Monday, April 22, 2019

Finley Tote Sew-Along (intro + supplies needed)

Hello, hello everyone!

Are you planning on joining our Finley Tote sew along? Yay, welcome! 

I absolutely love how versatile and useful this tote bag is. It's large enough to carry all one needs on a daily basis but is not so huge that you feel like you lug half of your belongings around :).

Finished size of this tote is 13'' tall x 10'' wide on bottom x 4'' deep.

And, there are so many possibilities for customization to fit one's needs. You can make exactly the same tote as the one pictured above, you can also choose to customize the exterior by using a focal fabric for your pocket (photo below), or you can decide you don't care for a long adjustable strap but will add long handles to carry your tote on your shoulder instead. I'm telling you, lots of possibilities here :)

Before we get to the fun part and start sewing though we need to talk about materials and supplies. Let's dive right in, shall we?

First thing you will need, of course, is Finley Tote pattern (purchase here).

FABRIC A (main exterior) – 1/2 yard 

FABRIC B (contrasting exterior bottom + handles and strap) – 3/4 yard 
FABRIC C (lining) – 3/4 yard 
SF 101 INTERFACING (or other medium weight fusible interfacing of choice) – 2 ¾ yards 
one (1) - 9'' long metal or nylon ZIPPER 
one (1) - 7'' long metal or nylon ZIPPER 
one (1) – 14'' long metal or nylon ZIPPER 
two (2) – 1'' wide D- RINGS 
one (1) – 1'' wide RECTANGULAR STRAP SLIDER 
two (2) – 1'' wide SWIVEL HOOKS 
four (4) – 6-8 mm RIVETS (optional)

cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter
Wonder clips and/or pins
disappearing fabric marker or fine chalk pen
small sharp fabric scissors
90/14 or 110/18 (jeans/denim) needle for your sewing machine
leather hole punch + rivet setting tool (optional)

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 I recommend using heavier weight exterior fabrics (fabrics A and B) since they bring just the right amount of sturdiness to the finished bag without having to use tons of interfacing. Here are some examples:

designer canvas

Cloud 9 and Cotton and Steel canvas are my absolute favorites.

Japanese cotton/linen blend

I purchase most of these from Miss Matatabi on Etsy.

Essex linen

Essex linen by Robert Kaufman (either plain or overprinted) is one of my most favorite materials to use for bagmaking.


And then there's barkcloth. I love using Cloud 9 brand because I love their designs but I'm sure there are other brands you can find on the market.

duck canvas

Last, but definitely not least, is the humble duck canvas. I love its sturdiness and affordability

There are, of course, other options you could go with. Denim, oilskin, or even waxed canvas would work great. Just choose what works best for you. 

I wouldn't really recommend using quilting cotton for the exterior of the bag as I find it a bit too thin but, if your heart is set on a certain print, you can definitely make it work. Just double the amount of interfacing to make your panels sturdier, or you could even use Pellon fusible fleece to add a bit of extra body to your finished tote. 

Told you, lots of possibilities :)

Quilting cotton though is perfectly fine for the lining (fabric C).

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Now let's talk zippers and bag hardware.

I love using metal zippers because I think they look super polished and add just the right amount of style to my finished bags. You can, however, use nylon zippers if you prefer. I'd recommend using heavier weight 5 mm nylon zippers, they are a bit wider and sturdier than your standard nylon zipper.

I buy all my zippers from Zipit Zippers on Etsy as the zippers are of high quality and their service is lightning fast.

 As for the hardware, I'm a big fan of Dritz bag hardware. I love that you can find it at most of the craft stores so no need to order it online and then having to wait. I especially love these triangular versions of D-rings but regular D-rings will do just fine. If you need help finding just the right hardware check out my post on Bag Making Supplies for a few more links to online stores that carry bag hardware.

Oh, I almost forgot. I do like adding leather handles to my bags, I'm sure you have noticed :). I buy all my leather handles from leatherEU. You can, of course, use cotton webbing or simply make your own fabric handles instead. We'll tackle making handles during our sew along.

I think I got most of materials and supplies covered. Any questions? Please leave them in comments below so everyone can benefit from any additional information.

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The sew along will officially kick off on Wed. May 1st so you all have enough time to gather your supplies. I'm thinking about doing a post each Wednesday for four weeks. I'm sure it will be great fun.

Wishing you all a happy and creative week.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Finley Tote (new pdf pattern)

Happy Wednesday friends!

I have a new pattern to share with you today and I think you're going to like this one :)

Finley is a super useful everyday tote bag, perfectly sized to fit all the necessities one might need to carry plus a bit of room to spare, of course. 

The addition of adjustable removable strap gives you a few options so you can wear it as a crossbody bag, shoulder bag, or a simple tote bag

interior zipper pocket

Finley features a large exterior zipper pocket plus a pleated slip pocket and another zipper pocket in the lining. Yes, plenty of pockets to help one stay organized :)

And, there's an inset main zipper to keep all the treasures inside your tote safe and secure. You could, of course, decide to skip this step and make the bag without main zipper closure if you wish. 

FINISHED SIZE : 13'' tall x 10'' wide on bottom x 4'' deep

MATERIALS NEEDED to make your very own Finley Tote:
FABRIC A (main exterior) – 1/2 yard 
FABRIC B (contrasting exterior bottom + handles and strap) – 3/4 yard 
FABRIC C (lining) – 3/4 yard 
SF 101 INTERFACING (or other medium weight fusible interfacing of choice) – 2 ¾ yards
one (1) - 9'' long metal or nylon ZIPPER 
one (1) - 7'' long metal or nylon ZIPPER
one (1) – 14'' long metal or nylon ZIPPER 
two (2) – 1'' wide D- RINGS 
one (1) – 1'' wide rectangular STRAP SLIDER
two (2) – 1'' wide SWIVEL HOOKS 
four (4) – 6-8 mm RIVETS (optional)

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

Let me show you the gorgeous totes my super talented testers created.

Seriously you guys. Isn't this the most stunning tote ever? Priscilla did a fabulous job sewing up this beauty and I totally want to make one just like this right away :)

Ellyn made this super fancy Finley tote for her daughter. She used faux suede which has a feel and look of burnished leather which I think elevates this tote to a whole new level.

And then there's this pretty floral tote made by Gabriela. Beautiful, isn't it?

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

Would you like to make a Finley tote of your own? You can purchase this pattern at an introductory price (25% off discount) now through April 12th midnight, CT by clicking on the link below of by hopping over to my Etsy shop.

Happy sewing friends. Svetlana

Thursday, April 4, 2019


Do you mend your clothes? I admit, until very recently I didn't really give mending a second thought and simply got rid of any clothes that were worn out or had holes. Recently though I've been doing a lot of reading on mending as well as ways of living a more sustainable life so, naturally, when my favorite jeans developed these unsightly rips I decided it was time to put my newly acquired knowledge to use :)

I used a small embroidery hoop to keep the area I was working on nice and tight. I then pinned and slip stitched a patch to cover the most worn area.

Once the patch was securely stitched on I raided my sashiko thread stash and  added large stitches all across and around the patch.

I love how it all turned out and surprisingly the whole process was pretty quick so I'm definitely calling it a success. Such a fun, super satisfying project indeed :)

I'm now ready to tackle a lot more mending. How about you? 


Thursday, March 14, 2019

when not sewing ...

Sewing is my most favorite pastime ever. But, it has become my full time job as of late as well, so I've been trying to find other crafts I can do to mix things up a bit to prevent sewing burnout.

I've been a huge admirer of all the fabulous punch needle projects I've been seeing on Instagram so a few months back I purchased the supplies needed - Amy Oxford punch needle and monk's cloth, plus a few balls of bulkier yarn and I was good to go. 

I must say, I didn't really love the whole process as much as I expected. I changed my mind on the design a gazillion times and as you can see from my monk cloth above I did my share of pulling all the yarn out and restarting over and over. 

I managed to finally finish this pillow though and while it's far from perfect I do quite like it. Now just to decide on what to punch next :)

I've also been doing a bit of weaving. Again, nothing too complicated, just some super fun yarn play to show off all the lovely textures.

Here's the weaving I made for our kitchen. It's simple but very sweet and makes me smile every time I pass by it. And that's what it's about, right? 

I started a new wall hanging over the weekend and this fluffy baby was absolutely mesmerized by the whole process :). Super fun!

How about you? Do you like to mix things up or do you stick to one craft only? Do tell.

Wishing you all a happy and creative day. 


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Brooklyn TotePack (new pdf pattern)

I've been a great fan of convertible tote bags + backpacks for quite some time as I find them super practical and useful so, not surprisingly, I'm beyond excited to present my newest pattern for a Brooklyn TotePack to you today :)

She's quite something, isn't she?

She's just the right size to fit everything one might need on a daily basis and all the handy pockets make keeping things in place and organized a breeze. I especially love the back panel zipper pocket as it's perfect to keep one's wallet or phone safe yet within easy reach.

The pattern includes instructions on how to add yet another zipper pocket in the lining as well as a smaller slip pocket, 

.... plus the main zipper closure to keep everything inside one's totepack secure.

I've been using my Brooklyn TotePack for weeks now and can totally vouch for it being a super useful and handy everyday bag :)

FINISHED SIZE: 13 ½'' tall x 10'' wide on bottom x 5'' deep

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MATERIALS NEEDED to make your very own Brooklyn TotePack:

FABRIC A – floral print (main exterior) – 1/2 yard 
FABRIC B – gray Essex linen (contrasting exterior + straps) – 3/4 yard 
FABRIC C – quilting cotton (lining) – 1 yard 
SF 101 INTERFACING (or other medium weight fusible interfacing of choice) – 2 ¾ yards 
INTERLINING FABRIC (solid colored denim, duck canvas, or *foam interfacing) – 1/2 yard 
two (2) – 3/4'' wide x 13'' long LEATHER HANDLES** 
two (2) - 8'' long METAL OR NYLON ZIPPERS 
one (1) – 16'' long METAL OR NYLON ZIPPER 
three (3) – 1'' wide D- RINGS 
four (4) – 1'' wide SWIVEL HOOKS 
eight (8) – 6-8 mm RIVETS (optional)

Please note: This is a measure and cut pattern meaning there's no need for templates as the pattern works best when all the pieces are cut using rotary cutter, self healing cutting mat, and acrylic ruler.

What do you say? Would you like to make Brooklyn TotePack for yourself? If so now is a great time to grab the pattern as I'm offering it at a 25% off discounted introductory price for the next 48 hours (now through March 2nd, midnight central time). No coupons needed, price is automatically adjusted during checkout.

Click here to purchase.

Thank you all for your support and happy sewing :)


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Lisbon Pouch (new pdf pattern)

Hello everyone, welcome!

 I have a new pouch pattern to share with you today :)

Lisbon Pouch is a practical, surprisingly easy to put together two zip pouch and comes in three sizes.

FINISHED DIMENSIONS: (measurements are tall x wide)
SMALL -  3 ½'' x 5 ½''
MEDIUM - 4'' x 7 ½''
LARGE - 5 ½'' x 9 ½''

Small size makes for a great little coin pouch.

Medium size is just right to keep one's pencils, pens, erasers, ... nicely organized.

And the large size fits lots of craft / sewing supplies with ease.

Not bad, right? I'm definitely going to put my pouches to good use right away :).

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!!! This is a measure and cut pattern, no templates needed !!!

Materials needed to make Lisbon Pouch (large size):
1 FE (fat eights) of fabric measures 9'' x 21''

fabric A (pouch exterior) – 1 FE
fabric B (contrasting front exterior) - 2'' x 11'' strip
fabric C (pouch lining + zipper pocket lining) – 1 FE
SF 101 interfacing (or similar medium weight fusible interfacing) – 1/2 yard
two - 9'' long metal or nylon zippers *
         (5'' long zippers for small size, 7'' long zippers for medium size)
two zipper pulls - I used a 6” and an 8” long 1/8” wide leather lace (optional)

*I used metal zippers (purchased from Zipit on Etsy) for my clutches but you can definitely go with nylon ones if that's what you prefer/ have on hand. 

You can purchase Lisbon Pouch pdf instant download pattern by clicking on the button below or by visiting my etsy shop here

And, for the next 48 hours, I'm offering this pattern at a 25% off discounted price of 6.00. Offer ends Jan. 24th, midnight.

Happy sewing friends :). Svetlana

Monday, January 14, 2019

That Handmade Touch - my book

Hello everyone, happy Monday!

Today is a very special day for me as I can finally spill the beans and let you all know that I wrote a book!

That Handmade Touch was a true labor of love and I'm so anxious to see what you think. 

The book includes patterns for pouches, bags, and buckets, as well as a few home and pet accessories. 

Here's just a little sampling of projects for you to enjoy :)

(all photos by Lucky Spool and Holly DeGroot)

The book also includes projects using my very favorite qayg (quilt as you go) technique as well as instructions on how to add rivets, hardware, and small touches of leather to one's projects for a beautifully stylish and polished finished look.

That Handmade Touch is being published by Lucky Spool  and will be available for purchase this spring, yay!

Off I go, lots of happy dancing to be done :)

Wishing you all a creative week ahead. Svetlana

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