Thursday, May 31, 2007

Project 1 photos, and a new theme! (updated)

Well, it's nearly midnight here, and already the first in many parts of the world, so...let's see what we've got here!
The first challenge has been completed, and some inspiring bags have been submitted, to say the least.

Tash at Poppyseeds (bag back)
Like this entry (this side is actually the back) of a fun collaged bag from Tash at Poppyseeds, that includes text and images from vintage children's books.

My goal here was to entice people to recycle fabrics, to consider unusual sources for fabrics, to think outside the box and challenge themselves, and to inspire one another.
Already, this purse project has accomplished all those things.

Though one photo of each bag would be fair, it's not always possible to stop there.
I posted more than one photo on those bags that had varying details, and several photos if the entrant does not have a website.

PLEASE click on the blog links and learn more about each bag.
One of the reasons to participate in challenges is to publicize ones blog--so take advantage of the opportunity to find new favorite reading sites.

I included a note about where each entrant lives--I think it's fun to see where this brings us around the world.
There are entries from all over the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, and all the way from Australia.
I love the internet!

I want to thank Ana for making an amazing bag using traditional Japanese towels, and Janet for submitting not one, not two, but THREE bags for this challenge!
My goal was to get 24 bags for this first project.
There are 22 23 and two people wrote me to say they wouldn't finish in time, so basically I met my goal.
Let's see if we can top that quantity next time.

Okay, to a new theme.
We are a couple of weeks away from summer (my apologies to Australia), so it seems fitting that the next challenge be:
make a beach bag!

If you don't live near a beach, that's okay--just make a bag for picnics by the lake, or a hike to the mountains, or whatever is applicable for you.
Just stretch your creative potential.

I have tons of ideas for inspiration that I will be posting between now and the end date, in two months: August 1 (have your photo to me by July 31).
So please keep checking back (or better yet, subscribe with Bloglines to find out when I have a new post up).

Thank you to all who participated--I hope you keep doing so.
The gallery of photos of the tea towel challenge is up on Flickr.
Please email me if I have any incorrect information, or if your photo is not represented.

Click here to view the gallery.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

See? It's okay to have tons of handbags!

Over-door purse storage rack!
Available at many locations, but this one happens to be at Target.


Unique Leather

How frickin' cute is this?!

Dog-shaped handbag.

I found this site through ebay.
Lots of fun shapes, all crafted in leather.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Vintage Fabric Choices

One of the reasons I wanted to use tea towels for the current challenge, is because I really hope people stop to consider the value of vintage fabrics.
Even stained items can be cut and remade, and given new life.

I came across a great book the other day, Sewing with Fabulous Vintage Fabrics, by Arden Franklin.
(similar to some books I have written about previously).

This market bag is made from a table runner, but it's certainly applicable for tea towels also.
Market Bag

This bag calls for a linen that is appliqued or embroidered. This example also has vintage handles.
Linen Bag

When you work on sewing projects (bags or otherwise), consider using fabric from old tablecloths, doilies, aprons, etc.
Remember, you can collage pieces, or do a patchwork with the salvageable even worn items can still be saved.

I know some collectors consider it sacrilege, but I would personally rather see something used and admired, versus stuffed away in a drawer somewhere.


Sunday, May 20, 2007


I love this image of tea towels hanging in a thrift store window in Maryland.
Such fun, novelty fabric choices.

Thanks to Phoebe of the Sea for allowing me to post this image.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More current pattern ideas

Another current pattern designer of fabric bags that people in the US may not be familiar with is Rosalie Quinlan.

The Australian creates doll and quilt patterns as well as some unique fabric bag patterns like Pink Lemonade:

And Nellie's Sewing Tote:

Google her name for the few places able to sell her items (and check ebay too).

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Monday, May 14, 2007

On sending in your images...

When you guys email me pics of your finished project, I will always either reply to your email, or comment on your blog.

If you send in a pic and you do not hear from me, your email may have gotten lost in cyber space or my spam please contact me again if I haven't acknowledged your participation, okay?
I want everyone's photos to get the credit they deserve, so hopefully there will be no glitchs.

Now hurry and finish your bags so I can get the Flickr gallery organized!


Monday, May 7, 2007

Inspiration from current patterns

My focus with sewing patterns is usually with vintage, but that is certainly not all I own.
Current patterns offer an abundance of variations and inspirations.

One of the reasons I subscribe to Joann's Fabrics newsletter is to receive the bi-weekly 40% off coupon, and the notification of which pattern brand is going to be on sale.
Perhaps McCalls, Simplicity, or Butterick will be $1.99 each (sometimes 99 cents each).
Or, my favorite is when Vogue is discounted to $5. Now that's special.

And even without a discount, don't forget Burda, New Look, Kwik Sew, or The Green Pepper.
green pepper bag pattern

I can't even begin to tell you the quantity of patterns I own.
Let's say hundreds and leave it at that.

So this is all to remind you to start sewing your tea towel if you haven't already.

If you're still stumped for ideas, I've got a ton of links to tutorials on the sidebar of this blog.
Please take advantage of them.

And don't forget the indie companies--some of the best patterns out there are the mom-and-pop brands.
Amy Butler has some amazing designs.
So does Indygo Junction,
and Favorite Things (including a couple of kick ass carpet bags).
Also, Rainbow-Splash has several fun bag designs.

Quilters might enjoy patchwork designs like
Rumbleford and Humbug bags by McKenna Linn (Nancy Restuccia) at Make-it-Easy.

Sandy's Grab Bag is by Sandy Corbin, but I can't find a direct link to a website.
Sandy's Grab Bag
The bag is reversible, and uses 1-1/2 to 2 yards of fabric.

Ditto (to not finding a website) with Mary Ann Sheppard's "star attraction" purse.
This bag is an older design, but I believe the pattern is still available for purchase.
Star Attraction
Ask your local quilt shop or fabric store if they can order these patterns for you, if you're interested.
I find a lot of these unique patterns at quilt shows.

I've received a few images of your finished projects, but it looks as if most of you will be making me work into the wee hours at the last hour.
Shoot, I haven't even finished my own bag yet!
So let's all get started.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Bag ideas

I like the unusual aspect of this 'Native American Belt Bag' from Urban Outfitters.
Think outside the box....

Kind-of like this vintage pattern
Pocket Belt Pattern

Have you seen Yakpak bags?
Here's a tutorial on craftster to make a copy.