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Whew! I'm rather proud of this design. It is the result of much head scratching, seam ripping and turning the work round and round (in the same way as I need to turn maps round to read them - do you do that too?)
Besides it's looks - (which I think are 'rather swish and grown-up') the thing that is special about this bag is that it has 3 compartments (2 same-sized main compartments and 1 smaller middle compartment) and is fully lined. From the side the 2 main compartments resemble bellows. Yes, this may not sound all that special on paper, but I can't be the only person who has picked up a 'bellows style' bag/purse and wondered: 'how in the 'heckery' do they do that? Well, after much 'GRRRRRR" I figured it out. Hoo hoo!
A bag that has 3 compartments makes for easier organisation and rummaging. You can store your large items in the large front and back compartments and you can store your smaller keys, phone and wallet etc. in the small middle compartment. What is handy is that you can access all 3 compartments via one flap (this means no having to pop open or unzip various pockets to get at what you need). The bag is secure thanks to it's posh-looking tongue lock and thanks to the placement of the bag handles (standing up over the flap) there's even less access for naughty fingers!
You might be thinking, 'if she had a 'whale of time' figuring out this design, then won't it be a 'mare' for me to make? I can assure you this bag is no harder to make than my usual designs. I have included 30 pics in with this pattern and none of the steps are hard or exotic. Honest!
Things we love:
She's secure - the tongue lock is effective and looks fab. The bag handles stand up over the bag flap and this further increases security.
She looks so professional - we think she has 'It Girl' looks!
She's versatile - she's meant to be held by her leather handles, but should you need your hands free you can slip on the shoulder strap.
She's not nearly as hard to make as you might think - I promise.
She's roomy and organised - for her neat dimensions she can hold fair amount! Organise everything over 3 compartments and enjoy calm rummaging.
The shoulder strap is clip-on so you can choose to use it or not. For a neater look I have placed the strap loops low enough so they are not visible from the bag front.
Ta dah! In this side view you can clearly see that that bag comprises of 2 main compartments that are stitched together - resembling bellows.
Here I am in my head local chi chi coffee shop casually showing off placing my sophisticated new bag on a chair... 'Yes, I did make it myself, actually'. :)
Three compartments provide lots of room for lots of things. The bag can easily store: umbrella, water, book/book reader, wallet, keys, phone, camera, cardi, knitting/crochet project, tablet etc etc. The pefectly matching cerise pink fabric is Kona solid in Pomegranate.
Sorry, I can't believe you actuaaaaaly made this... :)
So I hope you like my new bellows bag design as much as we do. Thing is we can't start offering the pattern until it has a name. Can you help?
CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
Contest Details (please read carefully)
To one lucky winner we'll send a BLANK bag making kit (with pattern) for this bag. It will contain all you need except fabrics, thread.
To enter all you have to do is comment on THIS PARTICULAR POST by:
Picking a name for this bag design. As a couple of pointers I tend NOT to name my items after girls names (such as 'Alice Purse' because IMHO that has little meaning...), instead I tend to lean towards names which in some way describe the item.
Please DO NOT focus on the fabric of this bag as this is a pattern only. Ta!
Enter as many times as you like.
Contest Official-ness :
We'll select the winning name this Friday 3rd (GMT) and announce the winner the same day.
I'll need to ask the winner to make a donation for the postage (the kit will be sent as soon as the pattern is published).
Sorry I can't notify winners, so please keep an eye for the winner announcement. This is made easier for you if you subscribe to this blog so you don't have to keep checking back, although it's always great to have you pop-in for a read :0)
Prizes which are not claimed within 3 weeks of the winner announcement will be carried forward to the next draw.
Sorry I can't reply to contest/draw comments, but I do love reading every single one :
Last Mother's Day, my lovely daughter and husband clubbed together to get me a paragliding taster session in the Sussex Downs. My friend's son and husband did the same. So last Sunday us 'mad-for-it' girls enjoyed a 'happy to be alive' kind of day flying around in the English countryside.
If you've a mind to try it, go for it! To get going there's a lot to remember (like when you first learn to drive), but the soaring feeling is bliss. Just as well, because walking back up the hill, again and again is pants!
In the background is my courageous friend, seated is her less courageous husband and their lovely boy (who happens to be Mabes's boyfriend).
I dunno what my husband is laughing at, I think I look totes graceful! :)
These bags are a must for anyone who has stuff that they want to easily sort through and keep tidy - basically, these bags would be handy for anyone!
The Dishy Bag has a nice wide base so you can: rummage/play/sort/work/craft/knit/crochet/etc. on the bag with ease. And when you want the mess to go away, you simply pull on the drawstring handles, draw up the bag and hang it up somewhere, or leave it in the corner of the room - ahh all tidy again!
These bags are fab for storing their toys. The kids can sit in or out of the Dishy Bag and play and when they are done, they/you draw up the bag and 'shazam', the toys are tidied away. Quick, easy and far preferable to spending the evening on your knees, scouring the floor for squillions of minute toy bits, or piercing your feet on those jagged (instruments of foot death) Lego pieces (and the like). By keeping those toys bits safely stored, we might even save money from not having to replace said lost toys bits - happy days!
Not only is this a useful pattern, it is a versatile one. I have included instructions on how to make the Dishy Bag to any size that you want. So you can easily make a mah-oosive 'fit's 2 kids + toys' size bag to a diddy 'sits on your dressing table cosmetics bag'. By playing with the bag width and height dimensions you can make wide and shallow Dishy bags or narrower and taller bin/bowl shaped Dishy bags. Whatever the occasion calls for!
Things we love:
Really easy to make - once you've figured out your size, the bag is quick to whip up (to make life easy - I have included dimensions for a medium size bag: 28in x 3 1/12in (71cm x 9cm).
Really useful - most anyone will have a use (and a good few more) for these bags.
Really clever - at least I think so. I like to fill my Dishy bag with her toys and take it to: my friend's/relatives houses/on holiday/restaurant. It's perfect as an easy to tidy mobile play area.
Really flexible - make the Dishy bag to any size to suit your needs.
Really cool - choose fabrics to match your home. The bag's simple circle shape lends itself well to showcasing your fave fabrics.
I'm pretty fussy about design ergonomics and the usefulness of things. I love it when gadgets perform the task they are supposed to, and when they do it well I get a buzz!
After years of restricting myself from hoarding stuff, stuff, stuff. I'm not bad at not amassing loads of (shove-it-in-the-back-of-a-cupboard) gadgets.
Here are my 5 most loved and oft-used kitchen gadgets:
Kenwood Mini Chopper. Made famous by UK's own Delia Smith, this mini food processor is ridiculously handy and super-quick to clean. I use it at least 4 times a week for making curry paste and whizzing up onions and tomatoes.
Anysharp knife sharpener - the effectiveness of knife sharpeners is often dependent on (as Amy Winehouse quite rightly said:) 'getting the angle right'. This can be quite tricky, the Anysharp sharpener takes out the guess-work and it sharpens even the cheapest, crappiest knives to Samurai sword sharpness. I love it!
Pampered Chef garlic press - yes, it's just a garlic press, but after many years of ownership I actually haven't broken this one! I can squeeze the living daylights out of the fattest garlic clove and the press won't break (I've broken so many in the past), it's really comfy to use and it's easy to clean.
Joseph Catcher - I like to use fresh lemons or limes for juicing, in my cooking. This press works so beautifully. It looks cool, it gets every drop out, it catches the pips and it's easy to clean!
Topster Milk Pourer - Love these milk pourers. They screw onto plastic milk cartons. No more having to unscrew milk lids, no more dropping the lids in the floor, no more milk gushing out of the carton and going all over the place. And no leaks either. Happy days!
What are your fave kicthen gadgets - I'd love to know. :)
It's always the way, as soon as you try to sneak in a bit o' summer dress sewing - the temps begin to cool. Nice one!
Ah well, this dress for Mabel was very quick and fun to make. Stitching it was a most enjoyable way for me to get reacquainted with my (had it for ages) Baby Lock Imagine Wave. As the chill increases and it becomes time wrap up, I have vowed to use it a lot more in the coming months. I'm looking forward to whipping up snuggly leggings, pants, dresses and sweat tops for my Disco Kid.
Here's the dress I made. It took 4 days from patterning to finishing up. I could've have made it in a day, but I am a mum to a toddler (so uninterrupted sewing sessions are an artefact of my childless past - or only possible when she's living it it up with her Grandies).
Click on images to enlarge.
All seams are stitched and finished with the overlocker (serger) except for the bib, straps and hem. The dress is unlined.
Cross over shoulder straps are a must for fidgets!
The strap bases are elasticated (because mummy is a softy like that - and she saw it on another dress and thought it a great idea) and this prevents the straps from digging in during energetic disco dancing.
Double layer ra-ra hem.
Very proud of my first attempts at a rolled hem (using a 3mm rolled hem machine foot). So neat and fast, no ironing needed. I must look for other things to insert a rolled hem into! And very easy (once you figure out how to feed the fabric into the curl of the foot).
If I begin my autumn sewing now I might have items ready for her to wear before Summer 2015!
There are a vast array of needles to choose from, but those little needle packs don't come supplied with an awful lot of info! Print out the graphic below and use it to choose the right needle everytime.