Bento Box Lunch Tote

Eleanor uses boxes for lunch and when I’m creative, it gets prettied-up. I love the idea of cute, well-packed bento boxes. Here are a few of my favorite inspiration blogs for bentos:

I had picked up two cheap Daiso (we are lucky to have one at our mall) bento bags at the beginning of the school year, but they are falling apart already. Here’s her new one made from Ayumi’s tutorial at Pink Penguin.

New Bag Design: the first is for me!

The day started really great with my wine bag making it to the front page of Etsy and two conversations in the shop. They were my first conversations as a seller, so its a benchmark! We’ll see if the reserved sale actually happens.

Etsy questions

I wasted time searching and searching through Etsy’s How-tos looking for instructions on the specifics of how to do a reserved listing. If its a batch sale, is it better to list the quantity as 1 or the actual quantity? I think I made a mistake and listed 10 of the items. So, I was charged $.20 for each one, and the buyer will have to enter the quantity as 10 ,and there is greater room for error. If I had done 1 (which is a group of 10), and just upped the price to reflect the proper quantity, that probably would have been fine. Not sure if that’s ethical though. So that was a little stressful because I wanted to get it right.

BUT, I will make mistakes.

<Big sigh.>

New Bag Design

I worked hard on a new design today. Lost my temper at my machine and my children. Both were misbehaving. I guess I did too, a little. I’ll be carrying this one around for a while, because I don’t really like the Amy Butler Design I made a few months ago, so I need a replacement. And, of course, the first one always needs design adjustments. I’ll be adjusting the straps to be thinner, and how the blue applique lieder-hosen-looking-thing is attached at the straps. I like the way it falls. The front pockets need to be deeper. (Thanks Naomi, for carrying the inspiration!)

Working Hard! I Can Do It!

I am working hard on a new design for a clutch/handlebag for the shop. It was inspired by this poster, so it will be named the Rosie Riveter Handlebag or Clutch (Depending on if I add the little handle). Here’s a sneak peak.

Custom Knitting Bag

I’ve been working on a custom designed bag for the last few weeks. Technically, its my first profit since I decided to look into selling my handmade stuff. So, here it is, Liz’s Bag:
Liz asked for a large knitting bag that was stylish, roomy,  lots of pockets on the inside…with a little vintage flair. She isn’t a “fru-fru” kind of gal, so I went with fabric that was graphic and bold.Making a pattern comes easy for me, but making a pattern that is repeatable was a discipline! So, I made two mock-ups before cutting the designer fabric. I now have a pattern that works great and can be made it about 2 hours.Happy knitting Liz!

I have Liz Knits Bags for sale in my Shop:

Amy Butler Sweet Harmony Bag

For Christmas, one of the items of my list was Amy Butler’s Sweet Harmony Pattern.  I just finished. It was a bugger to sew. I think I used too heavy of fabric (similar to lightweight denim), and my sewing machine just doesn’t have the power to drive the needle through all the layers. Stitches are showing at a few of my seams. grr.

The thing I like best about this pattern is the cell phone pocket hidden in one of the exterior pockets. Handy. I’m not crazy about the handle design, but its sturdy. The pattern calls for two magnetic closures, but I skimped and used one. I always seem to get my closures too close to the seam line, and end up having to hand-sew the over stitching near the snap, since my sewing foot isn’t able to do it…Oh! I just had a brain storm! A zipper foot. Next time I’ll use a zipper foot around it. That should do it!

I also had a hard time with the lining. Getting it to lay flat. It wanted to bunch where the interior pockets met the side panel seam lines. I ironed it to death, but I’m not completely happy with it.

I love the happy fabric and lining! The pattern called for fusible fleece. This was my first time using it. Not crazy about it. I think I’m partial to floppy bags, and the fleece gives it a firm shape.

The pattern also included a larger size for a tote bag. I may give it a shot as a baby bag for an upcoming baby shower (of which my church keep me busy attending).  I’m curious how a lighter cotton fabric will feel with the fusible fleece.

Buttercup Bag

green floral bagA friend of mine saw a burp cloth I made for a baby shower gift and went bonkers over this green rose-spray fabric. She wanted me to make her a quilt with it, but due to expense and my lack of desire to make a quilt…I surprised her a bag instead.

Buttercup Bag

What a cute name, eh? The pattern is free and easy. My friend says the only complaint for her is that it needs to be a bit deeper.

Time

2 hours.

Quilted Patchwork Wine Bag Tutorial

Wine Bag

Giving a great bottle of wine? Wrap it up in a great wine cozy. Your friends will know there is something special inside!

Cutting out

Lining: Cut  one piece 12.5 inches x 15.5 inches and one 4 inch circle.

Batting (I used felt):  Cut  one piece 12.5 inches x 15.5 inches, and one 4 inch circle.

Scrap squares:  Cut 20 3.5 inch squares of miscellaneous fabric.

Squares

Bottom of bag fabric: Cut one 4 inch circle.

Ribbon: 35″ long

Making the patchwork

1.       Lay out your squares in a 4 x 5 grid to match colors or designs as you desire. Follow your grid when constructing the squares.

2.       Using a ¼ inch seam, sew (or serge) two squares right sides together along one seam.

Two squares

3.       Add a third square to the row and sew along one of the sides.

Three squares

4.       Add the forth square, sew, and press the seams flat.

Four squares

5.       Do this to all 5 lines of squares, so that you end with 5 rows of 4 squares sewn together.

6.       Now, sew 2 rows together along the long edge, being careful to match the seams.

7.       Add the remaining rows until your patching is done. Iron all seams flat.

Two rows

8.       The finished size should be 12 ½ inches x 15 ½ inches.

Finished Patchwork

Quilting

1.       Using a yardstick and a quilter’s pen, draw diagonal guidelines across your squares to form X’s in the center of each square.

Quilting lines

2.       Place your batting on the wrong side of your patch worked piece. Pin in place.

3.       Starting with the center line, sew (or hand quilt if you wish) the straight lines, stitching the patch worked piece to the batting underneath. Sew all the diagonal lines.

Sewing Quilting lines

4.       Trim up the outside edges, if needed.

5.       Use damp cloth to erase the quilter’s  pen lines.

Finished quilting

Constructing the bag

1.       Fold your quilted patch worked piece lengthwise in half and pin to insure your seams match up. Stitch along the long edge making a tube. Iron seam flat.

Sewing

2.       Place batting circle on wrong side of fabric circle. Mark an X through the center of the circle and sew (or hand quilt) the lines.

Circle

3.       Pin quilted circle around the edges of one side of the tube to form the bottom of the bag, right sides together. Sew, then iron.

Pinned bottom

4.       Turn your bag right side out.

Right side out

5.       Now take your lining fabric, and fold in lengthwise in half, and stitch along the long edge leaving 3 inches open in the center to turn the bag later. Iron seams flat.

6.       Pin the lining circle around the edges of one side of the lining tube right sides together. Sew, then iron.

7.       Place the patch worked bag (right sides out) inside the lining (wrong side out).

8.       Sew the top edge of the lining and patch worked bag together.

9.       Turn the whole thing right side out through hole in lining seam. Slipstich seam hole in lining shut.

10.   Push lining to inside of bag, topstitch seam 1/8″ from edge and iron 2″ down over patchwork to form a cuff.

Sewing cuff

11.   Knot the ribbon on both ends, fold in half, and then sew it to the bag  just under cuff edge.

dsc01619

Now just insert your bottle, tie it up and give it away!

Insert bottleTied Bag

Don’t want to make one? Check out my store and buy one instead!