My New Sewing Shop!

Hello everyone! Ages since I’ve been on here. I’ve had a really good excuse though and bring some exciting news. In August last year, I opened my own sewing shop (with workshop space)! Squeal!!!!! Still feels slightly surreal but I’m slowly but surely getting into the swing of being a shop owner; and absolutely loving the fact that I have oodles of space to spread out my sewing projects.

Space to Sew and Craft PenicuikSpace to Sew and Craft - Shop and sewing workspace

It’s taken a lot of planning and financial commitment to get to this stage. Having worked at home for many years, branching out into the big wide world was a very daunting prospect. But it was a decision that had to be made if I wanted to take my business forward.

The online sales of bag-making supplies, through my website SusieDDesigns were steadily increasing, which meant I was buying in and storing more stock than my home could cope with. I was also running out of space to work on the projects that I design and make for sewing magazines and my own patterns.Etsy Handmade Bags by Susan DunlopI knew I couldn’t afford to lease a shop on the high street, so my dreams of expansion were fruitless for a long time. However… we have small row of commercial units in our residential area and one had been sitting empty for ages. I had often passed it thinking it would be a great space for me. Well, after a year of passing it, I finally plucked up the courage and spoke to the owner. Luckily for me, it was affordable and I snapped it up like a shot. So, here I am. My new shop is called Space to Sew and Craft and it boasts a good-sized shop area and an equally good-sized work area. I have 3 large tables set up with sewing machines where I teach classes and workshops. Best of both worlds!

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Sweetheart Handbag – reader make: Sewing World magazine project

In my last post (here) I showed you some lovely Sweetheart Handbags, made by Janis Davies, from one of my bag-making projects featured in a past issue of Sewing World magazine. Janis also had another one in progress, with beautiful embroidered butterflies on a front panel…

Janis Davies - Makes (embroidered sweetheart bag)

…and here’s the finished bag which I thought you might like to see…

Janis Davies - Makes (embroidered sweetheart bag 2)

“It is finished and ready for Portugal. I will use it on the plane as my iPad and kindle fit in perfectly! Hope you like my interpretation of your great pattern.” Janis Davies

I do, it’s fantastic! I’m so pleased to see how Janis has made the bag her own, by incorporating the embroidered front. That’s the thing I love about bag-making, you can adapt them to suit your needs exactly.

If you’d like to make the Sweetheart Handbag, download it now from my Craftsy shop.

Happy Sewing! x

Reader Makes – the Sweetheart Handbag from Sewing World magazine

…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!

Janis Davies - Reader Makes Sewing World Magazine

“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.

Janis Davies - Makes (embroidered sweetheart bag)

Want to make this handbag too? Download it instantly from Craftsy.com and start sewing it today!

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The Sweetheart Handbag Sewing Pattern

Reader Make – Summer Shoulder Bag in Sewing World

Check out Janis Davies’ version of the Summer Shoulder Bag, my bag-making project featured in this month’s issue of Sewing World magazine!

Sewing World magazine Summer Shoulder Bag

“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.

Sewing World Magazine June 2015

Customer Make – the Sophie Nappy Bag sewing pattern

Delighted to hear from a customer recently who used the Sophie Nappy Bag sewing pattern to make this gorgeous version:

SusieDDesigns - Sophie Nappy Bag sewing patternSusieDDesigns - Sophie Nappy Bag sewing pattern - the zipperSusieDDesigns - Sophie Nappy Bag sewing pattern - the interior pockets

“I love your pdf (sewing pattern) very much. So user friendly. Easy instruction to follow, though looks complicated.” Junita Satibi

Thank you so much for sharing your lovely bag, Junita. I love the cute fabrics too!

If you’d like to have a go at making the Sophie Nappy bag it’s available in my Etsy Shop or in my UK website at www.susieddesigns.co.uk

Customer Make: the Barcelona Satchel sewing pattern

Another fabulous make by one of my customers to show you. Sharon has made the Barcelona Satchel. When she took it into to work, she had requests to make some for her work colleagues! I’m not surprised, she’s made such a lovely job of it. The forals work so well with the polka dots, don’t you think?

Barcelona Satchel made by Sharon 1a

Barcelona Satchel made by Sharon 2a

“Just finished the Barcelona Bag, love it, brought it into work and now have requests for more! Thanks so much for the pattern. The Barcelona says Advanced, which worried me a little as I think I am intermediate at best, but I found it quite straightforward, it came together very logically!” Sharon.

If you’d like to have a go at making the Barcelona Satchel yourself, it’s available from my online shop, SusieDDesigns, as a PDF pattern, or get it as a printed pattern which includes full-size tissue pattern pieces.

Barcelona Satchel

Reader Makes: Trendy Hipster Bag from my new book, Style and Swing

Delighted to come across a blog post, at Linda’s Quilt Mania, about the Trendy Hipster Bag that Linda has made from my new book, Style and Swing. Linda makes the most gorgeous samples for displaying at Katja’s Quilt Shoppe, in Kamloops, Canada. What do you think of her version and don’t you just love the fabrics she’s used?

Trendy Hipster Bag from Style and Swing: 12 Structured Handbags for beginners and Beyond. Made by lindasquiltmania

Here it is on display at Katja’s Quilt Shoppe, where you can buy these gorgeous fabrics and a copy of Style and Swing!

Trendy Hipster Bag from Style and Swing made by lindasquiltmania

If you’d like to have a go at making this or other bags from my book, it’s available through most good book stores and from Amazon, worldwide. You can also get it direct from the publishers, Martingale’s / That Patchwork Place or order a signed copy from SusieDDesigns. Here’s my Trendy Hipster Bag, which I made using fabrics from the Comma collection by Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics.

Style and Swing - 12 Structured Handbags for Beginners and Beyond - Project 5

March issue of Sewing World Magazine

I’m delighted to have a new project and an article published in this month’s issue of Sewing World magazine.

March 2015 Sewing World MagazineMy new project is a modern, zippered makeup pouch which I made with lovely yellow and grey fabrics from the Comma collection by Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics. There’s an image of it on the front cover!

Zippered Pouch by Susan Dunlop in Sewing World MagazineThe article that I’ve written for this issue is all about how I became a project designer for the magazine and what work is involved to design and write the project. I hope that my article will inspire other would be project contributors as the magazine is always on the look out for fresh, modern ideas. Give it a go! It’s fun and very rewarding.

Article in Sewing World magazine - how to be a project contributorWhat else is this month’s issue?

TECHNIQUES & FEATURES:

  • Knits Know-How – Part 5 PLUS pyjama bottoms to make
  • Pattern of the Month – Simplicity 1615
  • Fabric Showcase – Trees
  • Masterclass – Sewing Skills – Facings
  • From Concept to Publication – The Creative World of a Project Designer
  • Sewing World 20th Birthday Competition
  • Seeing Stripes – Blazers for Henley Regatta
  • We Meet…Nanette Regan

PROJECTS:

  • Citrus Pop! Zingy lap quilt
  • Henny Penny! Decorative hen
  • Super Sponge Bag – Classy toiletry holdall
  • Bandana Bib – Bibs for dribblers
  • Kingly Cord – Contrast panel Liberty cord dress
  • Get Organised! – Cath Kidston® hanging tidy
  • Easter Booty! – Easter bags to fill
  • Easter Brooches – Embellishments for your bags
  • Knotty Pinny! – Girls’ pinny dress
  • Green Fingers! – Garden tote
  • Dine in Style – Table runner

Customer Makes – The Layered Hipster Bag Sewing Pattern

I was so pleased to see this new bag, made by one of my customers. Angie used the Layered Hipster Bag pattern to make this gorgeous version in blue and black, with white butterflies. Love it! Thanks for allowing my to share it, Angie, great sewing!

Hipster Shoulder Bag by Angie who used a SusieDDesigns sewing pattern

“I made the layered hip bag last night for a co-workers gift to her sister. Thanks so much for such great patterns!” Angie
If you’d like to make this bag, the pattern is available in my Etsy shop and my website www.susieddesigns.co.uk

The Lotta Tote featured in Love Sewing Magazine

The Lotta Tote in Love Sewing Magazine

So pleased to have another project featured in this month’s issue of Love Sewing Magazine. This is my Lotta Tote, made with statement fabrics from Lotta Jansdotter in bright pink, black and white. I’ve used cut-out metal handles to compliment this design.

Issue 10 cover image Love Sewing magazine

Issue 10 is packed full of exciting sewing projects to get your pins stuck into. What’s more, to celebrate the return of The Great British Sewing Bee, Love Sewing is excited to bring every reader an exclusive Great British Sewing Bee Fat Quarter!  Inside the magazine there’s lots of great ideas for using your free fabric, top tips from Sewing Bee contestants and a free blouse pattern designed by the Great British Sewing Bee Team!

Great British Sewing Bee the contestants

You’ll find fun ideas for using your free fat quarter, all with step by step photos and instructions!

Two in One Skirt Pattern!

With every copy of Issue 10 you will also receive a great versatile skirt pattern.  You can choose between a tie waist skirt and a wiggle skirt!  Or why not sew both – another great pattern from Simple Sew exclusively designed for Love Sewing.

Enjoy!

Petite Street Tote featured in Sewing World Magazine

One of my all time favourite fabrics is Petite Street, by Wendy Kendall for Dashwood Studio, so I really pleased to contribute this cute little tote to Sewing World magazine. The January issue is out in the shops now!

Petite Street Tote by Susan Dunlop in Sewing World magazine

This month’s issue has 12 sewing projects to get your pins stuck into, in the New Year! As well as the projects, you’ll also find plenty of features and new techniques to learn:

  • Fabric Showcase – Get Knitted!
  • A Crafty Sale – Selling at Craft Fairs – Part 1
  • Pattern of the Month – Simplicity 1418
  • Masterclass – Sewing Skills – Gathers
  • Stylish Stitching from Sainte Luce
  • Knits Know-How – Part 3
  • Sew Smart with Vilene – Part 5 – Bags
  • Overlockers Overview

January 2015 issue of Sewing World magazine

My First Bag Making Project in Quilt Now Magazine!

Excited to bring you news of my first bag making project for Quilt Now magazine! Issue 5 is in the shops now and I’m delighted that Katy Jones (editor) has featured my new Rail Fence Bag sewing project. Perfect for using up fabric scraps from your stash, this bag is sure to delight any little girl.

Rail Fence Bag Project by Susan Dunlop in Quilt Now magazine

Issue 5 is all about those scrappy bits you can’t bear to see go to waste! From little projects to big beautiful quilts, like this issue’s cover star, you’ll find it all. There’s a brilliant range of patchwork and quilting projects suitable for all sewing skill levels. As well as all the great projects, this month’s issue also has plenty of interesting reading and fabric eye-candy to get you inspired.

Issue 5 Quilt Now magazine

New Sewing Projects in issue 6 of Love Sewing magazine

The new issue 6 of Love Sewing magazine is out now! I am delighted to have contributed the Autumn Woods Shoulder Bag and the Halloween Party Set. I’m so excited to see these in the magazine! I hope you like them and if you have the magazine, I hope you enjoy making them too.

Issue 6 Love Sewing Magazine

Autumn Woods Shoulder Bag by Susan Dunlop in Love Sewing Magazine

Halloween Party Set by Susan Dunlop in Love Sewing Magazine

This month’s free cover pattern is the Eva, a wiggle dress designed for Love Sewing by Eliza M, a British independent company specialising in easy-to-sew paper patterns based on authentic designs from the 1940s, 50s and 60s. You’ll also find the following in this month’s issue –

  • 5 Free patterns & bonus template sheet.
  • 55 makes & ideas with 7 projects to sew and wear Alison Smith’s dressmaking tips Magic Makes!
  • Red Riding Hood cape
  • Halloween party projects
  • Great Gifts
  • Luxury pyjamas, purses, bags & more
  • Bonus toy pattern
  • Christmas sewing starts here!
  • Mini-makes: Fast-Sew style you’ll love!
  • Debbie Shore’s Guide to Easy Quilting Eco Sewing: How to Buy Green
  • Save 30% on Eliza M patterns
  • Expert Tips
  • Quick fixes
  • Step-by-step instructions