Category Archives: Bags & Pouches

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

75% NCW

Since attending the NCW workshop in October I have been ‘hooked’ on this pattern. I have already made several versions with the pattern scaled up by 25% and have lately re-printed at 150% scale. This purse is made at 75% scale.

I used a couple of Fat Quarters from New Threads Quilt Shop to make the outer and flap with the insides also made from sugar skull print plus another fat quarter of pink floral print.

In the process of construction I soon realised that there would not be sufficient space inside to make the usual double zip pockets and therefore this version is restricted to two sets of cards slots, 3 slip sections and just one zip pocket.

Card slots inserted

I used my regular heavyweight fusible interfacing and standard 30mm wide twist lock in nickel for the closure.

Card slots and zip pocket now completed
Finished 75% NCW Purse

I am really pleased with the finished result but feel it is just a little too small. I plan to re-print the pattern at 80% and that additional 5% may be all the extra that I need to make the perfect purse.

15th December 2019

Window Project Bags

I spent a very busy afternoon making three window project bags for my friends at Franklins P&Q club. This design is something that I have worked on and developed over the years. For the windows I use clear vinyl purchased from The Range, or if not available, low volume printed shower curtaining.

The first bag in Liquorice Allsorts print was for Pat. When she celebrated a special birthday recently my friend and I clubbed together to make and give her a Sewing Organiser using the By Annie pattern in this same printed cotton fabric originally purchased from Fabricland.

Pat’s Liquorice WIndow Project Bag

The second for Maureen was made using some animal print cotton linen from Dunelm and the third for Emma was made with Jelly printed cotton linen from Fabricland, Salisbury branch.

Maureen’s Wildlife Project Bag
Emma’s Jellies Project Bag

I put a few sewing themed gifts inside each bag and hope that the ‘girls’ will use them. I shall look out for them when we have our next meeting!

completed 8th December 2019

Sian’s Sewing Accessories

I have met Sian Singleton of Kittenish Behaviour on several occasions and when I attended the last two workshops she admired the sewing accessories that I had made in a pretty daisy printed cotton fabric. The set consisted of a Sewing Organiser case from an ‘Annie Unrein’ pattern, clamshell pouch, large & small scissors cases, machine needle wallet, machine needle organiser, thread bin and Dachshund pin dog.

Sian’s Collection

The Sewing Organiser case is a very complicated and time-consuming project which unfortunately I did not have sufficient time to complete. Sian’s birthday next year is something to aim for! Instead for Christmas I would make the some of the other items and hope that she would enjoy them instead.

I deliberately chose a cotton print in a colour that Sian enjoys and set to to make the different items.

Scissors cases

I started with the scissors cases. The original larger size was featured in a ‘Threads’ magazine many years ago and I have since adapted and refined the pattern to make it my own. I drafted the smaller case to fit the little scissors that I buy from New Threads Quilt Shop, Weyhill Fairground, Andover. The button loops on the cases are hair bungees and the buttons are made up of a large button in one colour plus a smaller button in a contrast. A nice feature I think.

Thread bin and handbag charm
Clamshell Pouch

The storage bin and Clamshell pouch are designs picked up at Sprat & Winkle Quilters sewing retreat days. The wadding in the clamshell pouch is Bosal ® which gives a good firm finish to help the pouch stand upright. I finished of the pouch with a co-ordinating tassel. Everything these days seems to be finished with a tassel!

Pin Dog

The Dachshund pin dog was featured in a sewing magazine – again a long time ago and is stuffed with polyester toy filling. I buy my toy filling from eBay in large quantities. The most recent consignment arrived in a Double Duvet sized box!

I designed and developed the sewing machine needle wallet to counteract the frustration as my packs of needles were forever ‘migrating’ around my sewing room. I could never find the size and type that I wanted quickly. The pockets are made using the same clear vinyl that I also use in my window project bags. An alternative can be low volume printed shower curtaining which I have used in the past. I have refined the pattern sufficiently to be able to release on the internet and look forward to seeing lots more around and about amongst my sewing friends.

completed 5th December 2019

XL Necessary Clutch Wallet for Jenny

Monochrome XL NCW closed

Having made the XL size of Necessary Clutch Wallet three times now, I felt confident in making another to gift to a good friend. Jenny usually wears monochrome fashions and I thought that my signature bold and colourful print would not be appropriate. I found some Grey and White Linen in my ‘landfill’ stash and there was just sufficient to make the outer, flap and wrist strap in this fabric.

XL NCW inside pockets and card slots

I wanted the insides to be a little more ‘exciting’ and used some colourful cotton prints from my Fat Quarter stash in Black, Red and White for the card slots and zip compartments. I used Red zips and finished off with Red tassels on the zip pulls. All the hardware was nickel. Due to the thickness of the linen fabric and stabilisers I used 9mm x 7mm stalk rivets.

completed 5th December 2019

Antje’s XL Necessary Clutch Wallet

XL NCW fpr Antje

For the past several years I have been sharing my sewing adventures with a lady in Germany. We exchange gifts on Birthdays and at Christmas. This year, with my confidence high I decided to make an Extra Large NCW for her.

I know that Antje likes Blue as I have noticed that many of her garments are in this colour. I chose some pretty Paisley on Blue print for the outer and a contrasting Mustard for the inner. Fabrics were purchased specially from New Threads Quilt Shop, Weyhill Fairground, Andover.

XL NCW Showing internal pockets and card slots

I used Nickel for the hardware and the wallet is finished off with two tassels on one of the D rings for the wrist strap and shoulder strap.

completed 2nd December 2019

Pug Dog Linen XL NCW

Having already made a trial version of an enlarged NCW (necessary clutch wallet) using some ‘landfill’ fabric I wanted to revisit the project with a ‘more interesting’ fabric print.

Pug Dog printed Linen
XL Necessary Clutch Wallet

The Pug Dog print linen came in a bag with other ‘destined for landfill’ fabrics and there was only just enough to make this wallet. It was nearly a disaster as the fabric has a one-way design and I cut two pieces for the outer forgetting to reverse the print. I had just enough to re-cut as otherwise half of the pugs would have been upside down! I did manage to cut a wriststrap and shoulder strap from the scraps.

Internal pockets and card slots in lemon yellow cotton

I used some pretty lemon yellow cotton fat quarters from my stash for the internal card slots and zip pockets. The hardware is Brass finish from my bag-making stash and there are lots of rivets!

Lots of rivets

The bag is on offer for sale on eBay but so far no takers.

completed 23rd November 2019

Palate Cleanser NCW

At the end of the sorry exercise of making a tiered skirt that was an abject failure I felt in need of a palate cleanser. I thought that I would run up a TNT project in a couple of hours – an NCW (necessary clutch wallet). But oh no – this time I wanted to make the NCW bigger!

Size comparison – standard and 25% larger

I reprinted the pattern pieces at 125% so the final project measures 10inches wide x 6inches x 1½ inches deep.

As this was going to be a ‘trial’ make I used some donated fabric that was originally intended for landfill. The internal compartments were made with some spare floral print fat quarters from my stash.

Making the outer panel, flap and straps was fairly straightforward but there was some ‘finessing’ required to get the size of the card slots and zip pockets just right.

Inside pockets and card slots – removable wrist strap

I am delighted with the end result which will be great to use and wear with denim ensembles.

XL NCW with adjustable strap

completed 6th November 2019

NCW workshop

As mentioned in a previous post, I was really looking forward to a visit to Beautiful Things based in Brentford, Essex (https://www.beautifulthingshq.com/ ) where I was to attend a workshop.

We would making the Necessary Clutch Wallet (Emmeline Bags) tutored by Sian of Kittenish Behaviour.

https://emmalinebags.com/products/the-necessary-clutch-wallet-pdf

I was joined by my friend from Franklins Monday Patchwork & Quilting Club, Pat B, who lives not far away in Old Sarum. At midday on the Friday we set off in Pat’s lovely new(ish) car, following the instructions on her satellite navigator. After a couple of breaks for refreshments I also got the chance to drive her car which was rather a culture shock. My lovely Toyota Avensis (with manual gearbox) is now 19 years old and I have had it from brand new. As you can imagine there are not a lot of ‘bells and whistles’ on a car that old. Pat’s car has an automatic gearbox with windscreen wipers that come on automatically along with the headlights when it becomes overcast or dark!

Exciting times as we travelled through the Dartford Tunnel, then having undertaken an extensive detour as we missed the exit to the Travelodge(!) we arrived somewhat weary around 5pm.

I have met Sian on three previous occasions – two Sew Southampton meet ups plus the Bag making workshop that she ran on the Isle of Wight in May this year. I have participated in two of the KB pattern swaps, regularly follow Sian’s vlogs, instagram and also subscribe to the KB Peeps facebook page. I feel that I know her quite well.

But now onto the Workshop! We met Claire who is the owner of Beautiful Things (yet another vlogger that I follow) really friendly and a very creative lady. It was lovely to be greeted by Sian and also to make the acquaintance of Di of Daffodil Ledger, another vlogger that I follow. Di is based ‘up North’ and has chickens that regularly feature on her vlogs!

After a general introduction we got down to some serious cutting out, interfacing and preparation of the various ‘innards’ for the NCW. As I had ‘sneakily’ already made a trial version of the wallet it was good to refresh the construction methods and also to pick up lots of tips from Sian including how to add a second zip compartment to the NCW.

Fat Quarter Pack from my Stash

I used some of the fabrics that were in this pack of fat quarters purchased originally from a Patchwork & Quilting shop in Marshside, Lancashire when on a visit to a friend. As you can see from the price label, this purchase was made a long time ago and it is only now that I have got around to finding the ideal project in which to use these unusual prints.

I used the Purple/Burgundy print for the exterior and made the interior pockets from two of the other prints. The flap is lined with a remnant of plain Purple cotton from my stash. The hardware in nickel was supplied by Sian as part of the cost of the workshop. Although I did not think I would be likely to use the wriststrap or adjustable shoulder strap, I did make them as it was an opportunity to see how Sian makes these straps.

There were plenty of refreshments in the form of tea, coffee and biscuits throughout the day. We stopped for a light lunch before cracking on with our work. Finishing up around 4pm we returned to our Travelodge and later joined Sian for a lovely meal in a local hostelry.

Sunday dawned and we were up bright and early ready to attend the workshop and finish our NCWs. Another busy day – lots of chat as we got to know one another better and finally – completed wallets with rivets!!

My ‘masterpiece’ NCW

Following Sian’s suggestion I purchased a rivet press some time ago but have been too afraid to use it! Now, after the practice at Beautiful Things I can count myself as a Riveting Ninja!

Insides showing the Two zip compartments

We all enjoyed our lovely and productive time at Beautiful Things, Claire is a great hostess and Sian an excellent tutor. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for other classes at BTHQ and hope to join Sian on the Isle of Wight in the Autumn of next year for another Sewing Retreat.