Monthly Archives: February 2015

It’s never too late for a Christmas present – the bag story continues

As I said last week, I have been busy with quite a few bags lately.

This time, I will show you two very similar bags, one is a Christmas present for last year (so it needed to be a bit more apologetic than usual) and a smaller version as a birthday present (just in time) for my niece.



For the adult version I followed roughly a pattern from Lisa Lam’s The Bag Making Bible (not a bad book, lots of things in it, but it does lack a bit of consistency and pictures where you can actually see what is happening. Maybe not quite a Bible but a good start)

For the outside I have used waterproof coated cotton which I have once again bought at Dotsnstripes.

For the big bag’s inside I have used red and orange cotton, plus one patterned cotton hiding behind a zip 🙂

I made a laptop flap thingy on one side and three different pocket types on the other side.

IMG_3266 IMG_3265

The book suggests to use Twist Locks for the main flap but I was slightly too frightened to make holes in something that I have made myself. Thought I will leave that for next time. My initial plan was to just use a band of velcro to close it. I did change my mind halfway through though and bought some kind of button release buckle on ebay which meant that I needed a rather long and awkward looking strap to reach from flap edge to bottom bag edge. Not too great so I guess, next time I will try those square twist locks and make holes to fit them 🙂 or at least decide before cutting out and make a longer flap.IMG_3267

For my niece I made a smaller version as there is no point in dragging around a bag that is half the size of you.

Instead of a flap I decided to put in a concealed top edge zip. I was a little bit unsure which fabric to choose to conceal that zip. The waterproof outer? Might be tricky to sew neatly, will be bulky  and might be odd to fix to the bag.

The plain cotton inner? Not waterproof, slightly flimsy (in comparison) and most importantly boring.

Difficult choice so I went for a third option: a strong cotton with yet another pattern. And as I was already adding patterns, I thought I might as well use another fabric for that inner top edge and made this in another one of the waterproof coated cottons.


Inside, I added three pockets in total, one with zip and the patterned cotton (same as for the zip) on the inside of the pocket.


I honestly love using a pretty fabric secretly hiding behind a zip. It makes it so more special, no?

I am very pleased with both results, they look amazing and I can’t wait to finally make one for myself – after all this is why I initially bought that fabric in the first place a few months ago 🙂

It is just hard to say which one I prefer… which one would you choose?


Scrap Sunday: The fabric mosaic or Please welcome my first guest writer

A couple of weeks ago I was working on this apron for a teacher whilst my daughter was sitting quietly next to me…. cutting fabric into little pieces. I am so proud of her, she really embraced the rule that the big fabric scissors can only be used on fabric and not on anything else.

Anyway, then she had the rather brilliant idea to use those little pieces to make a card with a carrot on the front (we had printed carrots on cards as Christmas cards for the nursery teachers).  The card looked great but stupidly enough I did not realise that I could use that idea for Scrap Sunday so I did not take any pictures of it.

So a couple of days ago, we reincarnated the scene (and we did it properly this time, not just green and orange fabric were harmed in the making of this picture series.

But enough said, it was her idea, so I thought, she should write the post. Lovely idea anyway to ask friends, family and readers to write a post for my blog. So if you have any good ideas you wanted to share, please step forward now. It would mean so much less work to me. Ok, not all at once… Oh, well, it was worth a try. (And I do know where some of you guys live, so you better start writing)

Anyway, back to this weeks guest post:

Stoffmosaik Anleitung

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New year, new ideas, new projects

I know, I know, the new year is not that new anymore, but I am honestly working on these new projects (spoiler alert: bags of various shapes, sizes and purposes) since a couple of weeks, I am just awfully behind with posting. So lets make the first step today.

One of my lovely friends had seen the yoga bags taking shape whilst I was working on my very first ones and wanted one as a gym bag. Together we agreed that the shape of the yoga bag is not ideal if you do not actually carry around a yoga mat… or a trombone I guess. So I made a bag for her which had  square, well probably rectangular, sides and was shorter than the yoga bags.


I kept the long strap from side to side but added very last minute (I even had to open the lining again) two handles as I thought a bag of this shape and size might be wanting to be carried more like a pretty handbag (my friend later disagreed, but then we both don’t really know what a bag thinks).

I also made an extra easily washable cotton bag for the sports shoes (so that my lovely pretty bag does not get dirty 🙂 )


Inside I used polyester lining for once – it just seemed to be more suitable than cotton. Not sure why though. And if you spy with your little eye something pink on pink you might notice the simple slip pocket I added to keep some important belongings separated from the main sports mess.

I am quite happy overall, maybe I should have added a fancier pocket.

And best of all, I could hand over that bag as a birthday present (request a long time before Christmas) just about one week after the birthday of said friend. Not bad, considering that I have just finished a Christmas present (for 2014 in case you were wondering)  2 days ago.

Ok, sports bag done, there will be an office bag, a crafts bag, a book bag and a yet undecided purpose one – so keep looking for new posts.

Scrap Sunday: Post Valentine scrap

A couple of days ago, my daughter found in her mess carefully chose the hairband that I had made in 5sec out of some left over from her shirt and dress.

This one, you might remember it: IMG_2272detailI love it but I really should have done it properly. It is the sewn version of one of these  (I am obviously talking of the yellow and the pink one in the front and then again the red a bit more up and to the right.)

IMG_2142sIn both cases it is a long strip that twists into a spiral naturally because one side is much longer than the other.

In the knitted one, this is done by increasing (or decreasing, depends if you are knitting from bottom to top or top to bottom), in the fabric one, I gathered the bottom edge.

Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea for a Scrap Sunday post to finally do it properly. Initially I meant to use the same stretchy jersey but then I thought, I will try a woven fabric instead to see the difference and just took some red cotton.

Just one thing before we start the series of pictures: I meant to do a tutorial but after finishing the rose, I realised that I would actually make a few things differently, so calling it tutorial is a bit silly, but I would still like to share the journey of making a rose with you and it will be up to you to do those few things differently (surprise, surprise, but I am too lazy to make another one whilst simultaneously taking pictures of it 🙂 )

First, you need to …… sorry, journey, not tutorial, so

First, I cut a stripe of fabric on the bias to make sure it gets a bit stretchy.

To do this, I took a piece of fabric (doesn’t have to be square),….


folded it along the diagonal in half to get a 45 degree angle.IMG_3195

Then I cut my stripes (through both layers), parallel to the folded line, about 8cm wide.IMG_3196

I then placed the two strips on the short sides together in a V-Shape (will be a straight strip when opened up) and sew along that short side.IMG_3197

I opened it to iron the seam flat open and to get a longer bias strip. It was about 50cm long, which is a bit too short really. And obviously one single strip without seam would have been better but it is a project to use up scrap yarn. IMG_3199

I folded the fabric lengthwise in half and trimmed the short sides. A slight curve seemed ideal for me, not sure why.IMG_3200Initially, I meant to zigzag with the wrong sides together and just work from there and to use a contrasting thread to show things better in a potential tutorial (really because the machine was threaded like this).  But halfway through the zigzagging I decided to make the right side to wrong side and and left a gap to be able to turn it inside out.IMG_3203Why? Because the edges looked suddenly silly and because I have a cool turning tool which I wanted to show off.

IMG_3204After turning the strip inside out I ironed it flat to get a sharp edge on top of my “petals” rather than the fluffy mess of the initial jersey rose. Just to see how that looks.

Then I stitched straight  next to the seam with the longest stitch length and started to gather the fabric by pulling one of the threads. I left one end rather ungathered as I wanted to roll the rose  at the beginning tightly to get something like a still closed rosebud. IMG_3205I started to roll up the strip and kept securing it with stitches going back and forth through all the layers. That was quite tricky as my fabric strip had gotten quite thick at the bottom because of the seam allowance that was now inside my strip. So, if I do this next time, I will either zigzag on the outside or stitch together with a straight line and trim the seam allowance before turning.

In any case, the result looks pretty good, you can almost not tell the difference 😉IMG_3211At least not from the front / the top. Obviously the bottom is quite messy and depending on the use (other than some picture taking from the pretty side only), one might have to hide that mess somehow.