Tag: melody miller

Retro+Fussy Bag

Sometimes I see a pattern and I just know I have to make it. This was the case with the Modern Mary Jane pattern by Loft Creations. What really made it for me was the big, showcase-y kind of panel for showing off a cool fabric — which is the argument I used to convince Sarah to order it for the shop. I was down there to pick fabric for the sample almost before the pattern was unboxed!

I have been dying to sew with Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Shining ever since she posted peeks of it on her blog and it looked like the perfect fit for the pattern. When I compared the measurements of the focus panel to the cool mixed-print fabric in her line, I was thrilled to discover it was almost an exact match. Serendipity!

Ruby Star Shining bag front

Because the fabric has so many prints and pieces, I was able to fussy cut all the border squares from the same piece of yardage. I did take Sarah’s suggestion and mix in a bit of natural linen (Timeless Treasures) as well as a navy-and-white polka dot from Sarah Jane’s Children At Play for Michael Miller. The inside of the bag is a vibrant chartreuse from Kona.

Ruby Star Shining bag back

I changed up the pattern and did a second “front” of the bag for the backside to use up the other focus panel on the fabric. I’ll probably follow the instructions the next time I make this bag because I like the multiple pockets called for. Although I’m holding out for the cool female superhero fabric that’s on order. Because that’s how I roll.

New Year, New Bag

I think I probably sew more bags than just about anything else in my repertoire. There’s just something gratifying about making something I can immediately use — and I literally wear out the bags I sew, which means there’s always room for another in my closet.

Daisy Girl Backpack

This bag combined two things I fell in love with on sight: Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Rising fabric and the Daisy Girl Backpack by Fig Tree & Co. Honestly, the most difficult part of this exercise was cutting into the fabric. It’s OOP! It’s the only half-yard of it I bought! Once I make something with it, that’s it! Oh em gee!

Yeah, I may get a little worked up on occasion.

I actually bought the fabric with another project in mind but couldn’t find quite the right lining fabric. I’m glad I waited because I love how this bag turned out. LOVE. IT!

The contrast fabric is Kona (if someone’s really interested, I can match to¬† my color card) and I used a minty cotton twill for the lining (I inexplicably bought about four yards of it and it’s a pretty nice match). A note on linings: I tend to stick with light-colored fabric for lining bags. If you’ve ever owned a purse with a dark lining, you know that a black hole it can literally be. So much easier to rummage around and find what you’re looking for (I’m looking at you, debit card) if you can actually see the bottom of the bag.

I added a swivel hook to the bag lining to keep my keys, because it’s much easier to find them if they’re always snapped to it. I also substituted a flat magnetic clasp instead of the magnetic snap to save on wear and tear of the opening (I’m rough on bags and inevitably rip the snap through, even with plenty of reinforcement). And I goofed up a bit with the interior pocket and drawstring casing (read the directions! I’d save myself a ton of heartache if I’d follow my own advice!) but it’s still functional if not quite what Joanna Figueroa intended.

There’s a drawstring closure of the bag top which uses grommets and I deviated from the instructions here to do them more like corset grommets. The biggest difference is that I use an awl to work holes for the grommets rather than cutting the fabric. It works on smaller grommets — I can’t see how the technique would work on the big drapery grommets — but is incredibly tedious. It probably took me about 90 minutes but I think it helps keep the fabric stronger around the grommets since there’s no cutting involved. Obviously YMMV.

The bag size is pretty good for my needs. It holds my checkbooks, wallet, iPad and/or Kindle with room to spare. But not so roomy that it will end up a bottomless pit of old receipts, coupons and forgotten mail. Oh, who am I kidding? I am, after all, the woman who can junk up a wristlet!

Miss L was crushed to learn the bag was not for her, so I am fairly certain I’ll be sewing another of these in the near future.