April 1, 2015

The Manhattan Bag - April 2015 Bag of the Month Club

Yay!! It's finally April and my turn to present a sewing pattern for the 

I hope you love my new sewing pattern, the Manhattan bag! I don't know why I have been so nervous to share it with you all. It did turn out great and my pattern testers love it so much that they have already made them multiple times. Simone S. is on her 4th, and Barbara H. has plans to make a 4th soon too. But still, I have been very nervous. I hope you like them!

The Manhattan comes in 2 sizes (Mamma & Miss), and also includes additional instructions for a"Removable Case" for eyeglasses, sunglasses, or other items.

The Manhattan the above black fabric depicting the Manhattan skyline, is extremely fun to make and very unique, because the front flap actually zips open along it's edge! Why? So you can put cool stuff in it!! I have included instructions for the aforementioned "Removable Case" and this actually sticks into the flap and is….. wait for it….. removable!!  Here are some pictures, and I will explain about this flap and removable case… and other possible additions as we look at the lovely pictures.

This black version is actually the smaller "Miss" size, and I've been carrying it for a couple of weeks already. It's small enough to be a "preteen" bag, but still large enough to fit a large wallet like the Necessary Clutch Wallet. (Yes, I knew you would ask if it fit an NCW.) I have made 4 of these, and they really go together so quickly. There is a front pocket, which you can see in the purple corduroy/ triangle print just below, and an internal slip pocket too.

Black Bag Fabric: from the City Quilter in Manhattan NY
Purple Bag Fabric: Unknown Corduroy and Spotlight brand poplin print. 
I have made 3 Mamma's so far, but 1 is really not worth showing. I have plans to make the "ultimate" Manhattan Mamma, which will have the Manhattan Skyline fabric in black for the front flap & herringbone wool (black/grey) for the Exterior. I bought the wool at Mood Fabrics in Manhattan, and later that day my friend and I cuddled under it for warmth while on the open-air double-decker bus tour.  For the lining, a modern looking Liberty of London print that I bought the same day at B&J Fabrics.  I WILL make this bag - someday.

Here is the Mamma size bag made in a Navy cotton/poly twill, and lined with a cute triangle print poplin I bought at Spotlight. I believe it is just a Spotlight brand fabric, because it just says "Made in Japan" on the selvage. I love it! The gold label says "Handcrafted - Made in Canada", and I do not stock these. This was a sample that was sent to me when I designed them, but I ended up just getting the nickel finish. It does look great with that metal zipper though. (If you want to use a metal tooth zipper, there are tutorials to help you shorten them by removing the teeth. Google it!)

The Removable Case is secured in the front flap of the bag. Click to Enlarge!
The back zipper pocket and Removable Case
Here's what YOU can make!

Miss Size:
Front Exterior Pocket
Interior Slip Pocket
Shoulder strap/Optional Adjustable cross body strap
Front Flap that zips open, to turn into a pocket of it's own. 

Mamma Size:
Rear exterior zipper pocket
Large front exterior pocket
Large interior slip pocket
Shoulder strap/Optional Adjustable cross body strap
Front Flap that zips open, to turn into a pocket of it's own. 
Velcro attachments to attach items, such as the Removable Case.

Removable Case:
An Eyeglass or Sunglass case with velcro on the back
to attach in the front flap.

Free Tutorials Coming!
The other purpose of the velcro is for future free tutorials presented on my blog. I have planned different items to go into the front flap, such as a removable coin/card case, pen/pad set, & a curved zipper pouch.

Let's look at some more pictures and get some inspiration…..

This peacock fabric (Magestic Beauties by Wilmington Prints) is very popular in my local quilt shop, so I thought I would give it a try. It did turn out great, but I am not sure it is really my style. We'll see which family member claims it. The black yarn-dyed Essex Linen with the Sweet as Honey fabric by Bonnie Christine… that one is going to my niece Kezia.  I think she will LOVE it. I know she will, because she saw pictures already. This is just the perfect size bag for a cute little preteen.

Click to Enlarge!
You could make the Miss size with a short strap, measured to fit, with hardware, or without any hardware at all. It's all up to you.

My iPhone 6, with case, does fit in the front exterior pocket, as well as the internal slip pocket in the Miss size.

Let's look at some more Mamma details!  The Mamma has a zipper pocket on the back exterior, that the Miss size does not.

I have never used Velcro in a bag that I have made before. I always thought it… tacky… har, har. But for this application, I think it works because not only will I be adding other items to go in and out (which will use up a lot of snaps) but I don't want metal bits in there damaging my cool shades. Small snaps, or invisible sew-in magnets are a great option though.

 A diaper and travel wipe case fit perfect in the front flap, for that Mamma on the go! No babies? Me neither, but my Kobo e-reader fits in there perfectly!

This little Miss went to my 10 year old neighbour, Sydney. She adores it and even made me a pretty thank you poster and a cute little note. You are welcome, Syd! I really wanted to use some of my gold hardware and this Japanese style print from Robert Kaufman was perfect. I have had this stuff or almost 8 years I think.

You may notice that some of the photos are front exterior pockets are slip pockets or "patch" pockets, and that was part of my original design, but I changed it to one that is pieced in like a panel and much for professional. Sadly for my testers, this was after I sent them the instructions. I just knew I couldn't leave it like it was though, because I would never be happy.

Tester Photos!!!
I've had some very patient pattern testers, and I really must thank them profusely, because I sent them so many versions that they probably thought I was insane. Okay, they know that I am insane.

This gorgeous black & white was made by Jayne Baldwin. Her fabric looks like it was made for this bag. She used a black pinwale corduroy (fashion weight) and a black and white home dec cotton for the exterior, and the inside is a cotton batik.

Jayne has used a pearl snap for the Removable Case. 

Nice glasses, Jayne!
Natalie from Carry Hers by Natalie, made 2 beautiful bags. This first one is blue vinyl with a very pretty decor cotton.

This Miss size has a really cool story behind it.  The black fabric is actually a remnant black jean couch cover from Ikea, and the front flap is a flour bag. The story is that S.J. Bellamy from the Bellamy flour Mill is actually Natalie's Great, Great, Great Uncle. The mill is now located at Upper Canada Village in Ottawa, Ontario. Not just a cool story, but a GORGEOUS bag!

Another cool story!  Barbara Hourigan made this Mother/Daughter Mamma/Miss set for her cousin and her cousins daughter. They actually live in Manhattan! This fabric, Curtain Call by Willmington prints is just such a perfect choice for a music teacher that used to sing opera at the Met!

It's funny because I said to Samantha Hussey when designing this bag, "I wonder if I should put a strip a fabric down the flap," and she said, "I think they will put one in if they want one." Well Barbara did add strips down the middle, as well as piping on her front pocket. Well done!

Barbara has also made herself a Miss size bag that is joining her on her trip to Florida as Mother-of-the-Bride!  She has used her trademark decorative stitching, as well as added a pocket in the flap for her bus pass that will automatically scan through the fabric.  Also, in the front flap, a bag for her music player. This fabric is called Sand and Sky, by Jinny Beyer. I love the way she has quilted this bag.

Love that bag bling. 

It's all in the details!

With bus pass pocket and zipper pouch!
Simone Symonds has made 3 bags so far. She plans on blogging about them her blog in the next few days. http://theequilateraldonkey.blogspot.com.au/
She's made 1 Mamma, 1 Miss, & a Master too! Here are the wee ones.
For the boy's version, she squared of the front flap for a more masculine version. And… the dear boy loves it!

The "Master"

Simone's Miss bag.
Simone has also made herself a Mamma Size!  She's calling this the Manhattan Mamma Luxe! With pleather, faux fur, and duchess satin lining, it's definitely luxurious!

With faux fur trim!

Luxurious satin Linin. 

Thank you to my pattern testers!

So the last thing to do is ask YOU, which cover do you like for the pattern?  This one….

or this one?

I hope you love the Manhattan bag. Please watch for the free tutorials for the little pouches and cases that will be coming. I hope to put at least 1 out per month for the next 3 months. Follow along on in my sewing group on Facebook or sign up for the Newsletter to get notifications.

Yes this will be sold individually on my website July 1st, but until then it is an exclusive Bag of the Month Club offering. You can hop over the club information by following the big red link at the top of this post!

Don't forget to enter your completed bag photos in the Bag of the Month Club Flickr group to enter to win 1 of a PILE of prizes!! Read about the prizes, and our amazing sponsors here.

Thank you for reading and following along,


March 24, 2015

Poppet Purses - A Free Tutorial by Mrs H

Anyone interested in a little purse tutorial?  Of course you are! Samantha shows us how to make some cute little purses that you can make in any size - and actually these would be a great kids sewing project too. I can see me doing a production line of this scrap buster soon. Let's get to it!  (PS.. Thank you Samantha!!)

Hi everyone,

I'm Samantha, aka Mrs H, from Sewing patterns by Mrs H. I also blog over at 'At home with Mrs H' where you can see a slice of our crazy family life!

I've got a great tutorial for you today to make these cute little poppet purses. They're really simple to make, and great for using up scraps! I've got one in the car with parking change, I've given them to all of my friends kids and they'll make ideal Easter gifts with a coin or two inside!

Material requirements
You will need two 4" x 11" fabric, one outer and one lining. You'll also need 4” x 11” of medium interfacing or similar stabiliser.

You will also need one snap; I use KAM snaps.

Cutting out
Poppet purse template: Cut 1 outer, 1 lining, and one medium interfacing

  • Seam allowance is 3/8” (1cm) unless otherwise stated.
  • Secure every row of stitching with a backstitch or two as you go.

1) Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the purse outer.

2) Pin the purse outer and purse lining together, right sides facing. Mark a gap in the side around 2” (5cm) with pins.

I have marked mine with double pins at the start and end of the turning gap.

3) Stitch around the edge of the purse, starting and stopping where you've marked your turning gap.

Make sure to secure your stitching with a backstitch.

4) Clip your bottom two corners straight across without catching your stitching. Then snip an extra small part of the seam allowance away to form the pointed shape shown in the photo.

5)  Notch the curve using some small, sharp scissors. Make sure you don't snip through your stitching.

6) Turn your layers through the turning gap, so that they are right sides out.

Use a blunt chopstick to poke the corners out, and then run it around the inside of the curve, to smooth out the seam.

7) Press the purse, and then tuck the seam allowance of the turning gap under, and press into place.

8) Stitch the turning gap closed with as small and neat a stitch as possible. I like to use a ladder stitch.

You can skip this step, but it makes a nicely finished item to hand stitch the gap closed before moving on.

9) Fold the bottom edge up 5 ¾” (14.5cm) and press into place. This will now be known as the purse front.

10) Fold the curved flap down so that the purse is in thirds. Press into place. This will be called the flap.

11) Using a removable fabric marker, make a dot ½” (1.25cm) from the curve, and centred on the flap.

12) Use either an awl, or another sharp object to push a hole through the dot, just on the flap.

13) Poke your fabric marker through the hole on the flap, to make a dot on the purse front beneath. This should be 1” (2.5cm) from the bottom fold, and centred.

14) Unfold your purse to make sure you don't go through the layers underneath and then using your awl, or sharp object, make a hole in the purse front.

15) Insert a snap prong through the hole on the flap, and then add the male part. Fasten it using your pliers, or snap setter. The 'nice' side of your snap should be on your outer fabric side.

16) Insert a snap prong through the hole on the purse front, and then add the female part. The female part should be on your outer fabric side. Fasten it using your pliers or your snap setter.

The photo above may help. If in doubt, fold the purse up and this should help you work out which side of the snap goes where.

17) Fold your purse up and pin the sides.
Stitch along the sides, 1/8” (3mm) from the edge if you did not close your turning gap by hand, or ¼” (6mm) from the edge if you already stitched the gap closed.

If you are confident at sewing around curves, you may wish to top stitch around your flap at this time.

All that's left now is to find something to put in your purse and then snap it closed!

Thank you so much Janelle for letting me guest-post.

If you make anything from one of my patterns or tutorials, I'd love for you to link up to my Flickr Group. 
I'm especially excited about my newest pattern, The Saddlebag, which is available now for instant download on my Etsy store. I look forwards to seeing what you make!

Samantha is an independent pattern designer, living in Wales, UK, who writes bag sewing patterns and sells handbag supplies. You can find her over on her blog , facebook page, Pinterest boards , Instagram  and last but not least, her Etsystore.

February 14, 2015

The Retreat Bag - A FREE Sewing Tutorial

This cute boxy looking pouch is a gem! I am so pleased with how these turn out.  It's just perfect for any retreat, or gift, or swap bag, or make-up bag, or wet bag, or shaving bag, or pencil bag, or toy bag…. did I say sewing bag?

The Retreat Bag is a simple zippered pouch with a wide base and a wide structured opening. There is a casing in the top where you insert two wire frames (one on each side), which helps it stay open when open, and helps turn the corners down when closed. It has two optional slip pockets inside and a long zipper that helps it open wide.

by Ellen Wiedman
The key to having a nicely shaped Retreat Bag is interfacing, interfacing and interfacing. One layer of interfacing and then a layer of fusible Thermolam Plus fleece on the exterior, in addition to interfacing on the lining and you are all set. Even with the interfacing, it makes up really quickly. You could try it with other soft stabilizers as well, and if you chose to, you could even leave out the frames and let it stand up proud. (But I think the frames really make it!)

The girls at the 2015 NCW Retreat in NSW (yet to be blogged about) tried it out first and then helped me name it. Here are some of their photos!!

by Danielle from Paisley Avenue

By Andrea from Bubs by Andie

by Ellen Wiedman

by Jodie from Three Little Chickens

Simone added some of my cute metal zipper ends to her bag. I think they make an awesome addition!
You can find the Zipper Ends HERE.

by Simone Symonds

by Simone Symonds

by Nyssa Lesniak

by Melisa from Melisa Jane Handmade

by Melanie from Buntings & Things

by Kristina Hambly
By Cynthia Phillpotts

By Cynthia Phillpotts

by Gail Newman

In these two pictures below, Simone has used some oilcloth and left the pockets out to make a wet bag! Perfect for traveling.

by Simone Symonds

After I  instructed them on how to make it, and promising to write a tutorial for it, I came home to Canada refreshed and retreated (actually very jet lagged) and made a few minor changes. Changing the way the zipper is constructed and the wires are put in helps it keep it shape a bit better and fold down nicer at the top.

(Scroll down to the bottom of the page)

If you make this bag, please send me some photos of it in action, or post them in the Emmaline Flickr photo pool.  

If you haven't joined the Emmaline Facebook pages yet, please do so to stay up to date on the latest tutorials, patterns and bag hardware.
Here they are:

Emmaline business page and
Emmaline Sewing Patterns Group - fun Facebook group for chat, help and inspiration



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