Friday, 24 May 2013

New Bag style

 I have been playing about with new bag designs this last couple of weeks, so I thought I would share the process and see what you think of the new style. I wanted to make a smaller cross-body handbag size bag.

I always start first with a piece of paper, it means I can fold it and get and idea of the bag shape and most importantly I can make another one the same size if I need to ! 

I then make the design up in rough with some scrap fabric to get a better idea of the size - In this case I decided the scrap one was a bit tall, so I reduced the height of it.

Finished version - first attempt. I love the fabric/strap combination on this - I also did my first Zip on the oilcloth instead of the lining - it ended up being a little low on this version but I'll move it for next one.

Fastens with a mag snap

I also thought the internal oilcloth placket was a little too deep.

Version 2 ! 

This time I lined the external pocket with a bright contrasting fabric.

I made the internal placket smaller - but then decided I think I prefer the deeper one so will go back to that on the next on

I also tried making this one with narrower straps - it still sits slightly open at the top, which I liked.

The 2 bags together for comparison

In these 2 pictures you should be able to see the differance the 2 sizes of straps make.

Which straps do you prefer? What do you think of the new design ?
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Sunday, 5 May 2013


There is something about the weather getting a little warmer that makes me want to start dressmaking again - most of my hand-made clothes are summer ones.

While I was sorting through my patterns, I thought I would share with you how I organise and store my patterns.

First of all I have a record of my favourite patterns on springpad, I take a picture of the front of the pattern envelope, then I either write the fabric requirements underneath the picture, or if I can get one clear enough, I take another photo of the back of the envelope. This means that if I am in the fabric shop and see the perfect fabric for a project, I know exactly how much I need, no more trying to guess !

I don't know about anyone else but I find that once I have cut out a dressmaking pattern, I can never fit it back in the paper envelope, so I have given up trying and now just store them in these plastic zip wallets, A5 seems to be about right. I did think about colour coding which patterns went in which wallet (Yellow for children's, green for dresses etc) but haven't got that far yet !

When I have finished making an item, I then staple a scrap of the fabric to a piece of card, on the card I will write if I made any fitting adjustments and any little things which I need to remember if I am making the same pattern again. If it is something for the children, I will also write down what size I made - makes it easier to remember when I go up a size.

I then pop the card in the back of the envelope where I can see it easily when I am flipping through the patterns, this means I can see at a glance which pattern I used for a particular item. All my patterns are then stored in a large box so I can easily find whatever I need.

How do you store patterns ? Do you have any other great tips ?

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