Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bird on a Limb

Bird on a limb in leather. This was so much fun to do today. My sister came up from Columbus, OH and we made a few bags today. Right now I am getting one on here to show you. I still have a few things to do on the other two.

Bird on a Limb $115.00 This is at SoBo Style

I Love this bag!!! I want to keep it. It hangs just perfect on your shoulder. Let me know if you like it in leather? I may have to do other little things in leather too!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New bags

Finally. I was able to make some bags. This is my newest applique, the bird.

Bird on a limb.......$85.00 Sold!!!! Thanks Jennifer (not my sister but an actual Etsy customer!!)

I love this bag's pocket on the front. It was part of the sweater. So I will be looking for more of these sweaters. This one may get an eye added, I am not sure.
Do you think she needs one? eye that is.

Brown with orange and green flower........$115.00 Sold!!! To Diana
You may laugh at me for this one, but I actually made this bag for Amy Butler, even though I have never met her. I just really like her stuff. This might be going into the shop at SoBo Style and it has her fabric in it, unless there is someone out there that contacts me to get it first. I dont know if she will ever own it, but I was thinking of her having it when I made it. So Amy, if you are out there seeing this and would like it, let me know.
I absolutely LOVE her fabrics. This is a big bag. When my honey gets home I will have him take a picture of me holding the bag. This is the fabric on the inside of both of these bags.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I just joined a contest being held on Martha Stewarts blog. If I get picked this website will be featured on Martha's Blog. Would that be something or what? If I thought getting featured on Craftzine was good.......this would be great too!!

For all of you out there that blog, go add your name to the Martha Stewart blog and maybe you will be featured on her blog.....but if you get and I dont, I will be...............happy for you.

Martha inspires me so much with all of her beautiful things she makes. If I could have her garden...any one of them, I would be in heaven.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Anniversary to me. Today I celebrate 12 years with my husband.

September 21, 1996

Chocolate anyone? I love these bags........they are for 8 bridesmaids. Each one of them have different jewelry. So I put pearls on to match them.

They each have different pearls on them. I really think the pearls make the bag. I had to hand stitch each one on. It was worth it though. I hope Amie loves them. Thanks Amie. I hope to have a picture of you and all your girls holding the bags.

This is what her dress looks like except the ribbon is cranberry like on the bags. The pictures of the bags makes them look more bronze, they are not. It is more of a beautiful chocolate brown.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Available Bags

Hi Everyone. I am so excited that you are here on my site. If I had known that my website was going to be featured on Craftzine, and Stumble Upon, I would have had a bunch of bags made to sell. Please continue looking here for the next couple of days. I will have new bags to put on for sale if you are interested. I ran out of inventory.......I guess that is a great problem to have. Hope to see you in the next few days. If you see one of my previously sold bags that you like I could make one similiar to it. Let me know......Thanks. cindygert

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hey! I am really excited to share with you that my sweater bag tutorial is featured on Craftzine magazine. It is an online craft magazine. What a great compliment. Thanks Natalie for posting this.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Creme Brulee Bag. I love this it is the perfect size bag. Stacy I hope you like this!!!

These next two are for Erin, an Etsy shopper.

I am looking for a new applique idea to put on my bags. What do you think would look good on my bags?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Garden

Hello. I hope you all are enjoying my tutorial. I have had over 200 people look at this in a 24 hour period. Please feel free to leave comments. I would love to hear from you. I wanted to share with you my garden. It is not a typical garden of beautiful green and flowery things it is a leather garden. I like to go in here to harvest wonderful pieces of leather for my bags. It seems to be growing all the time. I wish I had a green thumb for my outside garden. Maybe someday...

Friday, September 12, 2008

THE Tutorial that I promised. WARNING: Heavy photos!

I wanted to say a special hello to everyone in Turkey. I have had a lot of you come look at this site. If you know of a good Turkish translator, I would love to know what you all think about this tutuorial. Welcome and thanks so much for coming to my blog. And a special thanks to 10Marifet and Kujular for promoting me on their blogs.

Here it is at last, the sweater bag tutorial that I promised. This is image heavy for the tutorial impaired, like me. I need lots of photos. I just tried to post this and I thought I lost everything. It took me an hour just to upload the photos, imagine my devistation. Then I saw it in my drafts. Thank goodness for drafts file. Or I would have needed something on draft.
Start with a clean surface if possible (especially when inviting thousands of people to view your!). This always makes everything better.
Take your beautifully washed and felted sweater and lay it out.
Cut the arms off.

Turn sweater inside out and cut along the seam. This sweater did not have one so I had to lay it as flat as I could and cut up the side. Then cut at the shoulder so you have two pieces.

Iron, iron, iron with steam. Think McSteamy!!! Since making this tutorial, I have found that if you put the sweater in the dryer for 30 minutes when it is wet this takes out most of the wrinkles.
Put the ribbed edge on you cutting mat (if you do not have one of these and a rotary definately need to get one!!!) as straight as you can. After steaming is becomes pliable or moldable. The mat and rotary cutter has changed my life as a bag maker.
Measure out how deep you want the bag to be. Mine is 12 inches
Cut it. You will need the left over shoulder piece for strips for the inside of your bag. So make sure on your sweater when you decide how deep you want it to ne, you have enough left over for these two strips.......very important!!!
Cut the first side of your bag to be a straight line. Then measure how wide you want front panel and the back panel of the bag, mine is 15 inches. Most of the time your sweater will dictate this to you very clearly. To quote the Rolling Stones, "You cant always get what you want!", Or Crosby, Stills, and Nash, "If you cant be with the one you love, love the one your with".

Make 2 of these squares ( trapezoids).
Find scraps from previous sweater endeavors, and make your embellishment. Mine here happens to be flowers. But I know someone who LOVES owls.....uh!!!

Make sure it looks right.
Go back and get your shoulder pieces that are left over and cut 2, 2 inch strips by whatever your width it is 15.
Go to your leather garden and harvest some leather for the bottom of your bag.
Isnt this a beautiful piece of leather? Yummy!!
Cut your leather, and a piece of Pellon 72 to be however big you want the bottom. But you will need to use your math skills. If you want, it can be 3x12, 4x11, 5x10. Notice a pattern here (my son is in the second grade...he loves patterns) Each of these two numbers added together equals 15, the width of the front and back panels. Mine is 4x11.
I know the Pellon 72 is fusible on both sides but, sew it onto your leather to hold it into place. I have burnt many a beautiful leather specimin in this process. (Not pretty on many levels......PU!)
Use your basting stitch and make sure your bobbin thread matches the leather.

Peel off the shiny stuff or your bag will sound like krinkled new papers.
For some reason I do not have any photos me cutting the inside fabric. You need to cut two rectangles the same size as your front and back panels minus 2 inches mine is 10x15. And another rectange 4x11 (or whatever you chose for the bottom of your bag). And another two squares for a pocket....whatever size you want.

Now you are ready to sew on the flowers. I usually pinch the front panel in half to find the middle and put the first stem there. You could measure...theres a thought (this might change my life as a bag maker as well). I just sew it up the middle, not all the way around it. I think this gives it more character. Put the flower on top of the stem and sew it on. Then add your button. You can hand sew these on but after I figured out how to machine sew them on I will never go back.

Add the 2 inch strips to the interior fabric.
Then on the right side of the fabric I sew it down, it just gives it a more polished look and you wont have such a noticeable bump.

Add your pocket. If you need to know how to make a pocket, post a comment, please. Or you can send me a private note, I would be glad to help.
I always sew around it twice for two reasons, one it is sturdier and two it looks better.
Now you will sew the interior panels together. This is kind of tricky because you really want your seams to match.

As shown here...about the seams.
To add the bottom to the inside of the bag, I pinch the rectangle in half (short side) and put the crease on the crease on the side of the bag to match then pin. (are you hearing wah wah wah wah wah (this is the Charlie Brown phone voice (not crying)......if so let me know!!)

Sew that up.
Then I do the same thing on the other side. So, I sew the two short sides first, then I sew the long sides. I hope this makes sense.........this is why I do pictures.
This is the long side.
Here is what it should look like when the bottom is all sewn together.

Add your magnetic closure. (This requires a whole different tutorial, here you go. Thanks Tall Poppy Crafts!!) After this is done, you finished with the inside of the bag. Give yourself a big pat on the back, you are almost done.
Here is my secret weapon. The compound walking foot sewing machine. This is the business I will tell you straight up!!! I just got this in December and I have been making bags for 4 years, so take care, this CAN be done on a regular sewing machine (at your own risk!!! I assume no fault if your machine breaks, like mine did........ after I sewed 150 bags). Please do not use your Designer One or some really expensive machine. Get yourself a 1970's model with a high lift, that will work well. This is when "doo doo" hits the fan...really. There will be fuzzies everywhere in your machine. Make sure if you do a lot of these that you have that air in a can and oil. To make a long story short, sew up your sides of the 12x15 front and back. That would be the two 15 inches sides together.
Then sew the leather onto the bottom. The same way I told you for the inside of the bag only dont pin it. If you stick leather with a pin, the whole is permanent.
Hold tight.

This is what it should look like. Notice the concave action going on?

Pinch the sides together to crease it really good.
Vo wala!!! No more concave.
Now the outside of your bag is finished. Give yourself another pat on the back. I know you deserve it!!! Now take your inside bag that you have already finished and put it inside of the bag.
Sorry this is blurry but that is the inside of the bag as it should be put in the shell.
Take the two sides and make sure that these two match up. This is the two seams touching each other.
Should be like so.
Then pin it off to the side. Your belt will be going where the seams are. (Now for my big pictures.......this was done before I realized that medium would work) When working on blogger doing a tutorial, you have to do it in reverse order or you are constantly shifting pictures.

Take your belt and cut it in two. However you want it to look. I like the buckle piece to be about 6-8 inches long or longer and the other piece is what is left over.

Tip: Get the Payless shiner sponge to to clean your belt. Amazing!!!

Now you have to decide which side you want the buckle on. If you are right handed, I would tell you to place it to the right of your embellishment. So if you are looking at the finished outer shell of your bag with the embellishment on the front it should be to the right. And if you are left handed I would say to the left, to the left (can you hear Beyonce singing?)
Make sure that your seams are together. If they are not it will look sloppy.

Notice here on this picture the seams are not perfect. I hate that. Most people dont care though, thank goodness. Because, it is hard to do.

Now brace yourself. You are going to sew over all that thickness. Can I just tell you how much I love my machine right now?? It goes through this like butter. I am glad that my other machine broke because I was too scared to use this one.....its so fast!!! I should do a little movie here.

Sew all the way around the top of the bag.
The beautiful thing about these bags is there is no flipping it right side out and then sewing around the top. The sweaters, once they are felted, will not unravel. You are all but finished. Well you might need to clip some of the stray threads.

BAM!!! Your done. Now if you make one, which I hope you do, please do not cuss me out when you break 16 needles. You will get the hang of it with practice. I want to see some bags posted here. Anyone know how to do those flicker things so I can post them on my blog?

I am posting this on Craftster too!! My favorite website! If you have been referred from Craftster, please post a comment back on that site or here. After I posted the tute no one is leaving any hoo.

If you have any questions.........and I fully expect them...this is my first tutorial, I will be glad to answer them. All I ask is that if you use this, please give me credit. Thanks.