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!

Pure chaos!

It has been a busy few weeks!  I was being a whiny baby because our fridge was on the verge of dying.  We started by looking at about six different brands, about four finishes and about three different styles.  Ugh!  Can’t they just give me an exact replacement for the one I had and loved for fifteen years?  Then it was decided to get a matching stove too.  Then the fridge died and everything was moved to the pantry fridge in the garage.  So while cooking there was way too much running with full arms between the kitchen and the pantry fridge in the garage.  Then I didn’t like any of the new stoves and my old one is JUST RIGHT! So we are back to just replacing the fridge!

Then with all the appliance research and shopping, I couldn’t – horrors – even find time to sew, or even blog or even read blogs! 

Major Crabbiness ensued!

On the plus side, I did manage to choose and email my pattern testers for my Lányos Handmade Gemma© Bag.  Some applicants didn’t leave their email addresses on the application forms so sadly I couldn’t reply to them, and some didn’t respond to my initial email so I had to move on to the next name. 

Those of you who filled out an application form, I thank you.  If I didn’t email you and send you a draft of the Gemma©️ Bag pattern, don’t despair! I thank you for applying 😁👍 and I do have at least another three or four bag patterns rolling around in my head! I might ask if you can help me out next time!

Those of you who are working through the draft Gemma©️ Bag pattern now, I thank you immensely for doing this!  You are the indispensable editors of my ideas!

Now, I have a tip for you!

I also managed in the last few weeks to mend a friend’s curtains and sew some quick curtains for one of our extra bedrooms (company’s coming soon).  In this guest room I wanted something to soften and cover the blinds.  I used this fabric for the curtains.  It was purchased to make tote bags some day … but that’s okay, when we tire of the curtains, I can take them down and I can still make a few tote bags.  But I just love this fabric – wouldn’t it make a great tote bag?

Now for the tip … I found the best website for calculating how much fabric you need for curtains.  No more math.  Haha! This is it … Sailrite … they also had calculators for pillows, cushions, upholstery, etc. They also had some very cool industrial sewing machines! (One can only dream!)

Here’s the finished curtains, by the way.  They do a great job of hiding the blinds.  You can see the blinds are closed half way just by the shadow that is cast.

When things settled down a bit I planned and cut out for another friend a Rosie©️ Bag.  How do you like her fabric?

Love at first sight, I think!

Anyway I think this weekend will be a good sewing weekend for my friend’s Rosie©️ Bag.  And I think we have decided on which fridge we want, so no more appliance research and shopping!

Are you going to have a chance to sew this weekend?

Happy Sewing!

Be a Lányos Handmade Pattern Tester!

The time has come and my Gemma© Bag Pattern is ready to be tested. Would you like to be involved? I would LOVE some real feedback!

Pattern Testers will receive a DRAFT copy of the Gemma© Bag PDF Pattern, sew it up, and let me know how I did. Did the pattern make sense? Is it awful? Did you like a certain part? Do you think a certain part should be changed? Did I say “left” when I should have said “right”? LOL!

This is a PDF pattern but it should be easy to print and assemble. There aren’t many actual pattern pieces.

How about it? If you give me a hand and test the Gemma@ Bag Pattern, not only will you be one of the first to have a Gemma@ Bag of your own, but you will receive a FREE FINAL PDF copy of the pattern before anyone else! If you let me, I will also post photos of your lovely Gemma@ Bag on all my social media. If you have a blog or other social media, I’ll definitely mention that when I post your photo! If you do have a blog or some other form of social media, please wait until after the pattern is launched to post your own photos of your Gemma© Bag.

Any sewist of any experience level is welcome to apply. I want to hear from all of you. I only need a few Pattern Testers this time, so don’t fret if you don’t get picked, I will be drafting another pattern soon – ideas are swimming around in my brain all the time. If you are chosen this time, I will send you a DRAFT copy of the PDF pattern. The time period for testing will be 2-3 weeks. Sew up your Gemma© and email me your feedback and a photo or two when you are done. Please sew up the pattern as instructed to properly test it!

I know life can be tough though, so please only accept this request to be a Pattern Tester if you are confident that you can get your supplies together and sew it up within the 2-3 week time period. By the way, the Gemma does not have to be made of Cork fabric. Home decor fabric, denim, a cotton interfaced with a lightweight, foam or firm backing are also options. Show us what you can do with it!

Here is the application form. It won’t take long to complete as it only has few questions and most of them only need a short answer. Good luck!

Inspiration.

Wow!  By my standards it has been a while since I posted!

I was enjoying myself with visitors all last weekend and into the beginning of the week … my sisters … so I don’t know if they count as formal guests, or not! 😂  Two out of three of them joined me in doing the the TC10k last weekend.  We really are going to have to bribe the last resistant sister into coming out for a visit and joining us at 8 in the morning for a 10k walk … I wonder what kind of a bribe I could possibly use?

Every year I say Jeeze that is the last time I do this, then I get to the finish line and strangers cheer me on and I get free cookies, juice and fruit and all is well again!

Then when the visitors (sisters) went home, I had to promptly finish a bag for another friend. It worked out very well. What do you think of this Gemma©️ Bag?

Every time I make a Gemma©, I am reminded of the inspiration behind it. For years I would go into the retail bag shops and always come out with a variation of the same worn out purse I already owned and loved. So a couple of bags ago, when my friend asked me if I could make a new bag for her like her old one, I understood completely. Her well worn but loved bag was the inspiration for my Gemma© Bag …

The Gemma© Inspiration!

Now that I am caught up with my Gemma© making, I can go back to adding in the photos and diagrams to my soon to be released Gemma©️ Bag pattern. That’s it! No more interruptions!

So to all you sewists who have asked for a copy of the Gemna©️ Bag pattern, I do sincerely thank you for your continued support and patience!

So tell us … where do you find your inspiration for your sewing projects?

Happy Sewing!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT? Well, no change again! I had to buy the Cork Fabric to make this bag, and the lining was from my remanents bag. So still 131.2 meters left! 

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!

Remember this?

Do you remember my embroidered denim patch given to me by a sewing friend? I have been saving it for so long waiting for a special project.

Well I’ve decided what that special project is going to be – this change/card purse for myself. I think I will call it my Coffee© purse … because that’s basically what it is! A place for my Timmy’s card and my coffee change.

It was pretty easy figuring out my pieces – my embroidered denim patch, some cotton for the back, my lining, my interfacing and a bit of Peltex for shape.

Now to make the inner pocket.

This inner pocket will be sewn into my change/card purse now.

Can you see the misplaced Wonder Tape on the outside around the zipper? I know from past experience that this will dry up and I will be able to pick it off – it drives me nuts being there though! You’d think I would just learn my lesson!

Timmy’s card and coffee change tucked away in my Coffee© purse!
And it even fits in the back pocket of my Rosie© Bag!

A new pattern for my collection – my Coffee© purse! Now that it’s finished though I have been flooded with ideas on how to make it “easier”. I think I am going to try this one again … before I’m satisfied with the quality of this pattern.

What’s the next project? My friend has commissioned me to make her a bag. Status: I have my cork fabrics and interfacing cut out and have started on it – I think I’m about half way through actually. I’ve even picked out a name for this new bag pattern … The Gemma© Bag! I’ll have more about it the next post.

There were a few lessons learned with this project. Sometimes you sew close to the zipper and sometimes you don’t! Always place your Wonder Tape CAREFULLY! Oh, and finally, sometimes the second time you make something it turns out better than the first!

Do you have any advice you can pass on from your recent sewing experiences?

Happy Sewing!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT? Well, no change again. This project used scraps from my stash. Nothing significant. So still 131.2 meters left!