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Reversible Cube Bag – Free Pattern and Tutorial

April 4, 2018

It’s been a long while since I have posted a bag tutorial! Today I am posting a new reversible bag tutorial for the cube tote bag that I made for the Le Depart by Koizumi fabric Giveaway a few months ago.

This is the first bag I made. I call it the cube bag because it’s actually in a shape of a cube! If you read the previous post, you will know that I was inspired by a video by Diy Soho I saw online, about making a bag in this shape. However, the instructions were for drafting only, and there was no instructions on how to actually make the bag. So with due credit to the original designer, I am only sharing the size I made here. If you want to custom your own bag size, please refer to the original video (link to the tutorial here)

cubetotefront

It’s really roomy and easy to make, and I actually do use this everyday because it’s so easy to find my stuff in it.

cubetotecarried

The finished dimensions of this bag is 25cm x 25cm x 25cm (when standing upright as a cube)
When the top is closed the width becomes 50cm wide, and the base is still a 25x25cm square.

Template
Download the  Free Reversible Cube Bag Tutorial (1029 downloads)

Materials List
Fabric A (Cotton + Steel Poolside Towels Blue)  – 55cm x 45cm
Fabric B – (Navy blue soft canvas) 55cm x 45cm
Fabric C (Cotton + Steel Poolside Palms Canvas Pink) – 110cm (W) x 45cm (H)
Medium weight interfacing / Fusible fleece interfacing -110cm (W) x 45cm (H)
depending on how slouchy or stiff you want your bag to be.
2 Leather straps – 1cm wide by 50cm length x  2pcs

I used Fabric A and B as contrasting panels on the outer bag, and Fabric C referred to as Lining in the tutorial. But as it is a reversible bag, you can always flip the inside out and have the cute Poolside Palms fabric out. So just mix and match anyway you wish.

Preparation

  1. First you will need a template (click here to download) The pattern is spread over two pieces of paper so just trim off the excess on the bottom of page 1 and match and stick page 2 on top of it
  2. Lay the pattern on the fold, and cut the following pieces
    2 pieces of Fabric A, 2 pieces of Fabric B, 4 pieces of Fabric C, 4 pieces of medium weight interfacing.
  3. Apply interfacing to the outer pieces (in my case i applied it on Fabric A and Fabric B because they were softer and needed more structure.Then it’s time to sew! Follow the sewing video tutorial below.ETA : I went back to Youtube to check that the link to the drafting video works, and was shown a suggested link to the making video by the same designer that showed you how to make it! I must have missed it the first time or I wouldn’t have spent time making my own video. In any case, I already made the video, so I’ll just put it up and you can choose to view either one to learn how to make it. Watch the version by Diy Soho here, or watch mine below. It’s up to you.

and here are some pictures of the final bag!

cottonandsteeltowelsblue

cubebagbase

The base of the bag.

cottonandsteelpalmpink

and the reverse side. All ready for the beach!

The poolside collection from Cotton+Steel is perfect for this project! You can find it at Nekoneko.co, plus a whole lot of other Cotton+Steel fabrics.

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Throwback Thursday – Free Chinese Dress / Qipao pattern for girls

January 19, 2017

Every year just before Chinese New Year, I see a renewed flurry of activity in our local sewing community -The Sewing Network, from mothers/aunts/crafters sewing and making Qipaos /Cheongsams for their little ones. This year I’ve decided to compile some of them to show you all the amazing things that they have done with my simple template as a base.  From adding sleeves, to tulle sleeves, going collarless for comfort, adding gathered skirts, romper style, matching doll sets. All you need to give your little girl a wide smile for Chinese New Year is a simple and free pattern, plus lots of love and creativity. 🙂

compilation3_9x9_600

This pattern had its roots 9 years ago, when I first made attempted to make a mash up dress+chinese collar for my then 3 year old daughter. Being inexperienced, I created a front flap opening, but sewed up the gathered skirt at the waist line. Needless to say, it was a struggle getting in and out of it, haha… That idea was revisited a few years later, you can imagine how traumatized I was at my failure, but I was determined to get it right, by copying the side opening from a store bought Qipao my husband bought for us from his business trip to China. I finally understood how it worked and so created a free pattern (click here for the free pattern) and launched it in January 2014, plus sewing video tutorials (click here to watch the videos on youtube) to make it easier to understand.

Anyway, this year, Chinese New Year falls on 28th Jan which is rather early. It seems like Christmas just came and went and I just got settled in the new school routine. But it’s based on the lunar calendar so it’s not up to us to decide ;P  I am still struggling to spring-clean, and am still sewing our new outfits for CNY2017. I have lowered my personal expectations for this year and I’m probably only going to make one outfit per person instead of 2. I just hope I can make it in time!

In the meantime, have a look through and get inspired by these creative ladies from our local sewing group – The Sewing Network. Click on the arrows to see the next slide. The copyright of photos belong to the owners as stated in each picture. If you wish to be included in the gallery, just message me on Facebook or email me with your photos.  Enjoy and be inspired!
abigailchee

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

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Sew-Along for Boy’s Stand-Up Collar Shirt Day 3

January 11, 2017

Day 3 and final day of the sew along. If you haven’t , go to the first post here.

The book we are sewing from is

boysstandupcollarshirt

In the previous post, I covered steps 1-3. In the following video, you will see the rest of the steps – 4-8.  Even if you don’t have time to sew it now, bookmark this page and you can follow along any time you want.

You will noticed that I used snap buttons instead of buttonholes and buttons as stated in the pattern. But this is for a good reason. I needed to add some color to the shirt since it is for Chinese New Year, so I chose snaps in colors that will go with the pants I am making to complete the outfit. More on the pants soon!

I also wanted to make a note about the instructions in the book. The terms upper and lower collar were used for this pattern. Even though I’m not entirely sure of the correct terminology, it seems that the terms switched in some of the diagrams, which was quite confusing. In my video, I used inner and outer collar instead. With inner referring to the inside of the shirt and outer referring to the outside of the shirt. The interfacing for the collar should be applied on the outer collar (I think!). The other mistake I made, which I only realized later, was that I added seam allowances to my collar interfacing. The collar interfacing should be traced without seam allowances. This is to prevent bulk in the seam. Luckily the interfacing I used was quite thin, as I didn’t want a stiff collar since it was a for a toddler, and it I think it turned out quite alright.

I hope you learned from my mistakes too and make a great shirt of your own. Happy sewing!

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Sew-Along for Boy’s Stand-Up Collar Shirt Day 2

January 8, 2017

Well, somehow I did it! I always wanted to get back to making sewing videos because it is just so much easier to explain using videos instead of words or even still pictures. I managed to clear out some table space and used a clamp instead of tripods to take the videos. However, you will notice I did not film some of the simpler sewing steps. This is because I would have needed a second clamp and make multiple adjustments to the settings everytime I moved the camera. So for the easy sewing bits like shoulder seams, side seams or serging, I did not show every single step, but I hope everything else is quite self-explanatory.

So in the last post – we traced the pattern pieces and got the fabric and interfacing cut out. Today we start sewing! So without further ado, here is the video for steps 1-3. Steps 4-8 will be covered in the next video which I am still filming and editing. I am following the steps and descriptions in the book as much as I can so that it will not be confusing for you.

Happy sewing! Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below.

For those of you who want to sew along, here is a link to purchase the book on amazon (affiliate link)

Updated : The final video with steps 4-8 has been posted. Click here to view the next post.

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Sew Along for Boys Stand-UP Collar Shirt – Day 1

January 6, 2017

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a good break over the Christmas and holiday period. I know I haven’t posted much since last December but I was kind of burned out after the holiday. Somehow things move along a lot slower too when the kids are around during the school holidays. It’s like nothing gets done but so much needs to be done. After the mad rush of getting everything ready for them to go back to school, it’s finally time to sit down and think about what to do next!

I originally planned to write up a New resolutions post about how I am going to schedule my blog posts properly, and yes even bring back the translations requests section but then I suddenly realize that I have to start sewing for Chinese New Year which is 23 days away! Gulp…. I have to sew (at least) 2 cheongsams for my daughters, including drafting new patterns since they have grown so much since last year. And I have to sew for my little boy too! So due to the tight timeline, I have to jump right in and the first one I will tackle will be from this book.

sewchickidscover

I have posted the full book review some time ago, so you can look at the rest of the projects here if you have not purchased the book yet. This book is translated into English so no worries about following along!

boysstandupcollarshirt

I will be making the above Boy’s Stand-up Collar Shirt in Size 2. I will be taking pictures as I go along, I’m not sure if I have space/time to setup my video equipment, since having a 2 year old around means no tripods stay upright for long. What am I talking about, he doesn’t even let me out of his sight. It is 6+ in the morning here which is why I can even type this out. Anyway, I’ll probably be taking pictures, so if you can, sew-along with me! I will be splitting up this project into a few separate posts, and the length of each post will literally depend on how much I get done each day.

So the first thing you have to do, as you can see on the bottom of the right hand page below, is to flip to pg 57. See below.

instructions

You will notice the instructions are rather scant. And you may wonder where the rest of the diagrams are? Why does it jump straight to number 6? The actual steps to follow are in the order given in the top right hand diagram. but notice the little footnote near number 7? It says to follow the steps in project “t” which is on pages 62-63, which is a normal collared shirt, with the exception of step 6 which is the making of the stand up collar.

I guess this is a good way of saving paper, since there is really no point printing repeated instructions. But I do wish that was written right under the materials list, and in a larger font. ;P
howtomake1

Anyway, gripes aside, and it wasn’t too hard to figure that out anyway, let’s move along and look at the pattern pieces and materials.

For materials, the length you will need is based on standard 110cm wide fabric. The lengths are listed in order of sizes. So for Size 2, I will need 35 1/2″ or 0.9m of fabric.

For pattern pieces, you will need to look for the pieces labelled “q” and you will need 5 pattern pieces (yoke and facing are the same pattern piece)

patternsheets

The pattern pieces are spread out over 3 different pattern sheets. I can only show you two since the are printed on double side, so I am just showing you how I located the pieces on sheet 1 and 3.

Pattern sheet 1 – Q – yoke and yoke facing (shown above)
Pattern sheet 2 – Q – sleeve  (on reverse side of sheet 1)
Pattern sheet 3 – Q – back, collar (shown above)
Pattern sheet 4 – Q –  front  (on reverse side of sheet 3)

Now trace your patterns out, remember that there are no seam allowances, so you have to add them on after tracing.

To know how much seam allowance to add, refer to the Layout diagram.

howtomake1

For example, the pattern labelled SLEEVE has a double line around it, and at the bottom edge of the sleeve it says 1 1/2 (4)

This means, that there is a 3/8″ or 1cm seam allowance all around, except for the bottom edge where you should add on 1 1/2″ or 4cm of seam allowance.

For other pieces where there are no numbers and just a double line, it just means add on 3/8″ or 1cm seam allowance by default. Here are examples of two of the pieces with added seam allowances.

collarandyoke

With the pattern pieces cut out, you can now cut them out of fabric. You can mix and match coordinating fabrics for the yoke / yoke facing, inner and outer collars, etc. Go ahead and be creative!

patternpieces

Here are my pattern pieces laid out on my fabric. I am using Sarah Jane’s Painted Gingham in blue. Note that I will have to cut two of the collar and two of the yoke pieces. Also, my layout is a little different from the one in the book. That is because the collar and yoke pieces have to be cut on fold, and furthermore the design in the book was using a striped fabric. So to mix things up a little the collar and yoke for the shirt in the book was running perpendicular to the rest of the shirt. So bear that in mind when you place your pattern pieces, it really depends on the print on your fabric and how you want it to appear on the shirt.

interfacing

Next, you have to cut out the pieces for the Interfacing as well. Under the LAYOUT diagram, there is one more cutting diagram for FUSIBLE INTERFACING. The instructions for the FRONT FACING section are not very clear, and you may be confused over the “shape” of the front facing. Basically there are 2 x 4cm wide strips, meant to go onto the extended seam allowance of both Front pieces, which folds back to create the button placket. This interfacing will help to stabilize your button holes and buttons.

So now you should have all your pieces ready and let’s start sewing tomorrow! I will start with some prep work and then probably steps 1-3. Crossing my fingers I can stay on schedule 🙂 If you have any questions, ask them in the comments section below.

Updated : Post for Day 2 of sew-along, with a sewing video for steps 1-3 is now available.