2 Noodlehead Trail Totes

Do you follow Anna at Noodlehead? She recently released a another free pattern called the Trail Tote. It’s a simple cross-body bag, easy enough for a beginner bag maker. (You could even skip the zipper to make easier.) For an experienced sewist, it’s a quick afternoon sewing project.

Noodlehead Trail Totes | Radiant Home Studio

I started working on my Christmas gifts last week. Maybe it’s just an excuse to try the Trail Tote, but I immediately thought of two girls that needed these as Christmas gifts. I love the other patterns I have bought from Anna. I make her divided baskets all the time as baby gifts. The Trail Tote pattern is free, but definitely not lacking any of the quality that you receive in the paid patterns. There is an exterior zipper pocket and an interior patch pocket. The small pleats in the bottom of the bag add a little bit of shape and space to the tote.

Noodlehead Trail Totes | Radiant Home Studio

The pattern includes 2 bag sizes. I chose to make the smaller size for my totes. I followed the instructions as given, but I decided to skip the interfacing. I used a home decor weight fabric (Anna recommends quilting cotton with stabilizer) and I wanted a casual looking bag, so the interfacing didn’t seem necessary. I did use interfacing around the zipper and behind the snaps.

Noodlehead Trail Totes | Radiant Home Studio

I also decided to use pre-made piping for these bags, just to speed up the process since I have a long list of gifts to be made. I found some fun gold piping that I used on the coral colored bag. I wouldn’t normally add something like that to a bag for myself, but it’s perfect for a younger girl that loves fancy, girly things.

Noodlehead Trail Totes | Radiant Home Studio

My fabric is from a local home decor fabric outlet, and I ordered the metal hardware from Janelle at Emmaline Bags.

Noodlehead Trail Totes | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, this is a great pattern that I can highly recommend. Anna has a knack for designing functional bags with interesting details, but with simple construction. And at the risk of sounding like an advertisement (it’s not – I’m just excited about it!), she also has a book coming out in February with lots of new projects in her same simple handmade style.

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Evelyn Handbag for Pattern Parcel #7

I just finished sharing several items from Pattern Parcel #6 and it’s already time for Pattern Parcel #7! This is the last one for the year, but one that I was particularly excited to receive – bag patterns!

Of course, I’d love to make them all…but with Christmas coming up, my gift sewing is taking priority. I decided to try the Evelyn Handbag by ChrisW. I’ve read consistently excellent reviews of her patterns and I wanted to test one for myself.

Evelyn Handbag | by ChrisW Designs | Radiant Home Studio

This is a really pretty handbag. It’s feminine shape and detailed styling make it look store-bought. It’s labeled as an intermediate pattern, which seems appropriate. There isn’t anything particularly hard about the pattern, but it requires attention to detail and slow sewing in many places. I would recommend that you put together a couple of other simple bags before attempting something with this level of detail.

Evelyn Handbag | by ChrisW Designs | Radiant Home Studio

The pattern has many pages, but only about 10 pages need to be printed. The rest of the pages are filled with great details to help you make a professional looking bag. One of the pattern features that I particularly liked was the label tags for the rectangular pieces. It was helpful to keep the pieces organized, and I may try incorporating a similar tag system into my future patterns and revisions. Christine also includes a section of printable directions without all of the photos, so that you can have a hard copy of the directions without using up your color ink.

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There are plenty of pockets for everything. The elasticated side pockets are just the right size for a phone. There is also an exterior zipper pocket and interior pockets on both sides of the lining. One interior pocket is a patch pocket with a zipper pouch on front. I skipped the zipper for the interior pocket, and just added the patch pocket. Other than that, I didn’t make any changes. The pieces fit together perfectly and the construction techniques are efficient.

Evelyn Handbag | by ChrisW Designs | Radiant Home Studio

This is the first time I have used bag feet. They are applied like magnetic snaps. It’s a fairly inexpensive addition that adds a lot of class to the bag and something I will definitely use again. I ordered my hardware from Janelle at Emmaline Bags and was pleasantly surprised by the shipping time and the extra little gift Janelle included in the package.

Evelyn Handbag | by ChrisW Designs | Radiant Home Studio

I used a lavender wool herringbone for the main exterior. It’s been in my stash for a couple of years and worked well for the bag. It was a thinner weight wool, so I made sure to choose a stable interfacing and added the fusible fleece on all of my pieces. The interior leopard print fabric is a home decor weight cotton and the faux leather is from JoAnn Fabrics.

The Evelyn Handbag is part of the last Pattern Parcel of the year. I think this group of patterns is perfect right before the holidays, since bags make great gifts. There is such a nice variety that there’s really a bag for every need and every style.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Parcel #7 includes:

Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo
Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns
Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs
Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White
Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns

BONUS PATTERN: Daphne Bag, by Clover & Violet

Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #7 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That’s just over $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the brand new Daphne Bag pattern from Clover & Violet. The Daphne is a slouchy satchel that can be worn cross body or as a shoulder bag. The zip top keeps your gear secure and the internal pockets keep your accessories where you need them. This is a brand new, never been seen before pattern and is an exclusive opportunity for Parcel #7 customers!

How Pattern Parcel Works:

Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Its our goal to raise over $20,000 for Donors Choose this year.

Head over to the Pattern Parcel site for more details…

Want to see more finished bags from these patterns? Follow the blog tour to see what everyone is making and be inspired to create your own bags!

Parcel #4 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

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2015 Tea Towel Calendar {Joy comes in the morning}

I’ve had a couple of people ask if I was making a new tea towel calendar design this year. With all of my sewing I almost forgot about it, but I managed to finish my design just in time! (The watermark won’t be on the design.)

Joy Comes in the Morning | 2015 Tea Towel Calendar

Since most people hang the tea towel calendar on the wall (I think…at least I do!) I wanted to write something that would be encouraging and inspiring. It says, “Joy comes in the morning“, which is from Ps. 30:5. “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” The joy of knowing Jesus chases away the sorrow of this life. It’s a daily reminder to persevere through suffering and find our joy in Jesus.

There are many fun and beautiful entries, and voting is open until next Thursday morning. Tea towels seem to be popular Christmas gifts, and Spoonflower announced a 2-for-1 deal coming up soon! Or you can buy 4 on a yard. They end up being somewhere around $7 each. I still need to proof my design, but I’m hoping to have it available in time for the sale.

Finally, I have a tutorial showing you how to hem your tea towels so you can give them as gifts!

Update: My tea towel is now for sale and I have updated my Wildflower tea towel calendar with dates for 2015.

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20 Best Sashiko Embroidery Tutorials & Projects

Sashiko Embroidery Tutorials and Projects | Radiant Home Studio

Recently I finished sewing a Zsayla blouse. It had a large yoke, perfect for embroidery. I looked at several beautiful embroidery patterns, but I really wanted something simple and clean. I had a seen a few Sashiko projects and decided to try this method of embroidery for my blouse.

Sashiko Enbroidery Tutorials and Projects | Radiant Home Studio

While I was working on learning the techniques for myself, I gathered a list of the best Sashiko embroidery tutorials and lessons, including some video instruction. I also listed several Sashiko projects for inspiration, a few free patterns, and some ideas for making your own patterns.

Tutorials:

Purl Bee Sashiko Embroidery Tutorials | Radiant Home Studio

The Purl Bee has a detailed Sashiko tutorial showing the right types of thread and needles up close. They also sell preprinted starter kits.

This Sashiko Tutorial method shows you how to trace your pattern onto interfacing. This is the method I used for my Zsayla blouse.

This helpful list of Sashiko do’s and don’ts teaches you how to stitch at corners and intersections.

This Sashiko lesson is filled with helpful tips, design ideas, and instructions for transferring designs with tailor’s chalk.

Make your own Sashiko designs with graph paper or dot matrix paper, then learn how to transfer it to your fabric with this Sashiko tutorial video.

My tips for adding sashiko embroidery to a Zsayla top, using lightweight interfacing to transfer the design (below).

Sashiko Embroidery Tutorials and Projects | Radiant Home Studio

This video gives a quick demonstration on how to stitch a sashiko design with your sewing machine. If you just like the geometric designs and want to add embellishment more quickly, this might be a good method for you.

Melissa’s tips for adding sashiko embroidery to a knit blouse using interfacing to transfer the design.

Project Ideas:

I love these simple linen reversible Sashiko Placemats on the Purl Bee blog. They would make a beautiful modern, handmade addition to your table.

And a Colorful Sashiko Pillow, also at the Purl Bee, shows you how to add a bright and fun twist to the traditional Sashiko stitching.

There are a few Sashiko cloud pattern ideas in this blog post, including a placemats and embellishment on a chambray dress.

Sashiko Embroidery Flickr Pool Screenshot | Radiant Home Studio

There is a Sashiko Flickr group filled with beautiful projects to inspire you! This makes me want to add Sashiko stitching to everything…

Sashiko Embroidery Tutorials |Lampshade via WildOlive | Radiant Home Studio

Speaking of adding it to everything—how about this Sashiko embroidered lampshade made by Mollie at Wild Olive?

Check out this Sashiko Pinterest board that is filled with more inspiration and links. Or just search for Sashiko boards on Pinterest— there are dozens!

I can leave out a this beautiful tote with Sashiko bag handles!

Sashiko Embroidery Tutorials Quilt Patterns |Courtesy of Wikimedia | Radiant Home Studio

Look at the variety of patterns in this sashiko sampler quilt.

Free Sashiko Patterns:

Here are 8 free Sashiko designs — you have to click through, right click and save the image.

There several Sashiko designs here, available in a variety of sizes and formats.

Small Sashiko Embroidery Cloud Pattern | via Craftsy | Radiant Home Studio

There is a simple Sashiko cloud pattern on Craftsy.

Or you can use graph paper to make you own patterns. There are several simple geometric ideas that you can easily draw and use for any project.

Feel free to link up any other helpful tutorials or inspiring projects in the comments. Happy Stitching!

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Embroidered Zsayla Top

My last project from Pattern Parcel #6… The Zsayla Top! It was the first thing I decided to make when I received the patterns. I love the loose, flowing shape. It reminds of something from Anthropologie. Their blouses often have beautiful embroidered details that make them look handmade (which is probably why I like their style). Though I couldn’t find anything similar for sale there now, the Zsayla blouse really works with that boho-chic look. And the large yoke is the perfect spot to add some embroidery detail.

Sashiko Embroidered Zsayla Top | Sewing Pattern Kate & Rose | Radiant Home Studio

I started looking around to see if anyone else had embroidered their Zsayla tops and found that the pattern designer (Kate & Rose) also sells beautiful Hungarian style embroidery patterns. They are gorgeous, but I was afraid I didn’t have the time to do something that complicated. I decided to try a simple Sashiko (Japanese embroidery) pattern instead. (Though the Kate & Rose embroidery patterns are now on my list and I’ll be looking for a way to use one of them soon!)

First, let me tell you about the pattern. Kate & Rose patterns were new to me. I found the printing and assembly fairly straightforward. There is a nice chart detailing which pages should be printed for each part, so you can avoid printing those extra pages for a dress when you just want to make a top. It also includes several cutting layouts to help you find the most efficient way to use your fabric. The directions and illustrations are clear and helpful.

Sashiko Embroidered Zsayla Top | Sewing Pattern Kate & Rose | Radiant Home Studio

They also include some nice finishing techniques such as understitching the neckline and cuffs. The instructions also include 2 methods for attaching the yoke–the “clean and fancy method” and the “quick and dirty method”. I tried to use the “clean and fancy method,” but the bulk from the interfacing and embroidery floss was making it difficult. I ended up using the  quick method (sewing all the layers at once and serging the edges), but only a seamstress would ever notice the difference. And look at the pretty cuff detail!

Sashiko Embroidered Zsayla Top | Sewing Pattern Kate & Rose | Radiant Home Studio

This is my first project using double gauze (from Imagine Gnats…and Rachel is having a huge sale this week!). I was unimpressed when it arrived in the mail, but after a nice hot wash my opinion totally changed. It has a lot of the same qualities as lightweight linen, which is what I was hoping for when I ordered it. It’s loose and flowing, and wrinkles in a soft, natural way. It is perfect for a loose fitting blouse and makes a nice base for embroidery projects. I love it!

Sashiko Embroidered Zsayla Top | Sewing Pattern Kate & Rose | Radiant Home Studio

It took some trial and error to figure out the best method for transferring the embroidery pattern to the fabric. I tried water soluble marker, but it disappeared too soon. I tried stitching without stabilizer, but the stitches weren’t as straight as they needed to be. In the end, I traced the pattern on to lightweight interfacing with pencil (time consuming…be sure to take stretch breaks!). I also did one of them twice because I realized that the design was going different directions along the grain. I recommend tracing around the pattern piece on the interfacing, marking the grain, then tracing the design. Then you can make sure the design is going the same direction on each piece of the yoke.

Sashiko Embroidered Zsayla Top | Sewing Pattern Kate & Rose | Radiant Home Studio

Though there is specific embroidery thread for Sashiko, I didn’t find any locally and used a steel blue pearl cotton embroidery floss. I learned a lot more about Sashiko stitching as well, but I’ve written another post for later this week with 20 of my favorite Sashiko embroidery tutorials, projects, and patterns. (You can   so you don’t miss it!)

Finally, just a quick reminder…Friday is the last day to get this pattern bundle!

With Pattern Parcel – you choose your price, support indie pattern designers, and the rest goes to and educational charity called Donors Choose. If you choose to pay $32 or more, you receive the bonus pattern (the Odette dress). Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we’ve raised over $12,000 for classrooms in need!

The patterns included in this parcel are:

Syrah Skirt by Lauren Dahl (exclusive release!)
Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren
Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations
Hudson Pant by True Bias
Zsalya Dress by Kate and Rose

BONUS PATTERN: Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

You can just click over to the Pattern Parcel site for more details. And if you want to see what others are making from these great patterns…

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