29 July, 2014

Tips for Better Handmade Bags- interior pockets

Tips for Better Handmade Bags

This post is part of the series

A bag without pockets is a bad idea. Unless it is just a grocery bag, every bag deserves at least one pocket.

Inside pockets are something we are happy to stitch in a hurry to finish a bag. Usually we prepare the fabric for pocket, place it on the lining and stitch on three sides. It's not a bad thing but we could do more. We could add a little depth and volume to a pocket. Here is how.

Prepare the pocket as usual and place it on the lining in the desired place. Mark the center and stitch as in the picture below.

Tips for Better Handmade Bags

Make a fold at 1/2'' from the center stitching, to the right. Bring the fold toward the center.

Tips for Better Handmade Bags
And pin.

Tips for Better Handmade Bags
Do the same to the left of the center stitching.

Then pin the rest of the pocket in place and stitch along the three edges. Make sure you backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam.

Tips for Better Handmade Bags
It is just as simple and now you have a better place to keep a few things.
If you want even more volume, you could make folds near the outside edges too.

Tips for Better Handmade Bags

Some more tips:
  • Add interfacing to the fabric for pockets; I usually use quilting weight fabric and a lightweight interfacing. Heavyweight fabric doesn't need interfacing.
  • I don't like very large pockets. When I open a bag I don't like to see the content of the pockets exposed.  I prefer to divide a big pocket.
  • If the fabric for lining has a dark color or busy print, it's a great idea to use a contrasting fabric for the pockets. In this way, it is easy to "see" inside the bag. 
You could do even more for keeping safe the content of your bag: you could add a zippered pocket. More about it in a future tutorial.
Click below for other tips.



10 Tips for Better Handmade Bags

I am writing/making new bag patterns and I am determined to make better bags. All it takes is a little more time and more attention to small details. The reward will be a more beautiful bag that will last longer.

We love to make bags because we can make them fit our needs and we can use the favorite fabrics. There are so many creative options use can use to make an unique bag.

We love the store-bought bags too, with those perfectly stitched details. Practice makes anything better. Maybe I will not stitch perfect zippers every time, but I try to offer my friends and pattern customers the best of what I can do.

I am glad to share some little tips with you all.

 Tips for Better Handmade Bags
PIN this for later

Click on the pictures bellow to find out more.

1. Fabric and Interfacing

2. Lining

3. Bag bottom

4. Interior pockets
 Tips for Better Handmade Bags- pockets

Exterior pockets

6. Straps

7. Closures

8. Pressing

9. Topstitching

10. Sewing machine needles and presser feet

How to keep a bag organized
How to care for your bag


22 July, 2014

New Raw Edge Applique Quilt and Pattern

Here is my new quilt - "Color Your World'. The center design measures only 26'' and the quilt is 34''.

 Raw Edge Applique Quilt Pattern

This is a similar design with Windows into my World.  This pattern is one of my best selling patterns and I did not expect that, because English paper piecing requires a lot of time! 
So I thought to design something similar but:
- with more blocks and more colors
- more complex design
- easier and faster technique
See below the difference between the two quilts.

 Raw Edge Applique Quilt Pattern
Fusible raw edge applique is a quick and easy technique- I made the top in a few hours.

 Raw Edge Applique Quilt Pattern
I loved to quilt this size!!

 Raw Edge Applique Quilt Pattern

 Raw Edge Applique Quilt Pattern
All the fabrics are Kona cotton.

 Raw Edge Applique Quilt Pattern

On the blocks I quilted with a light beige Aurifil 50wt thread (#2310, a beautiful neutral thread).

 Raw Edge Applique Quilt Pattern
I paired the thread with a Jeans needle and the quilting over the fusible appliques was a lot of fun.

 Raw Edge Applique Quilt Pattern
The quilting on the background was fun to do too.

 Raw Edge Applique Quilt Pattern
I took the time to mark some arcs (with a transparent plastic circle template I found in a big box of CDs).

 Raw Edge Applique Quilt Pattern
Then I filled the shapes with feathers. I love how the quilting textured the background.

I love the combination white thread+beige fabric even more.
I remember how skeptical I was about this color combination and how I changed my mind when I made this bag.

What do you think? I think the combination is subtle but still strong enough to draw your attention.

It was a pleasure to make this quilt, from start to finish.

 Raw Edge Applique Quilt Pattern
Pattern available, if you want to make a quilt like this one. Thank you for your huge support to my little pattern business!

Raw Edge Applique Quilt Pattern

Now I have a lot of bags to sew!

Have a great week,

19 July, 2014

A New Hexy Bag

And a surprise I planned with my friend Luminita.
I gave the hexagon virus to her some time ago and here is her first project.
She stitched the hexagon front and I stitched the bag.  A present for one of her friends made out of her first hexagon flowers.
I love a few types of interfacing but I love the look and feel of a quilted bag too.

I quilted everything on a layer of batting and a home decor fabric.

The black fabric is heavyweight cotton from Ikea.

It has a zipper closure and a crisp lining (I added interfacing to it).

I learned to make an infinity scarf too! I am so glad I had a chance to make one. I am sure I will make a few this fall.

Have a great weekend,

13 July, 2014

Perfect Pillow Corners

While looking for some tips for better photography, I found this video.

It's so easy to make your pillows look better! I just applied this. Check it out.

Have a great Sunday,

10 July, 2014

My New Raw Edge Applique Quilt and Pattern

I made this quilt thinking of you! I wanted to make something similar with this quilt but at the same time something that can be made in days and not months or years! And what technique is faster than raw edge applique? (Ok, maybe this one?)

raw edge applique quilt pattern
The quilt is 55'' and the flower sphere measures 42''- a manageable size!

raw edge applique quilt pattern
Are you bored with my feathers on hexy flowers?

raw edge applique quilt pattern
All the fabrics are Kona cotton and the background is white.


I loved that I took the time (wow, 5 minutes!) to mark some circles on the white background and quilt those flowers between pebbles.

raw edge applique quilt pattern
It's quilted with Aurifil 50wt. White on white and on the flowers a natural color.

The Jeans needles were of big help!

raw edge applique quilt pattern
Do you remember the binding?

raw edge applique quilt pattern
And here are a few "work in progress" pictures.
All the pieces were appliqued with fusible web.

raw edge applique quilt pattern

To achieve the mosaic effect, I trimmed off a little from each edge of all the pieces.

If you remember this, now you know where they come from.

The beginning!

Yes, I marked the top and then I pressed over markings; no problem after I washed the quilt.

My sister Nina helped me and we made the top in three days.

 raw edge applique quilt pattern
The quilting keeps the pieces in place. After the design was fused I made the quilt sandwich and started quilting. I tried to quilt as close as possible to the edges.

raw edge applique quilt pattern

Usually, after weeks on designing and working on a quilt, when it is finally finished, I don't feel the excitement of the beginning anymore. No, it doesn't disappoint me. I am bored and tired of it, because the quilt was already stitched in my mind 10 times before it was actually finished.
I finished it one week ago and I kept it rolled. Now it's hanging on the wall and I have to admit it is a wonderful quilt! it's even more beautiful than I imagined it could be.

What do you think?


Pattern available!!

raw edge applique quilt pattern
I am linking to Finish it Up Friday.


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