25 January 2016

Emma Clutch Tote Pattern Hack

Wow it's been too long.  I've been busy working in my new job as well as behind the scenes planning for some super exciting times ahead for L&D.  If you're here because you want to make amazing bags that's awesome, me too and I look forward to seeing yours.  You can keep up to date with new releases over on fb here :) and of course right here on the blog.

Before I go and release the first pattern for 2016 which might I just say is super cute and stylish and I hope you love it as much as I do....I've finally put a tutorial together to add grommet handles into the Emma Clutch Tote.  If you haven't got this pattern yet you can find it here or in the shop.   Here's my little hack!
The Emma Clutch Tote without grommet handles
Emma Clutch Tote Pattern Hack

Adding Metal Grommet Handles to your Clutch
When you get to the section “Make the Handles - Steps 26 – 35”  follow these steps instead:
You will need to cut the following (and DO NOT require Pattern pieces B & C)
·      Cut 2 pieces  14” across x 11” high from your Handle Fabric
·      Cut 2 pieces  14” x 11”  of fusible interfacing

 1. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of fabric as per manufacturing instruction

 2. Place the fabric pieces right sides together and sew the side seams to make a tube.

 3. Clip the seam ends and make a notch in the middle of the seam allowance on each side.  Press seams out.

4. Turn the tube inside out to fold it in half.  Wrong sides should be together.  Top stitch ¼” around the folded edge.

5.  Measure 1 from the top edge centred (folded edge).   Place the handle grommet in position and using a fabric marker trace around the centre of the grommet.

 6. Cut this hole out a little bit bigger than the markings.  

7. Position the front of the grommet in place and attach the back to the inside securing it with the prongs or screws depending on your grommet.  

Continue pattern at Step 36 – Adding Magnetic Clasp

And thats the hack!  I can't show you the finished bag yet as its a present but as soon as its received I'll be sure to share over on Insta

Until next time, happy bag making!

11 October 2015

Zippy Purse with a Twist Tutorial

This tutorial originally appeared on And Sew We Craft.  I've been looking for ideas for end of year teacher gifts and I thought this could be a perfect gift for my boys teachers. 
Zipper purse

Zippy Purse with a Twist Tutorial

What you’ll need :
8x 2”x4.5” strips of fabric A
6x 2”x4.5” strips of fabric B
2x 7”x5” fabric for lining
2x 11”x4.5” medium weight iron on interfacing
6” or 14cm zip
cutting mat, ruler & rotary cutter (optional)
¼” seam allowance has been allowed in the above measurements
MaterialsCut your fabric strips, lining and interfacing.
Starting with fabric A, place fabric B on top right sides together and sew down the right side with a ¼” seam. Repeat until you have 4 fabric A’s and 3 fabric B’s joined together. Make 2 of these, one for each side of the purse.
Iron the seam allowances out and then iron on the interfacing.
Pressed seams
pressed seams on reverse side
Iron along all seams with wrong sides together, this will make the next part easier.
First fold in fabric A along the top edge so the seams meet in the middle like this.  Find the centre of fabric B by folding in half and mark with a pin.  Then fold fabric A to meet the pin and pin into place.  Repeat across the top then stitch in place with a long stitch 1/8" from edge.
IMG_4499 IMG_4500IMG_4502
Now do the opposite along the bottom so fabric B is joining along the bottom.  There should be 1" of fabric A on the end of the bottom edge.  Complete for both front and back of purse.  You can trim threads as you go.
My best friend when it comes to attaching zips is vliesofix tape. If you don’t have any of this you can use 5mm strips of vliesofix or you can choose to pin it.
Place the tape sticky side down onto top edge of purse and iron along the paper tearing it off at the side of fabric.  Remove the paper and align your zip into place then iron.  Remember to put the top side of the zip facing your outer fabric.   Iron the lining fabric onto zip using vliesofix tape.  Using your zipper foot stitch along the zip as close as you can.  When you get close to the zipper pull stop sewing.  Lower your needle to keep your spot.  Lift your machines foot, gently twist fabric so you can undo the zip.  Straighten up, lower the foot and continue sewing until the end of zip.  Repeat on the other side.
attaching the zip
attaching the zip
Press your fabrics away from the zip on either side.
Place wrong sides of your purse together with the zip open 3/4 of the way.  Pin the purse together as shown in the photo below.  Leave a gap about 3 inches in the lining to turn the purse through.
Clip the corners, trim any loose threads and turn inside out.  Press around the edges and stitch together the opening.  Push the lining back inside the purse and you are done.
zipper purse and card wallet
Zippy Purse and Card Wallet
Here's my Zippy Purse with a Twist.  You can find how to make the card wallet over at my blog here.
What other ideas do you have for teachers gifts?

14 September 2015

Emma Clutch Tote Sew Along

Last month the lovely Rachel from Barefoot Crafter helped me host a sew along for my very first bag pattern.  The Emma Clutch Tote!

I love this bag as it's a two in one, a clutch and a tote.  It's quick to make where the cutting and interfacing is the most time consuming.  I love that she's versatile and shows off your favourite fabrics.  A big shout out to all those that joined in the sew along this time, I hope you had as much fun as I did and look forward to the next one!

Here are all the pretty clutches:

made by Sue from Suesews Too
made by Kimberly by Kimberlybags

made by Megan

made by Kylie

made by Angela

made by Danielle from Paisley Avenue

made by Chantell

made by Debra

made by Rachel from Barefoot Crafter

this one is mine!

Want to make one too, find the pattern here.  Have you sewn an Emma, pop over and share it in our pattern group on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/1559803090927614/

Happy bag making,

24 June 2015

Introducing the Flirty Bag

I'm sew excited to release my new pattern, the Flirty Bag.

The Flirty Bag is a fun, stylish everyday bag that has plenty of room to fit all you need in it. Features include a magnetic closure, one zip pocket, another slip pocket and a flirty panel to show off your style and personality.
Finished size: 28cm at opening; 42cm at widest part; 30cm top to bottom of bag when flat; 67cm strap end to end

It would not have been possible without the help of my wonderful testers.  Here are their amazing bags they created from the Flirty Bag pattern.  Pop over to their facebook pages and show them some love.




1. by Alisha from 5 Hearts Studio
2. by Brinkley from Brayne Bags
3. by Jennifer
4. by Robin
5. by Melina
6. by Kathy from Kathy's Custom Creations
7. by Rose from Sew Spoolish and IG
8. by Synthia
9. by Tanya from A Nicholl in Time
10. by Melisa from Melisa Jane
11. by Tina from The Sewing Fairy
12. by Debra
13. by Kim
14. by Stefani

You can purchase the pattern via my pattern shop as well as on craftsy.
I would love to see what you create so be sure to join our pattern lovers group over on fb.

Happy bag making!

15 June 2015

Review: The Sunburst Clutch pattern

Last month I decided it was about time I made me a bag and I'd been eyeing off the new Sunburst Clutch pattern by Mrs H and Pennydog Patchwork which had just been released.  Now this clutch is a collaboration of paper piecing and bag making and is a perfect introduction to both. 

The paper piecing is fairly straight forward with easy to follow instructions and photos.  If you've been wanting to try it this is a great place to start unlike me who went head first into the koala.  I really liked that there was a list of instructions at the end to print so you don't need to waste paper.  I often like the photos to be in colour but only print in black and white so I'll have the ipad or phone next to me to see the picture if I get stuck.  All the instructions are very detailed with great photos to match.

I decided to add some Soft & Stable foam to my bag body.  This was the first time using it and I have to say I absolutely love it.  It's still flexible in the bag but just adds that bit more structure than the fleece.  I also left off the interfacing as I didn't know how structured it would be however next time I will probably use it with the foam.

Now back to the flap.  Scallops, these are the fiddly part of the whole pattern so I think that's a win.   I don't sew a lot of little curves so I took this step extra slowly.  I wanted to get them as round as possible.  I followed the lines on the pattern to help this.  I then carefully cut my fleece to match the scallops before attaching and I think they turned out alright.  But you know what they say - practice makes perfect so I may just need to make a few more right.

I really enjoyed making this pattern.  How pretty does my new Sunburst Clutch look!  It is the perfect size to take out to dinner and still carry everything you need while out.  You can buy the pattern here.

*I received this pattern to review, all opinions are my own.

Happy Sewing,

05 June 2015

Review: Strictly Ballroom The Musical

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be given tickets to see Strictly Ballroom The Musical and I was over the moon.  I'd already seen it earlier in the year, but couldn't wait to see it again!
We arrived half an hour before the show started so we got a quick bite to eat.  I'd dragged a friend along who hadn't seen the movie and dancing wasn't really her thing.  I was pretty sure she'd like it though.

Walking into the theatre was like walking into the dance comp.  The whole room was sparkling! The brightly covered seats, the postered walls and of course the mirror ball.  

The show starts with introductions to all the dancers whilst they waltz around the stage singing Strictly Ballroom.  They then have a quick costume change (on stage) into something a little more...sparkly for the Latin championships.  If you haven't guessed by now there was a lot of glitter in this show.

There was so much energy on stage.  It looked like the cast were having so much fun and it felt like you're up there with them.  

Some of my favourite moments:
Whenever Phoebe Panaretos (Fran) sang, her voice is ah-mazing and I loved the duet Beautiful Surprise with Thomas Lacey (Scott)
The flamenco scene before intermission.  The dancing, the vibe and oh my the voices of Natalie Gamsu and Fernando Mira. 

Getting up on stage at the end with all the cast having a dance to love is in the air.  What a great way to finish off the night!

I even managed to get a couple of photos with cast members, Lachlan Martin & Jarryd Byrne (from Dancing with the Stars) thanks to my friend for snapping them.  She even had a great night. 

All I can see is if you haven't seen it, go get your tickets now.  It's a fantastic night out with lots of sparkle, dancing & laughs.  You can find out more about Strictly Ballroom the Musical here.
And to finish on a quote from the show:
"A life lived in fear is a life half lived"

*I received these tickets from Nuffnang, all opinions are my own.

17 April 2015

A Sew Together Bag Workshop

Last month I went to my first bag sewing class which I was pretty excited about.  I've seen so many sew together bags on social media and really wanted to try one.  After a few weeks of checking out this workshop I quickly snapped up the last spot.  A month after booking I headed down to the Mornington Peninsula to a cute little fabric shop, Treehouse Textiles run by Emma.  If you are ever down there, this is a must on the list and if you're looking for fab workshops I highly recommend!

With so many fabrics to choose from (this is only a selection of one of the walls),  I somehow narrowed it down to these 3,  some Cotton & Steel and Amy Butler.

I think a lot of people get scared by the 4 zips in this bag.  Don't be as they are really quite easy.  I had the pleasure of being taught by Kay from Shocking Hocking and loved her tip to use the walking foot to make this bag (including zips).  No need to change machine feet and you really to need it when you start sewing through numerous layers. 

We had to speed things up a bit as the bag does take a little while to put together, although I think we all walked out with just the binding to hand stitch which was a pretty good effort.  I used my new green binding clips to hold the binding in place while I added the tabs to the ends of the main zip.  

After a little bit of hand stitching my Sew Together Bag was completed.  A great bag pattern, fantastic workshop and a funky new clutch for me.  I'd say the day was a success, thanks Emma and Kay for a great day.