Thursday, January 17, 2013

I finally got ahold of this out-of-print Vogue pattern of an
Hermes Birkin Bag.
I can't wait to make this

Monday, July 2, 2012

I made a reusable shopping tote from trash

I made a reusable shopping tote by recycling the bag from dry cat food. Check on the details on my Woof Nanny blog .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nicole Kelner is selling these adorable handmade wristlets for your Iphone.
These are available in different fabric choices in her Etsy shop.

She also makes purses with an exterior pocket for your phone.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blogs of interest

Becky has an interesting post about the 25 top purse-related blogs.
Read it here.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Trick or Treat Bag Tutorials

Who wants a hard plastic pumpkin or an old pillowcase, when you can sew up an adorable trick or treat tote following one of these tutorials?!

Cute Scrappy Owl bag by Ohdeeoh

Quilted bags from Teeny Tiny Quilts

Felted candy corn bag, made by Purling Sprite (pattern by Lion Brand Yarn)

Felt or fabric candy corn bag by My Little Gems

And this absolutely adorable slouchy bag by Lazy Daisy Cottage
She also sells readymade bags, and they come with a pocket for a little lantern

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 6, 2010

Escama Bags

I was in the gift store of the Museum of Art yesterday, in Balboa Park (San Diego), and I saw some beautiful bags made from soda can tops by Escama.
This may give you an idea

Labels: ,

Friday, July 9, 2010

Are the words "handmade" and "sophisticated" an oxymoron?

Poor neglected blog!
I'll have to make a point of stopping in more often.

Tonight I have been searching for a purse pattern so I can make a friend a bag for her birthday.
The odd fact here is that when you go to a department store and buy a bag, it's usually leather, and it's usually plain black or plain brown.
Why then, when bags are sewn from a pattern, are they so often wild prints with that not-in-a-good-way handmade look?

I don't want a cutesie bag (though, to be honest, I am using a fabric with beagles all over it).
I don't want soft sides, but I want reinforced details as found on the leather bags I usually carry.
I don't want quilt blocks on my tote, or faux fur, or a teeny tiny paper sack of a bag.

There are a lot of indie designers out there with great patterns, but they're sometimes hard to find.
Purse Patterns (dot com) has 1100 ideas to browse through.

I think my best options for a sophisticated take on handmade might be The Cosmo Bag

or the Classic Messenger Bag

Hmmm....maybe a yoga bag would make a fun gift!

Though Carol's Executive Tote is seemingly more of a simplistic style that I'm trying to get away from, there is something about this design that I find quite pleasing, and I think it would work really well with the fabric I have chosen

Another option is to sacrifice a favorite bag and make a pattern from it, which I may do as well.
I will post my results when I finish the bag.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Contest to win a Birkin Bag

Nadya contacted me from Fab Sugar, informing me that the site will be having a Birkin give away.
Normally I don't post things like this, but dude...a Birkin?
As in Hermes Birkin. Quality craftmanship.
I am aaaall over that :)!

It only takes one simple step: just sign up their newsletter

Here are a couple of short videos for more info:
Why Does Everyone Want a Birkin Bag?
What Makes a Birkin Bag So Special and How to Spot a Fake!

Birkin Bag Contest Details + Official Rules

My computer is too old and slow to verify the videos, so hopefully these sites are all of interest--let me know.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Recycling Plastic Bags

I posted previously about creating "fabric" by fusing plastic bags, but another way to recycle plastic shopping bags is by making plastic "yarn" (plarn) and knitting, crocheting, or even weaving it.

My Recyled Bags has a great tutorial on how to cut the bags and connect the pieces.
Similar tutorial by Gooseflesh.
This is the method I prefer, though it makes a double-strand thickness.

If you prefer a thinner yarn, another method is to cut each bag into a spiral (like an orange peel).
Weavezine shows this method, and also gives a tutorial on weaving plarn.

Or perhaps the tutorial by Pie and Coffee will make more sense to you.

Recycled plastic totes are especially great beach bags--they can be rinsed off easily, and are long lasting.
They're also great for shopping bags (ironic, eh? Plastic shopping bags, reused and made into reusables).
They are also quite sturdy.

Wow, go figure--Creative Recyclers show how to weave a tube shape from plastic bags, using a plastic bottle as a prop.
This spool knitting technique (with real yarn) is also shown on Craftypod.

Atomic Shrimp used a handmade French bobbin and 25 plastic bags to knit this amazing tote

There are a lot of patterns out there, but here are just a few to get you inspired:

I loooove this crocheted tote from Marlo's Crochet Corner (instructions on her site).

I have just enough blue Walmart bags saved for the project.
For anyone who likes to use plastic bags for projects, there was a collective groan when Walmart switched from blue to ordinary white bags.

Crocheted tote tutorial on The Knitty Professors

When searching for free patterns, you can sometimes find crochet or knitting plastic tote/purse patterns under "bread bag".
Packages from bread and newspapers are thinner plastic, are often easier to work with, and give a finer look.
I especially like the clear bags--they give almost a crystalline accent to your projects.
My Recycled Bags has a ton of patterns available, including Bread Bag Tote

Also from My Recycled Bags, a Granny Square Motif Tote

There seem to be fewer knitting tutorials out there, but almost any knit or crochet pattern can be adapted to use with plarn.
Also check youtube for video tutorials.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, September 18, 2009


My mom and I attended the annual San Diego Quilt Show today.
Normally I love cruising the vendors and buying new gadgets, fabric, and patterns, but my purse was recently stolen, so my bank account is frozen until all can be ironed out on Monday (long story).
So (gack!) I wasn't able to buy anything.

What I did instead, was take note of new patterns I hadn't seen, so I can buy them in the future.
What I love about quilt shows is getting exposed to indie companies that I might not find elsewhere.

I love this handmade lunch box by Quilts Illustrated, called Desk Deli.The tote has little pockets inside for silverware and icepacks, and includes the pattern for a fabric napkin.
Several online shops also sell the pattern, including Henrietta's Handbags.

Fort Street Market Bag, by Yoyomama Designs seems like a fun pattern.
I can't find a website, but see if your local quilt shop carries this brand.
You may be able to buy one on ebay also (currently seller Quilt Taffy has several available).

Heart to Hand sells some amazing purse patterns, often involving needle punching and wool felt.
Check out the website.

Lazy Girl Designs has some new patterns along with their other classics.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Blog Kudos

Wow, Cyndilou, honored me with a blog award!

My obligation in accepting this award is to name five things that I enjoy doing, along with five of my favorite blogs.

Things I enjoy doing:
1) I'm super detail oriented. So when I give gifts, or plan a party, I like to figure out every little thing--a person's favorite design (like polka dots) might be in the cupcake liners, the balloons, and the tissue paper. I try to think of everything, and go to the nth degree to make it special.

2) I love true crime shows, so I will usually sew with Forensic Files or something like that as background noise. I tend to flip channels between A&E and the ID channel. I used to love Court TV, but the replacement Tru TV isn't as good.

3) I enjoy research. I just made a mix cd for a friend, for example, and spent hours and hours on youtube trying to find unique songs. I get a kick out of finding obscure things--perhaps the perfect something that someone might love. I'm a really good gift giver.

4) My favorite form of creating, whether paper or fabric, tends to be collage. I like to cut out images and layer them, and thereby create something that really is one of a kind.

5) I bake to relieve stress. I find old-school baking from scratch really enjoyable. I also love to read cookbooks as if they were novels.

Five of my favorite blogs:
Andrea at Hula Seventy is amazing amazing amazing

I just bought two of Keri Smith's books for a birthday gift. Keri writes Wish Jar Journal. The party had a "bucket list" theme, and Keri's books are all about living life to the fullest.

Bari J and Calamity Kim are both inspirational with collage and design ideas

I love foodie blogs. It's tough to choose which is my absolute fave, but Molly Wizenberg's Orangette is definitely one of them. Just clicking on the link to the blog makes me all giddy inside ;)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No more challenges

My gosh, where does the time go?
Sorry for my lack of recent posts, but all my time went into organizing a surprise birthday party for a friend, lots of dog-sitting, and recently starting back to school.

I will be posting the gallery of Project #10 soon, though only two of you accepted the challenge.
Challenge #10, therefore, will be the last on this blog.

I will probably post ideas here and there, and I'll leave the blog up so you can cruise the sidebar of ideas.
There are a lot of great tutorials in the sidebar.

I get really decent traffic on this blog, but next to zero participation in the challenges, so...why bother, you know?

I'll try to post something purse related at least once a month, so the blog doesn't disappear altogether.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Fused Plastic

One of the best types of recycling is when trash is converted to something usable.
A perfect example: fused plastic.
Yes, you can take those grocery sacks and cut them into strips and knit or crochet them into bags, but you can also melt them into your own "fabric" and sew them into shapes.

My favorite video tutorial is from Make Magazine, and the pattern for the messenger bag is amazing

Etsy Labs has a tutorial you can read, or they offer a video also.

Katie Crafts has a tutorial for a fused plastic messenger bag made from produce sacks
Dabbled's tutorial

Dollarstore Crafts made a fused plastic backpack

My absolute favorite twist on fused plastic, is the quilted bag by Craftastica

Fun bag by Betz White

Really creative ideas for plastic fusion (using scraps, weaving strips, adding text,layering)
Video one
Video two

Timbuk2 bag--how to make an embellished panel video

Labels: , ,

Friday, July 17, 2009

Now that's unique recycling!

Used Soccer ball purse, as seen on Geekologie

Labels: , , ,

Purse from trash

Great idea as seen on Dollarstore Crafts:
Make a Trashcycled Hermes bag!

original post by Brainy Bee on craftster

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Feed bags to tote bags

How about recycling feed bags--especially the ones that are stronger than paper.

Recycled feedsack bags, by Handcrafted at Wit's End (etsy)

Backpack style by Bluemont Creations (etsy)

Tutorial using a dog food bag, on All Free Crafts.
Tutorial using a cat food bag on Thrifty Fun

Amazing Birdfeed bags by Twisted Textiles
(sold in her Etsy shop, Twisted Wear)

another post here

And from catfood bags too

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Map Purse

Tutorial on Sonya Style, to make a purse from maps

She also made a Paris map purse, though I can't find the link on her site (it's on her flickr page)

Map of Queens and Brooklyn under vinyl, by Sasaki Creations


Monday, July 13, 2009

Tote Tutorial

Laura of Rick Rack Ruby has posted a tutorial on how to make a bag from an Anthropologie dishtowel.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bear with me

I apologize for my lack of inspirational posting lately.
I have lots of ideas to share, but stress is disabling me at the moment.

Let's move the due date up on this project one month.
I hope to be back to posting soon.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Time for a new challenge

I started a purse from neckties a couple of years ago.
It was so close to being finished, and I had hoped to finish it for this challenge, but I can't find it!
I am still renovating at my house, and stuff is packed away. Sigh.

I only got two submissions for this challenge, but they're both really amazing.
Thank you Laura, and Andrea.
Please check the gallery to view the bags they made.

Okay...let's try another challenge.
Project #11 is going to be Unusual Recycled.
Meaning DON"T use clothing, curtains, hankies, towels, or anything that you might have sewn in a DIY project.
No denim, no sweaters (those will be future challenges)

Unusual. Recycled.
Meaning I'd really like to see your creativity.
Of course I'll give you ideas along the way.

Like this shoulder bag made from measuring tapes, by Undone Clothing

Or this fantastically creative purse made from old Converse sneakers, by Randomonix

Think tins, leftover drink containers, leftover food bags, etc
You can try your hand at weaving chip bags or candy wrappers (info in previous posts).
Think Project Runway when the designers make things from the webbing of deck chairs, or crochet garbage bags together.
You could make a fused grocery sack purse (video tutorial in a previous post), or crochet the bags together...

You could crochet wire, or wire and old buttons, or sew old zippers together, or sew a bag from an old vinyl poster, or a shower curtain.
Are you getting any ideas yet?

Start thinking!

Labels: ,

Saturday, June 6, 2009

More Necktie Inspiration, from Etsy

This bag is aimed to inspire people to create their own bags, but I hope you also support your local crafters.
I use Etsy links to both inspire, and to encourage you to shop for handmade items.

Purse in recycled denim and other recycled fabrics, with necktie embellishment, by Marci9922 in her Treasured Designs Etsy shop

Another embellished bag, this one by Maven Studio

Necktie "Barbara" tote from CreoNodo's Etsy Shop

"The Persephone Tote" by LindaEve, formerly known as Untied

LindaEve also made this Bluesy Shoulder Tote

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Necktie Coin Purses

Celeste from CC Star Accessories makes coin purses from neckties

Her Etsy shop: CC Star

Labels: , ,

Saturday, May 30, 2009

An extra week

Are you guys sewing your necktie purses?
Did you know that Amy, from Tie One On, just got 65 apron submissions for her last challenge? 65!
You'd think I could drum up ten. Come on...pleeeeaaase.
I mean, I get a lot of traffic on this blog.
So you guys are reading, but you're not participating.

I have a final exam on Monday, which is our deadline.
Because I'll be busy studying, I'm extending this challenge by one week.

So start sewing! :)
I'll post the necktie gallery and a new challenge on June 8.

Monday, May 25, 2009

More fun necktie examples

Ohio State Themed Handbag, made with neckties

and Patchwork Coin Purse
Both items from Shesu2008's Etsy Shop

Tie Belt with Pocket (like a fanny pack), in Miss Karina's Etsy Shop

Labels: , , , ,