Here’s Polly Bell’s version of my Barcelona Satchel sewing pattern. Fantastic, I love the fabrics used and what a great all round job Polly has made of this gorgeous bag. Very unique and eye-catching!
“I thought that you might like to see my finished bag.I have added a pocket on the gusset for my phone and a clip on the other side to put my keys on when not wearing pockets. I have also added a zip to the top of the bag for added security. I hope you like the look of your design in my colours.” Polly
…and more gorgeous makes by Sewing World reader, Janis Davies, to share with you! A past issue of the magazine featured my Sweetheart Handbag project and Janis made these three amazing versions!
“I have just been looking through my past editions of Sewing World. The Sweetheart bag is my absolute favourite. I have made it several times. I have three and several others have gone to special friends as gifts. I am currently making it so am just sending a construction picture for you to see what I am doing with it. My other passion is machine embroidery and I love to incorporate it in my sewing wherever I can.” Janis Davies
Here’s a picture of the Sweetheart Handbag in progress. Janis has incorporated a piped centre panel, with embroidered butterflies on the front, instead of the pocket. I think this will be a really lovely bag and look forward to seeing the finished result.
Want to make this handbag too? Download it instantly from Craftsy.com and start sewing it today!
Check out Janis Davies’ version of the Summer Shoulder Bag, my bag-making project featured in this month’s issue of Sewing World magazine!
“I loved the bag on the cover of June’s issue of Sewing World. I had offered to make a bag as a present for my friend’s 60th birthday and this one was perfect. She asked for purples, browns and greens, plus she loves cats, so I incorporated a machine embroidered cat, using my Janome Memory Craft 350e and came up with the attached. I love the finished result and hope my friend will too!” Janis Davies
Too cute! I think Janis’ friend is going to absolutely adore this bag. Well done Janis and thanks so much for allowing me to share your make.
I joined the White Tree Fabrics blogging team a while back and, at long last, I have my first completed project to show off!
I chose some lovely Tilda fabrics and McCalls pattern K3601, both supplied by White Tree Fabrics, to make a kaftan-style top. This has also been the first thing I’ve made with my brand new overlocker, more about that in another post! So not only did I have a lovely new top to make, I could also make it on my new machine and hopefully end up with a professional looking piece of clothing.
Tilda – Martine Blue Grey
Tilda Jane Blue Grey
K3601 McCalls Pattern
I found this McCalls pattern quite easy to follow, but… it did take little while to get the collar right as it was slightly confusing as to how it would end up the right way around! Got there in the end though, I just needed to follow the instructions very carefully. You need to fold the outer edges of the collar section to wrong side and press, then pin it, wrong side up, to the front/back neckline, also wrong side up.
After stitching around the neckline and the marked centre line, which is then cut to open the neckline slit, it’s turned to the right side of the front/back of top. Then pinned in place and topstitched around the edges.
Due to my own mistake (rushing ahead) I ended up having to do set-in sleeves rather than the easier method of sewing the shoulder edges onto the front/back before sewing the sleeve and side seams. I’d already sewn the sleeve seams by the time I’d noticed and couldn’t be bothered unpicking. It worked out just fine though as they didn’t need any gathering to fit. They fitted into the armhole really well and I was so pleased (relieved!) with the result. I needed more practice with set-in sleeves anyway!! LOL
So here’s my finished top, ta da…
White Tree Fabrics have generously given me a special coupon code for readers to get a fantastic 20% discount and free postage on any orders. Visit www.whitetreefabrics.com to view their lovely range and use the code SUSIED when purchasing anything.
I was delighted to receive some pictures recently from one of my customers who has used the Catriona Tote sewing pattern to make these gorgeous versions of the bag. Thanks Angie for sharing your makes with me and for allowing me to show them off here. The monochrome look is so effective, as well as the fab prints Angie has used!
I always topstitch around the top, opening edges of any bag I make and I instruct this in my sewing patterns as it makes such a difference to the finish. The topstitching gives a neat, professional finish to a handmade bag as well as being functional, in that it keeps the lining in place and stops the stop edge from being all floppy and going out of shape.
Once you’ve pushed the lining down into the outer bag (pull-through and turn-out method which I’ll elaborate more on in another post) use your fingers to roll the top edges to get the seam sitting neatly at the top edge, or just inside the interior. Keeping any handles and tabs in the correct upright positions, place the bag opening over the narrow edge of your ironing board if it will fit (or place a tailor’s ham or rolled up towel inside the opening). Carefully press the bag’s top edges, all around the opening, adjusting the edge as necessary as you go around it to ensure the seam sits neatly at the top. It’s a good idea to use a pressing cloth, so as not to leave any marks on the fabric. Once you’re happy with the neatness of the bag opening, it’s time to topstitch it.
Remove the sewing table to reveal the free-arm (narrower sewing table) and place the bag opening over it. The right side of the bag should be uppermost. Start at a side seam, sinking the needle directly into the seam joining. Pull the threads out to the back to ensure there’s no slack. Adjust the stitch length to 3 or 3.5 – the thickness of the layers require a longer stitch and it looks nicer as well. Line up the edge of the bag with the correct seam allowance. I usually use a 1/4” seam here. Stitch a couple of stitches forward and then back-stitch a couple before going forward again, to secure the stitching. Carry on around the bag opening, ensuring you keep any handles, tabs or flaps out to the right and straight so that they don’t get caught up in the stitching. When you stitch over any thicker areas, which have the ends of the tabs or handles inside the top edge, increase the stitch length slightly to cope with the thicker layers and to keep a consistent finished stitch length.
Tip: Use a matching thread, if you’re new to topstitching, (just a slightly darker shade than the fabric) this way it won’t show up any flaws in the stitching too much. Once you get confident with the topstitching, try using contrasting threads which really show up against the fabric as it adds a lovely decorative feature.
Once you’ve stitched all around the bag opening, and come back to the seam you started at, stop right on the seam and back-stitch a few stitches before going forward to stop at the seam again. Remove from the machine and very carefully snip off the excess threads as close to the fabric as possible.
Hi all, just back from holiday, refreshed and ready for ‘work’ again. I’ve been busy revamping my website at www.susieddesigns.co.uk and delighted to announce the arrival of some fab new products I’ll be offering, alongside my bag-making sewing patterns.
My fabric remnants and scrap bags are going down a storm and so I’ll be adding more of these often as I always accrue a large amount of them. To add to my little fabric department, I’m delighted to have taken stock of some exciting new fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics. I’m selling these in 1/4 metre increments, ideal if you just want fat quarters at reasonable prices. Just a small collection so far but I’ll be adding more designs very soon.
Also new in stock, I’m pleased to be offering a selection of modern dressmaking patterns from Serendipity Studio. These patterns are so lovely and offer different variations to suit your style.
Now in stock… Bag-making supplies! In response to customer demand, I’m now stocking all the components and interfacings I use for my sewing patterns – slim magnetic snaps, swivel hook snaps, D-rings, rectangular rings, belt slides, side-release buckles, purse frames, plastic bag bases, velcro, zips, riveted snaps, vario snap pliers, Vilene stabilisers…
As mentioned in a previous post, Dashwood Studio celebrated their 1st birthday recently and enjoyed a successful open day, featuring their awesome fabric collections. They created a fabulous kitchen set-up which included the laundry bag I’d been asked to make for it. This is one the photos that was taken on the day…
“Drawstring bags are a straightforward make and we love how this one combines four of the prints in a simple and stylish way. We also like how two coloured cords have been used as the drawstrings. Sometimes the little details make it.” – Dashwood Studio
I’m really proud to have contributed to their special day. Here’s some more delightful makes from other designers…
…and this is my first ukulele soft-cover case… (get the sewing pattern here and here)
I enjoyed making this so much and will be making another I think from the red fabric. I’ve added enough padding to protect the instrument, including a carry handle and a useful pocket on the front of the case. I will be releasing this as a sewing pattern very soon, watch this space! I’ll also be working on some more instrument cases/covers over the coming months. What other instruments would you like to see a sewing pattern for?
I recently received a bundle of the new fabric collection Retro Orchard, by the talented Wendy Kendall for Dashwood Studio. I absolutely adore this new collection! It’s vibrant, modern and I just love the combination of fruits and floral motifs. Dashwood is holding a big open day for their trade customers and I was really pleased to be asked to make something for the display they’re creating. It’s going to be a kitchen setting, so I’ve made this modern laundry bag for the event:
Handmade Laundry Bag made with Retro Orchard
Retro Orchard is Wendy’s 2nd collection for Dashwood. It combines bold graph fruit motifs with fun pattern fills. The contemporary palette makes the collection perfect for use in both the modern kitchen and junior apparel. Wendy’s first collection for Dashwood, was Petite Street – which I used to design one of my modern nappy bag sewing patterns.
Dashwood is planning a big competition at the end of June to co-inside with their birthday. Each day they’ll give away something ‘Made with Dashwood’ from each collection they’ve released, plus a grand prize bundle for one lucky winner from all the entries they receive!
Details of the competition will be announced very soon, so follow Dashwood on Bloglovin’ or Facebook to be the first to hear.
I’m delighted to let you know that I have four new additions to the printed patterns collection – the Retro Handbag, the Tri-fold Wallet, the Barcelona Satchel and the Millie Nappy Bag. To celebrate, here’s a discount code which will give you 10% off the new printed patterns from the SusieDDesigns’ website: WPB612 which is valid until 30th June 2014.
New patterns – Retro Handbag, Tri-fold Wallet, Barcelona Satchel, Millie Nappy Bag
It’s an exciting moment whenever I see one of my patterns in print as I’m so used to producing my downloadable patterns. It’s really nice to have some as physical patterns too! The new printed editions are bright, vibrant and full of colour. If you know my design style, you’ll know that I love to use fun, vibrant, modern fabrics to make my bags and accessories. I also strive to make my designs easy-to-follow and great fun to make. I wanted all of this to be reflected in the printed patterns – creating a sense of anticipation, excitement and inspiration.
There are now eight designs available from the printed patterns range, all of which are available to order from my website SusieDDesigns. I’ve also put together some great mult-buy pattern packs, which offer a saving on the individual prices.
New Stockist: I’m pleased to let you know that Thistle Quilting, situated in Peebles, The Scottish Borders, is now stocking some of my printed patterns. Run by owner Lynda, Thistle Quilting is such a lovely wee shop about half way along the High Street (no.34). Definitely worth a visit, if you’re in town or passing through!
I won’t say much more about using the actual interfacings here, please see the previous posts above, but I will sing the praises again of Vilene products. They really are an excellent choice and well worth spending a little extra money to get the quality that Vilene provides (really, I should be getting commission from them!) You will not regret trying Vilene, I promise! I will say though, that the USA equivalent to Vilene is Pellon products, which are also very good to use in bag making but mostly just available in the USA. If you’re here in the UK though, I highly recommend Vilene which is widely available here.