The “ins” and the “outs” of my new Tote bag … and a few lessons learned!

Perhaps you read last week about my trashed (store-bought) Tote bag and the start of my journey to replace it?  If you missed it, you can read Part I here!

I’ve been busy this week, learned a lot, and ended up with a great Tote bag – despite the “help” offered to me by My Feline Family Members!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

I finished off my lining by measuring and sewing in the corners.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

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

The “ins” and the “outs” of my new Tote bag!

I think I’ve already mentioned that I need to replace my Tote bag.  The vinyl is cracking at the corners and on the straps.  I have decided to strip what zippers and buckles I can from this one to ensure no waste … but the rest of it is too worn.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

My family, friends and co-workers have heard that I like working with repurposed denim and other repurposed fabrics to make my bags.  They all kindly gift me with fabric and notions they find!  For this Tote bag I will be using an almost never worn pair of jeans that a co-worker has given me.  They are large so I have lots of fabric to work with!  (Thank you, Linda R!)   Continue reading

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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I finished my dress!

Well … actually my sister’s dress – part of my “Sister’s Sewing Project”.  It’s a border print and I’ve fallen in love with it.  Border print fabric is not easy to find!  

My sister wanted this dress – she took this photo from the TV!  It was her inspiration.  

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

And she found a lovely border print fabric for it – 100% cotton.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

I pulled this pattern from my stash – Butterick B6089.  (It’s difficult to see in this photo because of the camera flash on the plastic cover – sorry!)

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

A long drawn out battle with beautiful fabric …

and I’m not quite finished yet!

Let me tell you what’s up …

I have been searching for a pattern and fabric to make a “replica” of my mother’s and aunt’s dresses in this photo.  My Aunt was a seamstress back in Europe and she not only sewed for clients but also for herself and my mother.  She used no patterns and could make anything!  I thought I had the magical combination for this dress with this 100% Rayon Denim Challis I had in my stash – a favourite fabric of mine!


I still think this pattern, Vogue 1395, might work but it doesn’t have the rounded neckline that I want.  Being lazy, I thought I might just make two bodice backs and use those to make the bodice instead.

fullsizeoutput_1a1e Continue reading

How to sew a recycled denim handbag. Part 2

Back again!  To recap last week’s post … I wanted to make myself a 100% recycled denim bag, using denim strips like those bags I saw on Pinterest.  Last week I cut up my denim jeans, pieced and sewed the strips together and fused on the interfacing for my outer bag walls.  I sewed the pockets and the zipper pocket on my bag lining.  I sewed the bag strap.  I did my topstitching – I love topstitching and Amber, my Singer 421G was a work horse!  

This week, I continued on.  I prepped the opening zipper, cutting it to the right length and topstitching the zipper tabs on the ends.  I switched from the brown zipper to this blue one as it fit around my iPad just right.

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… with the kindness of strangers.

I was determined to clean up and oil Barbie, my Singer Slant-o-Matic 500, my “Rocketeer”, while I was on holidays from work.  Before I even got around to cleaning her up … well … I broke off her Plate Cover by accident.  I just closed it and it popped off in my hand.  The manual showed it was an easy fix – just snap it back on.

I could see though on my Plate Cover that my hinge pins show some paint chipping on  the right and a slight crack possibly on the left.  

These VSM are famous for broken Plate Cover hinges so I was afraid to force it.  I cautiously pushed it back on – with a bad result …

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One of my favourites …

I started this dress last week (read the prequel right here).  I love this pattern.  It’s a remake of a classic dress pattern, Butterick B5920 “Retro ’51”.  Comfortable and easy to make.  The fabric is lightweight and soft, an Ellena Rayon Twill Print, 100% Rayon.  I even found the perfect buttons for my fabric.

green 19

Now I did make some changes – no heart shaped pockets on the chest, no waspish waist, no corset, no crinoline.  

One important change for anyone wanting to try this pattern for themselves – I made the sleeve-less version but the shoulders seemed too long at the top seam.  I actually cut the armholes to a gradual inch shorter at the top shoulder point.  If I am making a sleeve-less top – it’s going to show all of my arms! Continue reading