bags christmas i made it quilts

Quilted tote

Every year for Christmas my cousins draw names for gifts, and we’re not supposed to spend more than $20.. Well this was more than $20 of effort, but less than $20 in materials. Works for me.

I contacted the cousin whose name I got and asked if I could make her a bag, and what her favorite color was. She said yellow. I’m not super great at color picking when it comes to nonrepresentational use, and I’ve always had a hard time with yellow. I have a few yellow dyes but they don’t really go together very well? So I decided to do a greyscale to make the one shade of yellow really pop. (“Make it pop,” oh the color cliches!)

This bag is based on the Linus bag I made for myself in the fall, but it’s bigger and sturdier thanks to the addition of some canvas in between the layers.

gift tote - finished and washed

gift tote - interior

All of the fabrics are dyed by me, except the pink piping and the black bias tape around the top.

After doing this whole thing I realized I should have made really long yellow handles and just sewed them on top of the sides, rather than piecing the yellow vertical stripe and trying to match the handle ends. Duh. I made a few small mistakes, but 85% of a good job is good enough.

bags cats i made it quilts

Linus in Space tote bag

This summer, I finally got around to uploading Linus-themed designs to Spoonflower. I ordered a couple of fat quarters instead of the regular 8×8″ swatches. I wanted a new giant tote bag with a lot of pockets for myself, but I couldn’t find any patterns or tutorials online that had everything I wanted, so I just improvised off some rectangle shapes and things I had learned from making bags in the past. I used this zippered pocket tutorial for sewing the inside zipper pocket. There are things I would change a bit if I did it over again, but it’s pretty sturdy and I like it a lot!

Linus quilted tote bag, side one

Linus quilted tote bag, side two

The sides have panels of the Linus fabric in the middle, pieced bits of hand-dyed chartreuse and grey fabric around them.

Linus quilted tote bag, interior
The inside has five different-sized slip pockets (sunglasses, phone, pens, wad of Starbucks napkins), a zip pocket, and a key fob. The fabric is Star Jacks from Michael Miller Fabrics.

Linus quilted tote bag, end oneLinus quilted tote bag, end two
The ends and bottom feature some kind of bad FMQ of stars and spaceships and rockets. Wheeeeeeee

I couldn't convince him to get into the bag.
Linus himself was unimpressed and wouldn’t get inside the bag when I tried to tempt him. Thbbbppppp he says.

50/52 bags

50/52: Improving a purse (#16)

Several years ago I made the pleatness bag from a tutorial on Craftster. I made two, actually. I was enamored with the prints I was using and failed to pay attention to how the fabrics would hold up, and didn’t pick my thread carefully.. The first one made it for a little while, but was very floppy and kind of unusable. I did a much better job on the second one, but didn’t realize that I used serger thread instead of regular thread to put it together. Stitches were skipped. Seams were coming loose. It was fine for a while but I eventually gave it up and used other bags. It’s been sitting in my closet for two and a half years.

I finally fixed the most egregious things: The seams across the top needed to be reinforced, and the bottom needed a stiff insert so it wouldn’t fold up so much. DONE!

I’m happy I’ll be able to use it again, because I love that metric system fabric!

bags i made it


Soooo my six-year-old PowerBook had a bad bit of hard drive failure in the middle of May. I wasn’t super distraught, as it was no longer my primary computer, but I do enjoy couch internet quite a bit and was looking to replace it. I was also looking to replace the six-year-old click wheel iPod I’d gotten at the same time as the Powerbook.

This ended with me buying an iPad to replace both. Whoops. All the cases I’ve found are sold out, prototypes, or things I don’t really like. Sewing machine to the rescue: I threw together a simple soft sleeve in a couple of hours, just to keep it from getting damaged in my bag until something better (with a stand!!) comes along.

This metric system fabric is my greatest thrift score of all time.

Fleecy fabric inside to prevent scratching.

bags i made it jewelry machine embroidery


Red is not my color. Almost all my clothes are coooooool – blue, green, violet – I’m the ocean, look at me. So I have this dress in a fantastic mod print of all olive and mustard shades, and I was going to a wedding, and I needed some accessories. Red may not be my best all-over shade, but it’s good here!

A small superquick clutch

It fit all the important stuff.

And I decided I should have a big red necklace, so I followed this tutorial and made my own:

bags i made it

stripey, patchy. clouds? no. tote bags!

I used the Quilted Garden Tote tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew! to make this stripey, patchy tote for my mom.

bags i made it

Oh, it has been done

The bag has been finished.

(In the interest of full disclosure, it was NOT finished when this picture was taken; however the addition of the lining did not change its outward appearance!)

It’s so heavy now that it’s done, too! We did a bit of a test run today and used it as a fourth shopping bag on our grocery trip today. Being that the bottom didn’t fall off when it was full, I think it’s going to last a while. Huzzah.

bags i made it

So far-

Lately, I’ve been doing work on pieces for Wandering Alice. My day job has been busy and we’ve had social things to do too. So my for-me and for-etsy making has been a bit stalled. Unfortunate!

I’ve been working on the Amy Butler Weekender Travel Bag. It’s going a bit slowly. I made the main side panels last week, and last night did the outside top part with the zipper. When I got to putting the pockets onto the top part, I made them upside down! Fool. Sooo.. I stopped there, and have to recut those pieces before I can move on.
Pattern sewing is not really my strength, but this bag will probably turn out all right.

Here’s a shot of the finished sides. Woohoo for first-time piping!

GIGANTIC. Really. Huge.

I’ve also been working on going through stacks of paper and ephemera I’ve collected over the years. Instructional stuff and usable bits of stuff have been catalogued into manila envelopes, binders, and folders. The rest is newspaper clippings, printouts, and pictures which I’ve started taping into my current sketchbook.
I was doing some of that last week while watching Akira. Then I got sidetracked and drew a coelacanth.

Haha, living fossil!

bags i made it


Our friends John and Gosia were getting married last month. I was wearing a dress that has an awesome mod print in shades of olive and mustard over off-white, but I had no appropriately sized purse to go with it. So, a few hours before the wedding, I threw together a little zippered clutch. Again, not perfect, but it fit my wallet, camera, phone, etc. It’ll work well as a pencil case aside from that 🙂