Thursday, 28 April 2016

A beautiful distraction

I successfully, although unintentionally, made a bag yesterday. It wasn't on my list of things to do for the day. I was supposed to be completing an order placed for a bespoke bag bound for New Zealand. But I had an attention deficit moment and strayed into making something completely different. It was one of those 'blah' days. But I am really glad how the 'unintentional' bag turned out. This is a design I drafted myself a few months ago and will be launching on Sew Nicely Done soon. The finished bag measures approximately 7.5 inches tall, 12 inches wide and 4 inches deep. The handles are 13 inches long. These will be £42.00 + postage.

I made some for a handful of friends so they could test it out for me and then feedback on design problems and faults that needed improving. I have now smoothed everything out and look forward to introducing these cute little bags, hopefully next week.  Hope you all like it.

Classic rounded corners for a fluid finish.

Two carry handles for ease of carry and a long shoulder strap if needed to be carried across the body.

Piped for structure

Detachable long strap for versatility

Two internal pockets for ease of organisation

Two zip sliders (because I like the way it looks)

Front slip pocket with a magnetic clasp

An added bag charm to add to the character of the finish bag

I love straight stitchings!

And I shall be making more in these prints!

I better get back to the bespoke order. Otherwise I'll never be able to finish it. Till next time!

Fely xxx

Material source :
Oilcloth -
Bespoke bag charms - Sunnyteddys Designs on Facebook

(Note: This is not a paid or affliliated post)

Monday, 25 April 2016

How to make a multi-purpose zipped pouch

Numerous times when I reach into my bag, regardless of its size, that I feel like i'm sticking my hand into the abyss. I am one of those who carry everything but the kitchen sink in my bag and inevitably, creating my very own Bermuda Triangle on two handles. No matter how many times I rearrange and reorganise them, the content seem to always successfully 're-un-arrange' themselves in time. It's an ongoing problem that drives me bonkers, especially when I anticipate a stashed packet of mini chocolate eggs in the zipped pocket of my bag, only to find that a collection of various bits of broken crayons, collected from various restaurants that attempted to contain their little diners with 4 crayons in a pack and a piece of paper.

I hit the 'enough is enough' button one day and decided that I needed to organise this chaos, once and for all. So I've decided the logical solution for this comes in a form of little zipped pouches. I have measured them so they can be used to store endless amount of little things that can potentially scatter in my bag; like makeup, spare pens, packets of tissues, reading glasses, free toys from Kinder eggs (courtesy of my kids) and the list goes on. 

These literally take less than 10 minutes to make and they are fun. I made mine with oilcloth but you can make these with normal quilting cotton or interior weight cotton. So if you want to know how to make these zipped pouches, keep on reading.

You will need your chosen material, measuring 9 inches long by 8 inches wide.  And then cut the material in half lengthwise. The finished size for this measurement will be approximately 3.5 inches wide and 8.5 inches long.

You will also need these : *an 8 in zip, your choice of coloured thread, sewing pins and some small binder clips. 

* If you buy an 8 inch zip, the zip is actually 9 inches long. The 8 inches is the measurement of the zip teeth and then half an inch of seam allowance is added on both ends. 

Start by placing the zip on the material, wrong sides together, matching the ends.

 And then pin the zip to the material and sew along with 1/8 inch seam allowance with a zip foot.

You should have something like this after that.

Place the other half of the material on the first piece, wrong side down. Match it to the edge of the zip.

And then pin along the top, like you did on the first piece. Again, sew along the top with a 1/8 inch seam allowance, using a zip foot.

Once you've sewn both sides, open the pieces like a butterfly and press the seam down.

Top stitch the fabric 1/8 inch from the zip.

Next step is to completely open the zip slider all the way down. This is VERY important so you can turn your pouch the right way out later.

Put the two pieces together and clip them with the small binder clips.

And sew along with 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Now fold the bag so the zip top meets the sewn edge. Make sure they are centred, and pin them together with the binder clips again.

PS/ Make sure sewn edge are pressed out like this so you won't have to deal with unnecessary bulk when you sew later.

Sew along with 1/4in seam allowance.

Note : The bottom of the pressed edge should look like this.

Once you've sewn both short sides together, trim all four corners. Remember not to trim into the stitchings,  otherwise they'll unravel and you'll have to re-do them.

Last step is to turn the whole pouch the right way round, pushing the corners out with anything long and pointy, like a chopstick. And you are finally done!! 

Personally, I LOVE making these pouches. You can make these zipped pouches to suit whatever you want to store in them. If you want them bigger, just add a few inches to the width and length. And if you want them smaller, just reduce the given measurements. The methods remain the same.

Now, all I need to do is categorised my bag contents into these luscious pouches! 

(PS/ You can even fit two of those massive bags for life in one little pouch)

If you happen to be making these, please share your pictures with me on Facebook and on my Instagram account. Details for both can be found on the side bar. 

Good luck lovelies!
Fely xxx

Friday, 22 April 2016

And sew, I find myself here

I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.
-Augusten Burroughs-

This site is created out of need to preserve my sewing journey (probably my sanity too at times) and to catalogue all my work, as a point of reference for my future projects. So many times I sit in my workshop thinking, "I've done this before, but how on earth did I do it???!!'. A whole packet of the biggest Cadbury's Dairy Milk later and I am still left reeling without a clue on tackling the said issue. So this will hopefully un-stuck me from those  sticky situations and guide me with zen through all those complications. 

From time to time, I will also take you behind the scenes of the projects that I am working on. Sewing and crafting is a wonderful process and is full of stories to be shared;  with a lot of unseen footage of its ups and downs. Most of the time, people see a finished product in all its glory, without realising the tales unwinding in the process. I promise you, there is never a project without surprises, be it frustrating issues that propels you from a sensible human being, into a scary monster that is capable of hurling a sewing machine across the room or the wonderful eureka moments, that made you realise that sewing is definitely your calling. 

Given the fact that I am completely and utterly self taught, you will see my seam ripper a lot in my future posts. It is, hands down, the star tool which plays the biggest part in my workshop. It has been known to have an exclusive role in unpicking all the stitches of my frustrations and the errors of my misjudgements.  If I could speak to my 13 year old self, I would tell myself to be the first to sign up for the home economics class. Things could've turned out a lot different. I would probably have less issues now and would have been able to sew my entire life pretty! But as it is, I am learning through my mistakes with some help from my collection of sewing books, written by brilliant crafters. And if you happen to be a dope crafter yourself, I am always grateful for helpful tips and advices to avoid future mishaps. 

So come along this sewing journey with me because this making things malarkey is actually really fun!! And hopefully, I could inspire some of you through my triumphs and mistakes. If a non-crafter like me can make all these bags, you definitely can too!

Let us keep calm and sew on. And never be without a reaching distance away from snacks while you're at it!

Fely xxx

(PS: Next post will be a tutorial on making a simple pouch. So please stay tuned.)