handbags

I Made My Own Buttons!

I’ve been wanting to make my own buttons for some time now but didn’t know if it would really be worth the investment. I go through a lot of buttons because of my bags. Almost all of my handbag designs incorporate buttons (my tagline is “handmade with love and buttons”) and there are certain sizes and colors that I use most often. Finding these colors and sizes in bulk is very difficult- I either have to buy multi packs filled with teeny tiny buttons and a few large buttons or buy a pack of two to three that costs $2.00, which isn’t cost-effective in the long run. These little pieces of plastic are so expensive!

I started researching buttons molds and came across this awesome seller on etsy. Mold Me Shape Me makes her own molds and rather than just a single button in the mold, each has 8. I bought some clay from JoAnn’s because I had a coupon (of course) and at the same time I spotted something I didn’t think I needed. It was a craft oven! Specifically for working with clay. I had a 50% off coupon so it was just over $30. I thought, if I am going to try this thing then I am going to try it right.

Making Buttons- Trish Stitched

Making Buttons- Trish Stitched

I’m too embarrassed to show my test batch. They are bad. They don’t even have holes to sew them to anything. So what I am showing is my second batch! The craft oven has a timer so the buttons can’t burn and I don’t have to turn on my apartment oven for a small baking batch. I learned that while you can bake the buttons directly in the molds, you can also pop the clay out before baking and make multiples at once. I prefer popping them out because I can make sure the holes are not deformed and the mold detail is clear. The oven did not come with a tray, so I will have to invest in one, but this little heat maker is SO WORTH IT.

Making Buttons- Trish Stitched

The second batch is so much better than the first and I’m getting better but working with clay is a new experience for me. The first pack I tried (the turquoise) was just the right amount of pliable and worked really well with the molds but when I tried to use the burgundy I bought, it got too soft. I’m hoping leaving it out a little will harden the clay.

Making Buttons- Trish Stitched

I like the look the clay produces but would LOVE to get a liquid resin of some kind to try for a cleaner look. While making the liquid and getting the right color figured out would be time-consuming, the process would eventually speed up compared to the clay. This is one of those projects that don’t feel like work. A little crafting after sewing keeps me entertained while just relaxing and I’m still being productive.

Making Buttons- Trish Stitched

Would you make your own buttons?

In other craft news, I had two projects planned & made and both of them didn’t work out. One is salvageable but there’s no hope for the other. So that’s why the blog has been a little slow. This happens every so often, I rush and things don’t come out right. I have a few projects to work on this coming week and will have to be a little more cautious and take that extra time to make sure they are wearable.

Have a great weekend!

handbags · sewing

Fall Tote

I finally made a bag for myself! When my grandparent’s passed and we cleaned out their house, the dining room was hiding a treasure of cloth napkins and fabric remnants. I don’t think the napkins were ever used (at least not in my lifetime) and the remnants were actually pieces from chairs that were upholstered in the dining room.

Fall Tote- Trish Stitched

Fall Tote- Trish Stitched

I took the chair fabric and paired it with vinyl that was left over from Drew’s Bag. I needed a new fall bag that could hold my camera and computer but not much bigger than that. I altered my tote bag pattern and got to work.

Fall Tote- Trish Stitched

This bag is perfect for me, and I love that all the material is from projects/people who mean a lot- just one of the reasons I LOVE using recycled fabrics.

Fall Tote- Trish Stitched

Can I also say that it’s crazy I’m sewing fall?? Summer did not last long enough. I’m already wearing sweatshirts in my studio and pants have officially been pulled out of storage. I’m ready to move to California.

etsy · handbags

My First Craft Show – Denville Rotary Festival

I would call my first craft show as a success! I was incredibly nervous about how the day would go and didn’t go in with any expectations. I was sandwiched between Cutco Knives and Avon- two completely known and popular brands so I was really the newbie on the block.

My First Craft Show- Trsh Stitched

The show was from 11-6, set up starting at 8. I got to my spot at about 9 am (after massive amounts of traffic) and was set up with about an hour to spare. My dad came with us to help set up the tent and tables, and thankfully my mom spent the whole day at the show with me. It started off slightly slow, but little by little the crowd trickled in. I had a few people stop in my booth, but not much purchasing, making me feel really discouraged early on (especially when one woman freaked out over the price of my totes– I personally think $45 for a handmade tote is not bad considering the materials and time that went into the piece but I’m biased).

My First Craft Show- Trsh Stitched

The second and third hour saw more sales so I was happier, but what really encouraged me was the comments that people made. Every single person who stopped in my booth commented on how beautiful and well done my bags looked. These comments kind of caught me off guard. Of course I thought my bags looked great but this was the first time the “public” was actually getting to look at them and comment. They didn’t have to say a word, but they did. And that made me happier than any sale.

My First Craft Show- Trsh Stitched

My First Craft Show- Trsh Stitched

Most people were surprised that I made everything, and that I was, in fact, older than 12. Since my mom was in the booth with me, it threw people off that I was the artist.

My First Craft Show- Trsh Stitched

My First Craft Show- Trsh Stitched

My First Craft Show- Trsh Stitched

When people would stop to look at my recycled clutches, I would say they were made from fabric swatch books. This intrigued two women- who had PILES of fabric books that they didn’t know what to do with. They both offered to pass the fabric along to me! One woman was an interior designer and actually came back to my booth with a bag of fabric that was in her car! The connections I made on Sunday were just incredible.

My First Craft Show- Trsh Stitched

My First Craft Show- Trsh Stitched

This show really excited me for future craft shows. I wanted to do a show before the winter markets start up so I have some experience under my belt. I learned a lot, and am so happy with the results of the day. I’m not signed up for any more events just yet but am looking forward to more.

A few more bags are being put in my shop over the next couple weeks now that the show is over. Go on over to etsy for a look!

for the boy · handbags · sewing

Duffle Bag for the Birthday Boy

My boyfriend is the hardest person to shop for. It’s because he never tells anyone what he wants, he just buys it himself. (And I’m over here dropping hints like crazy for every holiday under the sun). We went to the mall a few weeks ago and stopped in the Fossil store where Drew spotted a bag that he loved. He needed a good weekend duffle to use for business trips instead of his gym bag and he really liked this one. He said he was going to think about it before dropping $400 on it.

I forgot all about the bag until his birthday was fast approaching. I had a pattern for a duffle that I’ve always wanted to try (Simplicity 2600) and with a few adjustments, it could look pretty similar to the fossil bag! I started with two beautiful yards of faux leather from Joann’s and an awesome clock face print for lining. Drew has a slight obsession with watches so this was perfect!

Fossil Inspired Duffle- Trish Stitched

I had a general idea of the changes I wanted to make and how to construct them with the existing pattern. I cut out the body pieces but not the straps the way the pattern called for. I also didn’t make any of the piping and added a flap over the front pocket which was one of the scariest parts to sew. I didn’t know how my machine would handle the layers but everything went smooth! I did break about 3 needles when sewing on all the straps but they are on… and secure…I hope.

Fossil Inspired Duffle- Trish Stitched

Fossil Inspired Duffle- Trish Stitched

I finished the bag just in time for his birthday and it even accompanied him on his trip to Miami this past weekend, and it held up well! He was so cute when I gave it to him. He freaked out and asked where I got it. When I told him I made it-he flipped! He couldn’t believe it! That is the greatest compliment a seamstress can get so I’m very happy with the result!

Fossil Inspired Duffle- Trish Stitched

Fossil Inspired Duffle- Trish Stitched

Fossil Inspired Duffle- Trish Stitched

Fossil ain’t got nothing on me!

Fossil Inspired Duffle- Trish Stitched

(Just kidding, that fossil bag is gorgeous and it’s my dream job to work for them. )

UPDATE:

I’ve gotten numerous questions about tutorials and where to find materials so I hope this post edit will help you lovely readers out!

Materials I used:

Pattern: Simplicity 2600

Fabric:

Exterior:  Pecan Vinyl from JoAnn Fabrics

Interior: Timepiece in Taupe

Hardware:

This is everything I used:

1 turn lock

1 heavy jacket zipper

4 rectangular rings

2 D rings

2 swivel clips

1 adjustable strap slider

Most pieces were purchased through my wholesaler but everything can be found here:

Everything Mary Hardware

Or here

Purse Sewing Supplies

Zipper: Coats & Clark Heavy Jacket Zipper. (You will need to read the pattern you choose for the right size zipper for your project but I love the look and feel of this zipper- even though it’s for “jackets”)

Tips to make your own:

Many people have asked for a template but since this is a sewing pattern, I cannot give you a template to follow. (I also don’t want to get into any trouble providing you with the pattern pieces these pattern makers worked very hard to make!) There are a few online patterns that you can modify to get a similar result, but I would definitely invest in the true pattern (or a similar one) for this project.

Cargo Duffle Free Pattern

Cargo Duffle

Sewplicity Quilted Duffle

I bought the fabric from JoAnn Fabrics because it is one of the closet stores to me. I used vinyl for a few reasons: It is cheaper than leather (and looks just as good) and I do not like using animal products, so vinyl is a great alternative.

Cotton lining is just regular quilting fabric, I did add a layer of very thick interfacing for strength.

The major changes I made to this bag:

Front Pocket: The front pocket is ultimately a large rectangle with a curved top. Before sewing the rectangle onto the bag it measures 26″ x 10″.

Straps: I completely omitted the straps on the original bag and added two shorter straps (19″ long each) and one shoulder strap (45″ long).

That’s it! Personally, I think it is the fabric that makes the bag what it is. Taking any pattern you want and making it in a faux leather will probably get you great results.

I hope these tips and links help you to create your own bag!

etsy · handbags · sewing

Zinnia Tote: On My Ironing Board

I took a little break from apparel making to work on some new bags. Yesterday, my ironing board looked like this: Colorful Tote - trishstitched

Whenever I stop at JoAnn’s I always go through the remnants bin and find some awesome steals. I usually pick up the printed home décor fabric because they are 50% off, and you can usually get close to a yard. I got lucky with finding these two prints on the same day and this tote was the result!

Colorful Tote - trishstitched

This tote is one of my favorite bags to make. It’s super easy to sew together- but prep takes a VERY long time. It’s such a fun opportunity to mix prints and colors- with my favorite crafting accessory: buttons!

DSC_0104-005

Colorful Tote - trishstitched

Colorful Tote - trishstitched

Today I’ll be working on some more etsy bags- including new clutches and coin purses.

handbags · sewing

Floral Gym Bag

I've been on the search for a cute gym bag. Why do companies think you either want a black bag or a hot pink bag and why do I want a gym bag that looks like every other bag? I wanted something that stood out and lets everyone know that yeah, I am going to the gym- but I'm going to look really cute doing it!

Of course I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I made my own. A few months ago the idea for this bag started to take shape in my mind and I made a muslin version a week and a half ago. I got the shape and size down but didn't have any of the hardware that I wanted. I decided to make a removable adjustable strap so I needed D rings, double loops for the adjustable strap and swivel bolt snaps. (And if you are wondering, this book is the biggest help with handbag making). I also wanted a metal zipper- this bag was going to be all sorts of professional!

Floral Gym Bag- Mini Pip
Floral Gym Bag- Mini Pip

Floral Gym Bag- Mini Pip

The construction was really simple (after a few hours of imagining the steps in my head) but the process took forever. There were so many pieces, and then SO MANY decisions. What type of interfacing should be used? How many layers will I have to sew through and can my machine handle it? How the heck am I supposed to put a zipper in this thing?

Floral Gym Bag- Mini Pip

Floral Gym Bag- Mini Pip

I was really nervous with the zipper because I didn't want the ends to be shown. I sewed pieces of fabric on each end enclosing the zipper. This was my first time using this technique and it was amazing! I can't believe how well this came together and am super happy with the finished product.

Floral Gym Bag- Mini Pip

Floral Gym Bag- Mini Pip

Floral Gym Bag- Mini Pip

Floral Gym Bag- Mini Pip

I finished yesterday just in time to take her out for a test drive. Of course it had to be raining so two tests were completed. The bag held up great and felt comfortable to wear. I don't pack too much to go to the gym so that's why this bag is smaller than the typical "gym bag". It fits my shoes, shorts, small sweat towel, lock for my locker, water bottle and extra room for a wristlet and some gel shots. I love this thing and my boyfriend has already requested his own! I guess I'll have to buy some manly fabrics.

 

etsy · handbags · mini pip

oh, etsy.

Guess what the next major holiday is? VALENTINE'S DAY. Yeah, it's already almost here, so I put some Valentine's inspired bags on etsy!

Mini Pip

Three new little coin purses:

mini pip 

mini pip

mini pip

New Gift Card Holders and Mini Bags:

mini pip

mini pip

And for those who aren't into all that pink frilly valentine's day-y things:

mini pip

mini pip

All bags here!

I'm waiting on a hardware order to make some new bags. I'm also testing out a few different vinyl fabrics for my new crossbodys. Lots of sewing coming up!