It’s Great Fun to Sew Handbags!
I know, you’re never going to sew five handbags from the same fabric collection. Yet, I thought you might be interested to see how prints and solids combine to create classy bags and totes.
First, the Fabric!
We received fabric yardage from the new collections at Riley Blake Designs. It was like Christmas! At first I selected fabrics from the many color ways, then I decided to go with a one color scheme. Navy and Chartreuse are a fresh, winning combo. Keep in mind that the market is one season ahead of the actual time of year, so spring is what we’re thinking about! Then, my staff and I auditioned fabrics for the various styles, choosing larger prints for the bigger bags—the obvious choice.
Easy-to-Sew Bags and Tote Templates
There are two templates in the Hobo Tote collection. Great for fat-quarters or a fabric duo, this is my go-to BIG bag. For traveling to and from work, the studio, or errands around town, this bag holds a lot.
We auditioned a variety of ribbons to accent the horizontal seams. Not finding one ribbon that we liked, a narrow ribbon was stacked on top of a wider ribbon and stitched. Presto, the ideal accent.
Town & Country Bag
This was one of the first handbag templates that I designed for Clover in ’08. Since then I learned to add a layer of Peltex as an underlining to give the bag shape. The sew-in Peltex, a craft interfacing, is something that we use in almost all of our bags. It wasn’t available 6-years ago (or I didn’t know about it) and the addition of that interfacing has made a world of difference in the appearance of my handbags.
Since Peltex is stiff, I recommend trimming out the dart and zigzagging the edges or legs of the dart together with a wide zigzag. Then, spread the seam apart. The zigzag stitch spreads apart and the Peltex lies flat. Machine baste this interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric and proceed. Important Note: We fuse interfacing to the wrong side of all cotton fabrics, and we add a layer of Peltex to each and every bag. Take a quick peak inside the bag! We used light, fun fabrics for the lining.
The Florida Tote
I like this size tote, because it is also a great handbag size. With pockets on the outside and inside, it’s roomy and convenient to carry.
The seams are accented with Wrap ‘n Fuse Piping. Your iron does most of the work. All you need to do is wrap fabric around the piping and press. The fusible web casing around the cording eliminates the first sewing step. Convenient!
The City Bag
The City Bag is the second of the original bags that I designed for Clover and the favorite of many. After it was finished it needed a focal point. Stacked buttons to the rescue.
Dress Your E-tablets in Style
Using fat quarter cuts of fabric or leftovers from your bag project, create a coordinating tablet keeper for your iPad, Kindle Fire, or any of the other e-readers. The original Trace ‘n Create Tablet Keeper Template set is your choice for an iPad, iPad mini, the original Kindle, and a host of other tablets. To find out which tablets fit the template set, click here. If you haven’t made a tablet keeper, we have lots of online instructions to guide you through the process. After I designed the tablet keeper, we were all introduced to the Kindle Fire, Nook, and a host of other e-readers/tablets that were different sizes. So, Trace ‘n Create tablet Keeper 2.0 was born! Click here to find the listing of all the e-readers that will fit these Trace ‘n Create tablet Keepers.
What’s Your Favorite Handbag?
Vote for your favorite handbag by leaving a comment below. One random winner will receive the template they voted for.
- Nancy’s Hobo Tote
- The Town & Country Bag
- The Florida Tote
- The City Bag
Bye for now,