In the Bag

Beth Bradley

Trace ’n Create Town & Country Collection:
Suburban Plus Bag (modified)

Beautiful Beading

I love to bead, so it was natural for me to add colorful beading to the purse. Combined with pretty pink fabric, the beads make the purse look so springy and happy. I hadn’t intended to do so much beading, but once I got started it was hard to stop! I also added several inches of length to the shoulder strap to fit my taste and the way I like to wear my bags. The Shape ’n Create Stabilizer was very useful in helping the purse bottom keep its shape. I was pleased with the Clover Double-Sided Basting tape as well, as it made it easy to stitch the fabric layers together without shifting. It was so much fun to make a purse that I can use for special occasions.


Trace ’n Create Town & Country Collection:
Suburban Plus Bag (modified)

Jewel Tone Swirl

I started with a striped jewel-tone batik that I’ve had my eye on for a while. I cut strips of varying widths across the printed stripes and then shifted the strips up and down on a design wall to create a bargello (a stylized geometric pattern) effect. I stitched the strip long edges together to create a 18”x 30” pieced panel. I layered the panel over batting and then quilted through the layers using purple metallic thread. This gave me plenty of room to cut out all the pattern pieces. Because I used a layer of batting, I didn’t need to use any additional stabilizer. I was inspired when I found unique beads and ribbons that coordinated with the fabric, so I designed my own embellished closure tab with a triangular end. Before adding the lining, I stitched the strap connectors and closure tab to the quilted outer bag.


Trace ’n Create City Collection:
Chic Plus Bag (modified)

For the Birds

Looking through my stash, I found a fat quarter of bird-print fabric that I love but had never found the right use for. Using the bird fabric as my starting point, I pulled several other fabrics in a variety of harmonious textures, scales and values. The pattern calls for two 13”x 18” rectangles of bag fabric. I knew that I wanted my strips to appear vertically on the bag, so I pieced two identical 13”x 18” rectangles. The widths of the individual strips vary, but all the stripes of a given fabric are the same width. I arranged the strips symmetrically, with the bird fabric taking center stage. After piecing and pressing the rectangle, I cut the two purse pattern pieces, keeping the middle bird strip centered in both. I made the straps and the pocket from the green print fabric, while the lining is another fabric altogether. I discovered that it was difficult to piece, layer and quilt the bag fabric in combination with the tucks required by my chosen purse pattern. If I were making one of the other bag styles without tucks, I’d definitely quilt the fabric before cutting out the purse pieces. In the same vein, you could piece a large rectangular block and use it as your fabric, crazy-piece your fabric and embellish the purse once it’s made, or use leftover blocks from a previous project as your fabric. It might also be fun to use a really large safety pin or other quilting notion in place of the the D-rings. 



Trace ’n Create City Collection: Portfolio Bag
(modified); Leafy Swirls from Embroidery Central

Simple Sophisticate

I chose a black microfiber fabric for the outer bag and a fun scroll-print fabric from Robert Kaufman’s Project Runway line for the lining. I cut the purse rectangles as the kit suggested and interfaced the outer pieces. I selected a floral embroidery design to coordinate with the lining fabric and marked the embroidery placement so the design would fall between the handles along the bag upper edge. I used a black lightweight tear-away stabilizer and secured it to the interfacing with temporary spray adhesive. I hooped a paper-backed mesh stabilizer and positioned the fabric over the sticky side to avoid hoop burn. After putting the hoop on the machine, I added a water-soluble topping to prevent the stitches from sinking into the fabric nap. Instead of washing away the topping, I tore it away close to the stitching and used tweezers for the stray bits. I embroidered with black thread in the top and bobbin. After embroidery, I removed the stabilizers according to the manufacturers’ instructions and lightly pressed the fabric from the wrong side. I assembled the purse following the pattern directions, but I finger-pressed all seams instead of using an iron.

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In the Bag
I want to make the bag of the cover. Where can I find the embroidery designs?
Just signed up
Totally confused. I am trying to get information and save as documents on my computer but can not find ANYTHING. SewNews subscriber since its beginning.
non-user friendly
what's up with this new format on your site...can't find ANYTHING!!!!You really can do better than this!
pattern for bag
I, too, would like to know where to get the pattern for these bags. Especially th bag on the front cover.
I hate this new format for your website This is hard to navigate. I have been a loyal subscriber to the Sew News magazine but I will not renew it but this website is not user friendly.
pattern for bag
Where do I get the pattern for these bags??
Where can I get the pattern for the ginko leaves?
I love the bag on the front cover and would like to find out where to get the pattern for the ginko leaves. I checked and had no success. BR


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