Thursday, July 9, 2009

Keyka Lou bag patterns

I don’t remember how I found Keyka Lou. As a school teacher on vacation, I can often kill a day by typing something for school or sewing into Google and then getting lost on the internet for the entire day. But, I found her blog around Memorial Day and she was having a sale, a BOGO on her purse patterns. Well, I just had to order. The best part about her patterns are that they are PDF files which means that she can email them to you. She promises 24 hour delivery but I got mine much sooner (THANK HEAVENS- now I did not have to do house work!) Speed is one benefit of PDF patterns. Another is that you can store the pattern on your computer and print when you want it or reprint just 1 page if you spilled coffee on it. I also make several versions of one bag so I can reprint the pattern pieces if I have used them too many times.
So, check out her etsy store. On her blog, you can register to be notified of any sales. On sale or not, her patterns and patterns from others who also sell PDFs are not expensive, considering there is no postage, sales tax, or gas used. So respect the designers’ copyrights and don’t share patterns.

Lots of pockets purse

This is called the "Lots of pockets" purse. It has 2 pockets on the front that are a good size for keys and cell phones. Inside, you can also add pockets- thus the clever title!! I made this one with the beige pocket lining and this type of pocket was new to me. It is very easy and may replace the simple in seam pockets I've been making in my skirts and pants. This pattern has adrts on the bottom to give it shape. If you are a quilter, it's easy to line up the darts if you have them going in opposite directions and do that "butt the seams together" thing. (Is there an official name for that?) I have found that technique to be very handy in many parts of sewing bags.

If you look back at the green and black bag, you might notice one difference between it and this bag but there is another one as well. Of course the brown one does not have the button flap. I left it off because I decided that I wanted pockets in the front and the back, so I made 2 fronts instead of a front and a back and decided it would be better without a flap.

Question- do you prefer to have a closure on your bag or not? There just aren't many pick pockets in rural Georgia so I don't need a closure and I think magnetic clasps are expensive. The button flap is a nice decoration but I only want to sew a button on once (if it were to fall off, I'd rather ditch the bag and sew a whole new one) and the button slows me down.

This is the small satchel. It is small but very cute. You could easily enlarge the patterns on a scanner to make a bigger bag but it works well as it is for a quick run out the door. I made mine in linen. This linen came from JoAnne’s and was a very bright green. I washed it twice with bleach and am much happier with the color. I have since gone back to JoAnne’s and bought 5 more colors. I’ll use them soon since you are probably sick of this green!

Buttercup bag

Rae got the link to her buttercup bag up again. Here's the info:, use password "madebyrae."


Ok- drawing time! I’ll be in Maine for a week and I’d like to see some visitors while I’m gone. So, here’s what you do:
1. Click on an ad on the side of my blog.
2. Post a comment on this post and tell me what ad you clicked on.

That’s all and when I get back on July 20th, I’ll randomly, with my eyes closed, pick a winner.

OH- what do you win? A kit of the bag I made, all cut out to make the Buttercup bag just like I did, with the directions or the bag made up if you’d rather. Sent to you, for free. I'll ship internationally as well (that's for you, Heckety in Ireland or Michelle in Finland)

Thanks for checking me out!

Great Giveaway Opportunity

I love to promote a great giveaway with lots of fabric to win. I’m hoping to win the Ben Franklin’s Daughter fat quarter pack. Find it at Fresh Modern Quilts, a great flickr group with a very nice discussion section.

Here's a picture of a Keyka Lou bag for the upcoming post.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Buttercup Bag

I had really intended to make my next post about the Buttercup bag by Rae from the MadebyRae blog. It seems to be very popular. I made one today so I know why it’s so in demand. It’s quick and cute and does not need a lot of fabric. It’s a small purse that you can drop a wallet and cell phone into and you’re ready to go. It’s also very easy to make and great for a beginner. I like the 1 strap part, too. However, the link to the bag is down right now but here is the link to her blog: Made by Rae. I did some checking and found 600 and something pictures of Buttercup bags on this flickr page. I really liked the ones made in linen as seen on Ems photo stream. It inspired my own bag.

Ok, looks a little different than the others, doesn’t it? With all due respect to Rae, who designed a fantastic bag that we can all fool around with, I made some changes.
1. I wanted a wider top band. So, I added 1” along the top of piece “A”. Here’s how- measure 1” above the black line at the top of piece a bunch of times so you can connect the dots on the curve. After you connect the dots, line up a ruler along the side black line of this piece on both ends to keep the slant going. Do the same on the lining or your pieces won’t match.
2. The pleats- my feeble, everything has to be symmetrical mind can’t deal with 5 pleats pointing in the same direction. So, I made 4 and made them pointing out from the center. Here’s how: take your “A” piece and your “B” piece. Pin your outside pleat on each side of piece “B” as marked so that they are both pointing toward the side seam. Now, pin piece “A” to “B” at both ends, at each pleat pinned so far, and in the center. Use the extra fabric on each side of center to make 1 more pleat on each side, half way between center and pleat already pinned. These should point towards the side seam also. Now, finish pinning piece “A” to “B”. Sew the seam as in the pattern.
3. Since I was using a very soft, drapey linen and not home décor fabric as in Rae’s sample, I felt my bag needed a bit more body. I cut 2 pieces of pattern piece “A” in décor weight pellon iron on interfacing. After sewing “A” to “B” and pressing seam toward “A”, I ironed on the interfacing to the back of piece “A”. Then I topstitched 1/8th inch along the seam on the “A” piece.
4. The strap- instead of 3” strip, with ¼ “ pressed in, I cut 4 inches then pressed the strip in half down the middle the full length of the strip. Then, I opened it up and pressed both sides into the middle, having the raw edge right against the middle fold line. Then I folded the strip along the center fold pressed in the first step. Then I topstitched. I’ve made quite a few bags this summer and just like the sturdier strap.

Other than those changes, it’s a Buttercup Bag! If you always stick strictly to patterns, this really is a great time to try to use your ideas on a pattern. It’s just 2 fat quarters if you mess up! But you won’t because even if it doesn’t come out exactly like you planned, you will have learned something!

My next project will be a bag or two by Keyka Lou.