Category Archives: Bags

Minerva’s Craft Club Day

If you’re reading this today (Saturday 13th March 2021) then Minerva are holding one of their special discount days for Craft Club members today! Craft Club membership is £20 for the year, and gives you 10% off all purchases year round, plus a couple of these special 20% off days in the year.

*aff
Offer valid Saturday 13th March 2021

But “what can I make from Minerva fabric?” I hear you ask – here’s a selection of my makes but I’m sure you would be even more creative.

This cotton linen blend was crying out to be a skirt & jacket combination and the contrast facing & cuffs really help to lift it from being just plain purple.

My first time sewing with Scuba fabric, resulted in this top & trouser combination. I could’ve made the top a little larger to compensate for the fabric being more structured, but the trousers worked particularly well.

And speaking of trousers, these jeans were made from a super stretchy fabric which removed most of the jeans-fitting problems I’d had previously. I do need to add some elastic to the waistband though, as I made it a little too generous on the sizing!

Onto a more summery make, with this nautical polycotton. I made this dress and a pair of shorts from this fabric, which definitely helps liven up a dull rainy British summer’s day. I did line the shorts with some plain white polycotton just in case this was a little see-through, and they’ve held up to multiple wears on long walks so far.

Typical British Summer’s weather means I really needed a decent waterproof coat to wear. I really never thought I’d ever sew myself one, but this memory raincoat fabric (lined with a spotty polycotton) was perfect! I used the Tilly and the Buttons Eden jacket pattern for this, with no alterations.

Another pair of jeans, this time in an embroidered cord fabric. These are made from the Megan Nielsen Dawn jeans patterns, with a few alterations (I think I still need to tweak the pattern to get the best fit for me). It was an experience sewing with embroidered cord, but once I had a new denim needle in my machine, it was pretty easy to sew.

It’s not just clothing – I made a family of three bears from some Christmas cotton fabric! I would normally pick stretchy fabric for bear-making, but this cotton worked really well. The advantage of this fabric is that the pattern is non-directional, so it didn’t matter which way up I had the pieces.

My most recent Minerva make is this Halifax Hoodie from a textured knit fabric. I’d never sewn with textured knit before, so I was wondering how well it would work. I’m pretty pleased with the end result!

And finally, this is a bag which will (eventually) be a tutorial here. It’s made from ripstop fabric which is showerproof and also can be wiped clean. The bag can also be folded up to fit in a trouser pocket, so it’s a great reusable alternative to plastic carrier bags.

I hope that’s given you some inspiration for what you could make – why not check out what Minerva have available (even if you miss the 30% off day, it’s worth just browsing their fabric and sewing supplies)?

*aff
Offer valid Saturday 13th March 2021

* aff – The banner link at the top & bottom of this post are affiliate links. This means I get a small amount of commission if you click through my link then go on to purchase anything from the Minerva website. It does not cost you anything extra to use these links, but does help fund my next fabric purchase!

I am a Minerva Ambassador, which means that I have the opportunity to get a piece of fabric for free, in exchange for photos and text to feature on their website. Some of the makes in this post were done as part of that role, and others are made from fabric I purchased myself.

2019 Nine to Try – recap

And we’re back! That was a longer hiatus than I’d anticipated, so I do have a few blog posts I’d planned for December, which will obviously now be pretty unseasonal… but they’re heading onto the blog over the next few weeks anyway!

So let’s start with the recap of my 2019 Nine to Try


How can it be the end of 2019 already?! The biggest question though, is have I managed to make any of my 2019 Nine to Try, or have I just been making other items instead?

  • Fashionista Jacket* by WinterWear Designs
    I’ve actually made two Fashionista Jackets – one from softshell, and the other from denim…. and I have a linen-like fabric set aside to make a third Fashionista too!
  • Bryce Cargo Trousers* by Hey June Handmade*  
    I haven’t even got as far as printing off the pattern for these. I do like the idea of them, but the shape looks like it could be quite complicated to get the fit just right.
  • Brunswick Sweater* by Hey June Handmade*
    Again, I love the shape of the sweater, but I haven’t got close to getting this one printed off even… maybe 2020 will be the year for that pattern?

Middle Row:

Bottom Row:

  • Neck Tie Top* by WinterWear Designs*
    Despite my best intentions, I didn’t even take another look at this pattern in 2019!
  • Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Patterns
    I was all set to make this pattern, when the Eden jacket was released by Tilly & the Buttons. The Eden jacket is less fitted in its shape (there’s no waist drawstring either), so I decided to swap the Kelly over to the Eden instead!
  • Belladonna Bear by Emma’s Bears
    I have made several bears this year, but not from this particular pattern! If I can find some cotter-pin teddy bear joints, then I might give this pattern a go in the future though.


Overall, I made a grand total of three of my nine to try (or 4 if you count the Kelly anaorak swapping over to the Eden jacket) *laughs*
But really, it doesn’t matter how many I made – it’s fun to pick out some patterns at the beginning of the year, and have a rough idea of “I’d like to make that”, but those ideas are allowed to evolve and change through the year. Nothing is set in stone!


* affiliate link
WinterWear Designs*
Hey June Handmade*

Magic Softshell Bag II

Remember the Magic Softshell Bag I shared last month? Well I’ve finally got it finished – and it turned out exactly as I’d hoped!

I haven’t added in poppers on the front pocket flap, but so far it looks like the combination of softshell, polycotton and a piece of clear pvc (for extra waterproofing) is doing a good job at holding that flap down.

I could have added in some extra pvc to the back of the front panel where the pockets are, just to make sure nothing can soak through. However, I’m hoping that the softshell will be waterproof enough without that.

Because most of my winter walks result in me walking back home in the dark, I added a couple of reflective strips to the strap. They aren’t so large that they stand out in daylight and look weird, but hopefully it’ll be an added ‘safety feature’ for those dark walks. I’ve never tried using this reflective tape before, and I was struggling to get it to sew evenly so I fused some Heat ‘n’ Bond (the non-sew variety) to the back, and just ironed it into place.

The pockets were originally going to be softshell with a polycotton lining, but I decided it looked better if I used the polycotton for the outer, and the softshell as the lining. The bit of red softshell that’s visible at the top of the pocket, makes the pocket easy to find (otherwise it’d just blend in with the lining a little too much).

Hopefully if I get caught out in torrential rain again, this bag will actually keep the contents dry, and not absorb any of the water!


Pattern: Messenger Bag by Crazy Little Projects
Fabric: Magic Softshell from Mibs Fabrics

Bear Phone Case

I couldn’t decide on the fabric to make Mum’s phone case – so I made her two! This one is made from the same fat quarter design as her baseball cap, in case you’re wondering where you’ve seen it before!

Thankfully Mum’s phone is quite small, as when I tried testing the case for size with my phone, the strap wouldn’t meet the front section so there’d be no way to close it.


Pattern: Smartphone Case Tutorial by Dragon’s Flame Designs
Fabric: Fat Quarters from Hobbycraft

Woodland Phone Case

I never know what to make my Mum for her birthday, so it is always helpful when she puts in a request! This year one of the things she asked for was a new phone case… so of course I need to go one better and make her two.

This is made from my Phone Case Tutorial, although due to user error in marking out the pattern pieces, this is a little shorter than the original. As luck would have it, Mum’s phone is quite small, so it still fits perfectly!

Because it was a little shorter than it should be, I added in a popper and strap to close the case just to give a little ‘wiggle room’ in sizing. I do need to redo the popper though, as it has actually fallen off since then (oops).


Pattern: Smartphone Case Tutorial by Dragon’s Flame Designs
Fabric: Fat Quarters from Hobbycraft

Magic Softshell Bag – take two

I started a Magic Softshell messenger bag earlier in the year, almost finished it, then realised the dimensions I’d used for the pocket weren’t quite right. After some (unwise) unpicking, where I ended up making a small hole in the lining, I shelved the bag in the depths of my UFO pile.

Then I made the mistake of going for a 3 mile walk in torrential rain…. which came through the waterproof bag I had taken with me. So I realised I was going to have to make a replacement waterproof bag before the winter, as being England it’s likely to be quite wet!

Luckily I had enough of the Magic Softshell left over to cut a fresh bag, and armed with some patterned polycotton which I had left over from a previous project, I set to work cutting out a fresh bag, using current favourite bag pattern from Crazy Little Projects.

It’s not the easiest thing to get a photo of (the original softshell colour I was after, didn’t get enough interest to make the preorder, so this one was my second choice), but when the fabric is wet, the pattern of clouds and stars appears.

I’m sticking with my previous ‘hack’ of the pattern, to include a patch pocket with flap on the front flap, rather than messing with a zipped pocket. This actually makes it a lot easier to open, and there’s less things that can go wrong (like the zipper pull coming off when I try using the pocket!).

All the seams are sewn with a triple straight stretch stitch for strength, and I also zigzagged the curved corners just for ease of mind if I put anything heavy into the bag. The main seam stitches should be fine without that, but I like to be certain.

Just the lining to sew, then I can start putting it all together!


Pattern: Messenger Bag by Crazy Little Projects
Fabric: Magic Softshell from Mibs Fabrics

Showerproof “Quilted” Bag

I’ve had enough of soggy bags when I’ve been out for a walk in the rain, so I thought it was time I tried sewing one in a showerproof fabric. I spotted this laminated cotton with a nifty quilted picture printed on it at Mibs Fabrics, and thought it’d be ideal. I picked out an airtex mesh for the lining, and because that obviously has holes in it, added in a sew-in interfacing just to strengthen the lining a little.

The mesh was an experience to sew, having never used anything like that before! I found that backing it with interfacing also helped my eyes, as being able to see the dark table through the holes in the fabric was starting to get challenging.

Originally I was going to add a zipped pocket to the front flap, but I made a mess of the sewing on that, and had to improvise. Thankfully I had just enough fabric left to cut a (slightly short) replacement panel, and salvaged some of my mistake piece to make a basic patch pocket with a flap closure instead.

I think the flap works better for a bag that’s likely to get caught out in the rain though, as in theory the rain should just run off the flap, and not end up in the pocket itself!

I didn’t bind my seams with any waterproof tape, so I know the bag won’t be 100% waterproof, but I’m hoping it’ll be a great deal better than my usual bags bade from canvas!


Pattern:  Crazy Little Projects
Fabric: Laminated Cotton and Airtex Mesh  from Mibs Fabrics

Fabric: Laminated Cotton and Airtex Mesh  from Mibs Fabrics

Beachy Sunday My Way

Something a little different today, and my latest Sunday “My Way” bag! I wanted to try out my sewing machine’s decorative stitches, and what better way than on the top stitching for the pockets?

I added in a clear popper to both pockets just to help keep it closed, while hopefully not detracting from the stitching. 

I struggled with the curved edges this time – the lining ended up caught up in places, and even gets caught in the zip! I think that was down to inaccurate cutting in the first place…. maybe the lining is a bit bigger than the bag itself? 

I had added in some extra height to the bag, so I can fit a water bottle in it – I forgot to change the markings to enable me to match the front and side pieces together, which would’ve helped tremendously if I’d remembered those!

It’s still a usable bag (as long as I’m careful with the zip) though, and that’s what matters.


Pattern: Sunday “My Way” bag
Fabric: Fashion Fabrics

Criss Cross Card Holder Wallet

I’ve made several card holders before, but they’ve either not had a closure, or relied on either velcro or a button and hair elastic to hold them closed. After a friend mentioned how easy she was finding poppers to install into sewn items, I thought it was time I tried them out; and as luck would have it, I also came across the pattern for these Criss Cross Card Holders.

Although I haven’t made any ‘real’ new year’s resolutions, I do want to try and use up some of my fabric offcuts, so the triangular sections on these card holders might be the ideal use for some smaller offcuts. As a first attempt at the pattern, I used some of the ‘Skyline’ canvas-type fabric I had previously made a bag and notebook holder from.

It took a little while to get the placement right to make sure the skyscraper was visible…. then I realised that once the card holder was folded, the top of the skyscraper would actually be upside down (whoops!).

 

But it is perfectly functional as a card holder. The only thing I found which I wanted to change, was the card sections being a little too wide. I had a feeling that the cards might slide out a little too easily from that, so I decided to try making a second card holder that might be a little more suitable.

This fabric came from Hobbycraft last year – I’ve been waiting for the ‘perfect’ project to use it, and what better than a little card holder? I didn’t quite line up the popper perfectly, hence the slightly wonky front, but it’s still usable.

I increased the seam allowance when sewing the front and back together, and also increased the top stitching to 1/4″ which holds the cards in much tighter.

I’ve made some notes on the pattern so I know what alterations I need to make for future card holders.


Pattern: Craftsy
Skyscraper Fabric: Local fabric shop
Tigger fat quarters: Hobbycraft

A New Wallet

Mum had asked for me to buy her a new wallet for her birthday; it had to match the look of her old wallet, complete with a zipped pocket, and velcro closure, but that was easier said than done, as nowhere seems to stock a wallet that style now!

So instead, I decided to be reckless and have a go at making my own from scratch. After a rummage through my fabric scraps bag, I came across some suitable fabric, a zip I’d unpicked from a failed bag attempt, a small amount of velcro that Mum had let me have, and some bias binding that I think was originally earmarked for binding the seams on a bag.

With some measurements taken from the original wallet, and a little planning on paper to ensure I was able to put the zip in without too much trouble, I ended up with a passable wallet that looks almost the same in style as the original! The original wallet did use a more sporty fabric than the polycotton I’ve used, but this way Mum can have a unique wallet rather than something mass produced that everyone else might also have.

The only disadvantage of making Mum a wallet, is that now she has plans for a wallet for every season! But at least it means I’ve already got an idea what I can make her for Christmas.