Tuesday, March 29, 2016

megan foldover tote {a new pdf pattern}

Hello, hello !!!

I'm super excited for today's post as I have a new tote bag pattern to share with you today. 

Let me introduce you to Megan (foldover tote). I think at 11" wide x 13" tall x 4" deep she's a perfect everyday tote. Not too ginormous, but definitely large enough for all the necessities with a bit of room to spare.

Plus, I really love the big zipper pocket on the outside. It's perfect to keep your keys and phone in, and actually be able to find them when needed quickly :).

I really like how versatile this bag is. The two sets of D-rings and removable handle make it easy to carry it either as a full sized tote bag or a smaller, foldover tote. The choice is completely yours.

Megan is fully lined, of course, and looks as pretty on the inside as she does on the outside. 

Here's the list of materials you'd need to make a Megan tote of your own:

Fabric requirements are based on 42” wide fabric
½ yard fabric A – linen or heavier weight cotton is the best (main exterior panels, strap, handles, D-ring tabs)
½ yard fabric B – designer cotton (exterior contrasting top bands, lining facing, inner pocket, handles)
¾ yard fabric C – designer cotton (main lining panels, zipper pocket lining)
2 ¼ yards SF101 interfacing (or other medium weight fusible interfacing of choice)

optional (but very highly recommended): ¾ yard interlining fabric (canvas, denim, or some other heavier weight fabric) to make your bag sturdier

16” square piece of paper to make template
one 10” long metal or nylon zipper
one magnetic snap closure
four 3/4” D-rings
two 3/4” swivel lobster hooks

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Once again, I enlisted help of some lovely ladies to test this pattern for me. And, as always, their beautiful totes totally blew me away. They all did such an amazing job, I'm sure you'll agree.

Sandie made this stunning tote using combination Kraft tex and quilting cotton. Super chic looking, isn't it? I might have to make myself a Megan using Kraft tex as well :).

Lorinda made this pretty tote for her daughter. I so adore the fabrics she chose, and I was happy to hear Lorinda's daughter loves the bag.

This stunning tote is skillfully made by Vicki.  I love the quilted exterior and the addition of extra zipper pocket on the back. Just beautiful!

And just look at Linda's gorgeous tote. The combination of linen, feathers, text fabric, and a bright zipper is always a winner in my book.

Jeannie used home decor weight fabric for her super stylish, beautifully made tote. Love, love, love.

I love Kelly's choice of bold graphic fabric and bright contrasting handles. Great job, Kelly.

I told you, the totes are absolutely beautiful, aren't they? I love how they are all quite different and reflect each maker's style.

Thank you so very much for testing for me, ladies. You are the best!!!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

You can purchase an instant downloadable Megan tote pattern by directly clicking on the link below or by going to my Etsy shop.

buy this patttern

And, as always, thank you for all your support and encouragement. Svetlana

Monday, March 28, 2016

kit + fabric giveaway winner

You guys, thanks so much for your wonderful response to my kit + fabric giveaway. I read through each and every one of your comments and greatly appreciate all the helpful feedback.

♥ ♥ ♥ ... thank you, thank you ...  ♥ ♥ ♥

As promised, Mr. Random helped me choose the winner.

Congratulations, Anneli (chromatobalomata) !!!  I've already sent you an email.

Wishing you all a relaxed and peaceful rest of this Easter season.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

sewing machine cover

A quick reminder. There's still time to enter my giveaway for a pouch kit and screen printed fabric, click here.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Just like so many of you, I own and use two sewing machines. Helen (Juki TL-2000), my beautiful workhorse of a machine, gets used pretty much every day. My second machine, Jane (a much smaller Janome HD-1000), only sees action on special occasions when a zig zag stitch is needed.

Now, even though I don't use Jane that often, I still like to keep her on my sewing table as I absolutely hate setting up a machine when I'm in the middle of a project. Which means she gets very dusty, of course. And dust, as we all know, is a silent killer of our machines, right :)?

So, the other day I finally decided it was time I made Jane a lovely new "coat" to keep her all cozy and dust free. I scoured Pinterest and blogs for sewing machine cover tutorials and finally decided to follow this one

The tutorial was super easy to follow, it even included pattern pieces all ready for printing. And even though the pattern was designed with a different machine in mind, I only needed to do very minor changes to make sure it fit Jane well. Plus, I really liked their addition of piping (I used a regular store bought one) and use of Flex Foam to make the cover nice and sturdy.

I worried a little about how to properly attach piping and the thickness of the seams. Thanks to using a gazillion pins for piping and Wonder Clips to hold panels together though, things went together surprisingly well.

Oh, and the cover is fully lined. Which is a nice thing as I quite dislike raw seams no matter whether I can see them or not. All in all, this was a pretty fun, very useful project and I'm happy I can finally check Jane's new coat off my to do list :).

So, tell me. Do you keep your machines covered? I'm curious to find out.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

new kits back in stock + a giveaway

Hi friends, happy Wednesday to you all!

Last few days were all about pouches for me. Surprised? Yeah, I didn't think so :). I screen printed quite a few panels of Essex linen a while back and I finally had time to put together some Sotak Kits for my shop.

I'm happy to say I was able to turn this jumble of supplies into kits without losing my mind in the process. I'm really, really hoping to get better next time and come up with some sort of assembly line system to make things more efficient.

All these kits are listed in my Etsy shop now. 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Let's talk giveaway now, shall we?

If you'd like to win this pouch kit and three of my screen printed panels, simply leave a comment below telling me what projects you'd like to see more of on my blog. 

This giveaway is open worldwide, both domestic and international entries are welcome. I will randomly choose a winner on Sunday, March 27th.

Good luck, everyone. And thanks for reading. Svetlana

Monday, March 21, 2016

basic tote {a tutorial}

In my last post I shared a simple pouch made of Kraft Tex and I mentioned I wanted to make a tote bag using this interesting, slightly intimidating material.
And, that's just what I did when I had a little bit of uninterrupted sewing time over the weekend. I decided to make a super basic tote, just two simple exterior panels, two linings, and leather handles attached with nickel rivets.

The tote finished at 11" wide x 11" tall x 6" deep. I think it's a great size for an everyday tote and I wrote up a tutorial in case you'd like to make one of your own.

Before I start, let me talk a bit about the materials needed. As I already mentioned, I used Kraft Tex for the exterior and regular quilting cotton for the lining of my tote. You could, however, make this tote using any material you fancy (home decor fabric, quilting cotton, denim, or even leather). Just make sure to fuse interfacing to wrong side of your material (especially if using quilting cotton) to make it more sturdy.
Also, you could skip handles altogether and make yourself a lovely storage bucket instead.

♥ ♥ ♥

Here's what you'll need to make your tote:
1/2 yard exterior fabric (I used Kraft Tex)
1/2 yard lining fabric
1/2 yard SF101 interfacing (optional, I didn't use it as Kraft Tex is sturdy enough)
two 14" long 3/4" wide leather handles
four rivets
Wonder Clips (avoid using pins if using Kraft Tex or leather)
leather hole punch

1. Cutting
a) from exterior fabric cut: two 18" wide x 15" tall panels
    from lining fabric cut: two 18" wide x 15" tall panels

b) Mark a 3” square along both left and right bottom corners on both lining and exterior panels. Cut the squares out using fabric scissors.

2.  Exterior
a) Place both exterior panels right sides together on a flat surface. Align all four edges. Pin the panels together and stitch along the two side and bottom seams backstitching at the beginning and end. Press the seams open.

b) Align one side and bottom seam over each other to stitch the gusset (corner of your tote) closed.  Clip/pin to prevent shifting and stitch along the raw edges using 1/4” seam allowance. Stitch the second gusset closed following the same directions.


UPDATE: After a bit of trial and error I found out it's much better to press Kraft tex to just one side instead of pressing the seams open.

c) Turn your bag exterior right side out. (If you're using Kraft Tex like I did, this step will be quite stressful, just go slow to make sure you don't tear the material or the stitches). 

3. Lining 
a) Place both lining panels right sides together on a flat surface. Align all four edges. Pin the panels together and stitch along the two side seams backstitching at the beginning and end. Make sure to leave a 6" opening in the bottom seam (as shown in picture below). Press the seams open.

b) Follow step 2b to stitch both corners closed. 

4. Final assembly
a) Insert finished exterior of the tote (right side out) into the lining (lining is wrong side out).

b) Align top raw edges as well as side seams of the exterior panel and the lining. Clip all the way around the top of the bag keeping both exterior and lining aligned.

c) Stitch all the way around the top of the bag, taking the clips out as you go. Press the top seam open and turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Stitch the hole in the lining closed and gently push the lining inside the bag.

d) Smooth the top edge with your fingers clip through both exterior and lining layers to hold them in
place and topstich along the top of the tote using 1/4” seam allowance.

5. Handles
a) Find the middle of both top edges of exterior panels, mark 2 1/2” along each side of the middle point. Now mark 1/2" down from the top edge along the 2 1/2" marks (this will be the placement of your rivets).

b) Use leather hole punch to make a hole through both exterior and lining through the marks from previous step. 

c) Make a centered hole 1/2" from each short edge on leather handles as well.

d) Attach your leather handles using rivets. (my rivets were slightly longer than needed so I added a little leather square to lining side of the tote as well to make them nice and snug)

All finished. You're now ready to take your new tote out for a spin :).

Hope you give this simple tote a try.  And, as always, if you make a project using any of my tutorials please add it to my Flickr group or use #sotakhandmade if posting on Instagram. I love seeing all your amazing creations.
Happy Monday. Svetlana

Friday, March 18, 2016

kraft tex pouch

You guys, have you ever sewn with Kraft Tex? It's this super interesting strong paper that sort of looks and feels like leather. Quite intriguing, isn't it? It seems like it's been around for a while now but I was only properly "introduced" to it when Sandie, who was testing my newest tote pattern (which is coming out really soon), made a stunning bag using Kraft Tex. 

So, of course as soon as I spotted a roll of this mysterious paper at my local fabric store I grabbed it and got to work right away.

And, I decided to go a step further and screen print on it before I sewed it into a pouch. I'm happy to say screen printing went really well, I even heat set it the way I would regular fabric (I set iron to cotton/linen setting and pressed it for 2 minutes).

Once I heat set the fabric I decided to make a simple pouch. Nothing complicated, just two exterior panels, zipper, and a lining. I used a 100/16 needle on my sewing machine and the thickest thread I had on hand, and I used Wonder Clips to hold layers together as pins would cause damage and leave permanent marks. 

Sewing this pouch was pretty easy and the only time I questioned this whole idea was when I needed to turn the pouch right side out. It was tricky, mostly because I really worried about ripping the stitches out. Thankfully they stayed in and I quite like the new, little bit rugged and "worn" look all that handling gave to the finished pouch.

All in all, this was a fun new experience and I'm sure I'll be using Kraft Tex in my future projects. I think a simple tote bag with leather handles is a must :). 

Thanks for stopping by, friends. Svetlana

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

25% off pattern sale

Hello, happy Wednesday to you all!

It's been ages since I ran a sale on my patterns so I decided a 25% off discount on all my pdf patterns for the next 48 hours was totally in order :).

Simply type in code SPRING16 during checkout at my Etsy shop and a 25% discount will automatically be applied to your order. Enjoy.


Monday, March 14, 2016

basic linen apron

I needed a new apron. Nothing fancy, just a simple plain linen apron to wear while I do my screen printing. I even went to a few stores to have a look, but I came home empty handed. I kind of knew that would happen as I have an incredibly hard time buying things I can make myself (the feeling I'm sure many of you know quite well) :).

So, I finally did what I should have done from the beginning and I made myself this simple linen apron. I followed Purl Soho's Adjustable Unisex Apron free tutorial and I'm super, super happy with how it turned out. Plus, it was such a quick project to make. It took me less than an hour to have this apron all finished.

I used yarn dyed Essex Linen for the main apron and Slub Denim Stripe for the pocket. I even had just the right length of this 1" webbing. I think I got it ages ago at Target's $1.00 section and it felt great to finally use it.

Off I go. Time to take this new apron for a spin and do some screen printing :).

Thanks for reading. Svetlana

Friday, March 11, 2016

color crush pillows

Hello, happy Friday to you all!

I always get super, super excited when my projects get published so seeing my Color Crush pillows in newest issue of LPQ 32 magazine made me do a little happy dance, of course :).

I loved making this happy little trio of fresh, bright pillows. Aren't these Art Gallery solids beautiful? I combined them with Kona Snow (my most favorite white) and striped binding. I think stripes do such a good job of framing all the colorful goodness, don't you?

This issue 32 of LPQ magazine is already available for sale in the UK and should be hitting US stores in couple of weeks. I hope you'll snatch a copy for yourself and give these pillows (and tons of other beautiful projects featured in the magazine) a try.

Wishing you all a wonderful and creative weekend. Svetlana

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

more block printing

Recently I took Jen Hewett's two day online workshop on block printing on fabric called Design, Carve, Print. I loved the class and I've been slowly working on carving new blocks as well as mixing my own custom inks. Such fun! Would you like to see what I made?

Simple, clean shapes are my favorites and these prints were inspired by beautiful Maze and Vale fabrics.

I couldn't just print though. Some sewing had to be done, of course, so I made this little coin pouch using my No! stamp. Because, I'm sure we can all agree, it's good to say No! to things sometimes :).

Thanks for stopping by, friends. Svetlana

Monday, March 7, 2016

blithe quilt

Hello everyone! 

I'm happy to show you my newest creation, baby Blithe quilt.

Pretty, isn't it? Art Gallery Fabrics and Fat Quarter Shop have teamed up once again and released a new Blithe Quilt pattern. Just like with previous AGF Stitched with Kimberly quilts, the pattern is free and  there's even a video showing you how to make this quilt (click here).

I used fabrics from Maureen Cracknell's beautiful Fleet and Flourish collection and I absolutely love how pretty and girly this quilt turned out.

finished size: 41" x 47"
fabrics used: Fleet and Flourish by Maureen Cracknell
batting: Warm and White

Wishing you all a wonderful week. Svetlana
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