handbag

No Stowe

Part of my #makenine2017 was to make a bag similar to the Stowe Bag by Grainline Studio. If you’re not aware of this little tote, you have to check out all the different versions.  It’s too adorable!

I do have a tendency to make my own pattern for any bags that I make. I studied the Stowe bag and I liked the size. I started there with my measurements. The bottom should measure about 5″ x 9.5″. That’s a nice sized handbag. I couldn’t decide how I would incorporate the handles and the fabric that I wanted. And this is where any resemblance to the Stowe bag disappeared.


What I ended up with is an alternating fabric using my suede-like fabric along with Daleks fabric. This is super similar to the makeup bag that I made the bestie for xmas. I loved that little bag so it’s not really surprising that I’m making this so similar. The construction is even about the same.  Did that statement just take out all of the air of this blog post.  Well I don’t care! I’m excited about my own ‘little can of hate’ bag!


I did add a little bit of Dalek on the inside of the bag.  It’s cute and happy yellow gingham but I stitched in “exterminate” around on the bottom.  It was almost 2 am and it sounded like a good idea.  It did not strike me that I will only see this when I’m desperately digging through my bag hunting down something that I swear is in there. It might not amuse me as much as it did stitching it during my late night sewing session.


The measurements came out to what I was intending for the base.  I put this bag together thinking of not closing the top completely. I only wanted a flap I could secure to keep things from falling out or other people digging in.  Not connecting the flap on the sides of the bag kept it from keeping the boxy shape that I liked.  I did some quick stitching and attached a few points on the flap to the bag’s body to help pull in the wandering sides.
After using the bag for a week or so, I realized the handles could be about an inch or so longer. I could have also dropped the flap down about an inch into the bag instead of putting it right at the top like I did. It’s a little flimsy even though I used interfacing on the gingham. A stronger interfacing would have fixed this.

Super short little post for an angry little bag. 🙂

3 items left on my list! Sewaholic Thurlows, Burda Flares and rainbow belt. A little over 5 months left and I have everything I need to make them. If I can’t complete this, I have a serious case of the “lazies”.

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It’s a Bag Not a Pedal


Last year I made Boss a crocheted snow man. He was adorable but super last minute. I was so busy at work that the thought of a Xmas pressie for Boss just hadn’t crossed my mind. So this year I was planning ahead damn it! I wanted something easy to make but looked like it wasn’t. Isn’t that what we strive for? Anyways, I decided I would make a fold over clutch bag for her. Every once in a while she ditches her little ones and has date night with her hubby. Perfect gift I think.

I scoured Pinterest (because that’s what you do when you craft-brainstorm). There are so many different ways, sizes and extras that you can put into making a simple clutch. Holy moly! I decided a cute chevron fold over with faux leather accents, secret zip on the body for chapstick/lipstick/what-have-you and a magnetic snap would be easy to complete. I tend to be ambitious and overzealous at times i.e. all the time. After completing the kitten shirt and my wirly twirly dress, I realized I’m already in December and I need to calm down and simplify.


Here’s what I came up with: fold over clutch with a zip top and leather accents. Sorry secret pocket and magnetic snap. Ain’t nobody got time for you! I picked up teal and natural colored chevron fabric from JoAnn’s remnant pile. Not only half off regular price but an extra percentage off. Oh yeah! The faux leather I picked is from the home interior section and my lining is sturdy pink cotton from my remnant pile. Luckily there was quite a bit of the chevron fabric that I decided to go ahead and make two clutches. Ya know a “practice” one that I can keep and use on a regular basis. I’m selfish… lol.


How did I create my masterpiece? I cut two rectangles (1 lining, 1 outer fabric) at 9″ x 21 1/2″ with a 1/4″ seam allowance. I’ve seen plenty where they do two pieces and join at the bottom but screw you extra line of sewing. I did add interfacing on the lining portion to give the bag a bit of rigidity.


I followed these instructions to cover my zip ends in “leather”. You’ll notice that I used a white zip. Oops! I bought the zip at a different time than my fabric and I thought the fabric was white. I sewed both short ends of the fabric, sandwich style (how-to on this in link above too) to the zip and top stitched the lines down. Looking pretty!


Decision time. What do I want my accents to look like on the corners? Some I see are triangles, some remind me of pie wedges (Mmm…pie) and what did I want mine to be. Plain triangles seemed boring so I picked the pie route. I cut a full circle and cut it in half.  It made perfect “D” shapes that when folded over they are yummy slices of pie. The faux stuff frays along the edges so I used fray check first then stitched it down alternating the stitch between the chevron and “leather” that way no threads escaped. Plus it gave me an excuse to use a decorative stitch.


Last thing to do was stitch up the sides. Yay! Okay at this point I realized my decision making was not the best. I believe I either need to cut my zip shorter or not use a 1/4″ seam allowance on the sides because it got so tight around the zip that I added a bit of hand stitching to secure that area. (please do not fall apart. you are a gift and will embarrass me!) Plus you’ll see in the next pic that tightness on the sides of the bag pulled the corners down a smidgen instead of the zip being straight across the top of the bag. I turned the bag at the lower bottom corner of the lining and then edge stitched to close the hole. The only ones that will know it’s there are me and you. *wink*

There ya go. My quick and easy clutch bag. Anybody else have an ambitious project they’ve had to dial back in a pinch?