a long overdue pattern review

February 28, 2011

I made some really great duffle bags quite a few months back and knew while I was in the middle of making the first one that I wanted to do a review of the pattern!  I think large bags are a real challenge for some people.  Not only because there just aren't that many great duffle bag patterns out there but also because they just use a lot of material.  The frugal part of me screams "too much fabric to use on one bag!!!"  But I really have to just get over that!  I mean, it is what we buy it for ladies, to be used!!  :)

 I got the pattern from my friend, and sponsor, Virginia!  She has an adorable blog to go along with her awesome etsy and big cartel shops!  She also allows you to sell the items you make with her patterns (the only exception is her owl patterns)!  She has a second super cute vintage shop on etsy where she carries vintage sheets and trims, patterns and other wares!

Her crayon art folio pattern has single handedly kept my first shop afloat!  Seriously, if any of you have kids, know kids, or are involved with kids in any way, you NEED to make one of these!  It is the only way Doug and I can eat out and stay sane!  :)

Ok, I totally got off the subject!  Duffle bag pattern!!!!  I really had fun with this one!  The shape is great, with rounded corners and a large zippered opening.  The size is perfect for a long weekend or even a week if you are a light packer.  I love that the pattern includes 2 sizes.  I made one of each and the kid's version is not only a good size for the little ones but would also make a great gym bag!

I used piping on the smaller bag and I love how it accentuated the lines of the bag and really make it pop!  Piping is also a great way to bring out a certain color in a print or add color if you are using something with a lot of neutrals.

 I think this is also one of those great patterns that lets you use some of those fabrics that you love but often find that the scale is just too large for other projects!  It would also be a great bag to add applique to or iron on patches or other embellishments.  (Hint, hint!  I may have something for you soon!!)

The sides and bottom of the bags are quilted to add a little padding.  I stuck with her suggestion of quilting the piece with a simple diamond shape for these bags but you could use any quilting style here for some added fun!  A pebble style or floral pattern would be really fun or just simple stippling!  The possibilities are endless!

I found the pattern well written and easy to follow.  I did need to adjust the length of the side panel/zipper piece but Virginia clearly stated in the pattern that you may need to do this and I had no problem fixing it to fit.  There are lots of great pictures to help you visualize the construction, which is always helpful.  All in all, I really loved it and want to make a few for my girls!  I think they would be fabulous in some Heather Ross Far Far Away 2!!!  :)

Head over and check out the duffle bag pattern and some of the other adorable (and super useful) designs that Virginia has for you!!

custom bib

February 23, 2011

I got to sew a little this weekend!  I was asked by a very sweet friend from high school to make a bib and burp cloth set for her cousin that has a new baby girl.  I had made one for my friend when she had her little girl and she loved it and wanted to share the fun!  :)  I used my bib pattern and just made the simple burp cloth using a gerber cloth diaper and adding fabric to the center section.  She also asked if I could embroider the baby's initial on the things for her.  It is always so nice to get a personalized gift that you know has been made just for you!  So here is the little gift set all ready to get messy and loved on!  :)

If anyone needs measurements for the burp cloth just let me know!  It is, seriously, the easiest baby gift you will ever make!

I started a new facebook page just for the little fabric shop to keep all of you updated on what is going on there!

sponsor love

February 9, 2011

I LOVE Keyka Lou patterns!  I promise I am not saying this because she is my sponsor!  She has, in my humble opinion, the very best bag and accessories patterns out there!  They are so well written, concise, have tons of great pictures and easy to sew!  Michelle is super nice and has answered any questions that I may have had quickly and clearly.
I finally got to sew yesterday and made 3 of these cute pouches from her new keychain clutch pattern!

ADORABLE! I usually don't make things for myself but this one is staying here with me!

I have to give Cally from Calico credit for the awesome fabric combo on this one which I totally stole from her!  Thanks Cally!! :)

These 2 are up in my little shop!

Here are few other bags I have made with her adorable patterns!

Michelle's (keyka lou) blog is jam packed with awesome sewing tips too!  She can tell you how to put in a magnetic snap, give you a comparison of the different types of interfacing and give specific tips and tricks on how to sew specific parts of lots of her patterns!!  I find it an invaluable sewing resource!  Head over and check it out!

another fabric giveaway!!

February 4, 2011

The lovely Jess from Craftiness is not optional is hosting a giveaway on her blog!  Head on over for one of 2 chances to win a yard of fabric from my shop!  I am not the only shop offering up goodies either so check it out!!!  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!
***I'm sorry, this giveaway is now closed!***

boutique style bib tutorial

February 1, 2011


I have been making these chenille backed bibs as gifts for friends and more recently as part of the baby gift sets that I sell in my shop.  They make a really great gift for a new baby, I mean you can never have too many bibs, right?!  They are comfy and cute and easy to make.


  • square of fabric 7 1/2" x 10 1/2" for top of bib
  • square of fabric 8 1/2" x 11 1/2" for bottom of bib
  • square of chenille 16" x 11 1/2" for bib backing
  • lightweight fusible interfacing
  • thread
  • ribbon, ric rac, or trim of your choice (optional)
  • rotary cutter/mat/ruler
  • 2" piece of 1/2" velcro
  • pattern for the bib top           
  • pattern for the bib bottom
Tape your two pattern pieces together making sure that the line that joins the two pieces is visible.  Please excuse my crappy hand drawn pattern, this is the first time I have done something like this on the computer!  :)

The first thing we are going to do is join the two squares of fabric.  Place your smaller square with one long side centered on a long side of your larger square with right sides together.  
Sew this seam with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press the seam allowances open.  You will end up with this.

Take your fusible interfacing and trim it to fit just inside this wonky rectangle you just made.  Fuse according to the directions.  I find that I get a lot less puckering if I DO NOT use steam.  

Flip your rectangle over and line up the seam on your fabric with the line on your pattern piece.  This is so that the seam doesn't end up all wonky on your finished bib.  

Carefully cut around your pattern piece.  You are going to cut the same piece out of your chenille.  You will end up with two identically shaped pieces.  I flip my chenille over so that the soft, fluffy side is down.  I think it is easier to get an accurate cut this way.  It also assures that your two bib pieces will match up perfectly.

Now you are going to add your ribbon or other trim.  Center the ribbon along your seam, use lots of pins to insure that it doesn't slip when you are sewing it down.  Sew along both sides of the ribbon (or down the center if you are using ric rac).  If you choose not to put something over the seam, I would recommend topstitching on either side of the seam to help stabilize it and to make it a little more attractive.
At this point,  we are going to add the velco and a label, if you have one.  Pin 1 side of the velcro to the right hand tab of the fabric bib piece and the other side of the velcro to the right hand tab of the chenille bib piece.  I position the velcro in the center of the tab about 1"from the curved edge.  

Now put the two bib pieces right sides together being careful to match up both tabs and, of course the rest of the bib.  Use lots of pins to keep the layers together and help to keep them from shifting.  The chenille can creep a little so I tend to pin closer than I would normally.  Make sure that you clearly mark a space at the bottom of the bib to leave open so that you can turn it right side out after it is sewn together.  The second picture shows my pen marks.  I leave an opening that is about 2 1/2" to 3".  

Starting at one of your markings, sew around the perimeter of your bib with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end.  Go slowly, especially around the tabs and the neck opening.  

Carefully turn your bib right side out and use a chop stick or turning tool to gently poke out those tabs.  Iron everything nice and flat with a steam iron.  Neatly turn under the edges of the gap that you left open for turning and iron them so that you can get it ready to close when you topstitch in the next step.  ***Remember to be careful ironing around velcro as it can melt!***

Pin your opening closed.

Topstitch all the way around your bib with an 1/8"-1/4" seam allowance.  Make sure you have thread in your bobbin that matches your chenille.  I always find it helpful to lengthen my stitch slightly when topstitching multiple layers or thick fabrics, like chenille.  It puts less stress on your machine and leads to a more even stitch length for the topstitch which is always more attractive!

Voila!  Now go find a cute, chubby little neck to put your bib on!!! :)

Other suggestions for materials and embellishments:

for the backing - 
  • terry cloth
  • minky
  • vintage chenille blankets
for embellishments -
  • appliques
  • ribbon
  • pom pom tim
  • lace
If you make any bibs using this tutorial, I would LOVE to see them!!!  Enjoy!  :)

***please note that this tutorial is for personal use only, thank you!***

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