebooks. Don't get me wrong, I do love books too, but ebooks are instant gratification as you just download and off you go! No waiting for the truck from Amazon or stalking the delivery person.
The layout of this book is great. It's simple and very straight forward. I'm a visual learner so I love the small diagrams and photos that go along with each project.
I find the book starts with the fairly easier projects then continues on to harder ones.
The only thing with this ebook is you do need a online printer to print out some of the patterns in the book. So if you don't have access to one you will not be able to create more than half of the projects in the book.
I'm a work at home mum, I sew for a living and time is money. So right off the bat, even though I was attracted to the embroidery projects, I decided to go with two simple ones. Why? Because I love simple quick patterns that have no pattern pieces to be printed, that you can literally just whip up, personalize and make your own.
The two pincushions I chose were the Kaleidoscope pincushion by Jeni Baker AGF designer and the Boxy pincushion by Virginia Linsday of Gingercakes. Both of these projects took less then two hours total to complete, and they probably would have taken less time without interruptions (rare in my world)!
The Kaleidoscope pincushion calls for 18 different coloured 2" squares. I did not have time to run downstairs to my solid stash and start mulling over colours so I went a different route. I chose my mochi linen dot bundle (magic number 18!) from the Fat Quarter Shop and just like that, an hour later I had my lovely rainbow mochi linen dot Kaleidoscope pincushion! I really enjoyed this pattern, it is so simple and so versatile that you really can make it your own. Maybe a small fun print or some Liberty floral?
My next pincushion I chose to make was the Boxy Pincushion. This one I decided would possibly be created for the reason I chose the book in the first place...my current swap which has a beloved Heather Ross fabric theme. I decided on her coveted briar rose strawberries and gnome fabric. This was also a super quick make with lovely results. Also very versatile as you can fussy cut the covered button or add a wooden button instead. The possibilities are endless!
This book has some great simple projects for beginners to more experienced ones for the experts.
It has a plethora of very talented authors with so many different projects that there really is something for everyone - from fabric, to felt, to embroidery.
There are some very unique ones too where at first I thought, "who would make that?"
But if you're like me on Instagram joining all these fun swaps, who knows, you may just join that insect themed swap and just have to make that super cool ant pincushion!!!
Some lucky swap partners Andrea has! Those adorable handmade pins are perfect for the pincushions too. If you'd like a copy of this book, you can find it here.
Click through the last 3 days (here, here, and here) to see the other sewing books that have been reviewed this week, and check back in tomorrow for the final book this week.
Hi! I'm Natalie of HungryHippie Sews. I had the privilege of reviewing Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim and Kristen Esser, made available by C&T Publishing.
This book teaches several techniques for making illustrations or pictures with your sewing machine. The projects inside are numerous, and very in skill level. They are ALL super duper cute!
I printed out the PDF file so I can look at it anytime. It is major eye candy!
I decided to make a pillow, a mug coaster, an iPad holder, and a place mat. Since I had the PDF version of the book I did not have the iron-on illustrations that the "real" book provides. That's ok-but I think I will be purchasing this book so I can speed up the process. For now, I was able to draw the illustrations free hand, then proceed as the book instructs. For the coaster I used a stamp, which was simple and quick.
Here is the back:
Just needs a pillow insert and she's ready to go.
For the coaster project I used a rubber stamp on linen. I then sewed directly on these lines with black thread. This method is fun and quick.
Use grippy gloves when drawing with thread, it helps a ton!
For the letters I drew them out and stitched over the markings. I used a Frixon pen so the ink irons out. This was very fast, and I could see a set of four as a great stocking stuffer!
The place mat project took a bit more time. I drew it out, then cut my freezer paper and fabric together, fused it to the linen, and then sewed it all down. It's interesting how it looks sort of weird until that last step is complete--the black thread really brings out the picture and defines much needed details. Of course I had to add some sassy 'tude.
Nothing a cuppa tea can't solve.
For the mini iPad sleeve I used the same fabric as the tea cups (Nadra Ridgeway for Riley Blake) and made the little town scene. I fused wonder under to the fabric wrong side, and then cut my shapes out accordingly. After fusing them down, I drew with a regular sewing machine foot first, then went back over with a free motion foot. Several passes gave the thickness of line I was looking for.
I drew it out roughly on the linen first, to make sure it would fit.
I super enjoyed this book, and will be buying the old school paperback version. The instructions are really well written, and the projects are too cute to pass on.
Thank you Reece for having me over!
Umm wow! Each and every project is incredible! Thanks so much Natalie for sharing!
Check out more of Natalie's work and follow her blog at Hungry Hippie Sews. To get yourself a copy of Sew Illustrated, head on over to C&T Publishing and pick one up.
Hi! I'm Crystal of the Cloth Albatross. I was so excited when Reece asked me to review a book for C&T Publishing. The biggest problem I had was choosing which book I wanted to get. C&T has several bag making books by awesome designers. A couple of their bag making books I had already purchased (On the Go Bags, and Zakka Style), so I went with one of the newer releases - Perfect Patchwork Bags by Sue Kim.
I was unfamiliar with Sue Kim, so I was excited to find out that she's the designer behind ithinksew patterns. She has several bag patterns that I've always wanted to try but for some reason haven't purchased yet (maybe because I have way too many patterns and not enough time to make them all). After making a pattern from her book, I definitely need to add some of her bag patterns to my collection. The Demelza Backpack might be first on my list.
Perfect Patchwork Bags includes 15 projects and I was unsure which one I was going to make. I narrowed it down to the Mackenzie Messenger Bag, the Chloe Bag, or the Scarlett Clutches.
The Mackenzie Messenger Bag is my favorite style of the 3, but I ended up going with the rectangular Scarlett Clutch. I chose the clutch pattern because love triangle piecing and didn't have the proper hardware for the Mackenzie Messenger Bag. Really, it had nothing to do with me being lazy and choosing the easier project.
The Scarlett Clutch has 2 versions - a rectangular shaped clutch and a square clutch. I went with the classic rectangular shape but the square clutch is funky and different. One thing that I really like about the Perfect Patchwork Bags is that each project has several different bags made from the pattern, including one that's not patchwork. Sometimes it's hard to envision what a bag looks like without the added interest of patchwork, so it's a big plus that she included pictures and the changes that need to be made to the pattern. This particular comparison (bottom right pic) is not the best because the fabric is Echino (a Japanese fabric that already looks like it has been pieced) but you can still tell that the clutch looks great without the piecing.
One of the great things about piecework on a project is that you can use fabrics that you love but don't have enough of for a full project. It's something that you can use up your scrap pile with or highlight smaller aspects in fabrics that don't stand out as much when they're part of the larger piece of fabric. For my clutch, I chose fabrics by Rashida Coleman-Hale of Cotton + Steel. I love her style and thought that these prints from two different collections (Mooonlit and Macrame) were fun together.
I made a couple of changes to the pattern. I only pieced the flap, rather than the whole body; and I didn't use the accent piece on the bottom of the front flap. In hindsight, I prefer the way the clutch looks with the bottom trim on the flap but when I was putting it together, I did the bottom in vinyl, so I didn't want to have the accent trim in the same material as my clutch body. Next time I would choose a complementary accent trim. This clutch would look good with a pink accent trim. I do like having the body in vinyl because it breaks up the piecing and doesn't make the clutch so busy but next time I'll definitely leave the accent trim on.
The lining I chose for the clutch is also from Rashida Coleman-Hale's Macrame collection. The Scarlett Clutch's flap closes with a magnetic snap and its main body closes with a zipper.
For pattern books, I prefer e-books over hardcopies of books because your pattern pieces are already digitized, so you don't have to worry about scanning them in. In some pattern books, the pattern pieces are overlapped for different patterns but in this book, they're all separate, which I really appreciate. I did have one issue with a line being incomplete on a pattern piece but it was within the seam allowance and was easy to see where the line was supposed to go. However, I emailed C&T about the issue and they responded within an hour saying that they would fix the digital download (and they didn't even know I was writing a book review!). I was really impressed with the fast response. I didn't expect to hear anything back until the next day at least.
Another reason that I chose this pattern book is because I was unfamiliar with the designer. I wanted to be able to look at the patterns with fresh eyes. It's really easy to get used to a designer's pattern writing style and skip over confusing bits by remembering how they've done things in previous patterns. I was very impressed by Sue Kim's pattern writing style. I found the patterns easy-to-follow without being drawn out. Another great thing about this book is that you can use the piecing templates for piecing on bag patterns that you've made before but want to give a different look to. Conversely, I think all of the patterns in this book look great without piecing, so even if you're not into the patchwork look, you might still enjoy Perfect Patchwork Bags.
Thank you so much Crystal! I always enjoy seeing your work!
Remember to check back tomorrow for another sewing book review. If you missed yesterday's, you can catch up here.
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Hi! I'm Reece and I love to sew! I'm also a mom and a wife. I love being crafty and sharing tips.
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