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!

Customer Make: The Barcelona Satchel

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!

Polly Bell - Barcelona Satchel Sewing Pattern“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

or my UK shop, SusieDDesigns, has a downloadable version and a printed version.

Customer Make – the Tri-fold Wallet sewing pattern

Check out Amy Fahey’s version of the Tri-fold Wallet sewing pattern! I love the fabrics Amy has used and the matching bag is great too!

Customer Make - The Tri-fold Wallet sewing pattern by SusieDDesigns“My first attempt. I like the pattern very much!” Amy Fahey

Thank you, Amy, for allowing me to share your fantastic wallet. I’ll look forward to seeing more makes from you.

If you’d like to have a go at making the Tri-fold Wallet sewing pattern, it’s available for instant download from my Craftsy and Etsy shops. It’s also available as a PDF download from www.susieddesigns.co.uk, as well as a printed version with full-size tissue pattern pieces.

Tri-fold Wallet on Craftsy, by Susan Dunlop of SusieDDesigns

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

New Retail Stockists for my Printed Sewing Patterns

Printed Sewing Patterns for bag-making by Susan Dunlop of SusieDDesigns

Printed patterns now available from retail establishments.

I’m absolutely delighted to announce 5 new UK stockists of my printed sewing patterns. If you can, I’d highly recommend a visit to these lovely fabric and haberdashery establishments:

Millie Moon Haberdashery

Millie Moon Haberdashery in Frome, Wells and Keynsham.

Millie Moon – 24-25 Catherine Hill, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BY Tel: 01373 464650 Millie Moon also has shops at 14a Broad Street, Wells, Somerset and 32 Temple Street, Keynsham, Bristol Website: http://milliemoonshop.co.uk

New Forest Fabrics in Southampton

New Forest Fabrics in Southampton

New Forest Fabrics – 14 Shamrock Way, Hythe Marina, Southampton SO45 6DY Tel: 02381 783 386 Website: http://www.newforestfabrics.co.uk

Sew Simple Norfolk

Sew Simple Norfolk

Sew Simple (Norfolk) Ltd – Unit 17, Taverham Nursery and Country Shopping Centre, Fir Covert Road, Taverham, Norwich, Norfolk NR8 6HT Tel: 01603 262 870 Website: http://www.sewsimpleonline.co.uk

Sally's Sewing Box in Princes Risborough

Sally’s Sewing Box in Princes Risborough

Sally’s Sewing Box – 65 High Street, Princes Risborough, Bucks, HP27 0AE Tel: 01844 345 753 Website: http://www.sallyssewingbox.co.uk

Thistle Quilting in Peebles

Thistle Quilting in Peebles

Thistle Quilting – 34 High Street, Peebles, The Scottish Borders EH45 8SF Tel: 01721 724 111 Website: http://www.thistlequilting.co.uk

 

New Printed Patterns in Stock

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 Printed Patterns by SusieDDesigns

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.

Contents of the Tri-fold Wallet printed pattern by SusieDDesigns

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!

Thistle Quilting, Peebles, The Scottish Borders

Thistle Quilting, Peebles, The Scottish Borders

Another Millie Nappy Bag by Shannon of the Bryer Patch

A few months ago I’d blogged about a gorgeous nappy bag, handmade by Shannon of The Bryer Patch, from my Millie Nappy Bag sewing pattern – see previous post here – well here’s another one that Shannon made and posted about over on her blog at The Bryer Patch. I’m so impressed with this, the fabrics are so lovely and vibrant and the workmanship is just top-notch. I’m so pleased to be able to share another of Shannon’s lovely makes with you here:

Millie Nappy bag handmade by Shannon Brunette from a SusieDDesigns sewing pattern.

Millie Nappy bag handmade by Shannon Brunette from a SusieDDesigns sewing pattern.Millie Nappy bag handmade by Shannon Brunette from a SusieDDesigns sewing pattern.

“I once again used my favourite diaper bag pattern, from Susieddesigns on Etsy. I love that there is so much opportunity to combine several fabrics in one tote bag. The vibrant colours I chose for Lucas’ diaper bag just made me happy to look at them : )” Shannon

If you’d like to have a go at making the Millie Nappy Bag, get the PDF downloadable sewing pattern here…

2 Year Blogging Anniversary – Special Thank You Offers!

It’s exactly 2 years since I started blogging here on WordPress! How things have changed for me since that first day. I thought it would be nice to mark this anniversary by offering special thanks to all the lovely crafting buddies who have followed my blog over the years. Thank you to you all, it’s so nice to be a part of such a wonderful caring, sharing, crafting community.

To all my readers and followers I’d like to offer a little thank you gift in the way of 40% off any sewing patterns in my Etsy shop SusieDDesigns – use the code BLOGLOVE at the Etsy checkout, until 31st May 2014.

As an extra special thank you to the very first people who commented on or liked my first post, I’d like to offer you a free PDF pattern – no strings, just a thank you from me to you. Have a browse in my Etsy shop and, if you see something you like, let me know which one and I’ll send it to you asap. Those lovely people are: Linda of Gorgia P Designs, Katherine of Pillows A-La-Mode, Avis of Oh Sew Tempting, Daisy of A Daisy Garden (There were a couple more but they don’t appear to be around anymore – no blog or blog updates.)

Here’s a wee showcase of all the bag making projects I’ve had featured in Sewing World magazine over the last few years, has there really been so many? Most of the projects below are now available from my Etsy shop.

The Millie Nappy Bag – another fantastic customer creation to share!

I couldn’t wait to show you this amazing nappy bag, handmade by Shannon of The Bryer Patch. Shannon used the Millie Nappy Bag sewing pattern to create this wonderful bag, isn’t it striking and so well made? I love the use of black, white and pink, stunning! The addition of the embroidered name is so cute!

”I have to tell you that it is by far one of my favourite patterns ever! Just the perfect combination of form and function, with several sweet little features added in. The outside pockets have a nice little dart that gives them structure and shape. The pattern also allows for the combination of many coordinating fabrics, which is one of my absolute favourite things to do. I actually get very excited to create the bag as I purchase the fabric. I can just see it all coming together in my mind’s eye and can hardly wait to get sewing. The pattern was a delight to work with, and included very precise directions. Pretty, functional and durable – a great combo!” Shannon Brunette of The Bryer Patch

Thank you so much, Shannon, for sharing your gorgeous bag and review of the Millie Nappy Bag pattern, on your blog, and thank you for allowing me to share it here with my readers.

Check out this month’s Sewing World Magazine – March 2014 issue

I was so excited when this month’s issue of Sewing World magazine arrived. As well as my regular bag-making project, I had the honour of having my very first techniques article make it’s debut appearance this month! This three page feature is the first of six articles for my new ‘Brilliant Bags’ bag-making techniques series. I’ve been contributing projects to Sewing World for about 18 months now (has it really been that long?), which still fills me with pride and delight, but over the past few months I’ve also been working on this brand new series. Such a fantastic new challenge! I feel that I’ve managed to take another wee step up the ladder in my effort to offer inspiration to others. I’ve started off the new series with Choosing Fabrics, with an in-depth look at the variety of fabrics you can use to make fab bags. The next five installments get down to the essential elements of bag-making, including detailed step-by-step instructions on the different construction methods.

Brilliant Bag Making Techniques Series by Susan Dunlop for Sewing World Magazine

This month’s bag project is the Daisy Mae bag, aptly named after one of the fabric prints I’ve used, from the gorgeous PB&J collection by BasicGrey for Moda Fabrics. PB&J stands for Peanut Butter and Jelly, how cute is that? If you didn’t see my sneak preview last month, here it is:

Daisy Mae Bag Sewing Pattern by Susan Dunlop for Sewing World Magazine

This month in the magazine:

TECHNIQUES & FEATURES

  • Brilliant Bagmaking! Part 1
  • Fabric Trends for 2014
  • Fabric Showcase – Woodland Critters
  • We Meet…Gillian Travis
  • Personalised Fabrics
  • Pattern of the Month – Simplicity 1590
  • Finishing Touches – Bound Buttonholes
  • Eco Garment Recycling
  • Masterclass – Beading Foot

PROJECTS

  • Woof! Woof! – Cute toy dog
  • Stylish Spring Jacket- Sew Simplicity’s pattern
  • A-Tissue! – Tissue box cover
  • We are Sailing – Applique yacht bag
  • Diamond Sparkle! – Felted cushion with a twinkle
  • Natty Knit! – Contrasting knit fabric top
  • Seasons Wall Hanging – Part 5 – Making up your quilt
  • Buttonhole Leaf Roll – Carry your pencils in style
  • Daisy Mae – Pleated floral handbag

New Bag Making Project Featured in Sewing World Magazine

The latest issue of Sewing World magazine is out in the shops now or available to order online. I’m really pleased to have another of my bag making projects included – the Tweetie Pie Tote! This is a good sized shopper bag with a large exterior zippered pocket. I love this fabric print. It’s so cute! It is Tweetie Pie (no guessing where I got the name for the bag!!) in brown from Cocoa Berry by Michael Miller Fabrics. Hope you like it.

Tweetie Pie Shopper Sewing Project by Susan Dunlop in Sewing World magazine

This month’s projects are as great as ever. There’s the ‘Keep it All’ Craft Bag by Emy Buxton (see magazine front cover image), Kimono Baby Top, Town House Bolster Cushion, Cigarette Pants, Embroidered Velvet Corsage, Part 4 of the Season’s Wall Hanging, Cutlery Carrier, Tweetie Pie Shopper (whoo hoo!!) Geometric Table Runner and a gorgeous Kaleidoscope Quilt.

If using a magnetic snap: Position 1'' circle of fusible fleece/interfacing here to the wrong side of the front main body outer piece, after adhering main interfacing.

There’s also the usual good read in the way of techniques and features, including some clever customisation of a pair of jeans into a skirt! Oh, and here’s a sneak preview of the back page showing what’s coming up in next month’s issue. That’s my bag (the Daisy Mae Handbag) and guess who’s written the ”Brilliant new series on bag making”? Yep, it’s me! I am so looking forward to seeing the first installment in print. I’m really enjoying the opportunity of writing some series articles for the magazine now, as well as my projects. It’s really different and so much fun, so exciting. I hope everyone enjoys this new series which begins with choosing the right fabrics for bag making.

Look what's coming in the next issue of Sewing World magazine.

Look what’s coming in the next issue of Sewing World magazine.

New Sewing Patterns Released on Etsy!

I’ve been busy adding new bag making sewing patterns to my Etsy shop and have revamped the shop for the New Year. I’ve also been updating my UK Folksy pattern shop and website with some new patterns and a fresh new look. I hope you like the new looks and the new patterns.Laptop Messenger Bag PDF Sewing Pattern by Susan Dunlop of SusieDDesignsMake this padded messenger bag to carry a laptop in style. The bag includes optional pockets which are perfectly sized for safely storing a range of other gadgets such as a 10” tablet, an iPod and a smart phone. A large, padded flap closure keeps everything secure and closes with metal side-release buckles for a professional finish. Featured in the October 2013 issue of Sewing World Magazine.

Get the instant download pattern for the Laptop Messenger Bag

Notting Hill Handbag PDF Sewing Pattern by Susan Dunlop of SusieDDesignsMake this eye-catching bag from bright statement fabrics or tone it down to suit your taste. Whatever fabric you choose, you’re sure to love this classy handbag. It boasts a collapsible gusset, which expands out to full depth when you need some extra space, and the metal twist/turn lock adds a nice professional finish. Featured in the November 2013 issue of Sewing World Magazine.

Get the instant download pattern for the Notting Hill Handbag

Mobile Phone Pouch PDF Sewing Pattern by Susan Dunlop of SusieDDesignsKids and adults alike will love to receive one of these cute padded pouches in their Christmas stocking or indeed as a gift at any time of the year. They’re the ideal accessory for storing a mobile phone or an MP3/4 player, like an iPod. Make them in fun prints for kids or choose floral, stripes and contemporary designs for the grown-ups. The instructions include 3 different closure options to choose from and the option of adding a useful wrist-strap. Featured in the December 2013 issue of Sewing World Magazine.

Get the instant download pattern for the Smart Phone / iPod Pouches

I hope you like these new additions. Happy Sewing!

Susie xx

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!

It’s been a whirlwind year! Can’t believe it’s Christmas time again already, where does the time go? I’m looking forward to a few days break, with the family. At the moment though, I’m busy finishing off some other handmade gifts I’ve been making. Will wait till after the holidays to share them though, just in case the recipients are reading this!! Don’t want to spoil the surprises. Here’s a sneak peek of the fabric I’ve used for one of them though:

Simple Marks in Summer by Malka Dubrawsky for Moda

Simple Marks in Summer by Malka Dubrawsky for Moda

To help the Christmas and New Year cheer along, I’ll be having a 25% off sale in my Etsy shop, starting tomorrow, 24th December through to 7th January. So, if you fancy getting some sewing done during the holidays or want to start a brand new project in the New Year, head on over to www.etsy.com/shop/susieddesigns

Thank you to all for your friendship and support.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and the very best for 2014!