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My EPP Hexie Fully lined Zipper Pouch

I may have mentioned before that one of my resolutions for this year was to try my hand at English Paper Piecing. I want to improve my hand sewing skills, use up more fabric scraps, and also learn a new craft.

The fact that English Paper Piecing (EPP) is a portable craft and you can do it anywhere makes it extra appealing. To do some research, I headed on over to good old youTube. I know that Nikki from The Stitch Sisters loves a bit of patchwork, and I remembered that some time ago she released a video showing the basics of EPP. It’s really helpful, and it is this that helped me get started.

After sewing several hexagons together, I wanted to use them to make something. I wasn’t ready to sew something as large as a quilt at this stage (at any rate, I didn’t have that much fabric), so decided to have a look on the internet for a free zipper bag pattern. It needed to be lined to hide the wrong side of the patchwork. There are loads of patterns and tutorials as you can imagine, but I eventually decided on this Fully Lined Front Zippered Pouch  tutorial which I found on the Projects By Jane blog. I liked how the zip was inserted part way down the front of the bag rather than along the top edge.

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Love the pretty floral lining

If you get a chance, I would definitely recommend that you head on over to the Projects By Jane blog linked above, she has all sorts to look through including bag patterns, tutorials and applique advice.

The tutorial was good and easy to follow with lots of pictures to help you along. I admit that using slightly bulky patchwork was probably not the best choice of fabrics, as it was hard to push out those corners into neat sharp points despite trimming my seam allowances and corners, but it’s pretty close and that’s good enough for me! This pattern does come with instructions to add a strap, but I didn’t want this.

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View from the back

My reason for sewing a bag is that I am saving up for a fancy sewing machine. There’s actually nothing wrong with my current Janome ( the Janome DC3050 ), but, you know, I can’t help lusting after all the lovely Janome Atelier machines that I keep seeing EVERYWHERE!!  There is no way that I will ever be able to afford one of these machines if I don’t start saving, so here it is – my official saving fund for my fancy new Atelier.

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Just for fun, and to use up more scraps, I have made a fun quilted luggage tag using this tutorial on youTube (of course) by The Crafty Gemini.  I probably won’t leave this tag on the bag in the long run, but as I still had some scraps left over in this fabric I thought it would be fun to make something that matched. Once again if you’re in the market for some crafty inspiration then Vanessa from The Crafty Gemini has hundreds of youTube tutorials.

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The only alteration that I made to the tag was the addition of an eyelet to run the ribbon through. The original tutorial shows you how to sew in an elastic loop to hang your tag with.

I have definitely become a little addicted to EPP, and my next project is  this little quilt sampler which I thought might be a good way to try out EPP using some different shapes.

Eventually when I feel confident enough with the basics, I plan to make a big project like a quilt or picnic blanket using this Tales of Cloth heart pattern.

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Boho Button Bag

Whoops – better late than never – I actually made this bag several months ago and then completely forgot to blog about it. Which is a shame because its such a great bag, I think you need to know about it! I wore it to the first day of the Sewing Weekender last Saturday and had lots of questions about it, so here you go!

The pattern/online class is The Boho Button Bag from The Stitch Sisters.

It’s a slouchy cross body shoulder bag which is fully lined and features a magnetic snap fastening. It’s an online class and after purchase, the pattern templates are downloadable and you receive several video tutorials which walk you through the whole sewing process step-by-step regardless of your sewing ability. This is a great way of sewing for those who prefer a visual method of instruction.

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I absolutely love that fabric that I chose to make this bag. You will need a medium to heavy weight fabric for this project and I went for this sassy animal print velboa fabric from Minerva. This has a good structure which is perfect for holding the shape of the bag. Also, you only need half a metre! I have never sewn with this type of fabric before, it has texture and a low nap, but it didn’t give me any problems. I don’t remember using a special needle, but did need to take my time in certain areas.

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You will also need a fusible fleece, which I fortunately had left over from a previous project, and some lining fabric. For the lining it was important for me to have a light coloured fabric so that it would be easy for me to find things inside the bag. I just used a cheap plain poly cotton which is a beige/peach colour and this worked out just great.

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Inside the bag I just added the open pocket as suggested. This one has a line of fancy decorative stitching along the top edge (which is quite difficult to see here), but I might make a zipper pocket next time – you can certainly customize your bag inside to how you like it. A little KAM snap might be a nice fastening to add to the pocket inside also .. or you could add a cord/ribbon to keep your keys safe?

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The pleats on the bag which give it it’s pretty ‘pinched in’ shape can be folded in whatever direction you like, so you can have a play around with that before sewing to  help you decide which way you like them best.

The magnetic fastening is secure and really easy to fit. I think I used this antique gold 18mm Clover bag fastening. I also like how easy it is to get the strap  to the right length for you before sewing. All these things are superbly explained in the videos.

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I really enjoyed making this bag. It’s not the first Stitch Sisters online course that I have made, you might remember that I blogged about The Pleated Zipper Pouch a few months back which is another great little project from Nikki and Rachel. It might be worth a little look at the Stitch Sisters website if you are not familiar, because not only do they have online classes to make things, there are also classes available to help you with certain sewing techniques or equipment.

Sometimes it’s good to have a break from garment making, but to try something a little different. Bag making is a fun way of using your dressmaking skills – but without any of the problems such as fit issues that can often occur when sewing clothing. This is also potentially a project that you could use scraps of leftover fabrics for.

I like the idea of sewing this up in a denim with some pretty embroidery, or perhaps a PU pleather might be fun. So many ideas ..

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Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x