Rainy Days and Mondays Bag Pattern Review

I was so excited to get to test The Littlest Thistle’s latest pattern, the Rainy Days and Mondays Bag!

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I’ve always been intrigues with bags like this! How do you sew in the lining?? I’ve never known and I’ve always been intimated… But now I know and it’s not hard at all!

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The pattern is now available in her shop and it’s really such an easy sew. It’s not the quickest sew, but it’s a good one and well worth the time you put into it! The pattern also has great tips on sewing with laminated fabrics. I choose to use vinyl instead, though.

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This. zipper. This zipper top has spooked me for years! ONly to realize that it’s not hard at all! Hello! You’ve got to try it….

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The pattern also has all sorts of fancy details that help add ot hte very professional finished look. I love the adjustable straps she likes ot include in her patterns. Like this one and the Mini Messenger bag that I tested for her.

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And I love the inside fabric! I used to make bags and I always loved making the inside a bright contrast to the outside. I was looking through my stash and kept coming back to yellows and greys, until I spotted this hot pink print! The instructions for the inside pocket were perfectly simple! Oh, yeah!

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Have you ever put feet on a bag? I haven’t! Until now!

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You should be sure to check out the other bag testers on her blog. I love being a tester especially for things for me. I’m so bad at sewing for myself and this makes me sew for me by a certain date! I’ve already been using the bag for a camera bag. I want to make a few additions for the camera, but it’s just the right size!

Sewing Room Updates!

I don’t have a beautiful bright, airy, white sewing room like I see all over the internet… But I have a great space despite not having windows!! And now it’s even better!

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A couple of weeks ago a friend posted her ironing board set-up on IG. I knew immediately that I had to copy her idea! So as genius as this is, I can’t take credit for it!

When I saw it I knew it was the perfect Mother’s Day present for me! So I asked my husband if he had gotten me anything…. Luckily, he hadn’t! So I told him what I wanted. He was fine with it until it registered that what I wanted came from Ikea! That’s part of the present, I told him! Taking me to Ikea! hehehe! And he must love me, becuase he went there with me. First time I’ve ever seen him even drive near an Ikea, much less venture in the front door!

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I hated my ironing board and all the stuff that would pile up on it and under it! And then to get to my shelves behind it, I had to move everything, then slide the ironing board and hope the iron didn’t fall on my head. I guess I could have moved the iron, but hey, we all need a little risk, right?

And the bookshelf we used is basically the same size as the ironing board! A few inches longer, but not much! So it doesn’t take up much more space at all!

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It all starts with an Ikea book shelf…. I’m in love with this one, becuase I like all the different sized holes. We have 2 others for the playroom already! My friend used the one with 8 holes. The other thing about this one, is that it’s a little wider, or taller once you turn it on it’s side. I like a tall ironing board!

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Then the dear husband made a trip to the hardware store for a piece of wood. We got a shelf that was the exact same depth of the bookshelf. He cut it to the right length. I got the ironing board cover fabric and cut it down to size. and a piece of fabric. This fabric is actually a lovely sheet fabric that I happened to be hoarding! Then he helped me staple the ironing board fabric and the cover fabric around the board.

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We added locking wheels. 6. Maybe could have used 8, but I think the six work fine.

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I just dropped the top right on top. So far I haven’t secured the top to the shelf. But it’s pretty heavy that I don’t think it will move around too much. I haven’t had a problem yet. I was also thinking that I might add cutting boards under the ironing board for a really long cutting surface…. But I haven’t done that yet!

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And it’s just an inch or two higher than the counter, but it’s at a height that I can actually sew standing up. That will be really nice when I’m doing a lot of little pieces that need sewing, ironing, sewing, ironing, sewing, ironing….

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Now, I don’t have all the piles under the ironing board. I have a spot for all the stuff that used to sit on top of the ironing board, so I have a full length ironing board again. I can easily roll it out to get to the fabric behind it. I can roll it out to let the large fabrics slide over each side as I iron! And when it’s in it’s spot, the room actually feels much bigger! Nice!

Thank you very much, golddogmom, for the inspiration! And to the family for helping get it and put it all together!

 

 

Technicolor Galaxy- Update!

Ok. Can I just say I’m in love with this project? ok, thanks! I’m in love!

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This is the Technicolor Galaxy BOM that I started a while back. I’m a bit behind, since I’m only just finishing the March blocks…. But oh, well. I’m hoping to catch up this month! ANYWAY…

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Yep, it’s pretty cool! I liked the center. The design is intended for a rainbow quilt and I decided not to do that, but then I started really liking everyone’s rainbows… But once I got the star points done, I am back in love with my own fabric choices!

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March’s block was very time consuming! There are 12 quilted blocks!

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We paper pieced 3 sections, 12 times. Then sewed those 3 sections together, 12 times. Then quilted each section. It seemed like for ever, but when you make a whole quilt you do all this way more than 12 times. Maybe since I did it all at once, it seemed like forever?? Huh!

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For the back of this set, I used the neon blue and quilted in white thread. Does anyone else see a Wonder Woman logo in the quilting??? That’s kinda all I see…

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As everyone was showing off thier finished star points thier lines didn’t line up. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why all these people were ok with the fact that the blocks don’t line up. (you can see it with the blue and white striped fabric corners not lining up on mine in the top two photos.) But no one was saying anything about it… Then I realized… Seam Allowances. Hello! Once they get trimmed and sewn together, they will be fine and align quite nicely!

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Right now the quilt measures about 36 inches across, for a sense of scale. I forget how big the final quilt will be. I’m so glad these blocks are done and I’m totally inspired to continue on with the last two months blocks! Yea!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paint Chip Challenge

We seem to like challenges in our Modern Quilt Guild! This time we decided to tackle a paint ship challenge. You are given a paint chip and all your fabric has to match the colors on the paint chip.

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The ones in charge of the challenge picked grey, teal, light blue and dark blue. Some lucky ducks got a yellow chip too, which meant they got to add in accent pieces of yellow. I stood in line for my envelope hoping ‘not grey, not grey, not grey…’

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I got grey….

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And it wasn’t easy to find the grey’s either. Everytime I’d go to a fabric store I’d pull out my chip and nope… Or I’d buy grey thinking it had to be right and I’d get home and it wasn’t. Then I finally raided my stash and found just the right pieces!

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I’ve been really wanting to do one of these triangulated pieces. First I used a triangulation app on my phone. Then I just assumed I’d make it into a paper piecing pattern. But, um, no. My assumption was wrong! Paper piecing a triangulated piece, didn’t work so well for me! I ended up just piecing as I went.

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I just couldn’t get snow out of my head when it came to this paint chip. So a snowy mountain top it is. I considered a white bunny in a snowstorm, but…..

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I did get some yellow in the back! I’m loving that almost all of this was actually from my stash in the end.

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How do you do labels? I just use a sharpie and make a had written label. Maybe I should a more professional looking label…

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So, I am totally over my wanting to quilt a triangulated anything! It was a good exercise in inside corners… Not a big fan, I learned! But I’m happy with it. Glad it’s done.

If you want to see them all, check back in the first part of June. Or come out to the show at Drygoods Design on June 4th! That’s opening night, but the show will be up for a month. And they are for sale!! Yea! We’ve never done a for sale show before!

 

Who needs Super Man when there’s Tiger Man???

We have great friends that moved across the world, but they come back to visit every now and then! And last month they came home and we all got to celebrate their kiddos birthday together!

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I got to make a Party Animal Birthday Party theme for him, which I’ll show off soon! But his parents also asked if I could make him a Tiger Man costume! Of course I can!

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Wait…. Who’s Tiger Man?

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Tiger Man is a made up super hero, made up by my friend and his son! Ok, sure I can do it, but what does he look like? They didn’t know. They tell stories about Tiger Man, but he’s never been seen before!

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I used the same basic mask design that I used for the arctic fox and the fox. I obviously changed the colors. And of course, I had to add some tiger stripes. Since he is Tiger Man, of course!

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I decided Tiger Man totally needed some super hero cuffs. And I’m glad I did, I heard that the real Tiger Man (my son was just modeling) uses the cuffs for all his adventures and they’ve become a very integral part of Tiger Man!

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And before he runs off to protect us, Tiger Man’s cape includes tiger stripes and the special letter T!

Have you and your family made up special super heroes?

 

Tote-Ally Awesome Teacher Gift! A Tutorial and a Printable!

I think Teacher Appreciation Week might be this week…. I’ve been seeing a lot about it in the blogosphere, but our school doesn’t celebrate for a couple more weeks!

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So since most people seem to be doing it earlier than we do, I thought I’d post my tote bag project. We made a bunch for preschool teachers last year. Actually, my plan is to give these as end of year thank you’s, but I know some of you out there do more for Teacher Appreciation week.

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I think my favorite part is the tote bag pocket! I made these and debated on how to print them. Iron-on? Directly on to the fabric? Or Spoonflower? Spoonflower won! It’s sized to print quite a few pockets at once! And in different colors. You are welcome to go and buy it on the Spoonflower site for your own projects!

We are still fans of superheros, and in my book, teachers are pretty  much superheros! I know I could not do what they do! Even though my kiddo just says he plays all day, I am amazed at what his teachers do! And how they have him tricked to thinking he’s playing all day when he’s actually reading! That is some super powers at work!

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The kiddo helped me pick out the fabric for each of the bags. I used pretty much all fabrics from my stash! Oh, yeah! Loving using the stash! He even went so far as to pick each fabric for each teacher!

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And since the fabrics were all from the stash, the sizes of the bags vary a little here and there!

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And we made the tags, too! And we’re sharing the love with ya! You can download the PDF for the tote-ally awesome tags here.

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Would you like to make your own tote? You can make it for yourself too, if you’d like!

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For materials, it doesn’t take too much. I used a home decorating weight fabric for the totes. More cotton from the stash was used for the lining. The spoonflower fabric for the pockets. And webbing for the straps.

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Of course, the first thing is to cut all the pieces! For the top of the bag my pieces were approximately 12×16 inches. The bottom piece is approximately 7×16 inches. You’ll need 2 of each of these. The lining is approximately 18×16 inches and you’ll need 2 pieces. The pocket is 5.5×11 inches. The webbing is 45 inches on each side.

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Fold the pocket in half and center it on the front of the bag. Pin it in place. Pin the webbing over the sides of the pockets. Align both the pocket and the webbing with the bottom of the front piece.

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Sew on the webbing, stopping an inch from the top of the bag. Do this on the front and back.

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Sew the bottom of the bag and the top together, right sides together. And topstitch. Do this for both the front and back.

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Now sew the front and back together along both sides and the bottom. Do this for the lining, too. Leave a 3 to 4 inch hole in the lining stitching.

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Sew the bottom corners of both the outside and the lining together. Align the seams to create a triangle at the corners. I sewed a 3.5 inch corner. Then cut the corners.

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Put the lining inside the bag, right sides together, and sew along the top edge.

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Pull the bag out through the hole in the lining. And sew together the hole.

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Then topstitch!

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And you’ve got a tote! Pretty easy!

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And if you make a lot at once, you might just get a little silly!

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I might just have to make more!!! Do you think you’d make some?

 

 

Quilt as You Go Tablet Cover Tutorial

Wow! It’s been a while! I’ve been super busy and excited about getting my etsy shop more organized and getting more parties to put in it! More to come on that soon… In the meantime, do you want to see another Christmas present I made and never showed off?

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I made this tablet cover from my Step Mom for Christmas! Some people are probably already making CHristmas presents for this year, but I’m just showing you a present I made for last year!

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I don’t actually have a tablet, but I do have a model (AKA a book) that fits in the cover quite nicely…. hehehe….

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I started with two pieces of this angel fabric I’ve had. One main piece for the front.

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And one main angel piece for the front.

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What do you think? Would you want to make one? Well, just in case I took pictures all along the way to show you how I did it….

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First cut the batting. So to get the right size… For the width, take the width of the tablet + the thickness of the tablet + 1″ for seam allowances + 1/4″ for a little extra. For the length, you want to take the length of the tablet + the thickness of the tablet + 4″. But wait! Don’t cut yet! I cut my batting about an inch wider and longer!

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Then quilt as you go the cover! I’m not going to do a full quilt as you tutorial today, but start with you accent block, then start quilting around it and around it until you’ve quilted the whole top.

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Trim the top piece to the right dimensions that you came up with earlier.

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Cut the shape of the flap. I used a couple of spools of thread to make the curves. The curve is 3.5 inches. Fold the top in half and cut. Do this for the lining and the top.

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Fold legthwise, right sides together. Bring the bottom up, but hold it off 4 inches from the top. Then sew along the edges. With the lining, leave a hole to pull through later.

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Pull the corners together with seams together. Sew along the triangle.

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Add velcro to the lining.

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Insert the lining into the top, right sides together. And sew along the top using a 1/2″ seam.

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After you pull the whole cover through the hole so right sides are out, topstitch along the top edge and flap.

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Sew the hole closed!

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Add the velcro to the top. And you’re ready to add that tablet!

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And then give it away of keep it for yourself! I broke it down into a bunch of steps, but it’s really quite a quick project. The quilt as you go part took the longest! The rest was quick, quick! And since I used a book to model the cover, you could use it for more than just a tablet… What would you use it for?

 

 

 

 

Medallion BOM with April’s Border

We’re moving along on the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild’s BOM medallion quilt!

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This month’s border was super simple! Just adding a simple white and green border on each side. I’ve started a little trend and I’ve been adding in a pop of one of the other colors in each border. Can you find my pop in this border!

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In looking at the pictures, I wonder if I should have not used white… hmmmm…. THat would ahve been nice too, just green and green… Oh, well! Instead I added the dark green to the top corner.

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And the light green to the bottom corner. And yep, there’s my pop! A little orange spot.

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I guess next time I could actually iron the quilt top, huh! I’m loving this BOM series! You’re welcome to play along. If you do, I’d love to see it. You can get the April instructions here.

Pikachu!

I’m not much up on the whole Pokemon thing. The kiddo isn’t into that whole thing yet. But…

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One of his buddies up the street is! And she just had a Pokemon birthday party. So of course I needed a birthday present. I know our friend loves stuffies. I know she loves Pokemon and her favorite character is Pikachu. And I’ve been following along with ikat bag‘s Menagerie Stuffie Pattern.

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Have you seen it? I was waiting everyday to see what she would come up with next! Using the same basic pattern she came up with a frog, a dragon, a shark, and my favorite, the squid! And many more! 17 actually. Fantastic! It’s so cool. The pattern is not out yet, but she did participate in Sew Mama Sew’s 6 Weeks of Love for Softies and gave us a sneak peek at the pattern with the Raccoon Pattern.

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So I jumped! Stuffie + Pikachu + Menagerie Raccoon Pattern = AWESOME Birthday Present! The pattern was perfect for my project! It’s so simple!

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I got to use two new materials that I have never used before! The plastic eyes and the stuffing beads. I ordered the beads not long ago to use in the lap desk, but the bag ended up being tiny. These are like little beads of plastic, not the tiny polyfill microbeads that fly around. I was going ot return them, but it cost more ot return them so I figured I’d use them sooner or later. Yep!! Good call!

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The obvious changes from the raccoon are the ears and the tail. I did add heavy interfacing in the ears to help them stay straight. I also deleted the nose and instead hand embroidered it.

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Image via Polygon

I debated adding the open pink mouth.  After I started all the pieces, I was sewing on the cheeks and was about to sew on the open mouth when I saw this picture. Totally inspired the closed mouth. So sweet looking!

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And I moved the stripes from the tail to the back! For the cheeks and the back I used high quality wool felt, instead of a fleece. But for the tail I did use a little bit of brown fleece. It was much easier to pull through the tail than the felt would have been. I think if I made it again, I would add one piece across the back instead of 4 little pieces. You can download the pieces I added here. There are no seam allowances included in my pieces.

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I think it turned out freakin’ adorable! I’m in love with it! And I know the birthday girl was pretty happy with him too! There are such cute critters in the whole Pokemon thing, that  I almost want to try to make a whole series of them! What would you make with her pattern?

The Mini Messenger Bag

I got to test a pattern for Katy of The Littlest Thistle! I’ve seen her make some fun bags so I was excited ot try this one.

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This one is the Mini Messenger Bag. I’ve made messenger bags before, but I was interested in seeing what made her’s different from the others. One is the size. It’s mini! It is exactly the right size for a kiddo, for sure.

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I wanted to make it for my son, but he didn’t want one. At least not until he saw mine…. The picture on the cover is a little girlie and I think he was blinded by the floral fabric. Because when he saw mine in person, even though it’s a little girlie though, he wanted mine! But I said no! And I used it the other day and it’s great!

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The second piece about it that was new to me was the insides! The pattern calls for some fusible interfacing that I had never actually used before. A woven interfacing, which I also learned is fantastic for clothing. And a fusible fleece. I’ve seen this before, but typically skip it since it isn’t in my sewing room… This time I bought it and the two interfacings really do give the bag a big sturdy shape!

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Lastly, for new ot me sewing, I have never done an adjustable strap! It seems like I would have with all the hundreds of purses I’ve made in my time (I used to sell purses…). But no! Super easy!

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I love a purse with an inside pocket! And it has one included in the pattern! Next time I might put one on each side.

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The outside pocket is perfect for my phone! I made it the contrasting color, but in hindsight, I think I’d stick with either the same color or at least not as contrasting because part of the pocket shows under the flap. which I didn’t realize in the process!

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And its’ a great size for a stuffie! I couldn’t resist, since this guy looked so cute in it! I actually didn’t carry Mt. Doodles around in it. I used it for carrying books and I really loved how the strap felt on my shoulder. I have a problem with bags falling off my shoulder, but this one didn’t!

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Now to get your own pattern! You can purchase the pattern here at Katy’s shop. To celebrate the launch of her new pattern she’s offering 25% off ALL the patterns in her shop! Hurry over, the discount is available until April 10th with the code HOPPYEASTER15.

 

 

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