Pattern Parcel #7 – Midtown Messenger

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the news, Pattern Parcel #7 is out…. and it’s all about the bags!

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win
This collection includes patterns from some of the best handbag designers including Pat Bravo, Emmaline Patterns, ChrisW Designs, Betz White, Swoon, and Clover & Violet. There’s all sorts of styles included in this bundle, but I couldn’t resist making one of my favorite designs: Betz White’s Midtown Messenger.

11-betz2For my version, I went with a home decor weight material for the main body of the bag and a faux leather for the accent pieces. The interior is a ‘quilting weight’ cotton in a fun, owl print… I know that I’m normally more ‘matchy, matchy’ with my fabrics, but I couldn’t resist bringing in a novelty print somewhere in my bag!

Chances are, you’ll need to order hardware for this one – I had a difficult time sourcing all the materials locally (although you could easily omit the tuck catches and substitute them with magnetic snaps which would make it 11-betz3much easier, but I like the way they add interest to the finished design). If you do, I highly recommend getting yours from Emmaline’s online shop (not affiliated, just a fan) – she’s super quick (even though they are based in Canada, my supplies arrived in the US in about a week) and the hardware is very sturdy (a side note: I also ordered thumb\tuck catches from another retailer and was EXTREMELY disappointed – not only was it missing pieces, but part of the hardware was rusted already!)…. plus Emmaline has everything you need to make almost all the bags in this bundle!

11-betz5I’ve found this bag has been ideal for school\work and travel – it’s perfectly sized to fit books\paperwork, it’s padded so that it protects my tablet, has big pockets to stash cords\misc. items that I carry around, and has a great zippered closure so nothing falls out. These messengers get a work out around here (you may remember my very first version that my daughter immediately took to school with her) and have held up fabulously. This is easily one of my favorite bags to make! Want to make your own? Then be sure to pick up this fabulous bundle. Here’s how it works:

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win
Parcel #7 includes:

Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo
Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns
Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs
Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White
Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns

BONUS PATTERN: Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #7 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That’s just over $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the brand new Daphne Bag pattern from Clover & Violet. The Daphne is a slouchy satchel that can be worn cross body or as a shoulder bag. The zip top keeps your gear secure and the internal pockets keep your accessories where you need them. This is a brand new, never been seen before pattern and is an exclusive opportunity for Parcel #7 customers!

The Perfect Pear

10-pear.jpgMy sewing room is in desperate need of a deep cleaning. I have piles of patterns, fabrics, notes, etc. all over the place and it’s begging to become a distraction…. not to mention the fact that some of the piles are sliding into my sewing machine when I sew. So when I decided to sort through one stack, I stumbled across something I haven’t made in a very, very long time – My Perfect Pear Pattern (the pattern and the instructions have been removed from the site, but can be found in Sew New’s 2007 Holidays magazine)! This was one of the first patterns that I created, ever, and it took at least 15 tries to get the right shape (the first few I tried making looked an awful lot like bowling pins) – consequently, I couldn’t resist sewing this up one more time (plus it’s a great way to procrastinate cleaning – you can see one of my piles underneath my finished pear)!

Want to make yourself something similar for the holidays? Why not give my Big Apple Pincushion a try? It’s a quick sew and would make a great pincushion, tree ornament or just decoration!

Are You YETI For Another Gift?

11-yetiRemember this cute little guy from last year? Well, he’s back!

One of the items on my Stocking Swap partner’s Pinterest was this awesome, in-the-hoop ornament from Urban Threads. I made several last year as ‘stuffies’ for my family and friends, so how could I resist making one more for this year? I also recently purchased this “Gnome for Christmas” little guy and may whip her up one of these as well (and a few for my kids this year, too!).

Speaking of in-the-hoop designs, has anyone tried some from the Dolls and Daydreams etsy? After looking at her offerings, I wish that I had a machine with a larger hoop to create a more huggagle stuffie…. so I may just break down and try one of her PDFs because there are some simply adorable dolls to be made!

Linky Thursday

With Halloween behind us, it’s time to start focusing on Christmas gifts\crafts. Why not kick off your holiday sewing with a cute little elf?

Looking to spruce up your mantle this year? Create new stockings and you can not only change your decor, but win some awesome prizes, too.

This tote doesn’t just hold all your necessities, it has a reflective tape – perfect for walking on campus in the evenings! Bag too heavy and cutting into your shoulder? This padded shoulder strap is a perfect solution.

Renew your laundry bag with this easy tutorial. I love this whole system!

Fight germs! Create a hand sanitizer jacket to hang off her purse.

Plane trip in your future? Keep your kids busy with this airplane tray activity center.

I love everything about this Skull Tunic – from the cool DIY flocked skull applique to the side zippers.

Keep tiny tootsies warm with these easy to sew baby booties.

Learn how to add a recessed zipper to your bags.

A great gift for the cosmetics lover: A make-up brush roll!

Turn 5 fat quarters into a fun new scarf.

This bib doesn’t just fold neatly in your purse, it has a handy storage pocket to keep all your dining necessities on hand!

Keep your cords organized and always on hand when you travel with this great cozy!






More Box Bags

If it’s not bad enough that I’m lacking in motivation, I also have the first cold of the season which is kicking me in the rear. I decided to whip something up that is not just quick to make, but something that I enjoy sewing: Box Bags!


Yes, this is the same material that I used for the Sew It All episode I taped - I purchased way too much of it (and surprisingly I still like it) so I wind up using it for a lot of projects! My intention was to add this to my Stocking Swap package, but it doesn’t seem to really fit the ‘theme’ I have going on so it may become a Christmas gift for one of Easton’s teachers. This project did get me a bit more motivated to work on some of the larger projects that I have lined up…. and more Christmas gifts! What’s on your sewing table this week?

I’ve Got

….. Nothing! I know, shocker! Between all the busy comings and goings of the past month and a lot of procrastination on my part, I actually have no new project ready to go. I do have some fabric pulled for something next week, a fabulous Spoonflower print ordered for a new tutorial, and eventually I’ll work on a few more items for my stocking swap before calling it good.

Quick Gift

10-fobThe best gifts to make are the ones that are on someone’s wishlist and are super quick to make! After stalking my Stocking Swap partner’s Pinterest I saw a cute skully lanyard. While I didn’t have the exact material that she had pinned, I was ‘inspired’ by this ribbon and thought it might make a good substitute.

Want to make this for yourself (I’m thinking quick and easy teacher gifts)? Here’s my tutorial on how to whip one of these up for yourself – I swear it will take 5 minutes to make!

By the way, I should probably add, I skipped the smooth jaw pliers this time around and just whacked the key fob hardware (that was placed on a towel) with a rubber mallet. It worked just as well and didn’t wind up with any ‘dents’ from using a hammer.

Happy Halloween

10-treeskullHappy Halloween! I wish everyone a fun evening full of frights, candy, a bit of mulled wine to warm your bones on a chilly night!

Although today’s project is perfect for today, it’s actually a stuffer for my Stocking Swap partner: a Halloween mini-tree skirt! When we talked she said she didn’t have a tabletop tree for Christmas, instead she painted it up for Halloween (I like that idea a lot) so I thought that this gift was quite appropriate…. plus I love this fabric and have been itching to use it for quite some time! In fact, I like it so much I may have to do a Halloween tree for next year, myself!

Linky Thursday

A fun take on a traditional advent calendar: The Yo-Yo Countdown Calendar.

Even if you aren’t a fan of Frozen, you definitely have to check out this tutorial on creating a Sven (the reindeer) costume. Wow!

Turning a tie into a purse isn’t new, but this is definitely one of the cutest designs I’ve seen.

Love fabric coasters, but looking for a new take on designs? Check out these Jewel Box Coasters for a fun, modern look.

I am always impressed when people create slipcovers for their worn furniture – I’m not sure I have the patience. Here’s a nice tutorial on how to do it for yourself.

Don’t go trick-or-treating without one of these awesome FrankenZombie Bags.

Need a last minute costume? Whip up one of these quick Superhero Party Masks and wear a cape!

Get ready for football season with this great NFL Stadium Bag.

The Mod Satchel purse is a great look for fall…. I’m a sucker for grommets.

Casserole carriers don’t have to be boring…. and they make great gifts too!

Who said skeletons have to be scary? Whip up an adorable Day of the Dead doll for you little trick-or-treater.

Ready for a fall wardrobe? Learn how to create a comfy knit sweater dress.

Rockin Stocking

Have you picked up your copy of Creative Machine Embroidery yet?  In addition to the tree skirt I showed you this week, I also have a second article: The Rockin’ Stocking! I was inspired to create this project after Urban Threads released their Tattoo Christmas pack – I mean, why not tell Santa how you’ve been all year by displaying either the “Naughty” or “Nice” side on your stocking… it’s like two stockings in one!


There’s also tips on working with velvet (the body of the stocking) and faux fur (cuff) as well as a step-by-step tutorial on how to put your look together. Now to decide how good I’ve been all year!