Tag Archives: bag

My Aeroplane Bag

I took a little break from sewing but I started back up again this weekend by pattern testing Sew Sweetness’s new pattern: the Aeroplane Bag!  It is super heavy-duty and the perfect size for a large carry-on.  I can’t wait to use it on my flight to Massachusetts in a few weeks.  In fact, I couldn’t wait at all, so I used it to carry my gym clothes to work this morning.  It is PERFECT.

Lotus Stripes - my Aeroplane Bag

I’m calling it my “Lotus Stripes” bag, and it’s made using a bunch of the canvas pieces I got for free ages ago. Sara kindly pointed out to me that what I have here are some beautiful Amy Butler prints!  I really had no idea…

Lotus Stripes - my Aeroplane Bag

The bag is fully lined and has two beautiful, huge, zippered pockets on either side inside the lining. This is the second of Sara’s patterns that I’ve tested and I LOVE this method of making zippered pockets.

I did have a time inserting the large zipper across the top – maybe it was because I was not used to working with such a large zipper, or maybe it was that my fabrics were too heavy, I’m not sure. I am sure that with practice I could make it perfect, though.

If you want to make your own Aeroplane Bag, Sara has released the pattern (just today, in fact!) be one of the first to buy it – HERE!

Velocity Girl Bag from Sew Sweetness

Recently, Sara of Sew Sweetness sent out a call for pattern testers for her Velocity Girl Bag.  I really enjoyed the process of working through a pattern and taking notes on where things could be improved or spots where the instructions became confusing.

Velocity Girl bag from Sew Sweetness

What a lovely bag this is, though!  I made mine from an upholstery remnant and a coordinating solid (for the lining).  There’s a small touch of coordinating fabric across the front too, in the form of faux piping.  I used Pellon Thermolam, a fusible batting, to give the bag the body it needed.  I also quilted the main body pieces to help with stability (according to Sara, Thermolam gives a slouchy result).

There are a total of 9 (yes really, NINE!) pockets in this bag!  Three across the front, one in each side placket, another 3 open pockets on the inside and a large zippered pocket, also on the inside. The purse closes with a magnetic snap and has an adjustable strap.

Velocity Girl pattern

You can see more examples of this an other purses on the Sew Sweetness flickr group or you can buy the newly released pattern from Sara here – it’s just $8!

Birthday Bag & Matching iPad Cover

birthday bag & matching ipad cover

A few weeks ago I attended a special birthday party for a friend of mine.  As adults, we don’t get parties and special gifts as much as we did when we were kids, and I always think that’s sad.  Enter: The Birthday Bag.

I bought this pattern several years ago in A.C.Moore – it is actually called the Serendipity Bag.  It’s meant to be used with a jelly roll and at the time, I had a jelly roll that I wasn’t sure what to do with.  Needless to say, I have made quite a few of these bags and I still have that jelly roll…

birthday bag

The pattern is simple to translate to a solid piece of fabric and makes such a great impact!  Plus it only takes a couple of hours to complete, if that.  You need just over a half yard of the outer fabric and just a half yard for the lining.  You could use a bit more and add a pocket to the inside if you like.  It’s large and deep, so if you wanted it as a purse, it would probably be a good idea to add a couple of pockets.  I like to use an upholstery/canvas remnant for the outer fabric so that it’s nice and strong and has a little body, and a coordinating cotton for the lining. I always fancied it as a shopping tote – but not for stinky, leaky groceries…the kind of shopping that you want to show off.  ;-)

At the last minute, I remembered that this friend was set to receive an iPad from as her ‘big’ gift this year and I thought, wouldn’t it be nifty to make her a matching iPad cover as well? After a quick search for a pattern, but found just the right one:

ipad cover

Even with the quilting, this took me just an hour to whip up.  I can’t remember the name of the blog where I found the pattern right now, but I will remember and I will post it!  It has double thickness batting for extra padding and extra room in case the iPad in question has a hard cover.  The flap secures with  hook & loop. Perfect!

Edit: I found it!  The awesome tutorial can be found at one shabby chick.

ipad cover

Holiday gifts: Jewelry Tote

Jewelry Pouches
Jewelry Pouches
Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

Welcome to the first in my series of holiday gift posts! I handed these cute little pouches out last night to our daycare providers during their holiday party.  I wish I could take credit for the design, but I can’t – they came from Quilting Arts Magazine special Gifts issue (2009/2010).  The pattern was designed by Margarete Steinhauer and appears on page 132 of the mag (almost all the way at the back).  The pouches are circular, drawstring, lined with coordinating fabrics, and contain 8 small pockets to store pieces of jewelry; or anything else that you might want to store. They fit perfectly in a gift box for a standard-sized mug.

Drafting a pattern from instructions in a magazine is always a little fiddly. I needed to be able to draw 4 different circle sizes and I do not have a compass; even if I did, I doubt I would have had one that would make a large enough circle for this tote.  Instead, I opted for my measurements to be a teeny bit off and ended up using a dinner plate for the outer circle, a largish mixing bowl for the drawstring channel, a pasta bowl for the inner/pocket circle and finally, a tiny mis en plase bowl for the base circle.  The bowls I used for my inner circle and my base circle were exactly right, the outer circle and drawstring channel were slightly off.  Luckily, this did not cause any problems with the final outcome.

Jewelry Pouch - inside
Jewelry Pouch – inside
Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

I made seven of these little pouches; the first two as a prototype – once those were done, and I understood how the pattern was supposed to fit together and work, it was easy enough to throw together the other five via the Assembly Line method. I had all of the awesome matching fabrics on hand in my stash, and even the little bits of heavy interfacing needed for the base. The only thing I DID have to buy was the rat tail for the drawstrings. I am absolutely positive that I have a large spool of rat tail somewhere in my sewing room, but it beats me where I put it.  I did not buy enough rat tail so that the pouches will lie flat when opened – I didn’t think it was necessary and I didn’t like the idea that the drawstrings would be so long when the pouches were closed up tight. Overall, I think I would be happy to get one of these as a gift…I really hope the teachers are too!

Something I made…


floral purse
Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

Made a little purse for a little girl. Will post a tutorial soon. Maybe even tomorrow.