Monday, September 23, 2013

A finished Super Tote...

After showing off the first parts of the bag that I'm making for my partner in the Secret Tote Bag Swap, I'm now here to show you all the finished bag.



I picked the Super Tote by Noodlehead as I like the shape and all the pockets it has, but upon sewing it, i changed a few things around. For example, adding front pockets to both sides, not just one. This means my bag now has 2 big outside pockets that are fully lined and can be shut with big snap buttons rather than magnetic clasps. I felt that this makes the bag actually be more sturdy as it doesn't involve cutting through any layers to fasten the snap like you would with a magnetic one, plus these are bigger.

I used fleece as batting, which makes the bag soft and not too sturdy, but nicely padded and with a good weight. I also used the fleece as batting for the shoulder straps.

For the inside pockets, I didn't use one layer of fabric, but actually lined them as well to make them more sturdy. That added a bit of difficulty with the elastic band that the pattern asked for, but personally the inside pockets are always the ones getting holes first in my bags, because usually the fabrics are way too thin.

I also added another pocket with zipper, matching the lining fabric of that to the fabric of the recessed zipper part of the bag.

This really is the most time consuming bag that I've ever do ne, not just the piecing of the feathers, but the whole cutting parts, ironing on stabilizer (always hate that part) and sewing it all together, plus the light grey fabric I picked wasn't the best choice as it's got a small percentage of lycra which meant there was some stretching here and there where it shouldn't have been. Especially when sewing together the lining. 

But overall I'm very pleased with the outcome and hope my partner will love it as much as I do, because I really want to keep it right now ;) 
And the fact that my partner is a rather quiet one on Flickr isn't making this process any easier lol!

Next I'm going to add a few little extras. I already have something planned as accessories to go with the bag and matching its theme. Just waiting for a few things to arrive first and then I'll get it ready to go in the post.

Have you ever made a Noodlehead Super Tote? If yes, what were you experiences in terms on time management? Did you find it any easy and fast project and is it just me slacking, or do you feel like me, that it took pretty long? I would love your opinions!

Until then, have a good week!
xx Lia

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bags, bags and even more bags...

For the past ten days I've been sewing nothing but bags... and that's a good thing, because I only worked 2 out of those days and the rest was pretty much spent sewing non-stop and resulted in a bunch of colourful bags and a bit of aching here and there. ;)

But now I've come back to show them off. First are 3 bags that I made for my number one customer in Finland. I think she must have around ten bags, pouches and clutches in various shapes, colours and styles from me by now. 

clutch bag with butterfly fabric

and magnetic clasp

The butterfly fabric is one that she absolutely loves and already has another bag with, where I used this fabric as lining. She requested this type of clutch (her third of this style) with this fabric and a neutral coloured lining.

Next up is a box pouch. I already made one for her of this type with charms of the Noteworthy collection. She uses it for her crochet needles and asked if I could make it any longer so that she's got room for her knitting needles as well. So I did just that, using a charm pack of Stephanie Ryan's collection Spring House, that I received in a swap.

box pouch in pink and aqua

with matching pink lining

The great thing is, that often she let's me experiment a bit, especially this time as she expressed a liking into a picture of a cushion that I showed her, that was made using the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) technique. Which meant that I could finally try this technique myself.
I didn't realise how time consuming QAYG would be even on a small project like this, until I was sat for hours putting strip after strip of fabric onto my batting. But I like the end result and was already asked if I could make some cushions like this for her as well at some point. 

small pouch, using QAYG 

big polka dots on the lining, matching the shade of pink used on the outside

After those were done and shipped off to Finland, I started working on my current project for the Secret Tote Bag Swap
In this round we're making bags following a nature theme and my partner had a really clear imagination of the colours and styles she likes, so I'm hoping that this will be right up her alley. Plus, I totally adore all these colours myself, so the more I'm working on it, the more I'm starting to love it and want to keep it for myself.

colour choices and tons of scraps

the first 4 of 6 feathers.

These feathers are actually adapted from a pattern that is originally by Anna Maria Horner. I turned the pattern into a paper-pieced version though, as I liked the idea of them being different in colours but all the same in their actual style. These were also something that I've been wanting to try, and I'm glad that my partner likes this style, too.

After auditioning fabrics and making all the 6 feathers that I wanted for my tote, I started to quilt the panels and cut everything out. The bag pattern is Noodlehead's Super Tote by the way. Just love this bag and I am hoping really, really badly that I will get one from my secret partner as well, because I've been throwing hints left, right and centre. ;)

 here are the side panels and the gusset

one (almost) complete pocket panel

and here's a sneak peek of a few parts together

I don't want to show all my parts just yet, as I'm planning on keeping the bag simple, but having a bit of a colour pop in there somewhere. You'll see when it's actually finished. I'm bad at keeping secrets anyway! ;)

So that's it from me for now. I need to rest my bones and my butt needs repadding from sitting on it for too long! Linking this up with Kristy's Paper Piecing Party as well. Running late for that so better hurry!

Until next time, folks!
xx Lia

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Welcome to my newest Sponsor!

I'm happy to announce that Jennifer Young and her independent quilt shop 'Tactile Fabrics' is my newest sponsor. Jennifer specializes in modern 100% organic and premium traditional cotton fabrics and says that she named her shop because she's always had a strong tactile memory. 

If you're one of my followers you will have noticed that I mentioned Jennifer's shop a few times in past posts, but that is because she has gorgeous fabrics listed in her shop and has an outstanding service. If you have any questions about the fabrics listed in her Etsy shop, want different quantities, cuts or your own bundle, all you need to do is request a custom order and tell her what you would like and she will create that order for you in a heartbeat.

What's especially appealing - at least to me since I'm an international customer - is the way she handles her shipping costs. As international buyer I'm often used to get $24 and up for postage slapped on every order when buying fabric elsewhere, no matter how small the order, but this is not the case when ordering with Tactile fabrics.

Jennifer can give you an accurate list of how many yards she can fit into what rate, starting as cheap as $8.50. As a small example, she could fit 4 yards in for $15.50 and working up to $20.95 for up to 9 yards, all for international shipping of course. And last but not least her orders always arrive in a zoom of time. Last time I ordered, my fabrics only needed 8 days to arrive (with a weekend inbetween) and that's a new record for mail to make its way from the USA to here in Germany :)

So if you want beautiful, organic or modern fabrics, great service and fast shipping times, Tactile is your place to buy! And while I'm very happy to have Jennifer on board as sponsor, I will leave you with a last look into her studio, where she gets all her orders ready to be shipped. The bolts on those shelves look yummy, don't they? ;)

Photo courtesy of Tactile Fabrics

Happy sewing and fabric buying!
xx Lia
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