Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog Party

This is the second year I'm taking part in the Grow Your Blog Party which is being hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full

This event is designed to help bloggers find new followers but more importantly to make new friends, so for those of you who are just visiting my blog for the first time, a very big welcome to you and hope you'll stop a while to take a look around.

Last year was so much fun visiting all the blogs that took part and it was a good way of finding new blogs and friends that I would have probably missed otherwise.

Before I start I want to say a very big thank you to all my faithful followers who always inspire me to create with their lovely comments and for those of you who are new to my blog now's the time to tell you a bit about myself so here we go.

My name is Maria, born in Spain, brought up in the UK from the age of three where I lived until 20 years ago when I moved to the Middle East. I'm married with two wonderful kids. My daughter is 26 and studied Textile and Fashion Design and now does what I do for a living only on a much larger scale and my son who's 23 is still at uni studying Physical Education.

I started blogging in November 2011 just to keep a record of the things I make and never imagined I would make so many wonderful internet friends becasue of it.

A few years ago I started doing bag testing and now it's a full time job for me. All the designers I test for are wonderful people and some have become close friends. You know who you are, I don't want to name names LOLL. I sell most of what I make but on occasion will keep some things for myself. I'm very fortunate to have a job that is my passion.

This blog started with bags and then I got into quilting and loved it so much that last year I did more quilting than bag making. In fact I even tested a couple of quilt patterns which I thoroughly enjoyed. At the moment there are loads of bags on the list to test but I really would love to start a quilt and have one in mind but need to find some time.

I also love making kitchen accessories and fabric boxes/baskets. In fact if anything can be made with fabric then I'll try it out.

Here's a collection of the things I made in 2014.

I hope you've enjoyed stopping by and hope you'll leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you and make new friends.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Be My Valentine

Just quickly popping in to show you some more things I made for the craft fair. These will be for Valentine's.

His and hers heart coasters. I fused fabric onto red felt with Wonder Web and then did some stitching around the edge. So easy and quick to make.

These fridge magnets were made in the same way as the coasters just smaller and with a magnet glued onto the back.

And lastly these fabric bracelets. Not really Valentine related but just fancied making them.

Thanks for stopping by

~ Maria ~

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Stocking Up

Because I had caught up with most of my work yesterday I decided to make some wristlets and pouches for the craft fair.

I had made these before, in fact I did a pattern review for both of them and they were so easy and cute that I wanted to make some more. I love Jane's patterns. Really packed with information good instructions and loads of step by step photos. You can see my reviews here for the Reversible Lunchtime Pouch and Sexy Zippy Wristlet and you can buy the pattern from Jane's Pattern shop HERE or Etsy shop HERE.

The only thing I did different this time round was I added fleece/batting to the wristlets and I didn't add the wrist strap.

These are my favourite ones though becasue they're reversible. So cute.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fallon Shoulder Bag

It's been ages since I posted, about two weeks actually. I caught a bad cold and was knocked out for three days. All I did was lay down and after that all my body was aching. I don't know how some people manage when they are ordered to have days and months of bed rest. It would kill me.Nearly two weeks on and I still have a runny nose LOLL and the occasional sneeze but I'm slowly getting back to normal.

Anyway I've started to get back to my sewing although a bit slower than usual. I finished testing the Fallon Bag a few days ago but the weather has been so grotty that I couldn't get decent photos to post here. This morning I couldn't wait any longer for the sun to come out so took some photos and hoped for the best.

Fallon is a lovely bag. It's very simple and plain which means that you can do loads to it if you want to. The pattern is by Karis of CloBird Designs and you can find the pattern HERE
I made mine with an adjustable strap but you can just do a plain strap if you want.

The pattern comes in two sizes with two strap options, recessed zipper top, magnetic snap closure and inside zipper closure.

I quilted the body of the bag with these wavy lines for two reasons, one becasue it's decorative but mainly becasue I don't have fusible fleece and want to make sure it stays put.

The recessed zipper that I put in is different to the one in the pattern mainly becasue my zips are very stiff and need tabs to hold onto to give them a good tug. Also it just goes to show how versatile this pattern is. You can easily change things around to suit your needs.

Having a main zipper is great for keeping everything secure and for even more security and becasue it looks pretty too there is a flap with a magnetic snap closure.

Inside is another zipper closure.

This is the smaller size of the pattern and I made it as a makeup bag.

Again the recessed zipper closure is different on mine.

Not included in the pattern is a third size which you can get by changing the printing size. My third one is between the size of the large and small makeup bag.

For this one I didn't add the main zipper or inside zipper. It's very basic. See how versatile this pattern is. If you wanted you could even add slip pockets.

The possibilities are endless. You could add an external zipper on the back of the bag or even a slip pocket. Just let your imagination run wild with this one.

I'm starting to get back into my usual sewing mode and have a custom order completed that I'll show you in a day or two and also I have quite a few test patterns coming that I'll be looking forward to sharing with you. I've also been accepted to test for a lady who's work I've admired for so long so I'm really excited about that and the last bit of good news is that a shop has decided to sell my bags for me. Yayyyy more fabric money LOLL

Thanks for stopping by

~ Maria ~

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Happy Bag Review

I made this bag the last week of December and I'm delighted too share it with you now.

The Happy Bag is the design of Rahimah at Imazzpatterns. Do you remember the Paris Clutch I posted about HERE, well that was her design too. This is the second of Rahimah's patterns I've tried and I love them. The patterns are so easy to follow with well written instructions and loads of photos.

I get to test a lot of different style bags and most of them are quite involved so it's really nice to try out a really simple one. This bag is perfect for a beginner and is quick to make.

In the pattern there is the addition of a button in the center of the top plain band but I left it out. I'm just thinking I could make a fabric flower pin in the floral fabric so there's a choice of using it or leaving it plain.

The name Happy Bag came from the smiling pocket on the front of the bag which is really big and perfect for keys, cell phone and anything else you want to be able to find quickly.

Also in the pattern the handles for the bag are made with the floral fabric on the outside and the plain on the inside but I did mine with the floral inside. I also decided to quilt my bag in these wavy lines.
The body of the bag is made from a thin denim fabric but if you used a thicker one it would work perfectly.

I bought this fabric to make hearts for Valentine's Day and love it. I thought it would be nice for the lining too. The bag has no zippers and inside a slip pocket divided in two. Perfect for beginners or those that have problems sewing them in. The bag does have a magnetic button closure which I left out.

I love this fabric. It's from my collection of fabrics I bought back in October when I was visiting my daughter.

And there you have it. A quick and easy stylish bag that is the perfect size for taking out shopping. The finished measurements are approx. : Height : 14 1/2 inches ( 37 cm ) Width : 13 1/2 (34 cm )
and you can use so many different fabrics for different looks. Perfect for a beginner as are all of Rahimah's patterns which you can find HERE, but great for the advanced bag maker because you can do so much with this bag like add a zipper pocket inside, a main zipper closure and you could even add a smaller smiley pocket on top of the existing front one in the plain fabric. The back of the bag is plain so you could add an external zipper pocket there. You can really go to town with this bag or just take it easy and make it as it is.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Companion Carpet Bag

First of all A Happy New Year to you. Hope you've enjoyed the holidays and are ready to start creating.

I want to start the New Year with The Companion Carpet Bag by Samantha Jane Hussey. This is the first bag out of six that are in the Bag of the Month Club. It's the second year I've joined and hopefully this year will get all six done. Luckily I was a tester for this bag so I'm ahead.

Ever since I started making bags I've wanted to make one this style but could never find the hardware so when I was picked to test was a little sad that I might not be able to make it because of that. Samantha came to the rescue though and said she would be providing the hardware so I was more than delighted. The fabric had been in my stash for about a year waiting for the right project and this one was it.

The Carpet Bag can be made in two sizes. Mine is the smaller one and is just perfect for my needs. This pattern is really easy to make up and very quick too. A confident beginner could tackle it.

I love the tubular frame closure and the gorgeous handles and tab that we were provided with. Samantha's pattern has clear instructions of each step accompanied by loads of photos for those who are visual sewers.

The handles are hand stitched on.

The front has a slip pocket with a magnetic button.

The tubular frame was so much easier to install than I had originally envisaged.

Inside has a zipper pocket on one side and a slip pocket on the other which can be divided into two but I just left mine as one.

I love how it opens up wide without flopping so you can see all your stuff inside.

I'm really looking forward to February's bag now. We don't know what it will be like until it's delivered to our emails, only thing we know is there are 6 designers each designing a bag for their allocated month. One other thing I do know is that all 6 designers are very talented so we are guaranteed a great bag each month.

If you'd like to join in the Bag of the Month it's not too late. Just go HERE and for $40 for 6 bags it's a bargain.

The designers who will be designing bags in the Club from left to right are:

January:   Samantha Jane Hussey from At home with Mrs H

February: Sarah Lawson from Sew Sweetness

March:     Anna from Noodlehead

April:       Janelle from Emmaline Bags

May:        Betz White from Betz White

June:        Christine Welsh from ChrisW Designs

~ Maria ~