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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rag Bag Tutorial

 I worked on making my second purse last weekend so I could share with you all how to make one. As I said before, I was at a quilt show earlier in the year and met a great gal named Bobbie. Her business is A Vision to Remember.   I bought her pattern and decided to make some changes to it to suit my needs. If you want to buy Bobbi's pattern go visit her at her etsy shop.  

I chose darker fabrics for this one and I really like the way it turned out.  Are you ready for a tutorial???  Here we go!

Gather together your fabric and trim. Scraps are great for this project because no piece is larger than 9 X 9. You may want to buy a yard of the same fabric to use for the inside if you want the lining to all look the same. 

Here is what you will need:

Sewing machine
Assorted scraps of fabrics that coordinate the way you like.
1 yard of flannel lining fabric
1 yard of fabric for the inside of the bag
Thread to match your fabrics
Various ribbons and trims
Buttons (if desired)
Sharp scissors

Each section of fabric is made up of 3 layers. (1) The outside of the bag, (2) the inner lining and (3) the inside of the bag.  

 You will need to cut out:
4 sets of 3 layers for the fronts of the bag  (I called both these sections the front of the bag because there really is no back side. Both sides are going to be pretty )
16 sets of 3 layers for the sides, the bottom and the top part of the front of the bag on both sides.
4 sets of 3 layers for the top portion of the sides
Now comes the fun part.  Lay out your lace, buttons and trims and decide where you want each piece to go. Remember that after you sew everything together, each section will be an inch smaller because of the seam allowance. 
If you want to add pockets to the inside, do it now. Finish off the edges nicely and sew the pocket to the inside layer and the flannel inner lining. Do not sew it to the outside layer or you will see the stitches.  ( I forget to sew the pockets in when I made the bag for the tutorial, but here is an example from the first bag I made. I used the scalloped edge of the coverlet that I made the bag with.)

Sew your trims to outside layer only using at least a  1/2” seam allowance.  If you don’t allow at least a half inch,  some of your trim will get sewn into the seam rather than all of it showing. 

 This is what both the front sections of my bag look like.
This bag gets put together a little differently than what most of you are used to. Everything is sewed wrong sides together. In other words, You should always be looking at the outside of the bag as you are sewing. You want the raw edges to show.

Using a 1/2” seam allowance and a small stitch, sew the two 2.5 X 9” side pieces togethes well as the two 2.5 X 5” pieces together. Do this to both the sides of the bag.
Cut a slit in the seam 1/2” in on both the long side piece and the short side piece. Be careful not to clip the thread.
Sew both sections of the side piece together. Separate the slit so that the seam can travel between the fabric groove.

Add your trim to the side panel now by sewing as close to the stitched seam as possible. (I did this now, instead of earlier because I wanted the trim to go all the way across, and not get sewn into the seam dividing the piece.)

Sew all your sections together the same way, wrong sides together.   When you are finished you should have 7 sewn sections. (2 sides, the bottom, and 4 front sections for the main body of the bag. 

Now join the rest of your sections. I like to use safety pins to hold the layers of fabric in each section together while sewing.  Always clip the fabric if your stitching is going to be running over the seam. You want the raw seam to always be able to stand up, rather than getting sewed down into a section.  Sew all 4 sides together.
Lay your bag flat and trim off any bits of the layers that are sticking out, so you get a nice clean edge on the bottom.

Pin the bottom onto the bag, and sew together. This is the most difficult part of the project, but if you take your time, you should be fine.

Now cut 4- 2.5 X 28” pieces of fabric for the handles,  (I used the same fabric as the main body of my bag) and 2 - 2.5 X 28” pieces of flannel inner lining.

Sew the 3 layers together on the long sides using  the same 1/2” seam allowance. Do this for both handles.

Insert your handles into the top of the bag between the lining and the flannel inner lining. Pin everything together and check the handle length. If you need to shorten them, do it now.  Sew a 1/2” seam all around the top of your bag, securing the handles with and extra layer of stitching. (The circles are magnets I added to the bag for a closer. You can get them at most fabric/craft shops)

This next step is why you need a good pair of sharp scissors. About every 1/2” or so clip into the seams all over your bag. Be very careful not to clip the threads. It is a bit of a hand workout after a while, but the results will be worth it!

Now, take one of those nice big emery boards or nail files, and use it to rough up the seam edge. This part is messy because fabric threads will be going everywhere. This is where you really get to see how cool the bag will look.  You can also throw it into the washing machine if you wish. If you don't get the look you want, just go over it with the emery board again.

This is a shot of the inside of the bag, with the hankies I used as pockets. Because I forgot to sew them in in the beginning of the process, I had to hand stitch them in when I was finished.
Pin on a fabric rosette if you wish and you are finished!!

This is the other side.

And this is the white one again.  I hope I made the tutorial easy to understand. It's really not a complicated bag to make, there are just a lot of steps!! I hope you have fun. I would love to know if you make one and see what you have created!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The beauty of scraps

I've been managing to find a little more time to play in the studio lately. One of the things I really wanted to get done was a cute purse to take with me to Round Top, as I knew that every where I looked all you creative gals would be running around with fabulous handmade things. While at a quilt show earlier in the year, I saw several adorable rag quilts and purses and I knew I had to make one. Instead of using the quilting fabric that is usually used, I used scraps of fabrics I had around the house. The main part of it used to be a bed coverlet. I also used linen, burlap, cotton duck and white denim. I'm working on a tutorial, so I will share that with you soon.

One of the sweetest gals I met at Round Top is Riki Schumaker. She is terrific jewelry artist. She saw my bag and asked if I was interested in doing a trade. She wanted a little change apron for when she does her jewelry shows, and I wanted a piece of her jewelry. I came home with a necklace, and made her this apron. I am really happy with the came out, and I'm thinking I need another purse in some slightly darker colors!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Goodies in my suitcase

 It was very hard for me to limit my purchases from Round Top to what I could bring home in a suitcase. Somehow I managed though, and these are just a few of the things that filled my very full suitcase for it's trip back home. This sweet doll was my very first purchase. She did not however come from RT, but rather an awesome shop we visited on the way there called Bloom and Bee Swanky. It is by far, one of the coolest shops I have ever been in. I saw this sweet girl across the room and snatched her up when I saw the price tag. I thought $25.00 was very reasonable.
One of the things that was on my list to stock up on was lace and doilies. I'd say I did a pretty good job on that.  They were all over the place, but one booth had 2 huge boxes of them and 4 girls in our group (including myself) were rummaging through them like they were made of gold!! LOL!! We all got some pretty great pieces to use for all kinds of things!!!

I also got several old bottles to embellish, a cool key hole plate (no, I don't know what I will do with it yet, but I liked it, ) and this great porcelain doll hand that I will use as a bottle topper.

I was also on the hunt for old doorknobs to use for bottle toppers. Out here they can run 25.00 each.
I got these for about $7.00 each.  :)

I was so happy to find several movie reels. I had one already and wanted to add several more to the collection. I got them in all sizes and colors. My friend Cindy even found a couple while she was shopping and surprised me with them. I love the way they look!!

But, the main thing I was looking for was jewelry pieces. I must have bought every piece of rhinestone jewelry under $10.00 that I could find. I had so much fun setting it all out on my work table, just waiting to be made into some fabulous piece of jewelry.

It was really hard to get good shot. They really do sparkle in person. This is just a small sampling of everything I brought home. I've been wanting to make some jewelry for quite some time but I never had the stuff I needed (wanted) to make it. After Charlene and I got back to her place, she spent some time showing me some wiring techniques, and we took a trip to Hobby Lobby, where she showed me the stuff I could get from there.
As soon as I got back to Az, I sat down in my studio and I created this set.  The key, rhinestone pin, the brass piece and the rhinestone initial all were bought in Round Top. The wire, glass beads and pearls all came from Hobby Lobby. Charlene was a great teacher and I was very pleased with the finished piece. It was so much fun to make and I'm sure there will be a lot more jewelry to come, now that I've gotten my feet wet!

One of the coolest things I got, was this Magnolia Pearl jacket. Yes, I got caught up in the whole thing too!! And while I did make a few clothing purchases in other booths that I regretted, this is not one of them. It has the coolest shape and can easily fit into my current wardrobe.

Well that's the jist of it. There were other random purchases but these were my favorite things.
Now I know what to expect for next time!!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gorgeous Displays from RT/Marburger

One of the really great things about the  Round Top/Marburger flea market and show was the beautiful displays and vignettes. These first 2 were taken out on the fields. If I had driven and could have taken a trailer back home, it would have no doubt been filled to it's limit and I would have been in BIG trouble when I got home!!! LOL!!
I will admit, I am a sucker for garden furniture and decor. It just looks so peaceful and cool.

Inside the tents at Marburger were  treats for the eyes everywhere. This one got me because I have a thing for both green and brown transferware.

Yes, I know... more garden stuff, but isn't it just divine???

This display was so spectacular in person. The photo just doesn't do it justice. And I love those chairs!

Love, love, love that ladder.  Wouldn't you just love to have a loft office space with that ladder in it???

This display had a very contemporary edge to it, but still had a vintage flair. The flowers in the vase and on the napkin rings are all made out of paper.

I finally met Shelley of Sweet Pea Home while I was there. Her interiors are just lovely and I have followed her blog for a while now. I love this door with the chalkboard paint in it. One of these days, I will find just the right door to do that to.

Okay, okay... I know. More garden decor. What can I say????

Can you say... delicious???

I'm a sucker for empty frames hanging on the wall!!!!

I wanted everything in the room.  Too bad it wouldn't fit in my suitcase.  :(

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

God Blessed Texas

I'm back from the beautiful state of Texas!!! With it's miles of fences...

and fields of the most amazing wildflowers ever!!! I lived in Texas for 3 years when I was a child and my most vivid memory was all the Bluebonnets!!! 

I was so happy to discover they were all in full bloom when I arrived!

Other highlights were the Indian paintbrush...

and of course, the Longhorns!!!! 

then of course... THE SHOPPING!!!!!
These jewelry pieces were done by Paris Montana. I had no idea she was a local girl. I'm pretty excited to discover she is opening a shop right here in old town Scottsdale!!
There were cool things to look at everywhere! From beautiful handmade items....

to great additions for the home...

To tables full of yummy rhinestones and vintage jewelry.

I was on a mission to bring home as much rhinestone ans vintage jewelry findings as I could afford.
(I think I accomplished my goal), but you'll have to wait for another post to see my goodies.  :)

All that shopping was really hard work!!! (Don't you feel sorry for me.) So I took a load off on the coolest vintage bath tub lounge chair!!  To bad the beer was only a prop!!! LOL!

But my absolutely favorite thing, was meeting and hanging out with some of the sweetest gals I've ever met. What a joy they were to hang out with! This is all of us at the Blog Party, minus dear Karen from Some Days are Diamonds, who was feeling under the weather.  :(
We have miss Sandy Navarro of SMN Designs,  Charlene of My Hearts Ease, Susie Hibdon of Vintage Susie and Wings, (Me), Joy Campell from The Joys of Life
Rita (no blog yet), Cindy Craine from Lillys Lace, Riki Schumacher of Riki Jewelry and Diane Cook of Rosa and Josie's.

Next time, I'll show you some of my favorite idea's and inspirations!!

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