Patterns, Sewing

Penfield Pocket Tote Testers

Monday, I released the Penfield Pocket Tote pattern. I’m grateful to the many testers who provided feedback on this pattern. It’s a volunteer job, and I so appreciate the time and effort these ladies put in to helping make this pattern the best it can be!

I have a few to share with you today. Each tote has a distinct personality. Hopefully their bags will inspire you to make your own Penfield Pocket Tote that reflects your personality.

The first tote was made by Carrie. She used waxed canvas for the exterior and leather for the straps. I really like that this bag is mostly neutral, with a pop of fun fabric on the pocket. The waxed canvas and leather will be extremely durable!

Penfield Pocket Tote | by Carrie | Radiant Home Studio

Margareth made this fun, but classic bag with faux leather and a vintage style fabric. The front pocket is a great place to display some of your favorite fabrics like Margareth did!

Penfield Pocket Tote | by Margareth | Radiant Home Studio

Chiaki made her tote with soft colors and linen. It’s not only beautiful, but the stitching on the straps and topstitching is perfect!

Penfield Pocket Tote | by Chiaki | Radiant Home Studio

Tammy used some bright, fun fabric paired with solid black. The vinyl accents on this tote are very classy. Tammy also tested the pattern using foam interfacing. Though it isn’t listed on the pattern instructions, foam will work well if you prefer a very structured tote.

Penfield Pocket Tote | by Tammy | Radiant Home Studio

Becki made her tote in coordinating canvas. She tested the bag without stabilizer for a more casual, slouchy look. This looks like it would be perfect for hauling groceries or library books!

Penfield Pocket Tote Testers | by Becki | Radiant Home Studio

And this floral and gingham tote was made by Colleen. I love the subtle exterior with the bright lining. The contrasting fabrics in Colleen’s lining really help to showcase the pockets.

Penfield Pocket Tote | by Colleen | Radiant Home Studio

As I said before, I’m thankful for all of their hard work! I hope their different bag styles get you thinking about what fabrics you would use and inspire you to make a Penfield Pocket Tote of your own!

Patterns

Introducing the Penfield Pocket Tote

Happy Monday! I’ve been working on a new pattern, and today it is finally ready! Introducing the Penfield Pocket Tote

Penfield Pocket Tote | Radiant Home Studio

It’s an extra-large everyday tote, with lots of pockets, making it a versatile bag with room whatever you haul around.

I designed the Penfield Pocket Tote with clean, classic lines. It works for moms hauling baby gear, college-students hauling books, or even working women hauling their gear. This bag looks great in a variety of styles, whether casual or business.

Penfield Pocket Tote | Radiant Home Studio

Practical interior and exterior pockets provide plenty of space to organize your things. The snap closures and rivets add stylish, modern detail. I used waxed canvas (or you could try leather accents) for a upscale and durable tote.

The Penfield Pocket Tote pattern includes step-by-step illustrations and detailed instructions, along with supplemental photos. I’ve also included extra tips to help you achieve a professional looking finish. Each pattern piece is labeled with a letter and includes specific cutting instructions. Pattern pages are numbered and easy to assemble.

The Penfield Pocket Tote pattern contains actual pattern pieces, not just a list of rectangular measurements. The bag interior includes a divided elastic pocket, a small zipper pocket, a divided slip pocket with spaces for pens, and a magnetic snap closure. The bag exterior has two large pockets, one on the front and one on the back. The front also includes a small exterior pocket. Finished Dimensions are approx. 14.5″ x 16″ x 3.5″.

To see more details and purchase the pattern, check out the Penfield Pocket Tote in my shop!

Patterns

Best Notebooks to Fit Your Notebook Cover

I’ve received a lot of questions about which notebooks to use with the North Pond Notebook Cover…

North Pond Notebook Cover Pattern |Best Notebooks to Fit Your Notebook Cover| Radiant Home Studio

Chalk and Paint Notebook Cover | Radiant Home Studio

I designed it in two sizes, the larger for composition notebooks and the smaller size for journals and sketchbooks (like large Moleskine notebooks). These are fairly common and easy to find in the US, but some of my friends in the UK and Australia have been unfamiliar with these types of notebooks or their names. I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of notebooks that will work in your North Pond Notebook Covers…

(Some of these are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission when you buy these notebooks through my links! This helps to support my blog and pattern making. Thanks!)

Chalk and Paint Notebook Cover | Radiant Home Studio

Best Notebooks to Fit Your Notebook Cover:

Notebooks in the US:

  1. Composition Notebooks – These fit in the larger size notebook cover. You should be able to find these at any drug store or big box store for less than $2. And you can usually stock up on them for less when school supplies go on sale! This is the cheapest option and great for kids.
  2. Hard Cover Large Moleskine – This is a basic hardcover lined journal, which could be used for many purposes. Choose the hard cover if you want it to last longer. This fits perfectly in the small notebook cover.
  3. Soft Cover Moleskine Cashier Journals – These are my favorite small journals. These ones have lines, but there are versions with blank pages for sketching too.  This fits into the small notebook cover as well.

North Pond Notebook Cover Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Notebooks in the UK:

  1. Composition Notebooks – These fit in the larger size notebook cover. I looked to see if these were available at Asda. I didn’t see any on the website, but I would expect them to have something similar. Staples had a few online, but they all had movie characters on them. This is the cheapest paper option and great for kids.
  2. A4 Exercise Books – You can use hard cover A4 notebooks and make size adjustments as indicated in the appendix. I assume these are available in most supermarkets and stationary shops. A4 paper is quite a bit taller than a composition notebook, so you’ll need to add about 2″ to the height and about 3/4″ to the width of the pieces. It’s a pretty easy adjustment, but double check the measurements on your own notebooks to be sure.
  3. Hard Cover Moleskine Notebook – This is a basic hardcover lined journal, which could be used for many purposes. This fits perfectly in the small notebook cover, no adjustments needed.
  4. Soft Cover Moleskine Journals – These are my favorite small journals. These ones have lines, but there are versions with blank pages for sketching too.  This fits into the small notebook cover as well.
  5. A5 Hardback Books – It looks like you can probably find these at most supermarkets too. Any A5 book will fit in the small notebook cover with an easy adjustment. You’ll just need to add 3/4″ to 1″ in width (depending on the thickness of your book) to your pattern pieces.

North Pond Notebook Cover Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Notebooks in Australia:

I’m less familiar with stores in Australia, so I’m relying on google to help me here. If you have more suggestions, leave them in the comments!

  1. Botany Book – This notebook is very similar size to the composition notebooks and would fit into the large notebook cover. You would need to reduce the height of the pattern by 3/4″ and the width by 1/2″. I like this one because it has blank pages between the lined pages, but you can also get regular 9 x 7 books.
  2. A4 Exercise Book – You will need to make the some adjustments. A4 paper is quite a bit taller than a composition notebook, so you’ll need to add about 2″ to the height and about 3/4″ to the width of the pieces. It’s a pretty easy adjustment, but double check the measurements on your own notebooks to be sure.
  3. A5 Kraft Notebook – This is very similar to the Moleskine notebooks I love. You’ll just need to make the A5 adjustments to the small size- add 3/4″ to 1″ in width (depending on the thickness of your book) to your pattern pieces. Double-check the measurements using the appendix before you begin.
  4. Large Moleskine Notebooks – These are available and will fit the small cover perfectly. The price seems high to me, but maybe you know where you can get a good deal on them!

Hope this helps you shop for the right size notebooks!

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Everything I recommended for the small size will also fit into this free quilted sketchbook pattern I have designed as well!

Patterns, Sewing

How to Make a Waxed Canvas Retro Rucksack

I’m excited to finally share this new waxed canvas Retro Rucksack with you! I made this weeks ago, but didn’t have the time to photograph it and get the pattern updated until this week.

Waxed Canvas Retro Rucksack | Radiant Home Studio

Ever since I made a waxed canvas messenger bag for my husband, I knew I wanted to use some for my Retro Rucksack. If you haven’t used waxed canvas for bags before, I highly recommend it! The wax protects the fabric from dirt and moisture, so it’s perfect for bag bottoms. It has the look of beautifully aged leather when it is finished, and it continues to look great after use.

I have more information about how I use Otter Wax to coat my canvas in this post. I used about half of a large bar of wax for this bag. Different fabric absorbs more or less wax, so the amount can vary…but at least that gives you an idea.

I prefer to wax after I finish sewing. It saves wax because you aren’t waxing the parts that will be caught in the seam allowances. It also brings out the character of the bag as you rub the wax in and accentuate the folds of the fabric. And you can finish sewing the bag all in one sitting instead of waiting for waxed pieces to dry in between.

If waxing sounds like too much effort, you can also find pre-waxed canvas by searching Etsy.

Waxed Canvas Retro Rucksack | Radiant Home Studio

For this pattern, I made all of my straps and added the wax after doing all of the topstitching and pressing, but before sewing them into the bag. I waxed the bottom accent pieces and top strap band after completing the bag. If you aren’t planning to wax the whole bag, you can protect the other fabric by using masking tape or painters tape along the edges.

Retro Rucksack Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

A few months ago, I updated the Retro Rucksack pattern to include a roll top option in addition to the recessed zipper option. This version shows how the roll top looks. I’ve also updated the pattern listing with these new photos and I have included a preview of one of the pattern instruction pages. Check out the new pattern listing for more information!

Retro Rucksack Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Here, you can see how the strap converts from a backpack to shoulder strap. You can wear it as a backpack, or as a cross body style bag. And there’s actually a third option that I use, which is the short shoulder strap you get when you leave the strap adjusters in this position.

Retro Rucksack Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

I really love how this came together with the waxed canvas! I hope it inspires you to try sewing the Retro Rucksack or to use waxed canvas in your other bag projects!

Patterns

Free Leaf Embroidery Pattern

Today I have a free Leaf Embroidery Pattern for you!

Free Leaf Embroidery Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

I designed this leafy branch embroidery pattern for another project that I’ll be sharing later this week over at the Oliver + S blog. It’s a simple design that would look nice as hoop art, as an embellishment on a bag, or as a hand-stitched detail on a skirt or blouse.

Free Leaf Embroidery Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

The pattern includes the design mirror images. You can transfer by tracing if your fabric is somewhat sheer. If your fabric is opaque or needs stabilizing, try using something like Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy (affiliate link). You’ll need an 8″ hoop if you use the design at full size, or you can scale it down when printing for a smaller size.

To stitch the design as I have, fill in the leaf shapes with horizontal running stitches. You can make several stitches at once by weaving your needle in and out of the fabric before pulling it all the way through. I used 3 strands of embroidery floss on white linen for this sample.

Free Leaf Embroidery Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

For a different look, you can experiment with other stitches or stitch around the outlines.  My philosophy on embroidery is that the imperfections are what make the design unique. Don’t worry too much about getting all of the stitches straight or perfectly spaced. Just enjoy the process and add some love to your handmade projects!

Free Leaf Embroidery Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Download the pattern here!

For more help with Sashiko style running stitches, look at this round-up of Sashiko tutorials.

If you like this embroidery project, you might want to browse through more of my embroidery projects & tutorials!

(I’ve also linked this post to the Homemaking Link-up, DIY Crush, Sew Can She & Craftastic Monday.)