Friday, August 18, 2017

Bodacious Bowler Bags by Chris W Designs

Large and small size versions shown for comparison

I was delighted to be a tester for this new pattern from Chris W Designs - Bodacious Bowler Bags. It is one great pattern in three sizes. Make a Bowler for yourself and for your youngsters or grand children. They all feature a front slip pocket that is perfect for adding a special fabric your favorite embroidery design, an interior slip pocket and zipper pocket. Additionally, the large size has a wonderful easy access slip pocket that is perfect for phone or keys.

Finished sizes
      Large about 12.5" W x 9.5" H x 5" D
      Medium about  10.5" W x 8" H x 4" D
      Small about 8.5" W x 6.75" H x 3.25" D

 It is classed as an intermediate pattern and I believe that designation is correct. It is not difficult as long as the pattern and directions are followed step-by-step, because Christine has once again used her marvelous fabric engineering to put this together such that you end up with a very professional looking bag. It is a fairly quick sew (in fact I was able to make two sizes during the test phase).

Large size, front featuring a large slip pocket (that I chose to divide into two slip pockets).

Small size front showing large embroidered exterior slip pocket (the embroidering design is included with the pattern).

Large size back

Small size back
Large size showing inside zipper pocket.

Large size showing inside slip pockets.
Large size showing hidden slip phone pocket

Small from side showing front slip pocket
Small size inside showing both slip pocket and zipper pocket

Small size showing zipper pocket -- had a little fun by changing the slide from red to green to match the colors in the strawberries.
Large size base with feet.

Small size base
I chose to use quilting cottons for most of the exterior and interior of both bags. For the large I used a black faux naugahyde for the front slip pocket and black vinyl for the bottom trim and handles. For the small, I simply used all quilting cottons.

You can get your own copy of the pattern here. The embroidery design comes in both 3" and 4" and can also be purchased at

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Carriers Conquest by Chris W Designs -- November 2016 BOMC

Carriers Conquest
Once again, I was privileged to test for Chris W Designs--this time it was the pattern for the November 2016 Bag of the Month Club (you can still join the July to December 2016 BOMC) bag and what a great bag it is! In fact I wound up making two nearly identical versions that have now gone to two dear friends.

Bag 1 Front

Bag 2 Front
(The Carriers Conquest is a nice sized bag that finishes to 13" wide x 10" high and 4.5" deep with lots of special features to keep everything organized. It features two top edge roomy zipper pockets with a handy cell phone pocket. One of the zipper pockets has two slip pockets inside it. The roomy center compartment is secured by a flap with a magnetic snap and has two more slip pockets and a really cool pocket designed to hold up a wallet up the the size of the Chris W Designs' Penny Inn. You will be able to see these features in the photos below. Although this seems like a difficult bag, it is not! As always, Chris W Designs directions are very detailed and incredibly clear. You do have to read and follow them step-by-step. I usually just print the pattern pieces, cutting directions and the text-only directions and look at all the detailed steps and photos on my laptop. It saves lots of paper.
Bag 1 end

Bag 2 end

Bag 1 looking from the top
Bag 2 looking from the top
In the photos above, you can see the two top zipper pockets open, the cell phone pocket and the flap that covers the center section of the bag. The Bag 1 photo also shows the slip pockets inside one of the zipper pockets.

Bag 1 showing center section with
wallet pocket on the left and slip pockets
 on the right.

Bag 2 showing center section with
wallet pocket on the left and slip pockets
on the right.

Carriers Conquest bag 1

Carriers Conquest bag 2
This bag can be made in all fabric or a combination of fabric and leather or faux leather. I made both of mine in suiting-weight wool (gray), faux leather (black) with cotton linings (white with black dots and turquoise floral). This pattern is currently only available to July-December 2016 Bag of the Month Club Members (click link to join BOMC).

Until next time, may you sew with joy, stay healthy and be filled with God's awesome blessings!                                                                                                                                          Judith

Monday, October 31, 2016

Rubie Cross-Body Runaround Bag by Moments

Rubie front
I recently tested the Rubie Cross-Body Runaround Bag designed by Moments.  This elegant and stylish bag with unique diagonal pleats finishes to about 12" high (15" high with the cuff turned up)  x 12" wide x 3" deep. Although the pattern is designed for faux leather there are tips if you prefer to use cottons or home decorator fabrics. This is an intermediate pattern with excellent directions and photos for each step. You can get the pattern here.

Back showing set-in zipper pocket open
The pattern includes three options for the back....pleated like the front without a pocket, a set in zipper pocket (like I chose to do), or a full back slip pocket. It allows you to personalize it to your own particular needs and tastes.

Back showing zipper closed
 The photos above and below show the interior that features a zipper pocket, a double slip pocket and a key fob.

Interior featuring the key fob with the zipper pocket below
As you can see, I chose a lovely turquoise cotton lining.

Front with the cuff turned up showing the hidden slip pocket
If you are shopping and need more room, you can simply turn up the cuff and stuff a bit more inside. The photo above also shows the clever hidden slip pocket that is a perfect size for a cell phone or other treasures.

I absolutely love this bag (that immediately was claimed by my daughter) and plan to make several more.

Until next time, may you sew with joy, stay healthy and be filled with God's awesome blessings!                                                                                                                                          Judith

Lewis Cross Saddle Bag by Bags It

Lewis Cross Body Saddle Bag front
I recently tested the pattern for the Lewis Cross Body Saddle Bag by Bags It. It is a fine bag that finishes about 9" wide x 10" tall by 2.5" deep. It is really roomy without being overly large. The pattern is easy to follow with clear photos and is suggested for advanced beginners and above. You can find the pattern here.
I chose to do exterior in a suiting-weight wool and black faux leather. It was my first time creating piping in faux leather and it went really well. The pattern has a fine tip for reducing the bulk at the ends that worked perfectly.
Side View
I used a cotton lining. The photo shows the interior zipper pocket. I love the clean lines of this bag.

Until next time, may you sew with joy, stay healthy and be filled with God's awesome blessings!                                                                                                                                          Judith

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Miss Maggie by Emmaline Bags

Miss Maggie front featuring the Long John strap connectors

 I was delighted to test Miss Maggie for Emmaline Bags. The pattern is terrific, quick to sew and it is free from I chose to do my test in a pretty heavy faux leather with a cotton lining. Janelle created this pattern to feature all the new strap connectors and hardware she has in her shop. I chose to use the Long John. and they work great and were super easy to install.

Miss Maggie inside
Miss Maggie's base with feet
Another view of Miss Maggie from the front
I really loved this pattern and (of course) used Emmaline Bags hardware.

Until next time, may you sew with joy, stay healthy and be filled with God's awesome blessings!                                                                                                                                          Judith

Saturday, August 13, 2016

July Blog of the Month Club Bag -- Sadie by Swoon Patterns

Sadie front
I finally got a chance to finish my version of the July Bag of the Month Club pattern -- Sadie by Swoon. I made mine in vintage cotton and faux leather (vinyl). She was not a difficult sew--I did have issues with my machine and the thickness of the faux leather I chose. But I learned a lot!

Sadie finished to about 13" wide x 9" tall x 3-6" deep (there is a zippered gusset on the bottom that allows the bag to expand from 3' deep to 6" deep) as shown in the photos below.

Bottom zippered gusset closed
Bottom zippered gusset open
Front with flap open
 There is a large slip pocket all the way across the back that you can see below.

Back showing large exterior slip pocket
Interior showing large slip pocket
And inside there is another large slip pocket as shown in the photo above. The pattern and directions were clear and easy to follow. Included are tips for choosing and working with the vinyl. There are diagrams with each step. This is not a difficult pattern, but is probably better for intermediate sewers because the vinyl adds some challenges. I love the way she looks when finished.
Sadie front

Until next time, may you sew with joy, stay healthy and be filled with God's awesome blessings!                                                                                                                                          Judith


Kate Carry All Tote by Moments Designs

Recently finished testing the pattern for the Kate - Carry All Tote by Moments Designs. This is a giant tote designed for carrying to the beach, exercise classes, shopping trips, day trips, all the kid's stuff for a picnic or car trip and more!! She finishes to 14" high x 24" wide x 5" deep with and 11" handle drop. The pattern is designed primarily for faux leather and waterproof fabrics but includes directions for cottons and home decorator fabrics also. I live in the desert, so chose to make my version out of a vintage canvas type fabric with a cotton lining. My vintage canvas stripe reminded of beach awnings and umbrellas, so I can travel to the beach mentally.
The pattern can be gotten here.

Kate has some unusual features like only one side seam which means you are working with a big piece of fabric before you do that final side seam. It also has directions for piecing with four different faux leathers or fabrics which gives it a dramatic look. It is designed for the intermediate sewer.

Front showing hidden slip pocket

Inside showing zipper pocket with a hidden slip pocket, key fob, and more slip pockets
This is a well organized large tote as you can see from the interior photo above. I used a bright vintage cotton for my interior. I didn't want the interior to feel left out by bright exterior stripes.

As with all of Liz's Moments Designs pattern, this one is clearly written with lots of tips and illustrations for every step in the process. I always love working with Liz because she is great fun and very competent!! If you need a large tote, this one is great and is a relatively quick sew!

Until next time, may you sew with joy, stay healthy and be filled with God's awesome blessings!                                                                                                                                          Judith