Sew a Drawstring Purse

redpurseflatHere’s another great sewing tutorial for a small drawstring purse.  I really like the origami-look of it.  It is a very well written tutorial with plenty of pictures and is a good project for a novice sewer.  I did mine in red and I think it turned out great.  It looks almost like the sample!

Drawstring purse and

Sew a Little Suitcase (Tutorial Tested)

I love bags.  No, I don’t mean purses, but bags.  I like totes, bags and carry-alls.  I like their different designs, functionality, and style.  They are also one of my favorite projects to sew because you can use them right away and they don’t need be a perfect fit.

Sidekick Suitcase from

Moto Guzzi Stelvio pannier

I found this great tutorial on how to sew a sidekick suitcase, meant for a child.  It’s a 12-day sew along, and is very detailed with plenty of pictures.  Then I found the perfect customer.  My dad!  He has a new motorcycle and the sidekick suitcase would be perfect for the pannier.  He could buy the coordinating bag, but it’s awfully expensive.  Plus, the one I make will be so much better, right?

This bag was a monster of a project!  It was way beyond my pay grade.  It took me a few tries and many hours.  The first time, I wasn’t precise enough and nothing matched up.  It looked awful.  The second try went much better, but not perfect.  I cut out a lot of the detail to simplify the project.  I bought the stiffest interfacing I could find, which cost me $20.  Although, I should have used the plastic mesh the writer suggested.  I bought the strap for a buck at the dollar store; it was sold as a luggage strap and included the buckle, which the fabric stores sell for $5.

I learned that with big projects like this, you must take it slow.  Measure carefully, lay everything out, and take your time.  I also learned that the bag’s dimensions must be much smaller than the dimensions of the pannier, because when the bag is full it’ll stretch to beyond its intended size.

Dad only ended up getting on pannier, because this project was so much work.  But the result is pretty good.  The bag fits very nicely in the pannier.

Sew Sidekick Bag

Sidekick Bag

Sew a Bow Clutch

I stumbled upon this well written and detailed tutorial on how to sew a bow clutch.  This is a great tutorial, especially for new sewers.  The instructions are fairly straight forward and there are a lot of pictures to make each step very clear.

My first attempt was a huge success.  I made this purple gingham purse and it was the first time I sewed a zipper and first time I used interfacing.

Sew Bow Clutch

Sew Bow Clutch - Deconstructed

Bow Clutch – Deconstructed

I couldn’t wait to make some more, so when my friend announced she was getting married I jumped at the chance to sew some purses for her bridesmaids.  The wedding colors are apple green, silver and black.  The bridesmaids’ dresses are black and the bride thought apple green purses would be the perfect accent.  I picked up this fabulous green fabric for the exterior and a cute butterfly pattern for the lining.

I love the final product.  It’s cute, unique and custom!

Sew Green Bow Clutch

…and the Two Golden Fleece Toques

Here are two excellent fleece toque patterns, and they are free!

Golden Fleece Toque 1 –

This all got started because my man has a big head, his season tickets include the coldest of all seasons, and his team only makes flimsy knit beanies for winter gear.  I decided to make him an awesome fleece toque in team colours, but I needed a really easy pattern since I don’t really sew.

The first one is a toque/neck warmer/ear warmer all in one.  As a beginner, the pattern was a little tricky, but the result was pretty impressive.  It’s his favorite.


This second pattern was really great.  It makes a nice snug toque.  I made mine with a fleece lining to make it extra warm, so I had to adjust the pattern to fit a little bigger.

Golden Fleece Toque 2 –


$10 Gallery Shelves

Gallery Shelves –

These gallery ledges are probably one of the easiest projects from Ana White, perfect for a beginner.  I basically followed her instructions, but I skipped the glue. It took a couple of hours and really did cost just $10!  I actually made four ledges, but only three made it to this wall.  Ana White has lots of other detailed and free woodworking plans.