Friday, 9 December 2016

Vicky's Road Map Changing Bag




This beauty here was my latest collaboration with a lovely customer, Vicky. She contacted me with a bag in mind and knew exactly what she wanted. As an added bonus, she has also provided me with her own material. I cannot even begin to let you know how gorgeous this print is in person. It is rich, vibrant and full of sensory images. I was thrilled to be given the chance to work with this lovely oilcloth. It is such a welcome change from the floral prints that I am constantly working with. Using one of my designs, Vicky then added some details to personalised her bag to make it one of a kind. Keep scrolling down to see the features of her changing bag.

Vicky's changing bag :


- A zipped top under the flap for added security
- Two front pockets that will be secured by the flap when closed. 
- Side bottle pockets to make grabbing and storing bottle handy when on the go.
- Handy back slip pocket with a magnetic clasp closure. Perfect for storing and reaching out for little things when on the go, without having to got through the main bag compartment.
- Four large pockets inside the bag.

- A D ring attachment for attaching little things eg. baby's dummy, car keys, etc.

- This vibrant red lining material is waterproof.

- Detachable shoulder strap.
- Flap is secured with two twist turn locks.
 - A changing mat that could double up as a playmate, thanks to this beautiful print.

- A pair of detachable buggy straps that can be used instead of the long shoulder strap.

- Buggy straps can be used on buggies with two separate or continuous push handles. This versatility is made possible by the poppers on the straps.




- Metal feet to protect the bottom of the bag from general wear and tear. 












A couple of days after I posted the bag, she sent me this message :



That has just made my week! And on that note, have a lovely weekend ahead everyone!

Love,
Fely xxx

* You can find this oilcloth from www.onlyoilcloths.co.uk  and www.joleetablecloths.co.uk

* This is not a sponsored post



Friday, 25 November 2016

How to make a faux leather tassel


These little tassels are my latest craze! I have decided that I will be making a lot of these to give away to friends and family at Christmas (and beyond). I have already made a few to tsjuz up my handmade bags, as you can see in the pictures below.








I have also turned some into fun, colourful keyrings. The beauty of these tassels is that they're extremely quick and simple to make. So if you're stuck for a last minute gift or want something that is one of a kind, these tassels are just the thing for you. They are also wonderful as stocking fillers this Christmas!

I have put together a short 5 minute tutorial on how to make a faux leather tassel and hope this will help and inspire. My 9 year old absolutely loves making them, and that, to me, is the evidence of how simple these are to make. Simply follow the link below and it should direct you to my YouTube channel. I hope you find it useful!

Have a fabulous weekend ahead!

https://youtu.be/nLF06UexcUk


Love,
Fely xxx

Monday, 21 November 2016

A large tote for the lovely Sacha


Now this is a rather lucsious looking tote, if I do say so myself. I've always wanted to make one of these and very glad when my lovely friend requested it for herself. This simple yet elegant design lends itself to many different outfit combinations and occasions, which is exactly what every woman needs. Measuring approximately 13 inches wide, 14.5 inches tall and 5 inches deep, this is a lovely size tote to carry.  This handmade bag, which combines the beautiful floral printed oilcloth with a soft and supple faux leather, is priced at £50 + delivery. 




The tote in the picture above is actually the starting point of the large tote. This was her original store bought tote that she used on a regular basis when doing her weekly commute. Although she wanted this bag replicated, she trusted my instincts and gave me a license to alter and improve the existing design. So I did just that, altering and putting some additional features so she can make the most of her new commuting tote.



This tote is secured with a zip top. I've always thought that a zip top is essential to keep all your belongings tucked away safely from the wandering hands and eyes of other commuters. Or your children. 



I also added side slip pockets for little essentials like pocket tissues (or Mars bars or Snicker bars, let this be a public secret) 




The front slip pocket is slightly larger and secured with a magnetic clasp. This I thought, is a handy size pocket for items like a travel-size magazine, or a book for those long commutes.





I've also decided to add a bonus large zipped pocket at the back. Definitely for something like a mobile phone so there is no need to dig into the main compartment of the bag repeatedly.




There is a large zipped pocket inside the bag as added security for wallets or purses.


And those handy slip pockets for other little items.


Not forgetting a handy hook for keys.





And last but not least, bag feet to protect the bottom from scuffs and other icky stuff when placed on the floor. 

I hope this bag will go on many lovely adventures with my lovely friend and hope she loves it as much as I enjoyed making it. I am very grateful for a friend who trusts and believes in my skills. This sort of support means a lot to me. Thank you again Sacha!

Love,
Fely xxx


Saturday, 15 October 2016

Stepping into weekend with my new Coalition Bag


To continue with my personal and professional development in bag making and designing, I have decided to brave the October 2016 pattern from The Bag of the Month Club. This beautiful pattern was designed by Sara Lawson from Sew Sweetness. It is larger than most handbags I have made and the finished product measures approximately 13.5 inches long x 8.5 inches tall x 6 inches deep.  

This bag is actually the perfect mummy-size bag for me to watch my children at matches this autumn, as it has enough room to pack my gloves, hats and scarf. Also my coffee and secretly stashed Jaffa Cakes. 

Just when I thought I knew it all when it comes to bag making, this pattern took me out of my comfort zone and proved me wrong. It wasn't complicated, it was just very different from any bags I have ever made before. The construction of it was an eye opening experience and demanded my full attention, which meant watching Criminal Minds on Netflix while sewing was completely out of the question! 


The highlight of the design is this zip closure that runs from the top to the sides of the bag that makes it look like a framed bag. The added side pockets also added extra dimension to the bag. Every which way you look, there is always something that catches your eye and that to me, is very special.


The handle tabs are really lovely to sew although I have adapted the instructions to make it easier for me. 



The long zip tab was the one thing that made me nervous about putting this bag together. But naturally, I picked faux leather to test the pattern, instead of normal quilting weight cotton, like everybody else. That also meant that I am not allowed any mistakes because if I did, I will mark the faux leather and that, is a point of no return. Looking back now and seeing the finished result, I am actually really glad I used faux leather instead. As they say, the higher the risk, the greater the reward. All I needed to do was pace myself and attempt every single stitch slowly and carefully, without stopping to have any squares of chocolate in my secret drawer.


Unlike most of my other bags, I did not put feet on this one. I just LOVE how the accents join together in the centre, at the bottom of the bag and I did not want to take the attention away from that. 




But of course, never forget to bling a new bag with The Tassel! I am so in love with this one. I made it extra big and extra long. My rivets could just about handle the thickness of this one but ahhh....I do love you The Tassel!


With already so much going on, on the outside, I balanced everything off with a simple lining. Just plain off white cotton for my lining material for a fresh, clean finish.  




I am very well aware that the finished product is nowhere close to perfection, but that is the packaged elements that come with handmade items - the quirks, the imperfections, the assymetrical-ity of it all, these are what make handmade items special.

Anyways, The Coalition bag is definitely one to try if you haven't already done so. You can get the pattern by joining The Bag of Month Club, or wait for this pattern to be released on its own next year. But I promise you, this one, is definitely one you wouldn't like to miss. I don't think I will be adding this to my 'For Sale' collection just yet, but I am sure it will make its way there once I have improved  my skills making this design. 

Love,
Fely xxx

PS/ This is not a sponsored post

Friday, 14 October 2016

How to make your very own personalised carry handles and shoulder straps

There are times when you are making your bag(s) and you just cannot,  for the life of you,  find materials perfect enough to make the handles or the straps to finish your bag off. Not only can this be frustrating, but at times, little niggly bits like this can make or break your projects. I would love to share with you how I make my own personalised carry handles and straps. Super simple, and super quick and also quite fun. If you'd like to know more, please continue reading.

Materials :
Main material - Polypropylene webbing or cotton webbing. 
Secondary material - Oilcloth (or your choice of material that you want to add on to your webbing)

Notions :
Cutting board
Rotary cutter
Scissors
Measuring tape
Foldback clips or quilters' clips (or double sided tape)
Matching thread

 1. First, determine the desired length of your polypropylene or cotton webbing straps. I have mine cut at 21.5 inches long and these are 1 inch wide straps.  
* I zig-zagged the ends of my polypropylene webbings to prevent them from fraying. 

2. Cut your secondary material to add to your webbing.  I chose oilcloth for mine. This material can be anything - oilcloth, vinyl, leather, ribbons etc. The material needs to be exactly the same length and width of your webbing.

3. Fold the secondary material in half to determine the centre then fold both long sides inwards, towards the centre, wrong sides together. At this point, the secondary material will be half its width. You can secure the folded material with foldback clips or quilters' clips. I used double sided tape to hold mine in place.


4. Centre your secondary material on your main material as shown in the picture. I eyeballed mine but if you are a stickler for perfection, feel free to get your measuring tape out. Again, you can use foldback clips or quilters' clip to hold it in place. I used double sided tape.

5. Do this to both straps.

6. To finish them off, just sew the secondary material in place onto your main material. I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance here. You can also use 1/8 inch seam allowance but I prefer to show my stitches off. Something to bear in mind here is your choice of thread. I use white as my upper thread and black for my bobbin thread to match my webbing and my oilcloth.
7. All you do now is finish off your project(s) with your handmade personalised straps. They don't look too special on their own but when added to your project, they make such an impact for a perfect finish.
I also made a matching personalised long shoulder strap to match the carry handles. I love how you could lift a simple design with such little effort. I hope you find this tutorial useful. Good luck lovelies!

Have a wonderful weekend ahead!

Love,
Fely xxx

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Celebrating Autumn with The Brooklyn Handbag



And the season has changed, yet again! This means bringing out all my lovely autumn and winter pieces out from my wardrobe. And they include all those tweeds and the brown walking boots. Also the flannels and the fleece lined hoods. Ah, love! And to celebrate autumn, I decided that a new bag is in order. This beautiful little bag is the Brooklyn Handbag by Swoon Patterns, originally featured on The Bag of The Month Club in May 2016. The bag is a compact size of 11 inches long x 7 inches tall x 5 inches deep. It is almost the same size as my Little Minnie but it is deceivingly larger than it looks. 

I have been making bags with my own patterns for a long time but if you are self taught like me, you will only learn so much after a while. Alternatively, gaining knowledge and experience from another designer, through his/her patterns, is understanding and recognising that there is a whole lot more out there that can be learnt. And this pattern, has definitely given me that, and more.

I actually wanted a proper, grown up leather bag but having discovered the price of hide, which is usually sold by the square metre, I knew it wasn't cost effective for me. I now know why leather bags cost the earth. So I turned to the next best thing - faux leather material. It has the same finished look as a leather bag, in every way possible. But because it's faux leather, it could simply be wiped clean with baby wipes if you, say get a bit of chocolate on it. As you do if you constantly walk around with a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk in your hands. Like me. 


The main panels for the original pattern does not come in two halves, width-way. I just like the look of the stitches coming down the centre of the panels, as seen in most real leather bags, so I cut mine in half and then put them back together. Therefore, if you have the same pattern and wonder why yours turned out a bit different, this answers your question. I also opted out of the shoulder strap and the connectors that are placed on either side of the main panels because I am the sort of person who likes carrying my bags tucked under my arm. I have some valuable confectionary stash in my bags that my little people aren't meant to find out. Or steal. Or both. 





As usual, I added those feet for protection. Incidentally, I also found out that if you have bags with feet, you do not place them on lacquered tables. Especially if the table is a family heirloom. Trust me to find that out the hard way.



In my opinion, this is the star attraction of the bag - the accent panels at the bottom of the bag. Ah...those curves... such a beautiful feature. It doesn't really look like a big deal, but oh the impact they give on the design...



There is a lovely pocket, big enough for my iPhone 6 plus in the lining. The size of the internal pocket is a big deal for me as I like the option of being able to separate my gadgets from the rest of my bag content. I have only ever accidentally scratched my phone screen with my keys once, to learn this very valuable lesson.


And of course, the quintessential accessory for any leather or faux leather bags - The Tassel. It has to be just the right size - not too big that it drowns the bag, or too small to go unnoticed. I think I will have a tutorial on making these tassels one day. We should all have one for  (each of) our bags.


All in all, I found making this bag with the given pattern an eye opener. I have learnt a few design and assembling tricks along the way. If you ever decide to try the pattern out for yourselves, please bear something in mind - it is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL that you read the instructions first and also follow them as you go along. I got a bit cocky and skipped a few while I was making mine and got better acquainted with my seam reaper a few times. I could have avoided that very easily, simply by following the instructions but hey ho, you live and learn. So please bear that in mind. The written and picture instructions are simple and straightforward. 

I shall be making a few of these bags to sell soon, so please watch this space.

Anyway, apparently we are short of milk this morning. Can't have t'husband going through the day without his coffee. So i'm off to the shop to get some milk - in my country boots, tweed jacket and oh, my new bag (whoop whoop!)

See you all soon and have a love day ahead.

Love,
Fely xxx

PS/ This is not a sponsored post