Gemma©️ Bag Pattern Testers!

It’s been a busy few months for Lányos Handmade. Lots was accomplished. The Gemma© Bag was finished and released! It was great fun and now I am happy to share the Lányos Handmade Gemma© Bag Pattern with you, over at my new shop Lányos Handmade:

I want to introduce you to my wonderful team of Pattern Testers:

Anne @amcclure54 I met Anne on Instagram, Facebook and her blog. A meticulous tester, she was a real asset and a joy to talk to!

Anne cleverly made her Gemma Bag with a cheerful striped cotton. Even more cheerful was the polka dot lining for you polka dot lovers out there! Anne’s Gemma is just perfect for a sunny summer day!

Next we have Hélène @hportemanteau I know Hélène from Instagram. Hélène used an upholstery fabric from her stash. She took the extra steps with her Gemma and turned it into a backpack. I love it when someone takes my patterns to the next level – like these straps, or perhaps those rivets, or ? What do you want to do with your Gemma?

Now let’s look at Leah’s Gemma. @theladydeejay Leah used black twill, printed woven cotton and a lightweight denim for the lining. Leah and I spend our time chatting on Instagram and Facebook mostly. I’m just wild about Leah’s chicken print, and a bit envious that I have not found the same fabric through my usual suppliers yet! Leah took the opportunity to turn her slip pocket into a pen and notepaper holder.

I found Sarah on Instagram @sarahguthrie_stitches Sarah made her first Gemma Bag from a cotton print with blue cotton accents and her second with an elegant Cork fabric. I think I have seen this printed Cork fabric for sale on my supplier’s website. This print is a favourite of mine! Sarah told me she sees more Cork Gemma’s in her future. I can’t wait to see them!

So that’s the line up! Well along with the couple that I have posted about here and there!

What kind of fabric are you going to use for your Gemma?

Happy Sewing!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT? None, actually. I purchased two sheets of Cork fabric (1/4 yard each) and used 3/4 of it. The lining was scrap busting fabric. I still have 131.2 meters left in my fabric stash … and a pair of jeans to sew up!

Sewing with Cork Fabric!

I’ve been busy making another bag for my friend. I call it The Gemma© Bag! My friend told me what style of bag she liked and very nicely let me go with the flow! She had her choice of Cork Fabrics and chose these two beauties.


When it comes to choosing Cork Fabric, I learned that there are two kinds: Touch and Touch Pro. See the Sallie Tomato article link at the end of this post. I purchased both and you can really see the difference. The Touch was stiffer, not as flexible, and it might not have been suitable for the folds of my Gemma© Bag. I think I am going to see what Touch is like when I make my next Coffee© Purse with it instead. The Touch Pro on the other hand was thick and strong, and yet soft and bendable. It was lovely for this project!

The lining was my usual cotton reinforced with Pellon SF101 Shape-flex©, a light cotton woven fusible interfacing. As usual, I did a zipper pocket on one interior side of the bag with my zipper foot and a pocket on the other.

I seriously could sew row after row of topstitching on the strap with my 1/4″ seam foot. So fun! It was also fun to design what kind of stitching I would sew on to my zipper tabs too!

Finished Gemma© Bag! Insides – zipper pocket, pocket and lots of room!

The Front – a pocket with a magnetic snap closure.

The Back – I just love this … more topstitching!

The Sides and the Front – magnetic snap pocket, zipper top closure, and an adjustable strap.

I have found a few informative websites for anyone thinking of sewing with Cork Fabric. Sallie Tomato has a great article (that is downloadable too) here. U-Handbag has a great article too explaining how to sew with Cork Fabric and how to make straps and install rivets here.

Just to sum up all the things I have learned about sewing with Cork Fabric:

  1. Don’t iron it. Seam allowances can be held down with glue or topstitching;
  2. Don’t use pins that will leave irreparable holes. Use clips, Wondertape, glue;
  3. Don’t use fusible interfacing. You might not even want an interfacing or stiffener with Cork Fabric, which has lots of body and is thick on its own;
  4. Stitch length 3mm, 3.5 to 4mm for topstitching. Microtex 80 – 90 sewing machine needles. Thread is 40 wt.;
  5. If your strap ends are too thick for your sewing machine try Chicago screws. See the U-Handbag article link above;
  6. A Teflon Foot or a Walking Foot will help with the thick layers. The articles attached here say 3 or 4 layers can be done on a home sewing machine;
  7. Don’t backstitch to lock your seam ends. Pull the threads through instead and tie them off.

Cork Fabric is a wonderful replacement for leather or vinyl. It’s easy to sew and so ecofriendly! I plan on making more bags out of this unique product.

Have you ever tried Cork Fabric? Do you have any extra tips for us? Have I peaked your interest in Cork Fabric?

Happy Sewing! and if I don’t talk to you before the Easter long weekend, Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT? Well, no change again! I had to buy the Cork Fabric to make this bag for my friend, and the lining was from my remanents bag. So still 131.2 meters left! But there are a couple of Sewing Challenges coming up for me next that should take a good bite out of my fabric stash – after I finish adding the photos to my Coffee© Purse pattern!

How many ways are there to sew a pocket?

I’ve started the first garment of my #makenine2019! Top left corner … my jean jacket …

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… with a cool twist! I want it to look as close as possible to the one my Inspiration is wearing! (the lady on the left) I don’t want to use leather though and I can only assume what the back looks like because I can’t see it in the photo. But I am inspired!

I was quite pleased to find 3.5 metres of black (yes, it is black) denim in my stash. It’s been there for a while. It feels like it has a bit of stretch to it, so it should be comfortable. I’m hoping to squeeze the jacket AND a pair of jeans out of this length. It should help that I want to add in some contrasting fabric.

Of course, my fabric stash doesn’t have anything to make the contrasting panels in my jacket – I’ll have to go FABRIC SHOPPING!

I did get a bit distracted … I ended up buying 3 more metres of 100% cotton bleached indigo denim. The colour was fabulous! I’m sure I’ll find something to make with it.

Now for the contrasting fabric … as soon as I found this fabric, I knew it was what I wanted to use for the contrasting panels. The wrong side of it had large stripes of red that I wasn’t too fond of, but at least the red was woven into the fabric tightly and there were no fibres hanging to get caught on anything. I was quite surprised to find this fabric, 50% polyester/50% cotton, in the “home decor” section of the store. I love it!

I’ve decided on my pattern choices – Vogue V8774, for the jeans, and Islander Sewing Systems “Jacket Express” for the jacket. I got this jacket pattern with a Craftsy course by Janet Pray and really enjoyed it! I have made this jacket before here, (over four years ago!) and I still wear and love it!

Starting with the jean jacket, I decided on cutting the corners square, instead of rounded. Also, when I was fusing on the interfacing, I noticed that I would have to be very careful putting this one together as only one side of the back denim fabric looks black to me, the other is a dark gray, which I definitely don’t want.

Sewing seams and topstitching. I could topstitch all night. Love it!

Then I started these front pockets. By the way, how many ways are there to make a pocket? Here’s the interfacing fused onto the facing and sewn onto the front, right sides together.

Facing pressed towards the inside.

Pockets prepared, making sure the right side is on the inside.

More topstitching.

Pockets basted onto the inside of the jacket using black thread with the right sides facing down towards the machine.

More topstitching on the right side of the front of the jacket, around the pocket edges. Have you ever seen a pocket put together like this before? Know of any other pattern that does it this way? I mean, it’s not impossible to do, just different than usual. As I cut it out and sew it, I can’t help but think that it might be easier to do a usual patch pocket on the front of the jacket. You would just have to put a cut out and a facing on the patch pocket piece. What do you think?

Now the welt pockets seem to be made with a more familiar method.

Pocket welt sewn on in the exact right spot!

Pocket lining sewn on in the exact right spot! Then comes the dreaded moment – I have to CUT a slit into my jacket front between the two edges and turn the pocket welt and lining to the inside!

Everything turned into the inside and pressed. A bit of edge stitching around the sides and top of the opening (Reminding myself not to sew the pocket shut!) Then the last piece of the pocket bag is sewn onto the pocket welt and lining.

So have you seen this method of sewing pockets in any other patterns? It’s a first for me!

Happy Sewing!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT?  Well unfortunately I started out 2019 by buying 3 metres of blue cotton denim and 1 metre of this wild polyester/cotton. Although I am hoping to have enough of the wild polyester/cotton left to make myself a bag (surprise, surprise) of course! So there is now 134.2 meters in the fabric stash!

Designin’ December Questions and my progress with my DD me-made Copy …

I had a couple of Questions about Designin’ December.  

Do I have to copy a “high-end” Designer?  Nope!  If your taste leans towards something like these Nordstrom jeans – from Veronica Beard RTW at a cost of CAD $418.42 – make them!

Veronica Beard / Nordstrom / $418.42

I say … “Why buy when you can make it yourself – better and for less money?”  Just show us your Designer Original photo and your Designer me-made Copy!

Another question – Do I have to sew it and post it in December?  Nope!  Inspiration strikes us all year round!  Anytime during the year you might find your Designer Original and make your Designer me-made copy – make it, post it, let me know!  I’ll save it for the fashion show in Designin’ December!

Don’t be shy now.  If you have questions, ask away!

Now it’s time to update you on my Designin’ December me-made Copy.  I decided long ago to copy this Designer Original … an Oscar de la Renta, Fall 2018.

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I ran into a bit of a snag because I couldn’t believe that the pants were so PLAIN, but Sue of Fadanista came to the rescue and found a close up of the pants for me.  I love the slits in the back of the pant legs!

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I originally was going to use a Simplicity pattern from 1999 that I have used before, # 8740, but I thought I would pull out my self-drafted pants pattern that I drew up a while ago, after many fittings of my muslin, and give it a try instead!

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I compared my self-drafted pants pattern with the Simplicity pattern pieces.  There wasn’t much difference so I cut the pieces out using my self-drafted pattern pieces.  It felt safe enough!  We shall see how it turns out with this 100% cotton fabric.

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Look at that, I even have matching thread in my stash!

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Zipper attached, inner and side seams basted.

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Approximately 100 fittings later – which meant trying them on, taking photos from all angles, examining the photos, picking the seams out, sewing them up again, and doing it all over and over again —

— I ended up really liking the fit on the RIGHT FRONT LEG and the LEFT BACK LEG!!!  LOL  I’m determined though … perhaps just one more fitting session is needed!

Of course, I had to pick apart my side seams along the top yet again to sew in the pockets!  I cut the corners of my front leg pieces in the same shape as my pockets.

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Pocket lining pieces attached.

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The belt loops and waist band were attached.

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The waist band inner facing was attached too.  Then I picked it apart in a few spots so I could slip in the forgotten belt loops and sew it up again!

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Last bit of machine sewing …

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Next, the hand sewing is done.

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Now for the slits in the back of the pant legs.  I cut the 2″ hem off and an additional 5″ for the cuff.

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I cut four pieces to make the two new 5″ cuffs.

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They turned out nicely.

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They were machine and hand sewed on.

Final photos?  Nope!  Not yet!  Not until I can wear them with my Designer me-made Tunic Top!

How’s your Designin’ December me-made Copy coming along?  Do tell!  Any Questions?  Just ask!  If you would like to know more about the Challenge, click on – Designin’ December!

Thank you to our sponsors!

Happy Sewing!

How to make a simple sewing machine cover …

And keep your cats out of your stuff!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

As you can probably guess, not having a proper sewing room, Simon and Sophie love getting into my stuff!  (I use a small sewing cabinet on wheels, which I love.  It lets me sew in any room or corner of the house!)  Before today, I covered my sewing cabinet with a towel and my sewing machine with an old tee shirt – classy, huh?  

I decided it was time to protect my sewing cabinet with a washable mat and protect whichever sewing machine I was using with a proper cover.

The sewing mat was quite easy.  I measured the cabinet top.  The bottom black layer of the mat was cut from a pre-quilted cotton remanent.  The top layer was cut from a remanent of the fabric I used to make this swimsuit cover up.  I just sewed the two layers together and added black bias tape around the edges.  Easy to wash and handy for poking the odd pin into too!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

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Are you ready for DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER 2018?

Have you picked out your Designer Original and the fabric you need to make your Designer me-made COPY?  Or are you just in the planning stages – don’t worry … there’s lots of time to sew before DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER 2018!

Ever since the first DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER (2015) I’ve seen many fabulous garments in stores, magazines, online, on social media, on runways … so many beautiful garments!  And I say,

“Why buy when you can make it yourself – better and for less money?”

I’ve seen plenty of fabulous Designer Originals, like this dress from Oscar de la Renta Fall 2018.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Which led me to this tunic and trousers, again Oscar de la Renta Fall 2018 … which I want so bad!  Perhaps not in pink (I’m not a pink type of girl!) and perhaps with a tunic that is a bit shorter (so I don’t look stumpy!) and perhaps with sleeves a bit shorter too (so they don’t get caught in the filing cabinets at work).  Where AM I going with this?

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!! Continue reading

What do you think?

Last week I showed you my Rosie© bag … I’m going to call it “Portrait style”.  This week I’m going to show you my Rosie© bag “Landscape style”.  But I have a simple question … Do you prefer your cross body bags long and skinny (Portrait style) or do you prefer your cross body bags short and wide (Landscape style)?  Let me know in the comments at the end of this post.  What do you think?

My summer cross body bag (a RTW purchase from years ago) is falling apart.  It made perfect sense to just whip up another Rosie© bag for myself.  To stretch my abilities I decided to make it Landscape style this time!

I also decided to use some Pellon 71 Peltex.  This is a firm fusible woven interfacing.  It’s quite thick and quite firm.  My daughter had a bit of a challenge trying to twist and bend it!  See how it hardens this 100% cotton.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

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I have to have the perfect Zippered Crossbody bag … (Part 2)

I have really been enjoying this project!  My inspiration was the Sallie Tomato Zippy Crossbody Bag.  I started it last post here and finished it just this week.

There weren’t many details to finish it off.  Let me show you how I did it …

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I have to have the perfect Zippered Crossbody bag … (Part 1)

I used to buy more bags than clothes.  Every time I walked past a bag shop I would stop in.  After “just stopping in” a few days in a row, I’d finally buy what I had been looking at.  Now that I think about it, I pretty much always bought bags with the same “insides” but with a different style outside.  

I haven’t bought a handbag for myself, I think, since I started my RTW fast in January 2015.  I not only broke the clothes shopping habit, I also broke the bag buying habit!

I have been scouting around for a me-made replacement.  I bought this pattern from Sallie Tomato.  Although I haven’t tried the pattern yet, I love the look of it!  It looks almost exactly like what I usually bought.  One zippered pocket each for my bus pass, my keys, my wallet and phone, and one big enough for my iPad.  Oops!  It’s missing the space for my iPad.  

No problem!  I’ll just figure out a way to add another pouch on the backside of this Sallie Tomato bag … um … hopefully!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

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A simple, but necessary project! (And my #reSEWlutions!)

Perhaps you have seen these photos on my Instagram account?  It seems I can’t crochet in peace – Simon will steal my ball of yarn away and Sophie will play with the length of yarn.  This calls for a simple, but necessary project!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Perhaps you have seen this advertisement on Facebook or Instagram?  This is an excellent idea, unfortunately I couldn’t get past the upside down trees on the zipper side of the bag.

So I decided to make my own.  

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