Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Long & Short Handle Bag

Sometimes you want a shoulder bag and sometimes you want a hand held shopper. Well this bag can be both - yay! 
Adjustable long and short handles bag tutorial and pattern
Today I'm sharing a reasonably simple bag pattern which I made for a friend recently. It's an adaptation of the Velvet Topped Print Bag from the fabulous book 'The perfect Handmade Bag' by Claire Youngs. I LOVE this book, if you like making bags I cannot recommend it highly enough. I've added some links to buy it on Amazon at the bottom of this post. 
This project started when I saw a fabric pack at a reduced price at my local Hobbycraft store.
 
The pack had 12 10.5" squares of fleecy fabric in it, in 5  different designs. For this bag I used most of 10 of them. I have a few scraps left. You will also need something plain to line it, I used an old sheet. 

This bag is patchwork but that was because of the size of these squares. You could do any type of patchwork or simply use bigger pieces of fabric. 

The finished bag measures approx 14.5" x 17.5" or 37cm x 44cm

Because I used 10.5" squares and you may not, it makes more sense to list the sizes of the pieces you need to end up with, once any patchworking is done. 
Just join your pieces however you fancy with whatever fabric you have. Just make sure you end up with: 
2 outer pieces of fabric 15"x18" (38cm x 46cm)
2 pieces of lining fabric 15"x18" (38cm x 46cm)
4 pieces of pattern fabric 3"x4" (8cm x 10cm) for handle loops
2 pieces of patterned fabric 2.5" x 32" (7cm x 81cm) for the handles

Use a 1/4" seam allowance throughout.
Press any patchwork seams open before you start joining the bag up.

Join the outer pieces on 3 sides:
Join the 2 lining pieces in the same way as the outer pieces but LEAVE A 4" GAP in the bottom middle. THIS IS IMPORTANT!
Now box the corners:
Starting with the outer bag, press the seams open, then fold the bottom corner sideways so the side and bottom seam line up. Measure a line straight across 2" from the point and stitch across, making sure you reserve a few stitches at each end to make the stitching secure. Repeat for the other corner of the outer bag and both the lining corners.
This is what they look like from the outside.
 
Next make the handles by pressing a 1/4" hem on each long edge, then folding the handles in half lengthways. Pin and top stitch to close them but leave a good 2" open at each end.
Next you need to make the handle loops. Take the 3"x 4" pieces and fold then sew each one in exactly the same way as the handles - just much shorter!
Once your handle loops are made, fold them in half and position them, raw edges together, on the top edge of the bag outer, 2.5" from the seam edge.
I left them just pinned but you could tack them in place. You just need to be careful later if you leave them just pinned.
At this point you may wish to add a ribbon loop too - I forgot this step! If you do, just add a 4" (10cm) length of ribbon in the centre of the outer back, exactly the same way round as the handle loops.

Turn the bag lining right side out, and place it inside the bag outer. Match up the seams and pin then stitch the lining to the outer bag around the top edge. Go slowly when stitching over the handle loops and your machine will thank you.
Turn the bag right side out through that gap you left in the lining. Do this very carefully if you left the pins in the handle loops! 
bag making
Stitch the gap in the lining closed (on the machine or by hand) then give everything a nice press with the iron. 
Push the lining inside the bag then top stitch the top edge to keep everything neat and tidy. Again, go slowly over where the handle loops are, that's a lot of layers of fabric for your machine to deal with. 

Now thread your handles through the handle loops. One handle through the loops on the front of the bag and one through the loops on the back.

Join the handles up by placing the right sides together on those open ends and stitching across. You can see in this photo I only left about 1.5" at the ends and it was a bit of a fiddle, I think leaving 2" would make this easier! 
Turn the raw edges inside and top stitch to close.
Finally, add a button to the centre of the bag front. If like me you forgot to add the ribbon loop, just sew it on now as neatly as you can.
button bag closure
You could use a popper or velcro instead or leave a fastening off altogether. 

Adjustable handle bag tutorial
Your bag is complete! You can use it with the handles pulled up double to carry it in your hand or as a shoulder bag with the handles long.
Adjustable long or short handle bag tutorial

Adjustable handle bag tutorial
I went for a floppy sort of bag feel but if you wanted your bag to be more substantial you could add an interfacing of some sort quite easily too. 
Adjustable handle bag tutorial
Here are links to the book I mentioned at the top of the post, in case you are interested. These are Amazon Affiliate links.
To shop Amazon UK:

To shop Amazon USA:

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Sunday, 13 August 2017

Handmade Monday #38

Welcome to Handmade Monday, our weekly craft link up. 
Handmade Monday is a place to share your makes, bakes and other handmade craft ideas and find some new inspiration.
I'm still crocheting away on the Tea on the Green CAL, this week's new block is C2C (corner to corner).
I've seen it everywhere but never tried it myself - until now - I am blown away! It's quick and it's easy! I'll be doing more of this in the future, that's for sure. 

Here are the features from last week's Handmade Monday:
Lina from Sew Historically made this beautiful be-pom-pomed bag from a straw place mat - what a great idea. So ingenious! 


This bottle holder idea is from Let's get Sewing, it's a great, clear tutorial with both velcro and popper options. 

Congratulations to you both, here is a "Yay! I was featured" button for your blog.



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Handmade Monday is all about building a craft community, please so take a few minutes to visit some of the other links, leave a comment, and maybe share your favourites on the social media of your choice if you can.
We have a facebook group where we share useful or interesting things so send a request if you'd like to join us. 

The rules for Handmade Monday are simple:
  • Did you make it? Yes - hooray, we'd love to see it!
  • Add the link to a specific blog post, not your main site URL.
  • Link up to 3 posts each week.
  • Mingle - visit some of the other links - comment - sharelet's support one another and grow our craft community.
If you're not sure on anything, more information can be found here.

 




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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Felt Gift Card Envelope

Gift cards are such a useful gift idea but it's nice to make them a bit special by making them their own felt envelopes.
felt gift card envelope tutorial

This idea was one I originally shared over on The Pinning Mama a LONG time ago. Back then I had made Christmassy envelopes, so when I made a pink felt envelope for a birthday person I thought it was high time I shared it here with you.

To make a felt gift card envelope you will need:
  • Felt
  • Ribbon 
  • Thread (either matching or contrasting)
  • A Sewing Machine (you could glue or stitch by hand if you prefer though)
Cut the felt to a rectangle 11.5cm x 19.5cm (4.5" x 7.5") and cut a 13cm (5") length of ribbon
make an easy felt gift card envelope
Here in the UK gift cards are a pretty standard size - 8.5 x 5.5 cm. If yours are different it is easy to adjust these measurements to fit. Use the photo above to guide you.
Fold your felt in half, length ways, measure 5cm (2″) from one end, mark with a pin, then cut from the folded corner to the pin.make an easy felt gift card envelope
Remove the pin and open the felt out.
Fold the bottom edge up to just below the place the pin was. Position the ribbon across about 1.5cm from the top edge as shown holding in place with pins.
make an easy felt gift card envelope
Stitch in a straight line on both side seams, using a 1cm seam allowance. If you don't have a sewing machine you could stitch this by hand with a running stitch, or try a fabric glue.
easy felt gift card envelope tutorial
That's it! So quick and easy - you'll probably want to make loads! 
easy felt gift card envelope tutorial
You could make these any size. I imagine they would work for any reasonably flat gift , maybe a special photo or book, vouchers or tickets or even just cash.

I must really like making fancy gift cards holders as I've realised I have shared several over the years.
These made from old sheet music: 
sheet music gift card envelope
This origami folded envelope: 
origami envelope

And this little paper envelope with a cute button fastening:
button fastened envelope

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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Handmade Monday #37

Hello, welcome to another Handmade Monday link up, it's so good to have you join us this week. 
Handmade Monday is where we share our makes, bakes and other handmade craft ideas and find some new inspiration.
Before we go any further I want to give a shout out to the lovely Vicky who hosted Handmade Monday for over a year before it moved here. Vicky has now closed her craft business and blog.
(I had to be formal here as I only have 1 K!)
All the best for the future Vicky, whatever you decide to do now, I'm sure some sort of making will be part of your life - enjoy! Thank you for all the hard work you put in to Handmade Monday. 

I've been busy busy in every spare moment working on my crochet from the 'Tea on the Green' crochet along. The third block was released (makes it sound like a wild animal) on Friday so we have 3 to be working on now.

Each block has stitches that are new to me so it's been so much fun trying them out and getting to grips with them.
The facebook group is uber friendly too, so many people sharing their advice and support. 

Now on to the features from last week's Handmade Monday:
I love a good handmade birthday card and I love a good fabric stash buster. Kathy from Sparkles, Sprinkles and Everyday Crap (what a great blog name!) shared some lovely stitched fabric cards she made for special people.

'Waste not - want not' my nan always said. Wise woman. So she would have approved of these emergency candles that Laurie from My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies made from the kids old wax crayons. They are beautifully packaged up to turn them into great gifts too. 


Congratulations to both of you, here is a "Yay! I was featured" button for your blog.



Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Handmade Monday is all about building a craft community, please so take a few minutes to visit some of the other links, leave a comment, and maybe share your favourites on the social media of your choice if you can.
We have a facebook group where we share useful or interesting things so send a request if you'd like to join us. 

The rules for Handmade Monday are simple:
  • Did you make it? Yes - hooray, we'd love to see it!
  • Add the link to a specific blog post, not your main site URL.
  • Link up to 3 posts each week.
  • Mingle - visit some of the other links - comment - sharelet's support one another and grow our craft community.
If you're not sure on anything, more information can be found here.



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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Glitter Hand Lettered Greetings

Make easy sparkly greeting cards for family & friends with simple hand lettering.
Glitter Hand lettered Greeting Cards
This post contains a review of products I received free of charge and contains my honest review.

As I've mentioned before, back in July when I attended the Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts Show and the bloggers workshop I was given a goody bag with some lovely crafty goodies in it.
Tonic Studios products
In the bag was a great selection of products from Tonic Studios, several packs of cards, glitter, glues and Crystal Drops.
Jewel Tonic Studio product lids
First can we just talk about how pretty these products are? The lids are jewels - isn't that lovely? I think they would make great gifts for a craft loving friend.
I've been practicing hand letter again recently, not anywhere near as much as I should but still, practice makes progress. So I thought it might be fun to try making some simple hand lettered greeting cards.

The NUVO Deluxe Adhesive glue and the NUVO Crystal Drops both have a fine nozzle so it was fairly easy to just write with them.
  • Write a word lightly in pencil on the Craft Perfect Jet Black card and then go over it with the NUVO Deluxe Adhesive.
  • Sprinkle liberally with the NUVO Pure Sheen Glitter and then tap the excess away onto scrap paper.
Glitter Hand lettered Greeting Cards
The spare glitter can be tipped back into the pot ready to use again.
The glue needs 24 hours to dry throughly then it can be mounted onto a card blank.
Glitter Hand lettered Greeting Cards
The glitter sheds a little bit once the glue is dry but not too much at all. 

As my hand letter is still quite beginner-y I tried using a lovely font printed on the computer next.
I printed a selection of words in Bromello font (downloaded from DaFont) at font size 100.
  • Lay the printed word over a piece of Craft Perfect Electric Purple High Gloss card, positioning it centrally.
  • Trace over the word with pencil, pressing quite hard.
  • You'll be left with an indent which is fairly easy to see on the shiny surface. Easier to see in real life than on these photographs that's for sure!
  • Go over the word with the NUVO Crystal Drops and then set aside to dry for 24 hours.
Glitter Hand lettered Greeting Cards

I also had a NUVO Glue Pen in my goody bag and as it has a chisel nib I thought it might work for hand lettering too.
Glitter Hand lettered Greeting Cards
I made this card in exactly the same way as the ones using other adhesive glue. It's easier to write with the glue pen but the glitter sheds from this one A LOT more. Picture that trail of glitter everywhere....
The glue pen was perfect for mounting the card to the card blanks. I think I'll keep it for that from now on.

Lastly I tried using a cute hello stamp from papermania. I stamped it onto patterned paper, went over the stamped image with the NUVO Deluxe Adhesive then sprinkled then with glitter as before.
Glitter Hand lettered Greeting Cards
Glitter Hand lettered Greeting Card
So in summary, these products are high quality and the packaging is lovely.
Glitter in a loose format like this does end up spreading itself around the house, that's just how it is! The Deluxe Adhesive holds it in place pretty well though.
The Crystal Drop product is meant for making tiny little jewel like drops on papercraft projects. This means when you write with it, the letters have a lovely depth to them. They really stand up from the card. I'm not sure if the photos here really show that off properly, or if they show just how glittery the glitter is. I did a little video on Instagram to try to show that shimmer.
Glitter Hand lettered Greeting Cards
You don't have to just use this idea for cards either. I used the 'thank you' on black card with the adhesive and glitter as a postcard and just wrote a message on the back. It might be nice to make gift tags too or even write straight onto gift wrap with the adhesive or crystal drop. Just allow time for it to dry before handing it over! 

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