Handmade Faux Leather Shoulder Bag – Made From an Ardente Design Purse Pattern

Wow!  It’s basically been a month since I last worked on a purse!  So much has been going on that I just haven’t had any time to tackle one.  I’m super excited for this one because it’s the most detailed bag I’ve attempted in quite some time- maybe ever.

It’s also exciting because it’s for my own personal use! My current purse has served me well for a lot of years, but it’s just worn beyond it’s time.  The edges are peeling off, and the straps are falling apart.  I realized I better retire it before it falls apart while I’m out and about.

I normally try to create my items without patterns if I’m able, but sometimes it’s too much of a hassle trying to figure out all of the dimensions and steps.  I found a PDF pattern on Etsy from Ardente Design, so I was able to get started on it right away.

The pattern itself was a little…frustrating.  There are a lot of important details not mentioned and a few differences in lingo that could really confuse a beginner.  Some areas really took me a moment to sort of “decode” what the instructions were trying to say.  The upside is that there are a lot of pictures provided to help.

For the bag, I tried to use as much fabric that I had on hand already.  I used a soft, tan vinyl for the main body, a linen remnant for the main lining, and a plain beige broadcloth.  All fabrics were purchased from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I was so fortunate to have zippers on hand already as well!


My favorite part of this pattern was making the straps!  I LOVE the technique and I know I’ll definitely incorporate it into future bags.


I wanted to use the black and white linen for the entire lining, but since it was a remnant, there wasn’t enough.  I think the beige fabric ended up giving it an interesting contrast so I’m pleased!

Surprisingly, the part I struggled with the most, was the smaller zipper pocket in the main lining!  I don’t know if I was just too tired, or the linen moved too much, but I had to put it away for the night or else I was going to throw it out the window!!  The next day, I ended up ripping out the stitches and starting again.  It was worth it!


Overall, I love it.  It’s super sturdy with lots of room.  However, I do wish it was slightly smaller.  I wanted a large shoulder bag, but it’s just a little wider than I thought it would be.  Can’t wait to make another one!

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Handmade Mini Quilted Suedecloth & Faux Leather Tote Handbag

I hate when I get the urge late at night to start making something because I just know I’ll stay up waaaaay too late working on it.  Of course, that was the case last night.  The result, this mini quilted handbag:


You wouldn’t believe, but this started out as something COMPLETELY different.  I was just sort of “wingin’ it” so it’s no wonder it ended up totally opposite of what I originally had in mind!  I’ve been wanting to do a large shoulder/tote bag out of this material so this made a great miniature mock up.  

This was the first time making handles like these, and it was easier than I thought.  It wasn’t wise however, to attempt sewing them on while being so tired.  What a pain to put on!  It also didn’t help that I had to put them on once the main body of the bag was already constructed (due to my “wingin’ it”).


I can’t wait to make a full size quilted tote, but next time I’ll be more prepared.  It would be super cute to add some rivets, a snap closure, and a pocket inside.

Stay tuned!

Black Vinyl/Faux Leather Bucket Bag

This is one of those projects that seems like it’s on the right path until you get about half way done, and realize you want to throw it across the room.  Even though it came out basically how I envisioned, there are quite a few things that need to be fixed.

I even went back and forth on whether it would just be a shoulder bag…no, a bucket bag…wait, shoulder? No, definitely a bucket bag.  Lol most of this happened because I was too lazy to write and plan out my process before starting.  The whole point is to build prototypes and patterns anyways so it’s not entirely a bad thing.

Overall, I’m happy it worked out and I know I’ll be super pleased once I make the necessary tweaks that will really up the quality of the handbag!


Brown Faux Suede Fringe Clutch Handbag

Stayed up waaaaaay too late last night working on this clutch.  It took me so long just to get motivated to start, but once I did, I couldn’t stop.  The original vision I had in mind was for a crossbody bag, however I didn’t have any matching hardware to make it possible.

This was the first attempt using both faux suede and fringe in a sewing project.  It was surprisingly easy to work with.  I didn’t need any special needle and my regular machine foot worked fine.

The whole basis for the clutch was actually because I wanted to use the Aztec print fabric that I used as the lining.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it for some reason.  Even the woman at the cutting table was drawn to it and wasn’t sure why.

I love that it is colorful and fun, and stands out so well against the faux suede without being overly bright and loud.


I still have some faux suede left over so I want to play around with it and see what else I can come up with!

Handmade Baby or Infant Onesie Part 2

Just a quick post for the second handmade baby onesie I just finished.  This time I chose to use the sleeveless style from the same Mammacandoit pattern found HERE.

I decided to use the same main fabric instead of a woven for the snap area, and I like it much better.  It was a little more difficult to maneuver, but I prefer the way it looks.  It also caused a difficulty when putting the snaps on because it was thicker, but they came out more aligned and more neat than the first onesie.

I wish I had enough matching thread to use in the serger, but I wasn’t about to go buy more just for one project.  Considering it won’t show, the white was fine and more importantly, I didn’t have to change the threads!  

I thought I picked out the same knit material, but I soon realized this one was much thicker and stretchier.  It was a little bit more difficult to work with so I did get some pinching and bunching in some areas.

Loving making these and I hope more of my friends start having babies so I have an excuse to make more!  Next up, I’ll try out the long sleeve style when I pick up more fabric!

Taking a trip down memory lane…

I recently shared this photo on instagram from 2012.  It was one of the first garments I ever attempted to draft completely from scratch.  I had done plenty of items from manufacturer patterns, but this was the real deal.  I draped it on the stand in muslin, did test fittings, etc!  I think this may have even been the first time I tried using an invisible zipper.


Don’t get me wrong, it was far from perfect.  The fit still needed work even after the adjustments, but overall she was happy and nobody would ever know it didn’t come from a store.


In no way do I dream of being a “designer” or having my own clothing line or any of that.  I genuinely enjoy the process.  I love drafting, sewing, and actually seeing the product develop in front of my eyes.  I’ve got an exciting and challenging new adventure in the works, so I’ve been trying to get my focus and mindset back into doing this.  Looking at some of my old pictures is reminding me that I can do it.  It’s most definitely going to be my biggest crafting challenge to date, and I’m sure there will also be plenty of missteps to share along the way, but I’m confident I can do it!

DIY Dog Harness Part 2: Valentine’s Day

Super excited that I was able to fit in TWO fully finished sewing projects this week!  I’m trying out a few different ways to get the perfect fit/style for Karla’s dog harness.  For Round 2, I really wanted to make her a cute Valentine’s Day themed harness (mainly so I could browse all of the cute seasonal fabrics at JoAnn’s).  This dog harness was a major improvement from the first trial, and I can see a few more areas I’d like to adjust.

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DIY Valentine’s Day dog harness with parachute buckle

I ditched the velcro closure and opted for a parachute buckle, which makes the harness way more secure and sturdy.  I didn’t have the adjustable piece for the buckle so I had to make sure the nylon strapping was made to fit.  It’s okaayy, but I think on the next trial I will go ahead with an adjustable option to make for a better fit around her rib cage.  I think the neck strap needs to be shaped a little better as well (although I like that it is a little loose so it’s not choking her).  For the chest/belly strap, I thought I was going to like bringing more of the fabric up around her back, however, I’m still deciding if I’d prefer it shorter with longer strapping.

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Closure across dog’s back…buckle feeds through top strap loop (not shown) before connecting closing buckle

I also added an extra layer of batting inside for extra warmth and comfort.  I also like that it gives the harness a more soft and cushioned look overall:

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Chest/belly side of dog harness includes layers of batting sandwiched between the outer fabrics. Provides comfort and gives shape and stability.

Overall, I’m really happy with this trial harness.  It was totally functional and gave her plenty of movement to run freely.  Hopefully, I can improve this piece even further, and settle on a standard harness pattern with a perfect fit!

Repost: Easy Single Fold Continuous Bias Binding Tape Tutorial — Sew Dainty

I’ve slowly been seeing this continuous bias tape method around the internet, but this tutorial is clearly explained and easier to understand.  One of the best ones I’ve come across.  Check out the post from Sew Dainty:

I love a bit of handmade bias. I have made lots and lots of it over the years. Up until recently they were all for dressmaking and accessories. But last week I used some handmade bias to bind the edge of my first handmade quilt – blog to follow. Whilst it is fairly easy to […]

via Easy Single Fold Continuous Bias Binding Tape Tutorial — Sew Dainty

Project Review: Accordion Coupon/Receipt Organizer

One of the goals I’ve set for myself is to work on projects consistently throughout the year.  I want to make sure that I’m working on SOMETHING weekly, even if my schedule only allows a few hours a week.  Not only is this great for working on technique and fundamentals, but it’s giving me the chance to learn new techniques and processes.  I had some extra time this week so I was actually able to start and complete a project, which is super nice because I’m the type that hates dragging a project out.  I’ve always loved working into the late hours of the night just to see the final product (my lovely eye bags are the unfortunate side effect that I’ve come to accept).

The most current craft I’ve been working on was a sewing project.  I found a pattern on Etsy for a small file folder/wallet that works great for organizing coupons, receipts, recipe cards, etc.  Link to the Etsy shop page can be found here if you’re interested in checking out all of the patterns offered.  It was a great choice because it features a few techniques I’ve always wanted to try but have always avoided, serves a functional purpose for my organization obsession, and is small enough not to spend a fortune on supplies (since it is a trial piece).  I was a little bothered at the instructions as they were not very descriptive, and there seemed to be a few errors which in a way messed up the first attempt.  I took my own notes along the way so that I can make proper adjustments when I make another one.  Although it didn’t come out as I hoped, it’s still functional so I’ll probably use it for awhile.  I also wouldn’t consider it a total waste because above all else, it was practice.  Not everything will work out on the first try, and the only way to improve is through failed attempts like these.

(Click pictures to enlarge/view captions.)

 

Why buy when I can DIY…

Super excited that I finally got around to finishing this project.  It’s something that’s been on my to-do list ever since we brought Karla home back in July.  With the adoption, we received a free collar and leash from the spcaLA that worked fine, and most importantly, didn’t cost a cent!  I quickly grew tired of looking at it, though, as I felt it was drab and didn’t give her any pizazz.  Yes, I could save myself the trouble and just buy a new leash for cheap, but why not make it personal and one-of-a-kind?

Although it’s kind of a basic project, it was a great way of getting baimg_2219ck into crafting/sewing mode while not breaking the bank.  It requires just a few supplies, and if you wait for the right sales or coupons, it’ll hardly cost a thing.  Since it’s small and only requires a few steps, I was able to finish in a couple of hours while watching the Boo save Gotham in Arkham Knight.  I used this really cute paw print fabric, but a strip of ribbon would work and be even faster.  I figured out a few little tweaks I will try out when I make the next one.  I got all of the supplies from JoAnn, and I have some leftover fabric so I’m thinking of making a matching treat bag or new collar to match.

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I swore I’d NEVER be one of THOSE people that make a fuss about my furbaby’s accessories, and yet, here I am.  I’ve already made a trial beanie and sweater that just needs some tweaking to the patterns for a little better fit.  I was so busy during the holidays that I didn’t have time to take progress pictures or blog about it, but I did post it to Instagram.  I was pleasantly surprised when the JoAnn Fabric and Craft account asked to repost it on their page!  Someone even asked if there was a pattern!  It definitely gave me a little confidence boost.  I hate the color of the yarns, but I just used some scrap yarn I had on hand since it was just a sample to figure out a pattern.

Feels good to get some practice in, while also making things that are useful!