Another alternative crafting technique to consider if you like to make your bag with some form of structure or shape. I use plastic mesh Bag frame to make this bag, the flap of the bag I use magnetic fastener. These plastic mesh can be found under the knitting section of a craft store or online stores (type “plastic mesh frame for bag”).
Sometimes I like a bag to have some form and be able to “stand” on its own, using fuseable or iron-on interface is one alternative but it does create bubbles or air pockets over time on the surface of the fabric. Using too heavy weight inserts is no-no for my home sewing machine.
Recently I have been experimenting with different materials to dress up my bag creations as the bag designs are fairly simple so a center piece of embellishment seem to do the trick. Of course considerable time and effort goes into shopping and even at times sourcing for them and takes makes it even more worth the while. I believe there has to be “fun” in work too.
The latest materials embellishment I have tried are : Feathers, Chinese Knotted Buttons, Sea Shells.
So the next time when some fancy material catches your eye just buy them first and keep them in your stash until the creative bug bites you.
I have posted here some of my latest creations for an idea of what you could do next….enjoy.
I have been looking at all the beautiful and wonderful sewing machine covers out there; from images on the internet to even quilt shops that I had visited. The images struck on mind for ages, I guess I am going crazy but my sewing machine does talk to me too. She would asked me “when am I going to sew something in return of all the hard work and beautiful projects she had completed for me?” So today I’ve made this gift to reward my beloved tool that has been the centre of my happiness in terms of sewing joy and creations.
Simple Assembly and Sewing Concept – 1 panel or flap, sew 2 joints and sew 2 corners from the joints
From what I have observed and partly had set me back was the “complications” in sewing a cover, just too many prices of fabric panels to assemble and joining of seams. As I am rather hard pressed for time I was thinking long and hard how to make it easy to assemble and sew. I did this cover in one sitting or an evening, about 4 hours plus sewing time.
My cover actually consist of only one piece / panel, fold the panel to half then sew the side of each seam. To achieve the “box” top just fold the corners (of the joined seam), draw a straight line across the corner and sew on the line. Trim off the corner after that, turn the cover wrong side and out and “walla” !
Centre Fabric as Main Attraction / Focus
My main attraction of the cover is a piece of furnishing fabric sample I saved since years ago, I only have one piece of one design as it was bought from a furnishing shop that I happened to chanced upon while doing some other errands for the day. As I had bought some items from the store I took the chance to ask the lady who was dismantling a fabric sample book whether she could sell me two pieces. I bought it at $1 dollar! The fabric is so beautiful but there are some minor defects in terms of “runaway” threads on the surface which makes it unsuitable to make as a item for sale or swap.
Hope you like this fun idea of adding some “design” to your sewing craft room and dressing up your sewing machine. The manufacturer’s cover is always so plain and just boring, having some variety is the spice of life!
Every ATC has a story to tell, here I share my inspiration about my creations
[27 July 2010] A local food named “Chilli Crab” – This dish is so popular in Singapore most tourist would know about it and most probably tried it at least once during their visit. We locals do cook and eat this dish at home too although not frequently but in special occasions like birthdays . Since popularity of one dish is rather iconic I’d placed a Singapore Flag to represent the location as the origin of the dish.
Material used : Chinese Brocade / Silk
[21 July 2010] Batik squares – I love batik design and the tile effect. I was recently inspired by some tiles I saw, the building is so unique in style it is called “eclectic architecture”, personally I feel its more of a fusion of colour and decoration representing European and Chinese style. Take a look at my set of photos taken of the building when you have time.
[20 July 2010] Today’s feature is Lace, I love lace and find them so precious to use because they can be so expensive. This particular work uses lace which was saved as scrap from past project, it is a large-strip lace which I had trim to a circle and hand stitched using clear nylon thread onto felt. Felt fabric is the easiest fabric to handle and rather affordable.
Story behind the ATC : Inspired by a quote “Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower ….. ” Hans Christian Anderson
[19 July 2010] If every picture has a story to tell I would say that there is even a greater story behind each ATC created. Everyone create to express their creativity style but some are created with more meaning than others. Over the weekend I had created two ATCs and hope to take a moment of your time to share with you what was on my mind.
ATC Title : Unity of Hearts
Story behind the ATC : Being shot in the heart by a cupid may not be a necessarily great thing to happen, one heart being shot is like falling in love in a ‘one-sided way’ – you can be madly crazy in love but it ain’t going to bring you fulfillment if the other party does not reciprocate. It will be a ultimate blessing if the cupid could aim for two hearts with one arrow! So this piece of creation was made to dedicate to those lucky ones that fell for the correct partner and live their lives united in their hearts. Not everyone in this universe will be so darn lucky but for those couples that live through a lifetime together, through thick and thin, for better or worst they are the reason why it keeps us inspired.
Material used : Cotton, Chinese Brocade/ Silk.
Title : I love my Carrr
Story behind the ATC : Driving is a skill that represents freedom to me, driving should be an enjoyment for as long as one can afford it (although it can be stressful if traffic is bad and you are in this situation where time is the essence). I have been lucky and blessed to have owned and driven 3 cars so far, I started off with a old car that was about 8 years old and had to put up with being a old car for two years. My second car was bought new and had been with me for about 5 years. I am now with my third and maybe final car this lifetime, only now I appreciate driving my car as I could drive as a means of transport and leisure. My first two cars were bought due to my nature of work in sales, life was very tough in the road and so was work-life then. I am so blessed I truly get to enjoy my car now as I no longer need to drive around for my work and the experience is a relaxed atmosphere so it is like hearts popping up the road as I spend time in my car.
Material used : Japanese crepe fabric (adhesive)
Why I ‘ATC’….
[16 July 2010] It is a huge universe out there to any crafter’s delight and this come in a form by a little piece of artwork which can be created by anyone anywhere in the world and probably traveled around the world to a final destination that is in another artist’s collection.
Artist Trading Card – this term amazed me from the very start when I stumbled upon flickr photo pool and saw beautiful and fascinating fabric pieces created by individuals (yes just like you and me) whose flair of creativity struck me and inspire me to want to join the community. I love the term ‘Artist’ – so when you create a craft which is called a artwork you instantly become a artist….seems a grand and neat idea!
Here I have created my first 3 pieces of fabric ATC…size is so tiny but so much joy in their creation, moreover since I hardly throw away any fabric scraps creating ATC fits me to a “T”.
There are a lot of websites and swap groups on the internet that one can join and trade the beautiful pieces of artworks, not everything commercialized nor is it mass produced – money, money and money (although to have enough to live by is good, a bit more is great but some of life’s little pleasures money can’t buy).
Every piece of ATC means something to somebody and is it just a wonderful idea to admire, inspire, have a exchange and build a collection.
Hope you enjoy this little discovery and join in the community too.
My photo pool of ATC are uploaded onto Flickr so drop by anytime as I will upload the works there. If you like to trade your ATC Fabric with me leave me a comment.
I think one easy gift to make would be a tote bag, there are so many free patterns and ideas on the internet you just have to pick one you like.
One of the main feature of making one tote standing out from the other I must say is the fabric used, second would be the workmanship — a bit of style to the finishing like the tote handle used and even a coloured lining really makes a difference.
Here I have created two more tote bags as gifts – one for my sister and one for someone special in Australia.
Australian themed fabric tote bag with black lining – I’ve added a black lining to the tote bag to give it ‘structure’ as the fabric is rather thin and the inner lining support fabric also adds durability too in terms of heavy load. The design or pattern of the fabric makes a difference in terms of aesthetic and what better way to give someone this tote who loves art and is in Australia.
Denim with flowers fabric tote bag – I spent sometime hunting for a light-blue strip handle to match dark blue denim fabric so that the tote bag design stand out. I did not use any lining for this bag as the material is thick and durable but added a denim fabric flap to steady the bag handle and as a aesthetic feature too. The fabric comes with machined embroidered flowers patterns which is just so gorgeous I could not resist a impulse buy.
So maybe if you need to craft a gift for a Lady in the future and you have some really nice fabrics to part with a tote bag maybe a real good item to make. A tote bag is also easy to pack for mailing to overseas, I folded the tote into 4 parts and mail it out in a envelope.
“Saving the best for last” … I made this purse especially for my mommy from fabric scraps saved.
The green piece of fabric scrap came from a ‘custom-order’ cushions cover I ordered from a home furnishing shop, yes…I asked for all scraps to be returned to me. This material is actually a soft furnishing fabric; the type that can be use for curtains or cushion covers, the inner lining which is batik material is leftover from my other sewing projects.
To achieve ‘form’ or shape to the purse I used fusible lining to the green fabric and darts at the bottom of the purse design.
I’ve attached a yellow ribbon to the bell as a finishing touch.
The size of the purse is about 14cm (Length) x 8.5cm (Height) x 6cm (Base). The purse handle is a ‘sew-in’ type.
There are many resources on the internet offering purse making supplies, pattern and instructions so take your time to vet through them for ideas. I work ‘backwards’ as I have my fabric scrap then my purse handle and I draw my pattern freehand.
As I am not very good with words I try best to provide photos for my work-in-progress. The few main pointers to remember or note is use fusible lining and add darts to your purse design, use iron to press the seams. A bit of practice and patience, do not start on your beloved piece of fabric if it is your first attempt at sewing a purse, try with very cheap fabric to be safe.
Tip: Never pin your fabric overnight then machine them in the next day or days after as it will leave tiny holes on the fabric.
A journey of crafting, experiences, knowledge and joy