Tag Archives: handmade bags

Cruising the Caribbean

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Cruising the Caribbean

Cruising the Caribbean

Well, I wish I were, but I’m not, so I turned my wishes into a bag.  Cruising the Caribbean is the name of my latest project.  A tropical fabric featuring shades of Florida, Cuba, palm trees and maps was urging me to be turned into a summer travel bag.  The pattern is my original design, the Jenny Bag, and the fabric was purchased from Michael Levine in L.A.  I added bright neon fringe from M&J Trimming, as well as crystalline light green beadwork.  Hopefully, someone will be calling “Bon Voyage” with her!

A Rose for Rosie

Lemon Breeze                                                         

A Rose for Rosie and Lemon Breeze are two more versions of the large zippered clutches created from the bright summery faux crocodile, sleek but textured.  Fabrics from Mood and Michael Levine (where I also purchased the leather flowers.)  By the way, my source for purse zippers is the Zipper Island website.  You can find any color and size, and shipping is quick!  They’re delightful to work with and I highly recommend them.  (No, they do not pay me. :))

Jeweled Garden

Jeweled Garden was a dream to complete.  The Chemisette pattern from CraftApple designs always goes together easily and is very versatile.  This time I used fabric from Laminates on Etsy and my faux crocodile from Mood.  The blue and gold beadwork ties it all together using a velvet teal ribbon.

Passion for Poppies

Sometimes I have a hard time letting a purse go, such as Passion for Poppies.  This Michael Miller fabric is out of print and very limited but I was lucky to find it online.  I paired it with Kaleidoscope by Notting Hill, then added delicate blue and gold beading with hand-dyed silk ribbon.

Cat’s Meow 

Cat’s Meow (backside)

I believe Cat’s Meow is the first purse that I’ve added a featured embellishment.  I appliqued the crushed black velvet cat onto the textured leopard.  But, since the cat seemed to fade into the busy leopard print, I needed something more to make her stand out.  I found some white thick thread, almost like cording, and couched it all around the cat.  That seemed to form a nice outline that accented her silouette.  I gave her a beaded floral collar and rhinestone eyes.  Then added a jeweled pendant to the top and a silky pink tassel to the backside zipper pull.  I’m very pleased with this creation.  It was definitely more time consuming, but also a rewarding challenge.

Speaking of a challenge, often I am sewing a purse that has thick seams and is way too much challenge for my favorite Bernina.  You know I love, love, love my old Bernina, and she is perfect for most everything I need to sew.  But…I do need a machine to tackle those super thick seams, especially since my fall/winter pursemaking will be starting before you know it, with thick faux furs, leathers, and upholstery.  So, yes, I’ve been looking at industrial machines online for research and tomorrow will be testing some out for purchase up in Houston.  Only one place offers them, but their prices look reasonable.  I’m looking at Juki, Seiko, Con Sew, and Pfaff.  I’m shopping for a heavy duty, cylinder arm, walking foot machine.  If you’ve ever seen anyone making shoes, it resembles the machine they use.  The presser foot raises high, so you can join together many layers, and the walking foot feeds the fabric through evenly, plus it all happens with a knee lift and a custom table.  I feel so guilty, like I’m cheating on Betsy, but she’ll still be used for most of my sewing since she has multiple feet and features.  I wouldn’t feel so bad if I had a machine that gave me a lot of trouble, but she’s great!  Anyway, if you’ve read previous posts, you know everything has feelings, right. 🙂  Anyone out there have an industrial machine that makes you happy?  I need reviews!

Thanks, and I’ll keep you posted.

Anny

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WELCOME TO ARTWALK!

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WELCOME TO ARTWALK!

Saturday, April 22, I have the privilege once again of being the Featured Artist at Tina’s on the Strand for ArtWalk!  To prepare for this event, I’ve been sewing up a storm, and thought I would give you a sneak preview of the show.

SEA GARDEN

Sea Garden was designed from a modification of the Sara Lawson pattern, Arabesque.  Now a fairly large clutch, it was fashioned from turquoise faux crocodile and layed flowers from Mood Fabrics.  To achieve a breezy seaside effect, I added pearly shell trim and a delicately beaded zipper pull featuring a sparkly blue seahorse.

DRIPPING SPRINGS

Another bag featuring cool colors is the Dripping Springs laminated cotton bag which is adorned with clear beading that absorbs the color of the fabric underneath.  Obviously, I wish to get my hands on some more of this beading, as it will enhance any color I’m using!  This is the Pasadena pattern designed by Stephanie Prescott of A Quilter’s Dream.

ISLAND TIME

Island Time was created from the Alexander Henry fabric called “Mahalo Girls.” Whenever I sew a bag from this fabric, it seems to be very popular.  Must be the retro vibe. 🙂  Using my own pattern, the Jenny Bag, I fashioned a large version with leather handles and a flower from Michael Levine.   Red tassel trim adds the finishing touch.

ISLAND GIRLS

Same fabric, and a completely different look for Island Girls.  This uniquely shaped bag pattern is from Amy Barickman.  This time I complemented with faux red crocodile, a bamboo handle, and a mother of pearl flower for a bit of island magic.

The pattern for Island Girls offers a unique backside opening.  I added this cute girl sporting sunglasses for a snazzy zipper pull. 🙂

GIGI TOURS THE FLOWER MARKET

Another girl adorns the zipper pull on Gigi Tours the Flower Market, and she sports a shopping tote that made me think she would be touring the Paris flower market since she’s surrounded by floral fabric.  A large sunny bloom and a red polka dot handle add a playful note.

PLAYFUL PICASSO

Speaking of playful, Playful Picasso is adorable in person.  The picture doesn’t really tell the story.  On both  sides of this colorful upholstery fabric, there are deep pockets of yellow and blue faux crocodile, perhaps for sunglasses or a water bottle.  The blue, gold, and green ribbon fringe decorates the top which leads to patent leather handles, and the interior is lined with a bright blue polka dot cotton.  A super unusual and fun bag!

FANDANGLE

FanDangle is one of my favorites.  The pattern is from the quilting world, by Nancy Green.  The beautifully colored cotton is by Moda Fabrics.  This pattern was perfect for what is called a Layer Cake–10″ x 10″ swatches of coordinated fabric from the same line.  The gusset was cut from oilcloth featuring red cherries on a black background.  She sports a trim of black and clear beads, and in the middle is a dangling girl clutching  a time piece.  The design resembles a fan, and the featured embellishment is a dangling girl, hence I dubbed her FanDangle.

HOT TROPICS

(Back Side)

The last two bags are the CraftApple pattern, The Knotted Bag.  Hot Tropics is a combination of Philip Jacobs “Tropical” and a hot pink laminated cotton.  My embellishment tassel drawer offered a hot pink and green trim that complemented it perfectly.  However, since the trim was intended as piping, I needed another trim to cover the raw part of the piping that would normally be inserted between fabrics.  So I found a velvety pink rick rack in my stash and stitched it on top. 🙂

TAKE FLIGHT

(Back Side)

Same pattern, different fabric combinations.  “Jungle Fever” for Westminster Fibers is a delightful toucan design, that I paired with a glossy black laminate.  This is a wonderful sightseeing, shopping, and errand bag, since it offers a large exterior pocket and three generous interior pockets.  The lining is a lime green linen and the lime green clam shell charm is removable.

So, yes, I’m exhausted, but finished and happy and ready for Artwalk!  Hope to see you there!

 

 

Purses Have Feelings Too…

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When my sister and I were little girls on a road trip vacation from Indiana to Texas, we would bring toys in the car, of course.  One of our favorites was the game Cootie.  With Cootie, the object was to be the first to build a bug-like object using a variety of plastic body parts.  Unfortunately, while traveling through Arkansas, one of the body parts landed out the car window.  Now it only made sense to us that if a body part was laying out on the ground in a far away state, we would have to deliberately throw out another body part to keep that one company.  Everything has feelings…

All that being said is to introduce you to a few bags that were created last year and didn’t make it into the blog.  We wouldn’t want a bag to have its feelings hurt, would we?  So before I go off to a therapy session, here are the omitted bags. 🙂

I actually made two bags from a Charlie’s Aunt pattern called the High Tea Clutch Bag.  The first one I call “She Wore Blue Velvet.”  The velvet, inside and out, is from Mood Fabrics.  Then I added a beaded ribbon.

She Wore Blue Velvet

She Wore Blue Velvet

The other is titled “Hidden Butterfly.”  That’s because I randomly sewed two little metal butterflies to the front, along with an upcycled jewelry piece.  I believe the fabric was from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco and has lovely textured suede flowers on ivory linen.

Hidden Butterfly

Hidden Butterfly

Next is a bag that was sold before it was even placed on the shelf–“Confetti Candy.”  I’m showing both front and back to display a variety of fabrics and trims.  On the front side I used a suede-like tangerine fabric from Mood.  Added to the front was a pocket of Kaffe Fassett floral with colorful popcorn fringe and a sparkling pink broach from Trims on Wheels.   The reverse side featured a magenta upholstery weight fabric from High Fashion, with a ribbon embellishment from Renaissance Ribbons.  Surrounding the bag is multicolor confetti loop fringe from Cowgirls and Lace.  The pattern is one of my favorites from Cindy Taylor Oates.

Confetti Candy

Confetti Candy

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“Venetian Dream” is created from my original pattern, The Jenny Bag.  The fabric, from Michael Levine in L.A., is embellished with a heavily beaded trim and an elegant tassel.

Venetian Dream

Venetian Dream

I wanted to try my hand at using new purse hardware, which is what attracted me to a purse kit and pattern by Penny Sturges and Darci Wright found at Quilt Festival last fall.  It turned out well, and I learned to install a twist lock closure.  The pattern is Mini Messenger, and I named the bag “Elizabeth.”

Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Last year, after viewing gypsy bags on Pinterest, I was inspired to design a romantic creation.  “Gypsy Rose” is fashioned from the magenta fabric used on Confetti Candy, a coordinating pink faux ostrich, and a leather flower from Michael Levine.  It features a multicolor loop fringe from Cowgirls and Lace, a pocket of antique cut velvet, and a strap of vintage moss green velvet and leopard.  I still have not parted with this purse.

Gypsy Rose

Gypsy Rose

One of the most popular patterns I use is the Rachel Bag from Bag Boutique by Amy Barickman.   I wish I could remember where I purchased the zebra–perhaps Interior Fabrics in Houston.  The purse is accessed through a zipper down the backside and carried by a simple black bamboo handle.  The back features an organdy ribbon attaching a rhinestone heart-shaped key, hence the name “Wild at Heart.”  To create the front embellishment, I layered two buttons and looped over a silky black tassel.

Wild at Heart

Wild at Heart

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By the Sea is a fun bag I created from scraps of thick tropical themed fabric from a local Galveston upholsterer, distressed denim from Indygo Junction, faux ostrich from Michael Levine, and a plush vintage velvet ribbon from Los Angeles Antiques.  I sewed small beads on the eyes of the seahorses, and the crab and fish on the back.  The pattern is from Kati Cupcake Pattern Company and has twelve pockets. Such a challenge it was, using grommets with heavy thick fabric.  The problem is, the grommets are added at the very end, so you’re basically cutting large holes in your finished bag, and hoping that the grommets install properly.  And it’s actually hard to cut with your fingers crossed! 🙂

By The Sea

By The Sea

Cowgirl Chic was fashioned from faux cowhide and leather from Cowgirls and Lace.  The lush fringe was from Interior Fabrics in Houston.  Not sure I can part with this bag, either.

Cowgirl Chic

Cowgirl Chic

The last two bags really are for me.  They will accompany me on a Mediterranean Cruise this summer.  I needed a hands-free, cross-body bag for shore excursions.  Not large–just large enough for essentials.  The perfect pattern for this is the Chattisham Clutch Bag from Charlie’s Aunt.  Bright red faux crocodile is from Fabric Decor in Houston.  I did not embellish it, as the fabric speaks for itself.  The zebra bag’s flap is sewn from a vintage crushed velvet found on Etsy, and the ruby bauble is upcycled jewelry.

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Tomorrow my granddaughter, Madison, arrives.  She just earned her driver’s license, so when we’re not beaching, shopping, or creating, I’m sure she will be happy to chauffeur us anywhere we travel. And until next time, happy summer travels to you!

Love, Anny