Category Archives: Bags & Pouches

Sweetpea Pod Pouches & Pin Dog

At a recent sewing morning with friends I was asked to make a couple of these charming Sweetpea Pod pouches so that they could be gifted to a new sewing granddaughter of one of our members.

I recall that many years ago I made a dozen or so of the pouches as Christmas gifts, however I did not remember exactly how to make them. After a long search through the pattern files on my computer I gave up and ordered a new copy from a seller on

The pdf arrived and has now been safely stored on my patterns usb memory stick. I have also printed off and placed in my ‘quick projects’ folder!

It took about 40 minutes to make the two pouches and I still had a large piece of the fabric remaining. What to do? I made yet another pin dog! So in the space of 1½ hours I had completed the projects and hope that the recipient will enjoy using the sewing accessories as much as I did when making them.

Sweetpea Pouches & Pin Dog

Project #29 completed 27th May 2022

Applique Patchwork Bag

The second Monday of each month is when I attend the Patchwork & Quilting club/class at Franklins in Salisbury. This week we enjoyed a new form of raw-edge applique using patchwork shapes.

Emma had sent through a list of requirements together with a link to a Youtube video on how to make a simple lined tote bag. I prepared as per the instructions and during the morning’s class was pleased to make the initial appliques and fuse them onto the centre panel of my bag.

I completed the decorative stitching on the appliques at home together with the construction of the bag. I watched the vlog on my Hudl tablet but must admit that I found the instructions confusing. I think in future I will stick my TNT method for bag making.

Conclusion: I am very pleased with the end result which has used up a tiny fraction of my scraps stash fabrics. There will definitely be more in the future!

Project #4 completed11th January 2022

Bargello Patchwork Bags

Now I am in full swing for Christmas gifts sewing. These are the first to be completed but the descriptions will not be posted until after Christmas Day as I know the recipient regularly visits this blog.

I made two Bargello patchwork blocks using a Fabric Freedom jelly roll that I knew matched one that Antje had shown in her correspondence with me. I bordered the blocks with strips from the jelly roll to give larger blocks as I wanted to make this a LARGE bag. I used a contrast lining of Blue background Lewis & Irene print that I had been keeping for a special project. I added a small zip pocket to the lining, plus a slip pocket as I always find such things very useful. The carrying handles/straps are made from strips from the jelly roll and are extra long so that the bag can be carried over the shoulder.

The second item made using the jelly roll was a patchwork project bag. I utilised some of the remnants of the Bargello patchwork for one side and made a ‘quilt as you go’ diagonal patchwork for the reverse. The zip closure came from my stash and I added a pretty tassel to the zip pull as that little something extra!

To complete the project I added a key fob using yet another strip from the jelly roll. The parcel was posted off to Germany on Monday 6th December. I hope that it arrives in time and that Antje is pleased with the gift.

Projects #84 & #85 completed 2nd December 2021

Oriental theme Christmas Gifts

For this person I chose some fabric printed with little Japanese girls in traditional dress. The recipient seems to have an affinity with the Orient as her website has a Japanese name and in the past she has introduced me to Manga art.

Once again I made a ‘window’ project bag and supplemented this with a simple slip case suitable for a ‘kindle’ or ipad.

The project bag was filled with a printed pattern for bagmaking and a selection of charm-sized (5 inch squares) pretty cotton fabrics.

Projects #90 and #91 completed 6th December 2021

An Elephant in the Room

Joan has long been a lover of these gentle giants and when I visited her in her new apartment recently, noticed a large and colourful picture of a Bull elephant in the hallway. So for this project bag I purchased a selection of fat quarters of cotton fabric featuring elephants.

I now feel pretty expert at making these bags. I was able to use three of the prints from the selection plus a length of zip and a couple of tassels for the ring pull from my stash.

The bag was filled with a variety of other small gifts including a Christmas gnome (without the battery), elephant print scarf, set of nail polishes and posted off to Chiswick.

Project #92 completed 6th December 2021

Christmas Robins

This morning I opened the curtains and was greeted with the sight of a light sprinkling of snow all around the garden. What better reminder that today was the day to start on my Christmas Gift sewing?

First on the list was an apron and project bag using a charming Robin printed linen-look cotton. I purchased just one metre of fabric from Amazon for £11.58 and used the ‘Sam’ pattern free from Helen’s Closet.

I made view B of the pattern and used cotton tape for the straps. It took about an hour and a half to make the apron and I am delighted with it. I definitely need one for me!

I based the project bag on the design that Lizzie at Sprat & Winkle Quilters showed us a few weeks ago. I am thrilled that I managed to pattern match the birds over the closure strip and also that the quilting is the same on the reverse of the bag. The zip on the project bag came from the stash, as did the tassels on the zip pull. The crystal clear PVC was bought from Amazon, 2.5 metres for £6.20so I have plenty left for more project bags.

So that’s the basics ready for one lady on my list, for the next I need to clean the machine and re-thread with Blue to make another project bag using Bargello strip patchwork. Watch this space.

Projects #82 & #83 completed 29th November 2021.

Lizzie’s Project Bag #1+2

At a meeting of our local Patchwork & Quilting Group, Lizzie demonstrated these really useful project bags. The bag can be made out of scraps of whatever you have to hand. You could use an orphan block for the back or piece both the front and the back. For my initial project bag I used some scraps of Batik printed cotton that were left over after making my tiered skirt ‘Montana’ dress by Style Arc.

Additional requirements for making the bag are Bosal® foam wadding (or car headliner foam as used in bag-making), PVC (I used some clear vinyl purchased some time ago from The Range), a zip for the closure and binding 2¼ inch wide for the outer edges.

Following Lizzie’s comprehensive instructions I was easily able to complete the first bag in a couple of hours, including the quilting of the front and back sandwich with Bosal ®. My finished bag measures 14½ inches wide x 12½ inches high, plenty big enough to take A4 sheets of instructions etc for projects.

I was so pleased with the result that this morning I made another bag. This is slightly smaller as I used whatever remnants that I had to hand. The bag measures 12½ inches wide x 10¼ inches high and is still large enough to take an A4 sheet.

The zip pulls on each bag have been finished with a couple of coordinating tassels. I love that look!

Project #68-69 completed 20th October 2021

Quilted Kindle Case

I read from my Kindle every day and like to keep it safe in a padded case. The original case has fallen apart so now I needed to ‘run up’ a new one. I had two scraps of fabric remnants from other projects which were just the right size to make a new case. Using some wadding from an old ironing board cover I quilted the remnant of face fabric. I started with a diagonal grid but then went ‘off plan’ and completed one of my favourite designs where straight lines turn into curves.

I was making up the construction as I went along and having completed the quilting I then stitched the outer to the lining right sides together leaving one end open to turn through. However, I forgot to stitch the sides together before turning right side out and thus have had to hand stitch them – not my favourite pastime!

The flap was finished by turning the lining fabric to the outside, folding and top stitching in place. I also popped in a hair bungee to use as the loop for the button. The button is infact two buttons stitched together which is a favourite method to give additional interest to a plain button.

Now I can rest assured that my kindle is snug, safe and sound in its own padded case.

Project #46 completed 10th July 2021

XXL Necessary Clutch Wallet

My ‘journey’ into NCWs continues. I have now made the standard size wallet several times. A couple where I sized up by 25%, one where I sized down to 75% and now for this adventure I sized up to 150% of the original size.

To size up the pattern I simply printed at 150% and then where the pattern exceeded the size of the A4 sheet, added additional paper and ‘winged’ it! By increasing by 50% some simple arithmetic was involved e.g. where the original was 8 inches, the new size was 12 inches etc. To calculate the size of the pattern piece for the card slots was the most complicated. In the end, I drafted a new piece by drawing out the fold and stitching lines based on the formula of 2 ½ inches for the first line, *1¾ inches for the second, 2¼ inches for the third*, repeat from * to * until when folded the finished piece measured 6 inches in length plus seam allowances.

I started the construction by making up a long adjustable strap. I used 30mm nickel hardware for the adjusting rectangle and two nickel swivel hooks.

Next I cut out the main outer pattern piece, taking care to centre up the design and also stitching two pieces together so that the one-way design had the correct orientation once the clutch wallet was made up. I then cut the flap and tried to match up the design. I ensured that the stand of the central motif continued down from the flap to the clutch wallet but sadly did not quite achieve a perfect match for the outer jellies!

I made up the flap and used Peltex stiffening in addition to the heavyweight fusible interfacing. For stitching I used a ‘Jeans’ no.80 needle in the machine. As the flap is so much larger, now was the opportunity to use a different lock. I had ordered this Large Flip Lock

from Emmeline Bags in the USA* and although the size was listed on the website it was still larger than I had anticipated but was an ideal size for this project. Insertion of the lock went really well as I now have a dedicated screwdriver to use on those pesky tiny fixing screws. *For future supplies, I will use Sew Hot based in the UK

Stitching the large card slots fabric pattern piece that had been interfaced with some stiff fusible interfacing was a little like wrestling a bag of cats, but I got there in the end.

Next was the two zipped pockets. I used some spare fabric from my stash of fat quarters and a pair of zips that my father had supplied from when he worked at the Opti-lon zip factory in Kent. Making the zip pockets was fairly simple. As is my usual practice – I added some colourful tassels to the zip pulls. I then had to stitch them into the clutch wallet and finish off with a rectangular shaped box to fix everything in place which is the very last piece of stitching on this project.

The insides of my first XXL-sized Necessary clutch wallet

Lastly, some riveting. I love to apply rivets to my projects and cannot get enough of them!

Front of the XXL NCW

I am delighted with the bag and think that I will take it with me to use as an evening clutch when on my Greek Islands cruise in May this year.

Back of the XXLNCW

Completed 28th January 2020

Companion Carpet Bag

I have now made three versions of the Companion Carpet Bag using the 8inch frame, this will be the fourth and possibly last, at least for a while!

Now that we are in the throes of Winter weather, cold, wet, and windy I decided that I needed a more ‘neutral’ handbag.

For this version I used some furnishing weight linen that was gifted to me together with some faux snakeskin vinyl that I bought back in August from Thimbles Fabrics and Crafts at the Festival of Quilts held at Birmingham National Exhibition Centre. For the lining I raided my stash of fat quarters from New Threads Quilt Shop and the zip for the internal pocket came from the stash that was supplied by my father from when he was an Engineer at Optilon zip factory. The fabrics were stabilised with heavyweight fusible interfacing plus Bosal ® foam wadding.

As I have made the bag before, the construction was pretty straightforward. Unfortunately I did not have sufficient of the Grey colourway of linen but was able to use some co-ordinating print linen for the bag frame channel. Some wrestling of the fabric was involved as I turned the bag right side out as all that stabilising, wadding and faux snakeskin made the outer very substantial.

I had found the fabulous plastic and nickel finish bag handles in my bag-making stash and attached them to the bag with rivetted tabs of faux snakeskin. I particularly like this method and it will be appearing on future bag makes. I attached a flap closure using two pieces of faux snakeskin with a concealed magnetic snap.

Inside showing zip internal pocket with tassel trim

The finishing touches were pretty little tassels on the zip pull of the internal pocket and a faux leather ‘handmade’ label attached to the plain outer side of the bag.

My new favourite Companion Carpet Bag

I am just so pleased and proud of this bag that it makes me smile every time I use it.

18th December 2019