Life Sew Beautiful

my little handmade corner of the world

New Purse and Repurposed Leather November 2, 2012

Filed under: bags — faithandfamily @ 1:26 pm

I had just been telling a friend that I’d love to get my hands on some leather to use for purse straps, and then I was browsing the pants aisle in Goodwill and saw these:

Lots of beautiful, black, thin leather, perfect for cutting up and sewing! I was so excited! For my first project, I made myself a new purse with a leather handle. I used the waistband, because I liked the stitched, finished look.

I used some fabric that I got from my sister-in-law when she was cleaning out her stash, and I love it. I don’t know what you call it, but the lighter part feels like linen, and the black parts like velvet. (Aunt Judy or Mom F., if you know the name of that kind of fabric, can you enlighten me?)

The pattern I used for the bag is a free pattern, called the Phoebe bag. You can download it here.

I’m lovin’ my new purse!



Summer Purse May 10, 2012

Filed under: bags — faithandfamily @ 6:33 pm

I made myself a fun new summer purse. I used a pattern that my sister-in-law created when she was raising money for their first adoption. It’s a great pattern, and unfortunately my photos don’t do it justice. (I did make the flap a bit too long…) The pattern for the bag is not available to others; however, my friend Kelley, who has a shop called Sweet Afton has permission to make bags using this pattern, and she does a great job. I know that the readers of this blog are, generally, I-want-to-sew-it-myself kinda people, but if you’re interested in letting someone else do the work and having a beautiful, custom-made bag for a reasonable price, head on over to Sweet Afton! She has other designs available too, and she makes lots of other handmade goodness if you’re interested in something other than a bag.

(Still lovin’ my labels!)


My Mom’s Purse February 2, 2012

Filed under: a handmade Christmas,bags — faithandfamily @ 3:23 pm

I gave my mom a handmade purse for Christmas, and I’m just now getting around to blogging about it.

I’ve mentioned before that I took Rae’s free Buttercup Bag pattern and drew my own pattern, based on her design, for a much bigger bag. My mom liked my bag and had told me several months ago that she would love to have a bag with the same size and shape, so I kept that in mind when I was plotting her Christmas gift.

I love the Michael Miller fabric that I found at Hobby Lobby. I’d like to make myself a bag with it. And that big button from JoAnn’s really added a nice touch, too.

I couldn’t have been more pleased with my mom’s response upon receiving her bag. It made my day to see her so excited about something I made for her.

This week I made her a little zippered pouch to coordinate with her purse. It’s going in the mail today, along with Kelsie’s quilt.

So, be looking out for a package, Mom! Hope you and Kelsie like your goodies!


More Zippered Wristlets January 1, 2012

Filed under: bags — faithandfamily @ 1:47 pm

Well, I’ll admit it: When I find a tutorial I really like, that doesn’t use a lot of fabric, that other people seem to really like too, I tend to run it into the ground. Such is the case with these zippered wristlets:

I’ve mentioned it before, but in case this is the first post you’ve seen me write about these wristlets, I’ll tell you which tutorials I use. First, I use Anna’s Gathered Clutch tutorial for cutting out the pieces and gathering the front. I also like to use her idea for the card holders. I ignore her instructions about the zipper altogether. Next, I go to Skip to My Lou’s tutorial on making a lined zippered pouch, and I use her easy method for sewing the pieces together, including the zipper.

These wristlets seem to be all the rage with the college girls near us. I’ve made these for a few friends. The one at the top was my very favorite, made with some precious scraps of soft corduroy that I loved, so I knew that one had to go to my dear sister-in-law, Hilary. The second one is for my friend Allison, who is visiting me this week. And the last one I think I’m going to give to our college-aged babysitter, who is such a gem.


Art Bag December 17, 2011

Filed under: a handmade Christmas,bags — faithandfamily @ 2:01 pm

Well, I found another use for the cool pink and purple fabric! I bought a bunch of art supplies for my 3 1/2 year old niece, Hanna. I decided to make her an art bag to hold all her new supplies.

I found the lining fabric at Hobby Lobby. I loved it because it matched so well and because the pattern looks like a mosaic, which I think is great for an art bag. I sewed velcro along the top of the bag for a closure. I figured that velcro would be a lot easier for a 3-y-o than a magnetic snap or a zipper. Hope she likes it! 🙂

Also…I finished a really cool gift for my mom yesterday, but since she’s one of my readers, I’ll have to wait to post about it until after Christmas. I’m really excited about it and hope she likes it! (If not, I’m stealing it back! :))


Big Travel Bag December 14, 2011

Filed under: bags — faithandfamily @ 11:18 pm

The last time we went on a trip I wished I had one more big bag to stuff with my belongings, so I decided to make myself a big bag just in time for some holiday traveling.

I got gobs of this decorator fabric ($10 for all of it!) at a going-out-of-business upholstery shop here in town. I’m glad I have lots left, because I really like how this bag turned out! I made a simple tote (I didn’t use a pattern or a tutorial since I knew how to make a simple tote), and I used a magnetic snap closure. It was a quick afternoon project.


Zippered pouches December 10, 2011

Filed under: a handmade Christmas,bags — faithandfamily @ 9:35 pm

I am in a homemade-gifts-groove right now. Usually during the Christmas season I don’t feel like I have time for homemade gifts, but this year I feel like I can squeeze it in, and I have the motivation to do it.

I finished a few zippered clutches this week. The top one is for my sister-in-law Melanie and will also have an initial necklace inside it that I bought from Etsy. So cute! The bottom one will go in my daughter’s stocking since she told me, “I’ve always wanted a clutch made out of that fabric!” Done! 🙂

I used a combination of Anna’s zippered clutch tutorial and this tutorial from Skip to My Lou on making any type of zippered pouch.

I like Anna’s tutorial for the size, the gathered look, and the card holder for the inside. The thing I don’t like about Anna’s tutorial is the instructions to make end tabs on the zipper. To me, that makes the construction so much more difficult. The Skip to My Lou tutorial makes the zipper instructions super-easy.

Neither tutorial explains how to make the clutch into a wristlet, but you can see that there are at least a couple ways to do it. In the first one, I made the wristlet detachable. In the second one, it’s sewn in.

These pouches are a great way to use up scraps, don’t take a lot of time to make, and I think will make a great gift!