The Miranda Tote

The Miranda Tote is a quick, satisfying sew. The instructions are well written, and as a bonus, Sallie Tomato has a sewing tutorial on You Tube. So if you are fairly new to bag making, this might be a good option for you.

The finished dimensions are 11.5″ wide x 12″ high x 5″ deep. That’s a good size tote! Here I have it loaded up with some orders from my shop. Time to head to the post office!

The bag features a recessed zipper top closure to keep your contents secure. I used a Sallie Tomato zipper by the yard in white with rose gold zipper teeth.

I added a rose gold sewing machine zipper pull for a cute touch.

And a copper zipper end gives a polished finish to the zipper as well as stability when pulling the zipper closed.

After inserting the lining and turning the bag right side out, I added a plexiglass insert into the bottom of the bag between the lining and the outer bag. This gives lots of stability when the bag is full. No saggy bottom!!!

I simply purchase a small piece of plexiglass at my local Home Depot and my husband uses his table saw to cut it to the size I need. He then rounds the corners with his sander so they don’t poke through the fabric in my bag. I insert it through the opening that I left in the lining, then I hand stitch the lining closed.

There are four rose gold, bucket style bag feet on the bottom of my bag. I used a small piece of foam stabilizer on the wrong side of the cork. Once I inserted the prongs of the bag feet through the cork and foam, I added some Gutermann Creativ glue to the prongs and foam for extra security.

I sewed up the bag just as the instructions indicated with a single pocket on one side of the lining and a double pocket on the opposite side of the lining. One thing I would change in my next bag, is that I would add SF101 (or similar) interfacing to the inner pockets. The pattern does not call for interfacing on these pattern pieces (piece M and piece N), but I would highly recommend interfacing them. Without interfacing, the pockets are somewhat ‘floopy’.

The outside front of the bag has two large slip pockets. Those pockets don’t seem to need interfacing. They keep their shape just fine. I used Soft and Stable from byAnnie to give structure to the body of the bag. I used rose gold rivets to give added security to the stitched on handles. The handles are only 1/2″ wide. I find that size handle to be just a bit narrow for this size bag. My next one will have about 3/4″ to 7/8″ wide handles.

I used turquoise cork for my main fabric; quilting cotton from Minki Kim’s Hidden Cottage line for the outer pockets; and quilting cotton from Minki Kim’s Someday line for the lining. My Baby Lock Destiny II does not like to sew through cork, foam, and cotton, so I used my old Viking Mega Quilter to stitch my bag together.

All in all, this is a terrific tote. I highly recommend this pattern for confident beginner sewers to experienced sewers.

Thank you for spending some of your day with me today, sewing friends. Please leave me a hello in the comment section.

A Masculine Quilt

When my uncle flew out for a visit last fall, we took an RV trip to Idaho. Of course, any good RV trip involves some shopping – namely, fabric shopping! We came upon a lovely local quilt shop in Rupert, Idaho. Not only was the quilt shop lovely, but the little town was just as lovely. In the window of the quilt shop was a simple but attractive masculine style quilt.

My uncle was drawn to those muted primary colors and the basic style of the blocks. I had my husband distract him while I quickly purchased the fabric – two layer cakes in “Branded” by Sweetwater. This was to be a secret Christmas present for my favorite uncle.

The quilt top went together quickly as I just stitched together 10 rows of 8 squares each. Then I added a 4 inch border around the entire quilt. I made the border using a jelly roll of Wilmington Fabrics Essential Gems in Cookie Dough.

I quilted it with a quick all over stipple stitch and I added straight line quilting on the borders.

Thank you for reading my blog and please leave a comment.

Happy Sewing, Friends!

Silhouette Patterns #820 – Brenda’s Hoodie

Like all the clothing that I have sewn from Silhouette patterns, this hoodie pattern has a good fit. For sizing, I cut a size 3 in the shoulders, bust, and waist, but I graded out to a size 4 at the hips. In hindsight, it was not necessary to grade up. Next time I will cut a straight size 3 because the sizing is not closely fitted. It is not a loose or boxy fit either. I would say it is semi-fitted.

I have shopped on QVC for years and years and years. They use four descriptive representations for style of fit: performance fit, slim fit, fitted, and semi-fitted. Their definition for semi-fitted is “follows the lines of the body with added wearing ease”. That is an accurate description of this hoodie style.

There are supposed to be pockets on the hoodie, but alas, my pockets are still on my sewing machine table! If you decide to sew one of these fantastic hoodies for yourself, please be aware that the pattern instructions left out the step to add the pockets. (I explain in greater detail in my video below)

The fabric I used is Soft Gauze Texture Sweater Knit in Petal from Stylemaker Fabrics. It is no longer available in the Petal color, but they do have other colors still in stock. The fabric is just slightly sheer. If you take a look at my dress form photos, you can see the dark bra that I put underneath my hoodie.

You can pretty much choose how long you want to make the zipper. My zipper ends just shy of the bottom band of my bra. The pattern features knit bands at the wrists and two knit bands to finish off the bottom length. The back band is a bit longer than the front band giving your hoodie nice backside coverage.

In addition to wearing a tee underneath my hoodie, I have a couple other styling options to share with you:

For a day of running errands, grocery shopping, etc. I will pair it with my black Paola turtleneck and a pair of skinny jeans.
When I want to dress it up a bit, I will wear it over my RTW lace hem tank and a pair of black leggings.

All in all, I consider this a successful make and it will see a lot of use in my wardrobe this fall and winter.

Here’s my video review:

Thank you stopping by my little corner of the sewing blog world. As always, I enjoy reading your comments. Please let me know you are out there sewing with me.