Tag Archives: fabric handles

Sew, Travel, Sew, Travel, Sew…

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Sew, Travel, Sew, Travel, Sew…

This month we are fortunate to visit my two favorite cities:  L.A. and NYC!  Just returned from a short trip to L.A. to celebrate the engagement of our son, Bryan, and his fiancee, Liz.  We spent some quality time in Marina Del Ray and saw the wedding and rehearsal dinner venues for June. Looking forward to an awesome event!  This week we are having fun with our other son, Eric, and his girlfriend, Jill. Then Friday, it’s off to Austin to visit Jennifer, Tate, and the girls.  Loving the holiday family fun times!

While in L.A., I dashed down to the Fashion District for a visit to Michael Levine and Mood.  I spotted some brightly colored fabrics, anticipating spring/summer bagmaking. 🙂  We’ll be visiting NYC next week and our boutique hotel will be in the Garment District!  Oh, darn–ha ha.  Since many of my blog posts are about travel, you probably wonder when I have time to make bags.  Well that’s coming up in January, but I did manage to finish a few after the China trip and Quilt Festival, and I’ll share those with you now…

Loretta Loves Leopard

Loretta Loves Leopard

Rumor has it that Loretta Loves Leopard was purchased by a lady named Loretta. I’m so happy!  This faux fur textured bag’s pattern had extra room on the sides where you see I added two pockets.  Fancied the top with a little gold fringe and a cute doll accessory, then added leather gold handles.  Voila!

Beyond the Nest

Beyond the Nest

Beyond the Nest was one of those purses that I secretly hoped wouldn’t sell–but it did.  I love this bag!  It is my own Jenny pattern design, created from a fur/feathery fabric from Michael Levine.  The band is vintage crushed velour and I placed a beautiful brooch from Trims on Wheels.  The handle is an easy-to-apply and fashionable clip-on that I love from Studio Mio.

Cowabunga!

Cowabunga!

Cowabunga is a snazzy little Western bag that will be perfect for Texas Hill Country.  The faux cow-hide is from Cowgirls and Lace, and I simply added black and red fringe, dripping Western beads, and a few flowers to give it a chic yet country vibe. 🙂

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London Flat again makes use of the crushed velour, plus a furry leopard, and beautifully textured golden upholstery fabric.  A large flower and clip on handles complete the look.  This is actually a pattern designed by Stephanie Prescott of A Quilter’s Dream that I had noticed at Quilt Festival where it was fashioned from cotton.  I decided to use denser fabric and create a fall/winter look using the same pieces, and adding more interior pockets.

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After returning from China, I couldn’t wait to finish Shades of Shanghai.  This is also from the quilt world, a pattern from Pink Sand Beach called the Mahattan Handbag.  I like to fancy it up and since this had an Asian vibe, I added bamboo handles and a frog closure just for decoration.  The fabrics were a fat quarter bundle from long ago.  This is why you purchase fabric that grabs you.  I bought this not knowing what in the world I would use it for and it has become a stylish purse. 🙂

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Now this is the same pattern, using another fat quarter bundle purchased long ago, but I added delicate dripping black beads, crushed velour gusset and handles, and sewed a purchased flower to one I made from faux leather.  I named her Vintage Victorian.

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Boho Chic is created from a Cindy Taylor Oates pattern called the Lakehouse Bag.  I used a mod design fabric that has a denim feel and added a large boho style flower.  I knew when I saw these beautiful Hippie look beads that they would accessorize it perfectly, with a little braid sewn on top in the same shade of green. A very fun bag!

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We have a newborn in the family now from my nephew and his wife, and since she’s a gorgeous little girl, I had to make her a “first purse,” right?  Fashioned from vintage chenille, this simple bag has cording for a handle and a ribbon closure.  Of course it has a pocket and an “It’s Sew Anny” label inside. 🙂  Something tells me she’ll be receiving many more over the years…

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Okay, don’t faint…this bag is for me!  I had a very similar one I had sewn over four years ago and used every winter.  A few beads had fallen by the wayside and it had some fading, so I whipped up a new version and enjoy it so much!  This is from the same Cindy Taylor Oates book, but a style called “Caroline’s Bag.”

And that’s it for now–off to find more fabric in the Big Apple!  Happy Holidays, Everyone!

What do you get with Dismal Weather?

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What do you get with dismal weather?  Eight purses!  Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed sunshine, so I’ve been stitching up a storm!  Temperature down=production up!  Here are six that I haven’t shared with you…

Madison’s birthday was last month and she (like her Granny Anny) loves all things British.  I had seen an Indygo Junction pattern for a British flag pillow at Quilt Festival.  Madison’s room decor, however, wears teal and many other colors other than red, white and blue.  Aha!  I shall convert the pillow pattern to a bag!  Using Amy Barickman’s new Crossroads Denim (which is softly washed and available in many colors), I stitched the front and back following pillow directions, then added a gusset, handles, and lining of navy ticking to create this patriotic bag.  BTW, the front and back consist of layering red, white, and navy, stitching along pattern lines, then cutting through either one or two layers to expose the red and white and allow the edges to be rough and free.  Love this textured effect!  I’ve always been a huge fan of Amy Barickman!

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Not wanting to leave Europe I guess, my next two bags were fashioned from what I call my Paris fabrics.  Ooh La La by Jo Moulton for Wilmington and Salon de The’ Paris by Holly Holderman for Lake House Dry Goods.  Two Anny bags, one with a fabric handle and one with a purchased clear bamboo textured handle.

IMG_5278DANCING IN PARIS

IMG_5290 LA BOUTIQUE DE FLEURS

Since a bit of the luscious Downton Abbey fabric, licensed to Andover Fabrics, was spotted still lounging in a corner of my sewing cabinet, I decided to give it a whirl in a completely different pattern.  I harkened back to a Pink Sand Beach pattern called the Manhattan Bag, which allowed the various Downton fabrics to piece together in a lovely flow.  This time the gusset featured the castle fabric. The handle was purchased.  I replaced a jewel on the flower with a crown charm, and the necklace type embellishment on the front was a reclaimed charming but broken bracelet. Since this style has a wide bottom and the castle was a light colored fabric, it was the perfect time to try something new–purse feet!  

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DOWNRIGHT DOWNTON

Mardi Gras celebrations in Galveston are huge–second only to New Orleans.  So my next bag (an altered Amy Butler design) presented with deep purple velvet handles. The look was completed with dangling jewel plum beads and a lush blue violet flower. Did you know that Pantone’s Color of the Year 2014 is Radiant Orchid?  The perfect title for a bag fit for a Mardi Gras Ball!

RADIANT ORCHID

 RADIANT ORCHID

The sixth bag was created from a deep desire for sunshine.  I chose the most spring/summer fabrics available and fashioned a bag I call Gardens of Paris.  The blue floral is a heavy linen, surrounded by a buttery loop fringe and dazzling golden beads.  I love this gypsy style, which is a modified Cindy Taylor Oates pattern.

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 GARDENS OF PARIS

Am I gathering fabrics, trims, and patterns for bag number seven?  Tempting…  But I’m taking a break to “sharpen my saw” as they say.  More tutorials are calling my name, as well as books, patterns, and gorgeous ribbon (some vintage) for crafting fabric flowers.  As Jimmy Fallon would say, “Thank you, Dismal Weather, for enticing me to sew!”

Sleep? What sleep?

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Imagine my surprise to find I’d been nominated for the Good Neighbor Blog Award!  Katherine from Pillows A-La-Mode (an awesome site) requested nominations for someone in the blogging world that you would most want to live next door to!  The winner was a fabulous blogger, Crafty Staci, that you will certainly enjoy reading.  And to the person(s) who nominated me, I send my deepest gratitude!  I consider myself fairly new to blogging and as they say in Hollywood, “It’s an honor just to be nominated.”  Amen to that!  Just for being nominated, I get to display a Good Neighbor Award button on my blog, and you will be seeing that just as soon as I learn how to display it. 🙂  Yep, I still have lots to learn about blogging, my friend. So in this world of widgets, buttons, and stats, please just bear with me!

This is Wednesday night and Saturday is my trunk show at Tina’s for Artwalk Galveston.  As noted in my last blog, I thought my fall collection was finished. 🙂  Oh, silly me!  They had requested 15 bags and I had 16 bags.  But when I mentioned that there was not an Anny Bag in the collection, I could read the disappointment in their faces.  While I consider the Anny Bag as something more suited to a Spring/Summer collection, apparently the customers have been requesting the Anny Bag, so… In the last four days, I have designed four Anny Bags!  Sleep?  What sleep?  I needed to find fall/winter type fabric that would also be able to drape for those ruffles.  I am pleased to say that without shopping, I managed to come up with the fabrics and trims I needed.  (That should tell you something about my stash.  Shh! )  Anyway, today I planned to make the tags (see previous blog) but after lunch, Tina’s called.  The newspaper needed a photo preview of my presentation by day’s end.  Whaaaat??  I know NOTHING about photo shoots.  So you should have seen me schlepping bags and lamps all over the house trying to figure out what to do next.  Too much light!  Too little light!  Too many bags!  Too few bags!  Too much background distraction!   I was mainly working with two coat racks.  After taking about 30 pics, I decided less is more, and since they just wanted a sneak preview, here is the photo that will be published:

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Bag #16 is a pattern I designed called the Jenny Bag.  (Publishing it is on my “to do” list.)  🙂  Here it is, fashioned from that sumptuous copper velvety fabric from Cowgirls and Lace, and the Roma Deco upholstery fabric I picked up in L.A. in silver and gold tones.  Embellished with four glass beaded tassels, and a beaded golden applique, I’m not sure what to name it.  Any suggestions?

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So…the four Anny Bags.  The first is created mostly from velvet and a leopard faux fur.  (Can you tell I relish that copper fabric?)  I had purchased the leopard flower but added a brooch from my stash from Trims on Wheels for the center.  This whole bag is so velvety smooth I could just eat it up!

The Fancy Anny

THE FANCY ANNY

The Western Anny was fashioned from faux leathers and a furry leopard print.  Yes, I had these western looking leather straps in my stash from Cindy’s Button Company.  The fringe completes the western look.  Would you believe the beautiful dangle on the front was from a broken necklace?  Don’t you just  love repurposing!!  Yeehaw!

THE WESTERN ANNY

THE WESTERN ANNY

The Autumn Anny (sorry about the pic lighting) is actually made of gold, tan, deep red, and rich chocolate brown floral linens.  The linens were purchased from various sources but worked well together.  The trim features alternating glass gold beads and silky tassels.  The tan leather strap was another past purchase from Cindy’s Button Company.  There is a gold brooch flower pendant that I’m making into a removable pin that has the same beads as the trim but it isn’t in this picture because I haven’t quite finished it.  Last minute idea.  Yikes!

THE AUTUMN ANNY

THE AUTUMN ANNY

I had fun choosing fabric for the Denim Anny.  After pairing two shades of denim with a blue leopard, I spotted a feathery trim from Mood Fabrics.  Perfect!  But, I’ve also been saving this sequined/beaded applique in shades of blue that I discovered last summer at the Pasadena Flea Market in L.A. where a lady was selling vintage fabric items.  It made the perfect focal point!  I wanted to leave the edges on the denim ruffles raw.  If I tried to hem them, they wouldn’t drape,  plus I just think it works as a fun denim look.  After washing, they came out nicely frayed, so I sewed an invisible row of stitching just above the fraying to lock it in.  I honestly don’t remember where I scored the handle fabric.  It was funky and totally matched the style of the denim look but the back was a little wonky looking.  The fix?  Take a navy webbing from my stash and sew the two strips back to back.  Voila!  Handles!  Dang!  My Job Is Fun!!!

THE DENIM ANNY

THE DENIM ANNY

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So, I now have one day left to make five tags, which normally I can finish two per day. Okay then…  It’s all a learning experience right?  Everything needs to be turned in Friday for readying the display and pricing.  Think I’m going to have to shift some priorities tomorrow…

But Hallelujah!  On Friday morning,  Jen, Madison and Gracie arrive and I will be basking in goodness and laughter and fun!  They are my good luck charms for a Successful Artwalk Show!  Hope to see you there!

So What’s the Drink of the Day?

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Our first day back on shore I turn to Rick and ask, “So what’s the Drink of the Day?”  Oh yeah, back to REALITY!!  No more Mango Mungo Madness!  Back to selling the house, readying house for Homes Tour, Rick starting on Hill Country land, putting Spring items on Etsy, sewing for Tina’s, having the flu…  Yep, the first week back from the cruise I think I’m dizzy just getting used to land again but no!  Very sick, but just for a few days.  Now I’m good as new!

So, about the cruise…  If you know Flat Stanley, you know that since Gracie is in second grade, Rick and I were in charge of photographing  this nicely dressed flat boy doing various activities in settings that prove he has visited countries outside the U.S. so Gracie could share with her class.  Duly noted!  As the pics portray, Stanley went to the On Deck Sailaway Party, Belize zip lining, marketing in Cozumel, enjoying the Atrium, and even getting his hair styled (his hair always did look nice…) in the ship salon.  He’s a dandy!

Docked in Cozumel.

Docked in Cozumel.

Sail Away Party.  See those deck chairs?  Drink of the Day setting.  Non-alcoholic for Stanley. :)

Sail Away Party setting. See those deck chairs? Drink of the Day setting. Non-alcoholic for Stanley. 🙂

My Cabana Boy

My Cabana Boy

Waving to Roatan, Honduras.  Too choppy for ship to dock.  :(
Waving to Roatan, Honduras. Too choppy for ship to dock. 😦
Stan dances the night away.

Stan dances the night away.

Zip lining in Belize.
Zip lining in Belize.
Market visit in Cozumel.

Market visit in Cozumel.

Salon visit for Formal Night.

Salon visit for Formal Night.

Although Stanley zip lined in Belize, he passed on the Cave Tubing expedition, and on the Helmet Diving in Cozumel.  He prefers dry activities.  A great time was had by all and it was amazing how many people recognized Stanley.  When taking that Market pic, a policeman says, “So…how many countries has he been to?”  🙂   The one place I planned to buy fabric was Roatan since we had friends there who actually knew where to take us.  So no new fabric.  (Although I did place an order today from QuiltHome.com. 🙂  And I plan to order soon from another fav, Laminates.)

So…still keeping the sewing room tidy for house showings (an open house yesterday) but before we vacationed I took time to finish a few items for Its Sew Anny on Etsy and a few evening bags for the cruise.  (P.S.  If you visit my store on Etsy, please don’t place an apostrophe in the “Its” or you will visit someone else’s shop. Yes, I’m a teacher and this just drives me crazy…)

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These bags are a wonderful design by CraftApple.  I can’t say enough about their patterns.  Very clear, attractive, easy to follow instructions.  I carry a fall upholstery version of this bag and love it because it’s just the right size.  It’s shoulder style, holds more than you realize, and I’ve added three pockets inside.  They offer two versions.  The magenta and gold bag is the gathered style and while pulling the fabrics I found this embroidered ribbon in my stash that matched perfectly and was a nice little embellishment.  When the straps seemed too lightweight (even with interfacing) I decided to add lines of stitching which gave a quilted effect and a much sturdier strap.  I opted to use the non-gathered pattern on the blue bag since I didn’t want to interrupt the beautiful floral design.  Blue beads called to me from my embellishment stash, so voila!  I don’t remember where I purchased these fabrics–it’s been a while–but I have been waiting for a project worthy of these beautiful colors and designs.  I do know that the magenta fabric is from Timeless Treasures called “Darling Clementine.”  The lining is Garden Pindot.  The blue lining is from Moda, and probably the floral also.  The polka dot is from Marcus Fabrics, “Authentic 1930’s from the collection by Judie Rothermel.”

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This evening bag is a Studio Mio design with the clever slide magnetic clasp.  Fashioned from the most opulent copper plush fabric I own, and embellished with a feathery accent.  The strap was enhanced by a rhinestone buckle found in my trimmings drawer.

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Recuperating from the flu I decided to try this Katie’s Draw-string Bag pattern from Amelie Scott Designs.  This is a gem of a pattern that I plan to use again.  I had some Michael Miller laminated cotton that begged to be used and I was able to whip this drawstring/backpack style bag up in no time.  The pattern comes with flower embellishment instructions which I plan to create from a coordinating fabric.  Next time I would add pockets.  What was I thinking?  Hmm, coming off the flu I guess.  But you know how I love pockets!!

In other news:

My hubby retired right before the cruise and is anxious to get started clearing property in the Texas Hill Country where he wants to build a vacation home for us.  He is there today which means that I will probably sew until late tonight. 🙂

We have been asked to participate in the Galveston Historical Homes Tour 2013 which happens the first and second weekend in May.  Very honored, we are, and very excited to be sharing our home built in 1886.  Wednesday the docents arrive for the orientation meeting.  On those two weekends, we will stay at the Marriott Hotel Galvez on the Seawall–an historical landmark as well and host to classic celebrities as Frank Sinatra and past presidents.  During the day, we will probably spend half our time touring the other homes and half the time on our own deck answering any questions from tourists.  We are blessed.

So happy to be home and back with Buddy and Kate!  Our teacher friend, Amy, did a terrific job of house/pet sitting for us!  She did say that if she gets to return to earth as an animal, she wants to come back as a Heiberg dog!  🙂

With that I bid you farewell and I’m taking those Heiberg dogs up to sew!

Love,

Anny

Tradition Lives On!

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Spring has sprung!  At least here in Texas…  And what color says spring like the color of sunshine?  My beautifully laminated yellow, gray, black, and white floral cotton was calling to me.  My first Anny Bag of the year, Daisy Dots, is complete!  I used a yellow polka dot for the lining and just happened to have that cute little black and white dot flower for embellishment.  The black polka dot ruffles are a Michael Miller laminated fabric that goes so well with many combinations.  Thank you, Michael!  Three pockets and a magnetic closure make it perfect for traveling and shopping.  The day I completed it I was watching The View and there were models dressed for spring in black and yellow:

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Another laminated Michael Miller fabric, Secret Garden was perfect for my next bag as well–both lining and exterior.  A popular Amy Butler pattern was used but with a twist.  I multiplied the inner pockets and adorned it with blush colored beading.  Speaking of blush, this bag was called Wine on the Vine.  The beading would have been simple to apply (and was) but the effect looked a little skimpy to me so I added a row of burgundy velvet trim to enhance the effect.  A Jennifer Paganelli design called Queen Street lined the interior.

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Every year I donate a bag to the Salvation Army Benefit Gala’s silent auction.  This year I created Springtime in Paris from a Craftapple pattern called Tailored Bags, and yet another Michael Miller fabric along with his black polka dot.  The main fabric features vintage style scenes of ladies shopping in Paris.  The interior is a cotton called Barefoot Roses from Tanya Whelan.  This was the first time I’ve applied a swivel clasp closure which couldn’t have been easier.  The bag’s nice wide bottom and multiple pockets, including a large pocket on the exterior, would, indeed, be perfect for shopping along the ChampsElysees!  But, seeing as how the bag fits file folders perfectly, it could even be a tote for working at the office.

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We are taking a cruise next week to celebrate Rick’s retirement from Shell.  So exchanging summer for winter clothing in the closet occupied a day or two since there was a lot of trying on, making packing lists, etc.  But I’ve really been enjoying the posts on The Renegade Seamstress’s blog and took a note from her to modify an item I found left from last summer.  I had purchased a white linen J.Jill dress with a hood online and although I really liked the look, I was not comfortable with the length–too short.  So I cut off about 8-10 inches, leaving enough for a generous hem, and created a top!  Even used the cut off fabric to make pockets–yay!  Add a pair of capris and you’ve got a new outfit! 🙂  I forgot to take a “before” pic but here is the new top:

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We’re having another Open House tomorrow, so Rick and I will take the doggies beachcombing for a bit while our trusty realtor does her thing.  Yes, I still need to keep the sewing room spiffed up and tidy!  Oh–last week the doorbell rang and this lady told me she used to live in our house.  So I gave her and her daughter the tour and she was SO happy to see that I was using the lightfilled upstairs bedroom for my sewing room as that was what she had done when she lived here.  And SEW…the tradition lives on!

Here’s hopping, er hoping, your Easter is fabulous!

P.S.  Had my first Etsy sale last week–a lady from Australia purchased The Anny Bag pattern!

Celebrate with Bags!

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Galveston’s Mardi Gras celebration is the third largest in the country averaging more than 300,000 people each year.  Lavish parades are held in the historic downtown and beachfront.  What does this have to do with my bags?  Since the boutique that sells the bags is right in the heart of all the merry-making and parading downtown, I try to add a little purple, green and gold to the bags I offer.

Three of the four bags completed this month have had just that color scheme.  The most Mardi Gras of them all I call “French Quarter.”

French Quarter

French Quarter

This is a laminated Jenny  style bag with velvety black straps, sparkling feather trim, and a black rose with tassels dangling.

Next is Beaded Bliss created in the original Anny Bag fashion.  Of course it sports multiple pockets and a beautiful purple floral Kaffe Fassett lining.  Don’t know if you can tell by the picture but the print on the laminate consists of a variety of strands of colorful beads.  Mardi Gras–hello!  I purchased a large lilac polka dot flower to which I added a big purple jewel in the middle and backed it with layers of lavender netting.  It was fun doing the Anny Bag pattern again which had been on the back burner since warmer weather late last summer because  I like to use it with laminates and softer cotton fabrics that drape well.

Beaded Bliss

Beaded Bliss

Purpleicious was aptly named by my granddaughter, Gracie, who was visiting as I finished this bag.  (She told me her sister said she was “really good at naming” and she was!)  This elegant little clutch (pattern by Abbey Lane) has a feathery purchased purple flower centered on the Tencel pleats.  I believe this was the first bag that I lined with the same fabric as the exterior.  This time it just seemed perfect–not plain since I spiffed it up with three Kaffe Fassett floral pockets.  Another neat item, new to me, that was very appropriate for this interior was a purple magnetic snap.  I was surprised and happy to find these snaps in many colors at Joanne Fabrics.  You’ll notice that the interior also has a hand-sewn black floral embroidered trim which I found at Trims on Wheels at the Quilt Show this year.  I’d like to give a shout out to these folks.  They have every trim you could imagine, including jewels, buckles, etc.  Three visits to their booth at the show served me well in the embellishing department!   Great booth for my sister, as well, since she’ll be sewing some crazy quilts this year, right Nannette?

Purpleicious Interior

Purpleicious Interior

Purpleicious

Purpleicious

The latest addition to the inventory of  bags at Tina’s is called Midnight Rose!  It is fashioned from a fabulously chic textured floral on black.  What fun it was to embellish this shoulder bag from a Cindy Taylor Oates pattern.  Scarlet beading adorns the exterior pocket, a golden and black fringe trim outlines the entire body, and a hand-made zebra fabric button adds to the fun!  The handle consists of two pieces tied together (hence adjustable) and they’re made of sumptuous black velvet on one side and a very soft, thick golden textured fabric on the other.  I actually have a bag very similar to this and kept getting requests for it.  I have used it for over a year now and it has certainly served me well–from New York, to Indiana, to L.A.– that bag has been through many airport security checks, wild open jeep rides, pedicabs, carriage rides, crowded subways, you name it, and that baby has held up so well.  My favorite comment was from a Very Stylish gentleman rushing through the fashion district in SOHO who looked back and called, “Your Bag Rocks!”  Ahhh, the supreme compliment!!  I finally broke down and made one for Tina’s after I was paying for an item at their checkout counter and a customer really wanted my bag.  I took her over to show her some of my other bags there and she said, “No, I want one black with flowers, just like yours.” And so it is.  Midnight Rose.

Midnight Rose

Midnight Rose

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Why do I do this to myself?!

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Why do I do this to myself?!

Midnight in Paris

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I’m stating up front that this bag, Midnight in Paris, was one of my most joyful creative processes–even if it did take twice as long as I anticipated and was WAY more complicated.  This was to be a simple bag…   As I unfolded the beautifully textured blue floral fabric I realized the first problem.  This fabric was much too delicate to use for a bag, to the point of having a see-through background.  Now what?  I pulled some heavier midnight blue with a velvety surface.  When I layered the delicate on top, I had the look I originally pictured.  First problem solved–simply layered and basted the two fabrics for the exterior of the bag.

My next plan was to fashion the exterior pocket from a piece of antique French embroidered table runner.  Stains on this antique led to the rather unusual cut you see for the pocket.  Another pocket flaw was covered by an additional piece of richly embroidered and beaded applique that was the perfect dark blue.  Second and third problems solved.

But wouldn’t you know it, whIle searching for the applique, I discovered plenty of delicate long fringe in the perfect color.  Nope, never applied fringe before, but how hard could it be?  Well, surprisingly, that process was a success!  Fourth challenge met and it certainly added to the romantic character of Midnight in Paris!

Oh, I must tell you about the fabulous little clips I discovered from Clover Products.  In earlier blogs I had recommended using mini-clothespins or small binder clips to hold layers of fabric together.  But I saw the Clover clips advertised and decided to order at least one box to experiment with them.  Wow!  I will definitely keep using for future projects.  One side is flat, and somehow, even though they are small, they’re amazingly strong!  Highly recommend…just sayin.’

The fifth dilemma came after I had interfaced, sewn darts, and almost completed the interior lining.  I decided that the fabric chosen for the lining, while appropriate in color, was just too contemporary for the interior.  Laying it aside, I fashioned a completely new interior from a golden silky lining that enhanced that romantic feel.  Once again, I created a pocket from the antique French runner and two more from the golden fabric.  Added a magnetic snap and the interior was ready.

Oh, a simple little bag, huh?  Now I find myself adding beading all around the top!  Romance just called for beads…  Should’a called the bag, Midnight ROMANCE!  Maybe next one…

The main difficulties had been overcome?  Actually, no.  I did not have enough fabric to make the handles!  At this point, the pattern changes to “my design.”  Instead of two handles that tie at the top, I created one handle from side to side.  That sounds even easier, right?  The problem is, the main part of the bag is cut for the original design.  Now nothing matches up.  What to do?  By doubling the top ends over where the handle meets the bag and sewing it shut and trapping the handle inside, the amount of fabric now matched up but looked a tad messy.  I spied some leftover fringe.  The leftover fringe was hand-sewn around both of the bag/handle meeting points and actually appeared tassel-like. Voila!  Problem solved–again.

Long story, but all of this is to say that even the simplest bag can throw many challenges your way.  Thankfully, this is when my learning curve takes a spike and the old creative juices get flowing.   Yes, it took longer and was fraught with difficulties, but I felt very proud of my efforts.  A special bond had been forged between that bag and myself which made it difficult to part with.  I’m hoping a “true romantic” gives it a good home.

I’m Sewing As Fast As I Can…

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Since we last met, I’ve fractured a foot, traveled to New York City, had a home photo shoot for a magazine, and made seven bags!  My sister, niece, and I planned a trip to New York since they had never been and I wanted to show them all my favorite tourist sites.  But, right before the trip I started having pain in my right foot this time, and x-rays showed a fracture.  So…off to New York City in a clodhopper of a boot!!  It must have helped because latest x-rays show healing.  Yea!  It’s pretty amazing, though, because we had an overflowing agenda.  They were such troopers!  Examples:

  • One day we visited Good Morning America AND the Today Show in the same morning.
  • At some point, Nannette’s shoe came apart and she bought super glue and tape and kept on trekking!
  • The last night while having dinner in Little Italy, they said, “We haven’t done Grand Central or the Empire State Building.”  I informed them that the Empire State Building is open until 2:00 a.m. and off we went.  We sat on the balcony at Grand Central Terminal and enjoyed a beer, then taxied to the Empire State Building where the top felt like hurricane force winds.  And this while still carrying multiple shopping bags!
  • They can’t wait to go back!  🙂

Since we were visiting as many “must see” NYC sites as possible, I didn’t make it to the Garment District this time.  I did collect some charms and flowers in SOHO boutiques for embellishing.

My first visit to Tina’s (where I sell my bags) my manager pointed out I had sold all but a few of my bags and she needed more, especially Anny Bags.  So here are the bags you haven’t seen.

I call this bag Daisy for two reasons–the daisies on the bag and my grandmother’s middle name was Daisy.  Softly laminated Anny Bag with a pretty Amy Butler turquoise and yellow print inside.  The purchased handle is Inazuma from Japan.

This is Blue Skies Over Paris.  Not sure why except both fabrics remind me of a Parisian design.  This is the “All Day” version of the pattern by Craft Apple called Knotted Bag.  A shopper and traveler’s dream, this bag has a large outer pocket secured with a magnetic snap and more pockets inside.  Of course, being made from the laminated cotton, it is soft and lightweight.

Brazilian Dream is created from two Free Spirit/Westminster fabrics.  The toucan fabric, “Jungle Fever,” is very popular and I combined it with a complementary lime houndstooth pattern.  The flower is removable.

The final four are obviously all softly laminated  Anny Bags, and all flowers are clip on/removable.  Upper left is Cotton Candy with an exterior fabric called Poodle by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit.  The interior is a beautiful Heather Bailey fabric called Swirlybuds for Bijoux.  The straps are fashioned from the same two fabrics.

Upper right is called Festival with an exterior and interior of Kaffe Fassett fabric.  The purchased handle is from Cindy’s Button Company.  NOTE:  I have been SO happy with Cindy’s Button Company.  The service is prompt and courteous and the package usually arrives with a little surprise item!  🙂

The lower left is called Wild About Pink (suggested by my daughter) and so appropriate!  This version of the Anny Bag is a bit larger than the others, having five ruffle layers, and is perfect for shopping–lightweight and spacious.  I adore this fabric but unfortunately did not keep notes on the designer.  Perhaps I’ll find some more.  The purchased handle is Inazuma which I ordered from Studio Aika.  NOTE:  Studio Aika has also been very helpful with my orders.  This type handle must be applied by hand and takes me almost two hours.  Maybe I’m just slow but I use DMC floss and the results appear very professional and the handle is very sturdy.

The lower right bag is called Carnivale, festive and fun!  This is the typical Anny Bag, lightweight and spacious, but this one has SIX pockets!  Perfect for traveling.  The fabric is by Heather Bailey and purchased handle is Inazuma.

Oh my, that’s it for now!  As I said, “I’m sewing as fast as I can!”  Actually, I’ve been pondering this business and would like  input from others who sell their bags.  My dilemma is that I’m very serious about the unique character of my bags.  While my designs may not differ much (yet), I do insist that every bag be original and one-of-a-kind.  Very time consuming, of course.  But the creative process is what brings me joy.  Any thoughts?

Happy Sewing!  🙂

The Apron Challenge

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Anny "APRON" Bag

Back in November I was given a bag full of vintage or semi-vintage aprons by the owner of a wonderful architectural antique store in Austin called Revival.  Having seen the Anny Bag, she wondered if perhaps a bag could  be created from those aprons.  This project, which I started after the holidays,  proved to be quite the challenge!  First of all, these were random aprons and there needed to be a common thread (so to speak 🙂 )  I eventually decided  to add a fabric of coordinating color but it couldn’t be anything contemporary.  Aha!  A lightweight light blue denim from my stash.  I chose three print aprons that had similar blue shades that looked very vintage.  Alternating these for the ruffles, I allowed the edges of the denim to fray.  The band was from the same denim.  Now realizing that a purchased handle would not look right on this bag,  I came up with an idea.  I took three of the apron ties and braided them for each handle.  Then the handles were attached using vintage buttons from my grandma’s button box.  Thanks, Grandma!   Yesterday, I handed over the bag and the remaining aprons to the shop owner and she was mighty pleased.  Will it sell?  Stay tuned!

ANNY BAG additional info

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In the Anny Bag pattern, I mention a few additional pieces of information that would be available on the website and here they are:

  •  Applying a Magnetic Closure – If there are no directions with your purchased magnetic closure, I can help.  On the right side of the bag lining, mark a dot where you want the snap to be.  (Note:  If you’re sewing the Anny Bag pattern or a similar pattern with a band, the magnetic closure will go on the lining band, not the exterior band.) Place the washer on the dot and mark lines through the slits in the washer.  Using embroidery scissors, cut along the slit lines very carefully.  Place the snap prongs through the holes.  Cut a one inch square of batting or thick interfacing and again draw and cut the two slits.  Place over the prongs.  Next place the washer over the prongs and bend the prongs outward.  (I use needle nose pliers.)  Repeat on remaining lining piece. (Note:  If you’re sewing the Anny Bag pattern, the “remaining piece” will be the opposite side of the band, not the lining.)  The batting is very important so that you do not tear the fabric when you pry apart the closure, especially on lightweight or laminated fabric.  This may seem like a lot of steps (it certainly did to me the first time), but honestly, it’s easy, and once you’ve applied one, the rest will seem like “a snap!” 🙂
  • Creating Fabric Handles – Cut 2 handle strips 29″ x 4″ and interface them.  Fold the handle in the middle lengthwise (wrong sides together), making a crease.  Fold each long side into the crease.  Fold in half  lengthwise (WST) again, with raw edges tucked in and pin.  Topstitch along both long sides of the strap.  Repeat with other handle.
  •  NOTE:  If you are using  fabric handles for the Anny Bag, they would be inserted between the ruffle bag and the band.  When finished, the handles will pass up across the band loosely on the outside.  Stitch across the handle to hold it in place on the outside at the top of the band.