Final Assembly of the Teardrop Sport- No Drop-in-Lining or Bias BINDING seams Assembly Method.

The lovely Fran Bott of the RLR Creations testing team has put together a photo tutorial along with some tips on assembling the new Teardrop Sport for the test team, and has graciously allowed me to share it here with everyone. 

The Teardrop Sport is a sling style backpack that was designed to be the sporty version of the popular Teardrop Sling Bag. It was designed with the purpose of being for an active guy on the go. Designed for the guys but equally handy for adventurous girls too! 

Bag and photos by Fran Bott

Bag and photos by Fran Bott

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You can find the newly released Teardrop Sport Backpack Sling here: http://www.rlrcreations.com/pdfpatterns/teardropsport

I have had many requests for a "guy" version for the popular Teardrop Sling bag and when it came time to design it I asked the Test Team for their opinions on what they would like to see be done differently. The most popular request was to design it so that it did not have to be finished with a "Drop-in" lining, and that it had an exposed zipper for easier opening. So, I set off to create a way to accomplish this without it needing to be complicated or take many more steps to complete.  

So without further Ado, let's see how it is done!

Tutorial and Photos by Fran Bott

Attach the Gusset Panels to the Zipper Panels

-Starting on Page 22 of the written Instructions of the Teardrop Sport

Add the finished Exterior Gusset Panel to the Main Fabric side of the Zipper Panel

When adding the Main Opening Zipper to the Zipper Panel pieces the last 1/2" at the ends of the Zipper Panel was left unstitched to allow us to separate the Main Fabric from the Lining fabric so we can add the Gussets to the Zipper Panel.

Page 22-23 Steps 1-3

Separate the Main Fabric and Lining Fabric pieces of the Zipper Panel along the short raw ends. Pin the Exterior Gusset Panel short raw edges to the Main Fabric short raw edges of the Zipper Panel, right sides together.  Pull the lining fabric away from the zipper end  and clip or pin out of the way.

Be sure that you are pinning the Gusset to the Zipper Panel so that the zipper pocket on the Gusset faces the top of the zipper on the Zipper Panel.

 

 

 

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Once you have the Exterior Gusset pinned to the Main Fabric side of the Zipper Panel stitch across with a 1/2" seam allowance. 

As you stitch over the zipper, you will want to use something besides your fingers to hold back the lining fabric, I have a small screwdriver that I use, but you can use whatever works for you – a small pair of scissors, an awl, etc.

This is how it looks after you have stitched the pieces together-

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Follow the directions on Page 23-Step 4 to press and topstitch along the seams on the Exterior Fabric. Be sure you keep the interior side out of the way as you do not want to stitch it to the Main Fabric. 

Add the Interior Gusset Panel to the Lining Fabric Side of the Zipper Panel

Page 23 Step 5

Turn the piece over so that the Lining Fabric side is facing you.

Next, you will add the Interior Gusset Panel to the Lining Fabric side of the Zipper Panel in the same manner. Folding back the zipper end and the Main Fabric side of the Zipper Panel. 

 I use my screwdriver to hold back the Exterior Side while adding the Interior Gusset piece to the ends of the Lining fabric side of the Zipper Panel . I use zipper tape so I have to hold that back to sew the lining on. I use my zipper foot with the needle on the left to get in close. That is why I recommended something other than your fingers to hold the fabric or tape back.
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Your piece will now resemble a circle with the two Gusset pieces WRONG SIDES TOGETHER, with the Interior Gusset on one side and the Exterior Gusset on the other side. 

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Align the raw edges of the Interior and Exterior pieces on the Zipper Panel so everything lays nice and flat. Follow the directions on Page 24 , Step 7 to complete the topsitching along the zipper on the Zipper Panel.

Add the Main Panels:

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The Interior Main Panels are sewn to the Interior Gusset Side with the Main Panels and the Gusset right sides together.

Lining Panels – The photo on the left shows Lining Panel pinned at the marks referred to on Step 3 on Page 24 of the pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 24-25 Steps 5-6

Interior Main Panel pinned to the Lining Fabric side of the assembled Gusset. Be sure the Exterior side of the Gusset is pushed out of the way. 

Interior Main Panel pinned to the Lining Fabric side of the assembled Gusset. Be sure the Exterior side of the Gusset is pushed out of the way. 

 

 

 

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Page 25 Step 7

Stitch all the way around the pinned pieces with a 5/8" seam allowance. Trim your seam allowances and then flip the piece over and with the Exterior piece out of the way add the second Interior Main Panel to the other side of the Interior Gusset piece. 

 

 

 

 

 

Now open the Main Opening Zipper and the Front Pocket Zipper on your Exterior Front Main Panel all the way. At this point, you can stitch the Exterior Main Panels to the Exterior Gusset piece, following the same steps as for the Interior.  You will want to stitch the Exterior pieces together with a 1/2" seam allowance. 

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I like to get the lining panel out of the way so I don’t have to keep moving it when sewing. Since your Main Zipper is open, push the lining into the middle of the main gusset. It should look like this:

 

The main gusset should be wrong side out when attaching the Exterior Main Panels, the finished Interior will be sandwiched in between the Exterior Main Panels.

 

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Page 25 Steps 1-4

Attach the Exterior Panels to the Exterior Gusset the same way as you finished the interior, only this time stitch the pieces together with a ½” seam allowance.

It should look like this.

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I have the lining pushed out of the way so you can see the panel.

Now is time to attach the Exterior Back Main Panel. This panel has the Strap and Connectors attached to it. Be sure your Lining is pushed to the inside so it will be out of the way. Fold the Strap and the Bottom Connector pieces so that when you set the Exterior Back Panel on top these pieces will sit inside the bag and away from the edges of the Panel piece:

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Everything, including the Lining will be out of the way when you sew this last Panel in place.

 

Pin the Exterior Panel to the Exterior Gusset and then stitch all the way around with a  ½” seam allowance as you did for the Exterior Front Panel.

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When completed and everything is trimmed reach through the opening you left at the bottom of the Front Pocket
lining pieces and pull everything through to turn the bag right side out.  The opening left in the pocket lining makes for very easy birthing. 

Push the interior through the Main Zipper opening so it is on the inside of the bag.

Follow the Finishing steps on pages 26 and 27 to close your zipper pocket lining and add the rest of your hardware. 

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If you have any questions while creating your very own Teardrop Sport please hop over to the RLR Creations Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/RLRCreationsSewingPatterns/  and let us know as Fran, myself, and many other testers are always happy to help!

We would love to see your finished Teardrop Sport bags, please post them in the RLR Creations Facebook group using that month's hashtag for a chance to win a free pattern monthly. 

 

Without my talented testers, like Fran Bott, I would not be able to bring you the unique patterns that are published monthly. They are the true talent behind RLR Creations Sewing Patterns. A huge thank you again, to Fran Bott for the picture tutorial on completing the Teardrop Sport. 

Laser Cut Acrylic Templates for RLR Creations patterns now availible from Tops and Bobbins

Tops and Bobbins Laser Cut Acrylic Pattern pieces for RLR Creations designs.

When Denise from Tops and Bobbins Quilt Shoppe contacted me about creating Acrylic Pattern Pieces for my designs, I was a bit skeptical.  A few questions I had were: Are they as detailed as the paper pattern pieces? Are they as precise in size as the original pattern pieces? Can they include all the placement and fussy cut markings I add to my pattern pieces? Denise was happy to answer all my questions and provide me with updates throughout the process of making the first set. Her husband was more than accommodating to all of my requests to be sure the pattern pieces matched my designs perfectly.

What is a better way to decide if Acrylic Templates are worth it? Why receive a set in the mail of course!

Tops and Bobbins sent me a set of templates hot off the laser cutter for my review. The turnaround time was simply amazing; I could not believe how quick they had the very first set done and in my mailbox!

What are Laser Cut Acrylic Templates?

Templates from Tops and Bobbins are acrylic (like your quilting ruler) templates that are precise laser cut duplicates of the original pattern pieces included in each of the RLR Creations PDF patterns.

 
 

 

They are crystal clear to help make cutting not only easier but accurate as well. Each piece is laser etched with the pattern piece identifiers (name and pattern piece letter), your cut list, along with all the markings that are on the original paper pattern pieces.

 

Each set contains full size pattern pieces with every pattern piece included in a pattern. No more printing, cutting and taping PDF pattern pieces together! The Acrylic Templates were wrapped and packaged very carefully so they arrived to me in perfect condition.  Each piece is paper backed to prevent scratching during shipment.

 

I think my favorite part right out of the box is that a hole was cut into each piece and they were laced onto a piece of coated wire that simply unscrews when you want to separate the pieces. A great way to keep all your pattern pieces together and hang up when not in use!

Also, enclosed in your order is a thank you card to let you know how to care for your new templates along with all the contact information you need for Tops and Bobbins.

A few of the benefits I found that make investing in Tops and Bobbins Acrylic Templates the ideal choice for your most used RLR Creations Patterns.

First and most likely the ideal reason is: The acrylic is durable and will last forever. No more reprinting, cutting out, and taping new  paper pattern pieces that have become too worn and tattered from using over and over.

 

Acrylic Templates are see-though which makes them ideal for making sure your targeted print area of the fabric will be cut specific to the pattern piece so a key part of it is not lost in the seam allowance, contrast pieces, or within curves.

 
 

They make cutting faster and much more accurate. Simply place them on the fabric and either trace around the pieces or for an even quicker cut grab your rotary cutter and cut right around the template piece without worry of accidently chopping off an edge of the pattern piece!

 
 

A quick Tutorial on Fussy Cutting your “Place on the Fold” Acrylic Pattern Pieces in 4 easy steps.

1. Measure and mark the center of your targeted area on the fabric.

2. Fold your fabric at the marked center line.

3. Place the Acrylic Template piece on the fabric with the “Place on the Fold” side aligned along the fold. Use the seam allowance and placement markings for contrast pieces ect. to align the design perfectly under the template.

4. Grab your rotary cutter and cut out your pattern piece!

 

If you prefer no “cut on the fold” pattern pieces, Tops and Bobbins will custom cut the pattern sets to full size pieces for you!

Are you ready to purchase your first set of Acrylic Pattern Templates for your favorite RLR Creations Pattern?

You can find them here:

If you are not a member of the RLR Creations Sewing Patterns Facebook group, you can join here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLRCreationsSewingPatterns/

Ken and Denise from Tops and Bobbins will be hosting a giveaway for a set of free templates for a new RLR Creations Pattern coming in June 2017! There is also a special group discount code for 10% off Tops and Bobbins Acrylic Templates for the RLR Creations Sewing Patterns group.

 

 

Tops and Bobbins is a family owned company based in Hesperia California. For more information about their Acrylic Template services you can reach them by

E-mail TopsandBobbins@Gmail.com or by Phone: 760-881-4025 (Tue-Sat 10am to 5pm Pacific Time)

PATTERN SPOTLIGHT- THE TITANIA TOTE PATTERN FEATURE part 2

Welcome back to the RLR Creations “Pattern Spotlight”.

I’m Tanya Summers, Creative Director at Little Mate’s Wardrobe and one of your friendly admin on the RLR Creations Sewing Patterns group. In this edition, I am looking forward to show you some more tips and tricks in creating the RLR Creations “Titania Tote” pattern to help you create your very best version of one of my favourite patterns.

 
Bag and Photo by Tanya Summers

Bag and Photo by Tanya Summers

 

Firstly, you will need a copy of the Titania Tote pattern, which is available for purchase on which is available for purchase on rlrcreations.comCraftsy and Etsy.. We had a special discount code for you last week when purchasing the Titania pattern from rlrcreation.com, so click HERE if you need to read last week’s blog.

Last week’s blog had lots of information about and tips on creating the Front Exterior Welt Pocket and preparing and attaching the Strap Connectors and contrast Bottom so click on the link to have a read while you are getting your discount code!

This week’s blog will feature how to make a peek-a-boo feature on the Internal Zip Pocket and also give you some tips and tricks for attaching and top stitching your Top Main Zip.

Let’s get started!!

Making a Peek-a-boo feature on the Internal Zip Pocket

This is a cute way to add a bit of excitement to your interior by using up a leftover scrap fabric!

 
 

Instead of cutting Piece H – Interior Pocket Lining, you will need to cut 2 separate pieces of fabric 10½” wide x 8” high, I have cut one plain to match the interior lining and one ‘picture piece’ to use as my focal point.

 
 

Using your non-picture piece, place it right side down in the centre of your interior main piece and follow the instructions for creating a zipper pocket on pages 13-14, stopping after you complete Step 12 ‘adding the zipper’.

 
 

 

Once you have added your zipper, your interior main piece will look like this on the wrong side.

 

Lay your picture pocket lining piece on top of the non-picture piece right sides together. Pin or clip around the sides and top of the pieces (but NOT the bottom), then sew around the 3 sides using a 3/8” seam allowance.

 

Remember to fold your interior main piece out of the way while you sew the two pocket pieces together.

 

After you have sewn the three sides, the bottom of your pocket will remain open or unsewn. This is the nifty hole we will use to turn our bag right side out!!

Peek-a-boo! View from the front with our zip open. Perfect!

 
 

Attaching and Top Stitching your Top Main Zip

Note: You will need to have completed steps 1-7 on page 16 to prepare your zip.

Starting on Page 17 of your instructions, we will take our top zipper (with the cool zipper ends) and lay it along the top of the Exterior Main Piece right side of the zipper down. I like to add a bit of Sewline glue here as it holds the zip snug between the two layers without shifting.

While the glue dries I like to hold it with clips to keep it steady. When you get to the 1” mark you made at the end, gently move the end of the zip down and out of the way of the ¼” seam allowance.

After sewing your zip, press open your seam. This will be a little bit trickier with the second side as the Exterior is one piece. I like to iron it in 2 stages. First with the lining folded open…

Then open the zipper, fold the lining under and iron the exterior away from the zip tape and press.

 

 

 

Don’t forget the little bits on the outer edges!!

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There are 2 ways to top stitch the second side. Both will involve a bit of manipulating to get to from the outer edges in to the middle, and may depend on what your machine looks like. My machine has a removable tray table, but if your machine doesn’t then your will need to do it this way.

 

Keeping the external sides together move the already topstitched side out of the way. At the start you will need to lift it that side up and around to help move the zipper tab out of the way (to the right as you look at my photo)

The second way is slightly easier, if you can remove your tray table and expose the free-arm of your machine. Turn the bag right side out so the exterior fabric is on the outside. Again move the tab to the right so that is out of the way.

Once your zip is top stitched, continue following the instructions from the “Finishing” section on Page 18 to complete your Titania Tote.

 

Please note these tips and tricks used in this article are the ways that I have found to be a quick and easy way to complete my Titania Tote. They are by no means the only way to do it. If you have a tip or trick that you would like to share with us, please join our RLR Creations Sewing Patterns Group and post your tips, and of course, share your creations with us in there!!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLRCreationsSewingPatterns/.

We all love to see the beautiful bags that are made using the Titania Tote pattern. If you missed the discount code last week and would really like to say GDAY-TITANIA and purchase this fantastic pattern, then you will need the GDAY-TITANIA code word, before heading to the rlrcreations.com website.

Now to the next big decisions! What size (handbag or tote) will you choose? Which fabric will be chosen? I would love to see your fabric previews as you start your project!!

 

Until next time, keep creating!!

If you would like to learn more about the extremely talented Tanya Summers and see the amazing  things she creates hop over to her facebook page at Little Mate's Wardrobe and take a moment to view her fabulous bags at her Etsy Store HERE!

Give us your best view of the Titania Tote and win some fabulous prizes!

We are flat out excited to celebrate the one year launch of one of RLR Creations most favored patterns the Titania Tote.

Photo Credit: Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

Photo Credit: Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

The contest details:

Help us celebrate Titania’s birthday by submitting a flat lay photo inspired by the Titania Tote between March 17th and March 24th to the RLR Creations Sewing Patterns Group and on Instagram.

You can follow RLR Creations on Instagram here: RLR Creations.

On March 25th, a winner will be chosen by random draw using a name picker generator.

The prize:  We will spin the wheel LIVE to choose the prize. It could be a free pattern, or patterns, and/or a bag hardware gift certificate, maybe some cork for your next Titania tote and a free pattern. It’s all up to the spin of the wheel!

Why the flat lay?

A flat lay photograph is a way to show off your style! It’s a unique way to tell a story or show visual impact without the need for words. Best of all it allows you to think outside the “box” and show your personality.

 
Photo Credit: Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

Photo Credit: Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

 

If your next question is “What the heck is a flat lay?”

A flat lay is basically when you’re photographing items from directly above; from a bird’s eye view. Usually those items will be arranged or styled on a flat surface. Most of all you want your composition to tell a story! 

How to enter the Titania Tote Flat lay contest:

We all love to see the beautiful bags that are made using the Titania Tote pattern and most of us are inspired by the beautiful fabrics that are chosen. To celebrate Titania's first birthday, we want to know how you would 'dress her up for her birthday'.

1. If you have made a Titania Tote: Snap a flat lay photo of your Titania Tote along with some items that you would carry in it, or even some items that reflect the inspiration for the fabric choices you made for it. Or, simply choose some items to display with it that will reflect a birthday theme! Most of all have fun with it and show us your personal style.

 
Photo Credit: Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

Photo Credit: Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

 

2. If you have not yet made the Titania Tote show us how you would 'dress her up for her birthday'. Simply arrange your chosen fabrics and hardware in a flat lay arrangement, along with some of your favorite sewing tools, or even add a birthday theme to your arrangement!

 
Photo Credit: Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

Photo Credit: Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

 
You can purchase the Titania Tote Pattern here: http://www.rlrcreations.com/pdfpatterns/titaniatote
Craftsy: www.craftsy.com/sewing/patterns/titania-tote-w-wristlet-2-tote-sizes/297786
Etsy: Titania Tote with a attachable/detachable Wristlet

How to Enter the Contest: 

Simply shoot your flat lay photo with your phone or camera, then post it in the RLR Creations Sewing Patterns group using the hashtag #titaniaflatlay.

You can earn more entries by also posting to Instagram, and you other favorite Facebook groups. Be sure to use the hashtag #titaniaflatlay so we are sure to find your submission!

Quick Tips to photograph your Titania Flat Lay

Most importantly, your composition should include a Titania Tote or the fabrics and hardware you would use to make your very own Titania Tote. Your submission should reflect your unique style!

Next, you’ll need to select your background. White or neutral backgrounds are normally the best choice. You can arrange your objects on a white piece of cardboard, a sheet or table. If you don’t have anything white, work with what you’ve got. Keep in mind a flat surface is best!

If possible, try to use natural lighting.  Natural light is beautiful, so why not move your arrangement closer to a window. Or if you’re heading out to the café for the day, pick a table in a lighted area to sit and snap. If you need to use artificial lighting, then be sure to light your photo up so you don’t have any shadows that will take away from the “flat” look.

Arrange everything on your background. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different compositions—pay attention to negative space in your image, the angle and positioning of your objects, and how the colors and textures interact with one another. Look at what is laid out in front of you and see how you can make it more visually appealing. Do you want the focus to be in the center of the photo? To be the bottom third? To be the top third? Or be evenly placed?

Getting the right shot might take a few tries, but it’s worth it!

Try and make sure your phone or camera is parallel to the table or surface you’re photographing. You might like to climb on a sturdy chair to get a little bit more height. Keep the camera stable, and as straight as possible; having the camera at an angle will make it less of a “flat lay”.

Sound too hard? It’s not, I promise. Flat lay photography can quickly become addictive.  Just work with what you’ve got, wherever you are and be sure to have fun!

Once you’ve got your shot, share it with the hashtag #titaniaflatlay on Facebook and Instagram to enter the Contest!

Photo Credit: Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

Photo Credit: Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

Don't forget to check out Tanya's Titiana Spotlight feature. If you do not own the Titania Tote pattern, you may find a little surprise in her blog post here: http://www.rlrcreations.com/rlrsewingblog/titaniaspotlightweek1

 

 

PATTERN SPOTLIGHT- THE TITANIA TOTE PATTERN FEATURE

Welcome back to the RLR Creations “Pattern Spotlight”

I’m Tanya Summers, Creative Director at Little Mate’s Wardrobe and one of your friendly admin on the RLR Creations Sewing Patterns group. In this edition, I am looking forward to showing you some tips and tricks in creating the RLR Creations “Titania Tote” pattern to help you create your very best version of one of my favourite patterns. 

Bag and Photo by Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

Bag and Photo by Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

Firstly, you will need a copy of the Titania Tote pattern, which is available for purchase on rlrcreations.com, Craftsy and Etsy.

** Surprise!!** For our valued readers of this blog, we will have a special discount code for you to use on rlrcreations.com, so keep your eyes peeled.

So, gather your fabric, interfacing and fancy O-Ring bling (and a cuppa) and let’s go through the pattern.

I will focus on 4 main parts of the pattern.

The first 2 sections I will cover this week:

  • Front Exterior Welt Pocket 
  • Strap Connectors and contrast Bottom 

Then next week we will go through:

  • Making a Peek-a-boo feature on the Internal Zip Pocket
  • Attaching and Top Stitching your Top Main Zip

Front Exterior Welt Pocket

After interfacing the pattern, the next step calls for you to do your Welt Pocket. For many of you (as it was for me when I tested the pattern) this will be the first time you’ve attempted one of these. Trust me when I say it is just as easy as a zip pocket.

Tip #1 – For the fussy cutters –

When I fussy cut my pieces I wanted to keep intact the head nearest the top including her hair. Unfortunately what would happen then is the chin of the face was going to be cut off with the welt pocket. So I drew the welt pocket box a teeny bit down to accommodate the full face (and moved the lining on the other side down the same amount to match). As you can see below, the face is visible through the interfacing and allowed me to move it down to suit me.

 

Sew and clip as per the instructions, keeping in mind that the closer you can snip into the corner (without cutting the stitches) the squarer your corners will look.

 

 

 

 

Next, when turning the pocket lining through, I like to use a strip of water soluble fabric glue to hold the fabric to keep even pressure on the crease instead of relying on pins.

After sewing your two welt pieces together, as per the instructions, and pressing open, run a strip of glue either side of the opening and lay your welt pocket over the opening, centering the seam. I like to roll mine down from one side so I can eyeball the seam into the centre as I go. 

 
 

Check it looks correct from the front…

If you’ve come this far in, you deserve a break. Like the look of the pattern? Head over to rlrcreations.com, add the Titania Tote to your cart, enter the codeword GDAY-TITANIA and receive 25% off the Titania pattern! (valid til March 31st 2017).

Okay, phew! Enough of that excitement! Where were we? Yes, that’s right, stitch around the outside of our welt pocket opening to hold the pocket welts in place.

You can choose at this point whether to unpick the stitches holding the welts together (at step 6 on page 6) or do as I do and wait til the end when you turn your bag right side out to do it as one of your finishing touches.
 
 

To sew the pocket lining onto the welt pocket is a little bit different from the usual zip pocket, but once you’ve seen how to do it, it’s a simple process. Align the bottom of your pocket liner piece to the bottom of the welt pieces.

 

Sew along that edge by moving the Main Panel piece out of the way.

 

 

 

Press the seam open so that the pocket lining sits flat.

Fold the pocket lining piece up so that the top short edge aligns with the top of the welts. Pin together without catching the other layers.

 

 

Sew along the top edge, keeping the main piece up and out of the way. The next step is to sew the sides shut and we will use the same process of folding the main piece out of the way to sew the side seams of the pocket.

Your main piece will now look like this from the wrong side.

To create the slit in the fleece, use the measurements provided in step 1 of “Adding fleece to Exterior Main Panels” on Page 8 of your instructions. As you can see on mine, I use a quilting ruler to measure down the top measurement and use pins to measure in from the side. Then you can quickly create a cut along your ruler line keeping between those pins (do not cut over pins as your rotary cutter will get a blunt spot there and no longer cut properly).

 

Pull the lining through slit you just created in the fleece, making sure that it sits flat.

 

Iron the fleece to the main piece to hold it in place


Strap Connectors and Contrast Bottom

Firstly pin or clip your pocket up and out of the way.

 
 

Prepare your strap connectors by drawing a line longways down the centre of the piece. (*Please note this is slightly different to the instructions in the pattern, but will give you the same end result).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next run a strip of temporary fabric glue or double sided tape down the centre of the line you just made and fold the long sides in to meet at the centre. I like to use double sided tape for vinyl especially as it holds better than glue, but just be aware that certain tapes may ‘gum up’ or put a stick residue on your needle. If that happens carefully clean the needle with an alcohol wipe to remove the adhesive. Fold the strap connector through your o-ring and stitch to secure as per instructions. (I like to do my straps using the same method (draw line in centre, fold to centre, use tape to hold) then fold them in half longways again to get 4 thickness of vinyl.)

 
 

Use your quilting rulers as a handy guide when positioning your strap connectors. As my rings as thicker, I make my top measurement 1¾” instead of 2”, but that is just my personal preference and will not effect functionality. Check your side measurement is correct for the size you are making (ie 3” for the small size and 4” for the large size)

 
 

Once your strap connector is in the right place, use a little bit of Sewline Glue or double sided tape to hold the strap connector in position temporarily while you stitch it in place. If you are having trouble with skipped stitches or your needle isn’t moving, try using a ‘height adjustor’ or even folded vinyl of the same height under the back of your foot to make it level again.

 
 

 

If you have thick rings like these you may also use it on the opposite side of the foot to keep even pressure on each side as well as being level front to back.

**Please note that I will be using rivets to strengthen my strap connector attachment instead of using the strengthening X-box stitching as described in the pattern. If you do not intend on using rivets, please follow the instructions in the pattern to on how to sew the stitch box (as detailed on Page 11).

Use your rulers again to position your second strap connector and sew it again like the first. Repeat the process for the opposite Exterior Main Panel, then join the front and back panels as per the instructions in Section “Adding the Bottom Accent on page 12.

 
 

For my bottom contrast panel, my personal preference is to fold the edge rather than having the vinyl backing showing. When cutting my contrast piece in vinyl I will use the ‘cut on this line for fabric’ option. I measure down ¾” and draw a line and add my double sided tape to the outside of that line.

 
 

I then fold the edge to meet that folded line and you have a perfect 3/8” fold. (I use 3/8” as opposed to the ¼” stated as vinyl tends to be a bit harder to get a good fold on only ¼”). Lay your overlay on top of your joined Exterior front and back Main Panels and sew as per the instructions in the “Adding the Bottom Accent” section on page 13

 
 

Turn your piece over and you will see why we need to pin the external welt pocket lining up and out of the way. Phew!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yay!! That’s the outside done!!  (Aren’t you glad you pinned up that pocket!!)

Check back in next week-

To see how to make a peekaboo pocket for the interior…

 
 

…and some tips and tricks for to attaching and top stitching your top main zip

 
 

As always please share your creations on https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLRCreationsSewingPatterns/. We all love to see the beautiful bags that are made using the Titania Tote pattern (and of course any other RLR Creations patterns). So grab your discount code (ok I’ll be nice and put the GDAY-TITANIA discount code here too), head to the rlrcreations.com website and get creating on your very own Titania Tote, in either handbag or tote size.

 

*Please note these tips and tricks used in this article are the ways that I have found to be a quick and easy way to complete my Titania Tote. They are by no means the only way to do it. If you have a tip or trick that you would like to share with us, please join our RLR Creations Sewing Patterns Group and post your tips in there!!

 

See ya next week!!

If you would like to learn more about the extremely talented Tanya Summers and see the amazing  things she creates hop over to her facebook page at Little Mate's Wardrobe and take a moment to view her fabulous bags at her Etsy Store HERE!

PATTERN SPOTLIGHT- THE LIMELIGHT ACCORDIAN WALLET FEATURE PART 3

It's time for the third Installment of the RLR Creations “Pattern Spotlight”

This month we will be focusing on the Limelight Wallet, which is available for purchase HERE or for Craftsy users you can find it HERE.

This week is all about Paper Piecing!

Basically the art of paper piecing is a fancy way to re-purpose those small scrap sized pieces of fabric and use them to ‘colour-in’ a design or shape. This creating this simple heart shape design on the flap of your Limelight wallet is as easy as counting to 11. 

Organizing the fabrics you want to use.

There is no right or wrong way to arrange your fabrics. The pattern (available here) shows that you can use 3 colors (shown as red for the heart, grey for the angle section and white for the background) or you can choose to only do 2 (heart and background) as I’ve done in my example. Your scrap pieces should be large enough to cover the area they are assigned for PLUS a 1/in (6mm) seam allowance around the outside. More tips on that later.

So let’s get started!

Download your Paper Piecing Pattern HERE!

Step 1. Take your heart coloured fabric and using a temporary glue like a Sewline Glue Stick, apply a small amount to the wrong side of the fabric. Hold your design up to the light and, using the shadow of your piece of fabric, position it over the Number 1 section with the wrong side of the fabric glued to the WRONG SIDE of your pattern paper. Remember to allow at least a ¼” seam allowance on each side.

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Step 2. Turn your pattern piece RIGHT SIDE up so you can see the numbers. Where the Number 1 and Number 2 sections meet (the 1-2 line), draw over the intersecting lines. I like to use a Frixion Ball Point Pen as it makes a nice folding line and erases with my iron)

 

Step 3. Using the indent from your pen line, fold along the 1-2 line. Trim the fabric to ¼” past this fold.

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Step 4. Take a piece of your “Angle Section” fabric (color coded grey on the pattern) and place it RIGHT SIDE UP. Place the Paper Piece pattern and the first section of heart on top of the Angle Section fabric so that the 2 pieces of fabric are right sides together.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5. Keeping the edges of the 2 fabrics aligned, gently fold the paper back so you can see the numbers. Sew along the line between Numbers 1 and 2 with a short stitch length (I like to use about a 1.5 stitch length) remembering to reverse at the beginning and end to secure the stitches.

 

Step 6.  Fold the Angle Section fabric back to expose the right side and gently press the seam

 
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Step 7. Turn your pattern piece over, and start the process again (from Step 2 to Step 6) with the next number. Remember to use the line that joins to the lower numbers (so the line between 3 and 1, then the line between 4 and 3/1) See? I told you it was as easy as counting to 11!

When you are finished with the last seam, trim around the outside of the pattern piece and then continue as per the Limelight instructions. (you could even add piping at this step by using last week’s tutorial!)

 
 

It looks so good, even the gnomes come out of the woodwork to see!!

 
 

Please remember to share your creations on the RLR Creations Sewing Patterns Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLRCreationsSewingPatterns/) page on Facebook. We would love to see your colour combinations with the paper piecing pattern and on all your creative interpretations on the Limelight Wallet pattern.  

Next time, I will be looking at putting a twist on a different RLR Creations pattern… Which one would you like to see?

PATTERN SPOTLIGHT- THE LIMELIGHT ACCORDIAN WALLET FEATURE PART 2

It's time for the second Installment of the RLR Creations “Pattern Spotlight”

This month we will be focusing on the Limelight Wallet, which is available for purchase HERE or for Craftsy users you can find it HERE.

This month we will be focusing on the Limelight Wallet, which is available for purchase HERE or for Craftsy users you can find it HERE.

WEEK 2 – This week the extremely talented Tanya will focus on Fussy Cutting and attaching a Wrist Strap...Plus working with Piping on your Limelight Flap!

Fussy Cutting

Fussy Cutting is the art of perfect pattern placement. To help you with perfecting your pattern placement on the flap of the Limelight we have created the “Fussy Cut Flap’ guide pattern piece just for you! Just cut out the window and voila! Instantly you can see what will be seen on the front of your wallet. No missing heads anymore!

To download your copy of the Fussy Cutting Guide click HERE

Click on the image to download the printable template

Click on the image to download the printable template

Cut out the hole on the Fussy Cutting Guide and place it over your fabric until you are happy with the section you can see.

Place your Flap Piece F on top of the guide so it lines up with the edges of the Fussy Cutting Guide

Remove the Fussy Cutting guide by holding your fingers in the middle of the Flap Piece F and gently pull the Fussy Cutting Guide Piece up and over.

Cut around Flap Piece F as you would normally. 

Bonus Feature- Using Piping!

Piping can be a bit scary at first, often because it can be difficult to get right on your first attempt. Hopefully with some of my hot tips you will be able to enjoy sewing with piping and add it more to your projects!

Choosing your piping colours.

Piping is a great way to highlight of emphasis colours in a fabric pattern. When choosing piping I like to place it around the edge so you can get the full effect. 

Hop tip #1

Sewline Glue is a water soluable tacking glue that I love using for pretty much everything! It will hold zips straight, keep your clear vinyl for your ID card pocket steady without pins and is great for holding piping too.

Please note on this picture that my piping is not level with the edge. I have moved it in until the existing stitching of the pre-made piping is approximately 5/8” in from the edge (this is the seam allowance plus the width of the piping, so at the end the overall width of the flap including the piped edge remains at approx 5” as per the original. 
 
 

After glue basting the piping in place the next step is to sew baste it. When sew basting I like to sew either on the existing stitches of the piping or slightly to the cord side of the stitches. 

11.jpg

I use the sew basting to create a line, so whenI sew the interior and exterior flap pieces together I can sew slighting to the inside of this line to keep the piping tight and reduce the need to go back and re-sew it multiple times.

12.jpg

Adding a Wrist Strap

Many have been asking for wrist straps to make the Limelight Wallet hands free, especially when your cute dress or favourite shorts don’t have a pocket! Adding the wrist strap is really easy and looks great, and as a bonus you can add your keys to the wrist strap like a matching key fob!

To start with you will need to choose your hardware:

1 - 1” Swivel Snap Hook

1 - 5/8” (15mm) D-Ring – Please note if you want to use a ½” ring that is also fine just remember to adjust the width of your Connector tab accordingly (so ½” D-Ring would need 1 x Main Fabric 3” x 2”, 1 x Interfacing 3” x 1”)

Then you will need to cut the following EXTRA pieces:

Connector Tab – 1- Main Fabric 3” x 2 ½”

Connector Tab Interfacing – 1 - Interfacing (SF101) 3” x 1 ¼”

Wrist Strap – Cut 1 x Main Fabric and 1- Interfacing (SF101) 17.5” x 4”

Add the interfacing to the main pieces, making sure that the interfacing on the connector tab is centred width-wise on the main piece 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fold both the Wrist Strap piece and the Connector piece in half lengthwise (so parallel to the longest edge). Press to get a nice crisp fold then open up again. Fold in the long raw edges so they meet on that nice crisp fold line. Press, then refold your original fold to hide the raw edges. 

Connector Piece:

Wrist Strap

18.jpg

Completing the Connector Piece-

Topstitch the long sides of the Connector piece approximately 1/8” from the edge. Place the connector piece through the D-Ring and fold in half to secure the D-Ring. Sew as close to the D-Ring as you can to stop it from moving around.

 

Completing the Wrist Strap Piece-

 

Place the Wrist Strap piece through the Swivel Hook (this style is my favourite and is available in Australia through Handbag Hardware Australia) and fold in half to match the short ends. Now this is where it gets tricky so I’ve included lots of pictures! 

 

Step 1:

Step 1 – Place the straps in front of you with the swivel hook at the bottom of the loop. 

 

Step 2: 

Step 2 – Twist the front end of the strap piece 90 degrees to the right (so from 6 o’clock to 3 o’clock). 

 

Step 3:

Without changing the angle open up both the front and back pieces so the right sides are facing and the 2 pieces are at right angles to each other. Pin together. Draw a 45 degree angle line from the bottom left corner up to the top right. This will be your sewing line. 

Step 4:

Once you have sewn this line open up the loop to see if it now creates a circle. 

If it does you can now trim off the triangle piece about ¼” away from the seam. 

Step 5:

Press the seam open. Refold the raw edges into the middle and you will have a perfect loop. Sew around each side about 1/8” away from the edge. 

Step 6:

Sew around each side about 1/8” away from the edge.

Step 7: 

Make a fold at one end to secure your swivel hook and sew as close to the Swivel Hook as you can or add a rivet if you prefer. Your Wrist Strap is now complete.

Adding the connector to your Limelight Wallet

After you have completed step 3 on page 6, take you flap piece and place it exterior side up. Measure in ¾” from the side (I’m right handed so I put mine on the left) and 1” down from the raw top edge. Baste stitch about ¼ inch in from the raw edge.

 

And that’s it!! You can now complete your wallet as per the instructions. Please remember to share your creations on the RLR Creations Sewing Patterns Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLRCreationsSewingPatterns/) page on Facebook. We would love to see your unique twists on this versatile pattern

 

Next week, I will be sharing with you an exclusive Paper Piecing design designed by myself, made especially for the Limelight Wallet flap. Its probably one of the easiest paper piece designs, which makes it great for beginners to paper piecing, but it also makes a great quick embellishment to your next Limelight Wallet.

If you would like to learn more about the extremely talented Tanya Summers and see the amazing  things she creates hop over to her facebook page at Little Mate's Wardrobe and take a moment to view her fabulous bags at her Etsy Store HERE!

Pattern Spotlight- The Limelight Accordian Wallet Feature Part 1

Welcome to the first Installement of the RLR Creations “Pattern Spotlight”

I’m Tanya Summers, Creative Director at Little Mate’s Wardrobe and one of your friendly admin on the RLR Creations Sewing Patterns group. Over the next few months I will be showing you cool features of some of the RLR Creations patterns and giving you a few ideas on how to make your creations unique to you. This is where you will be able to come for inspiration and get some hot tips to help you create your very best!

Photos and Limelight Wallets by Tanya Summers of Little Mate's Wardrobe

This month we will be focusing on the Limelight Wallet, which is available for purchase HERE or for Craftsy users you can find it HERE.

Each week, I will be showing you some sewn examples of different fabrics, ideas to create a magical one-off piece, and even give you a free, yes FREE, and easy paper piecing pattern specifically designed for the Limelight Wallet. Along the way, I will show you some tips and tricks to help you perfectly place your fabric on the flap, add piping to give it a pop of color and much, much more. 

So let’s get started…

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Week 1 – Getting inspired by your favourite designer to create a memorable flap design!

As the Limelight Wallet has a large flap (in proportion to its overall size) this is the ideal spot to make a creative impact! For my first example I have used ‘reverse appliqué’ to create a design on my first example. I have used cork because, like leather, it is resistant to fraying which is important when we cut a raw edge for things such as appliqué.

My theme for this wallet was Tula Pink, one of my favourite fabric designers, largely due to her fabulous and creative use of animals in her designs. 

A Quick Guide to Reverse Applique

Draw your design on some tracing paper, then turn it over and transfer it on the back of your cork/leather. I like to use lead pencil for this. 

Now that your design is clearly copied onto the reverse, you can start to cut very carefully along the line. 

Pick your fabric colors for under the cutout and then cut out small pieces large enough to cover the hole with enough room to stitch around the outside.

Once you have stitched around each shape you can then add other stitches to join the shapes together, in my case adding the stems for the flowers.

 Now that your Exterior Flap piece is complete, continue to create your flap as per the Limelight instructions.

Week 1: Bonus Add-on: Double Card Pockets

Who doesn't love more card Pockets? The creative Tanya Summers has added a double row of card pockets to the Limelight wallet to give you even more space to store all of your cards. Follow along as she shows you how simple this is to do!

My card pockets on this wallet vary from the main pattern. I have added a set of 3 card pockets to the inside front of the wallet, in addition to the 3 on the inside back and the hidden pocket behind the card pockets at the back.

Rather than cut the Piece C Card Pocket Panel that is included in the pattern you will need to cut these two pieces:

The cutting list for the new card pockets is:

  • Card Pocket A – 18 ¾” x 4 ⅞”, cut 1 Lining Fabric and 1 Interfacing
  • Card Pocket B – 15 1/4 “ x 4 ⅞”, cut 1 Lining Fabric and 1 Interfacing

Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the Fabric Pieces then create your folds as follow: 

Card Pocket A:

Measure down from the top of the fabric piece in the following increments:

4”, 2 ¼”, 1 ¾”,  2 ¼”, 1 ¾”,  2 ¼”, 1 ¾”,  2 ¾”.

Fold the first line, from the top, wrong sides together, the second line right sides together, the third fold wrong sides together and so on, until all the lines are folded. Topstitch the tops of all the folds as directed on Page 13, step 2 in the pattern. 

Now, with your Card Pocket A right side up, fold the topstitched edges up, towards the top of the Card Panel until you have created 3 card pockets. The top card pocket top will sit evenly on top of your last top stitched line. Pin in place along the sides.

Card Pocket B:

Measure down from the top of the fabric piece in the following increments:

½”, 2 ¼”, 1 ¾”,  2 ¼”, 1 ¾”,  2 ¼”, 1 ¾”,  2 ¾”.

Fold the first line wrong sides together, the second line right sides together, the third fold wrong sides together and so on, until all the lines are folded. DO NOT topstitch the top fold (with the ½” folded behind, but DO topstitch the tops of folds 2, 3, 4.).

Now, with your Card Pocket B right side up, fold the topstitched edges up, towards the top of the Card Panel until you have created 3 card pockets. The top 1/2", that you did not topstitch will be folded wrong sides together and will create the bottom of your pocket. 

Join the bottoms of Card Pockets A and Card Pocket B together with a ½” seam. CHECK that your card piece fits nicely along Main Piece A (See page 15/16 of the instructions for the location). It should be 7 ½” long. If your piece fits well, iron the middle seam flat and topstitch on either side of the seam. Baste down both long sides as close to the edge as possible. Continue from Page 16, step 3, topstitching to the Main Panel Piece A.

And that’s it!! Everything else is finished as per the pattern. Please share your creations on https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLRCreationsSewingPatterns/. I would love to see what reverse applique, traditional applique or other great ideas you have for your Limelight Wallet.

Next week, I will be discussing Fussy Cutting (how to get your pictures centred perfectly on the front flap) and how to add a wrist strap! 

If you would like to learn more about the extremely talented Tanya Summers and see the amazing  things she creates hop over to her facebook page at Little Mate's Wardrobe and take a moment to view her fabulous bags at her Etsy Store HERE!

How to turn Andrea's Rucksack into a Convertible Sling Bag

You can find the Andrea's Rucksack Sewing pattern here- Andrea's Rucksack

Or in my Craftsy Store Here:  http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/accessory/andreas-rucksack--in-2-backpack-sizes/202963

Andrea’s Rucksack is the ideal hands-free bag for when you are out and about with comfortable shoulder straps that make it very comfortable to wear on your back. However, not everyone is the backpack “type” and prefer to carry a bag sling style. Some prefer the option of a convertible bag that allows you the choice to carry it as a stylish hobo sling or a backpack. The problem with most is you have one strap that unzips to convert to two, which leaves you with open zipper teeth that can be uncomfortable riding on your shoulders.

For those of you that prefer the option of a sling bag and/or a backpack it is super simple to create the Andrea Rucksack to work as both, while being just as quick to change as a zippered single strap, you won’t be left with open zipper teeth that can be so uncomfortable. 

HOW TO MAKE ANDREA’S RUCKSACK INTO A CONVERTIBLE SLING BAG.

In addition to the materials needed for completing the bag listed in the pattern you will also need

  • 2- 1” (1 ½” for the large size) swivel hooks.

**Also it is ideal to use d-rings or o-rings, or triangle for the hardware called for in the pattern to complete you bag rather than rectangle rings. 

Follow the instructions in the pattern until you reach Page 23: Finishing the Back Straps. You will be adding the swivel snaps to the back straps as follows-

Adding the Sliders and Swivel Hooks to the Back Straps:

1. Thread one of the strap ends through the one of the slider pieces, RIGHT SIDE UP, under the first bar on the slide, over the center bar and then under the last bar. Next thread the end through one of the swivel hooks.

2. Now feed the end back through the slider (under first run through) over the center bar.  Pull the strap through so it goes past the slide about 1” Fold back the end where it just looped through (away from the slider).

3. Stitch the end to the strap piece below it or secure with rivets.

4. REPEAT Steps 1-3 to finish the second Back Strap.

Bag and Photo by  Jean Parrott

Bag and Photo by  Jean Parrott

Bag and Photo by  Jean Parrott

Bag and Photo by  Jean Parrott

Bag and Photo by  Jean Parrott

Bag and Photo by  Jean Parrott

A special heartfelt thank you to the wonderful Jean Parrott for the photos and help with this tutorial!

A special heartfelt thank you to the wonderful Jean Parrott for the photos and help with this tutorial!

"I have never been much of a backpack kind if gal, But I loved the design of the Andrea's Rucksack. I made it so that I could unclip the adjustable straps at the bottom to create a sling style bag. Sometimes I just need to carry it hands free and it is super easy to do. It is a great bag if you are out and about for the day by yourself or with your kids. Comfortable and light, you will not be weighed down by a large clunky traditional style backpack. But large enough to carry your necessary items and maybe a snack or two for yourself or the kids." - Jean Parrott

See lots of photos of this and all my bags by visiting my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLRCreationsSewingPatterns/

The New Titania Tote Pattern has been released.

Looking for the perfect bag for the Spring/Summer season? The Titania Tote is the perfect companion for a casual day out, a city girl on the go, or a pretty polished tote to carry to the office. 

You  can find the new Titania Tote pattern here: Titania Tote PDF

Or in my Craftsy Store here

 

Function ultimately reigns for the typical woman when it comes to the perfect tote. It needs to carry all of Life’s essentials and be a wardrobe staple. The Titania Tote pattern is a sure fit for anyone with 2 size options and so much to offer in terms of both style and detail. 

The pattern includes two size options. The small size is ideal for everyday use  (Measures: 9" Tall, 7 1/2" wide (at the bottom) / 14" wide (at the top), and 4" deep), while the Large offers more room for those that love a bigger bag, or for a day out shopping (  Measures: 11" Tall, 8 1/2" wide (at the bottom) / 17" wide (at the top), and 5" deep)!
Tote and Photo by Tanya Summers

Tote and Photo by Tanya Summers

The Titania Tote is sure to be your Spring/Summer love, thanks to its endless versatility and unique features:

 
  • A large opening at the top with a zippered closure to keep your items inside secure.
 
  •  A double welt pocket on the front for ease of access for your phone, keys or other essentials.
 
  •  O-rings on the straps allow them to conform to your shoulder to make the tote more comfortable to carry, and fold down to make it easier to access your things on the inside
 
  •   The interior features a large zippered pocket on the back to keep your items organized.
 
  • A quick snap in/out 2 zip pouch that easily converts into a wristlet when you are on the go and only need to carry a few items. Adds more organization on the inside with two extra zipper pockets. 
 
  • A flat bottom that allows the tote to sit up straight. 
 
CarrieInside.jpg
Bag and Photo by Sue Reed 

Bag and Photo by Sue Reed 

Bag and Photo by Jean Parrott

Bag and Photo by Jean Parrott

Bag and Photo by Susan Hewitt

Bag and Photo by Susan Hewitt

Bag and Photo by Lori Peoples

Bag and Photo by Lori Peoples

 

The Titania Tote will polish off any spring outfit or jazz up your laid back summer outfits. 

Bags and Photo by Tanya Summers

Bags and Photo by Tanya Summers

 
Bag and Photo by Sue Reed

Bag and Photo by Sue Reed

Best of all the new Titania Tote is a quick and easy sew whether you choose the large or small size. The tote looks great whether done in leather/vinyl accents or in your favorite cotton coordinates.  The pattern includes easy to follow step by step directions with over 40 detailed illustrations to get you from start to finish. 

Titania Tote in Kona Cotton Accents by Karen McEuen

Titania Tote in Kona Cotton Accents by Karen McEuen

 
Titania Tote in Canvas  by Debra Taylor

Titania Tote in Canvas  by Debra Taylor

Titania Tote in Pleather Accents by Maxine McNeill 

Titania Tote in Pleather Accents by Maxine McNeill 

Titania Tote in Leather Accents by Betty Hoyle-Wind

Titania Tote in Leather Accents by Betty Hoyle-Wind

Titania Tote in Patent Leather accents by Jean Parrott

Titania Tote in Patent Leather accents by Jean Parrott

Titania Tote in Sparkle Vinyl Accents

Titania Tote in Sparkle Vinyl Accents

Looking for more inspiration? 

Check out all of the beautiful Titania Totes made by my testing crew!

You  can find the new Titania Tote pattern here: Titania Tote PDF

Or in my Craftsy Store here

How to add a Zipper Closure to the Everyday City Tote

Of all of my Patterns the City Tote continues to be my favorite one and remains one year after it's launch a top seller. Today, on it's one year Published Anniversary, I have revamped the entire pattern to now include pattern piece labels, a before you begin check list, along with even more illustrations to aid you in making your very own from beginning to finish.

 
THE CITY TOTE IN A DAYTRIPPER AND EVERYDAY SIZE

THE CITY TOTE IN A DAYTRIPPER AND EVERYDAY SIZE

 

The biggest question I have been asked about the City Tote, specifically the Everyday size is how to add a zipper closure to keep it's contents more secure. So, whether this is your first time making the Everyday sized City Tote or you are ready to make a new one with a zippered top follow along and easily replace the magnetic snap closure with a zipper top closure. 

The City Tote: Adding a recessed Zipper

 
CityTote2
 

Materials Needed:

  • Zipper Panels: 13” x 4” - Cut 2 Main or Lining Fabric (your choice) and  2 Pellon® 809 Décor-Bond®  firm, nonwoven, fusible stabilizer
  • 1- 12” Separating Zipper
 

This tutorial is written for the Everyday sized (Small) City Tote.

*If you would like to add a recessed zipper to the Daytripper (Large Size) you can follow the same method but cut your Zipper Panels and interfacing 17" x 5" and you wil need a 16" Separating Zipper.*

Preparing the Pieces:

1. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong sides of the fabric pieces

 

2. Fold a Zipper Panel in half lengthwise, WRONG SIDES TOGETHER and press at the fold. REPEAT with the second Zipper Panel Piece.

 

2. Open each of the Zipper Panels and place WRONG SIDE UP

 
 
 

3. Fold the short outer edges in (towards the interfacing) ½” and press. 

 
 

4. Fold in the long sides in ½” and press. 

 
 

5. Fold the pieces in half again and crease making sure all of the raw edges are tucked inside and all of the edges are aligned. 

**CHECK:

                   The piece should now measure 12” long. 

 

Adding the Zipper:

6. Separate your 12” zipper into two pieces.

 

7. Place one of the zipper pieces into the long edge of one of your Zipper Panels, in between the two layers aligning with the folded in edges on both sides. Pin in place. Repeat with the second zipper to sandwich it between the long outer edges of the other Zipper Panel.

Attaching Zipper Panels to Lining Pieces:

 

1. Place one of the Lining Fabric Main Panel (Piece C) pieces RIGHT SIDE UP. From the top raw edge measure down 1 ½” and mark a horizontal line across the piece. 

 

2. Align one of the Completed Zipper Panels, RIGHT SIDE UP, along the vertical line you just drew and 1” in from both sides. Pin in place. 

 

3. Sew across the pinned edge with a ¼” seam allowance to attach. 

 
 

**Be sure that the zipper pieces are placed correctly so they match and you can zip it closed.

 
Pic17.jpg
 

8. Sew down the short edge and across the bottom, then up the second short edge side with ¼” seam allowance on both pieces. 

 
 

4. REPEAT STEPS 1-3 to attach the other completed Zipper Panel to the second Lining Piece. Be sure that the zipper pieces match so you can zip it closed.

 

Finishing:

Now you are ready to continue with the instructions to finish your City Tote, starting  on Page 7:  Side Panels.

 

If you would like a downloadable copy of these instructions to add to your printed pattern.  You can grab the PDF here.

If you have not purchased the City Tote pattern yet now is a great time to give it a try. 

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the City Tote pattern it will be on sale, 25% off,  all weekend long (March 11th-13th 2016)!

You can get your copy here: On Craftsy

or on my website here:  City Tote Pattern

 

Need some more inspiration?

Take a moment to check out all of the fantastic City Totes with the Recessed Zipper Add-on made by my amazing pattern testers! 

 
 

Have you ever thought of being a Pattern Tester?

As I put my 18th bag pattern into testing today, I have the same feeling I always do when a pattern in finally written; after all of the prototyping, illustrating,  and writing now it is time to see what others think of my latest creation.

When the pattern finally finalized, patterned and written up the work has just begun. The testing process is the most vital step behind every pattern published.

Have you ever thought about being a pattern tester? Ever wondered why others do it or what it takes to become a pattern tester? Read on…

At RLR Creations we have a group of talented, loyal and very dedicated testers that are always anxiously awaiting the next pattern to be tested. RLR Creations has a testing team that consists of 20+ very talented sewists, editors, team leaders, and cheerleaders. Some are permanent testers that are a part of every new pattern, and some are willing to jump in from time to time when needed. Each one is the core behind RLR Creations Sewing Patterns. We all share one common Love: sewing beautiful things, and one common Goal: to be sure every pattern published has clear correct directions and pattern pieces that not only print well but work to complete the pattern.  We work as a group from beginning to end on each pattern design. We laugh, we joke around, we sometimes cry together; but most of all each works tirelessly to bring you amazing bag patterns; such as the upcoming 18th pattern in the RLR Creations collection.

Who are these amazing ladies and why do they do it? It always amazes me when others think they do it for a free pattern. To me, I never understood why someone would do so much work just to receive a free $6 pattern.  So, what is better than to hear what they say as to why they do it?

Meet a few of the members of the RLR Creations Construction Crew, and hear their thoughts on being a pattern tester. They will certainly inspire you to give my patterns a try, or to even consider being a tester yourself. 

The Kokoda Canteen and Limelight Wallet Pattern

The Kokoda Canteen and Limelight Wallet Pattern

 
The Koala Handbag with detachable Clutch

The Koala Handbag with detachable Clutch

 
Pandere Expandable Tote

Pandere Expandable Tote

 
Grace Travel Satchel

Grace Travel Satchel

 
The Teardrop Sling Bag

The Teardrop Sling Bag

 
Koala handbag with detachable Clutch

Koala handbag with detachable Clutch

 
Sunday "My Way Bag"

Sunday "My Way Bag"

 
Dolores Lunch Tote & Sami Snack Pouch

Dolores Lunch Tote & Sami Snack Pouch

 
The Urban Messenger Bag

The Urban Messenger Bag

 
The Koala Handbag with detachable Clutch

The Koala Handbag with detachable Clutch

 
Limelight Wallet

Limelight Wallet

 
 
The Wayfarer

The Wayfarer

Jean Parrott:

Jean has been on the testing team nearly 8 months now and has tested each and every pattern that I have written since. She is a very valued member of the team and is always ready to welcome in the newcomers, as well as, is an active member of the RLR Creations Sewing group on Facebook. Jean is always readily available to answer any questions that come along to help other members as they work on patterns.

Jean’s love of sewing started at a young age. She sews for the pure joy of it and her family and friends reap the benefits of her talents.

When asked why she enjoys being a pattern tester here is what she had to say-

“For me it is the challenge of trying a new design. Of course I also like being a part of a fun group of like minded people. Even though I have been sewing for more than four decades I still learn new things with almost every new pattern I try - it definitely keeps it interesting for me."
 

Debra Taylor of Taylor Made Baskets:

Debra is our testing team’s sweetheart. She is an inspiration to us all, and is always there when I need a cheerleader. She has been on the testing team for nearly a year now and participates in every new bag pattern test. Debra’s help goes beyond the testing as she is always there to be an inspiration in the RLR Creations Sewing group as well. She readily jumps in and helps others with questions and encouragement.

Debra’s love for being part of the Pattern Testing group goes way beyond getting a new pattern. While her answer to why she enjoys being a pattern tester was that she loves learning new techniques her response below says it all-

“I enjoy our community of ladies to sew with. I don't have anyone who lives nearby to do that with. Love that someone understands my passion” truly shows that pattern testing goes far beyond the desire to learn new things." 

If you would like to see more of Debra’s amazing work stop by Taylor Made Baskets have a look around and say hello!

 

Susan Hewitt of Thefarmerwantsawife

 

Susan is one of the newer members of our team. She joined us as a guest tester in December and instantly became part of the team. I was blessed when she agreed to stick around and become a permanent member of the RLR Creations Testing Team.  She is so very talented that I am not sure she has ever created a bad stitch on a sewing machine. She sells her beautiful bags in her Etsy Store here:  https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Thefarmerwantsawife there is some real pretty stuff there so I encourage you to go check it out!!

Susan enjoys being part of the testing process and stated her main reason was “I like the opportunity of making something from a brand new design.”
 

Karen McEuen from Albuquerque, NM

Karen has been part of my team since my third pattern. She is a big part of the testing team and has helped me get many patterns from draft to a published pattern. She is an amazingly talented lady whether making handbags or quilting. She only sews for family and friends, and says her family appreciates that.

When Karen was asked why she sticks around and continues to test patterns for me, she said “Even after sewing for many years, I can still have the opportunity to learn some new techniques with being a tester.” She also added that she enjoys testing because, “I enjoy creating something "new" before it becomes a fad.” I sure hope she will be with us for many more patterns to come!
 

Betty Hoyle-Wind

 While Betty loves to call herself the newbie, she has been with me the longest. Her southern charm and witty personality makes her loved by everyone. While she has sold a few bags she mainly enjoys giving her creations as gifts to people she loves. She tells us that while she has been sewing since childhood she finds now that she loves the fun of pattern testing.

When asked why she sticks around to be part of every test Betty stated; “I love being a bag tester - it provides a challenge, new skills, fun camaraderie with others involved in the testing and lets me be among the 'first to create a brand new design'!” 
 

Sue Reed of Dreamscape Studio

Sue is one of our newest testers that came in on a guest test and we loved her so much we were thrilled when she decided to stick around for a few more tests. Sue’s mother taught her to sew at a very young age and she immediately fell in love with designing her own doll clothes. When sadly her mother passed when she was only 10 her Aunt took her under her wing and kept her learning.  Her business Dreamscape Studio was born from the dream her mother had for her to keep on with her sewing. You can see her amazing talent here: https://www.facebook.com/DreamscapeStudio

Sue shared with me her reason to be a pattern tester, I love the bag making process and the challenge of a never before tested pattern. AND being a part of a fun creative team. I thoroughly enjoy being on this team. Everyone is very encouraging and supportive of each other.” Thank you Sue, we feel the same!
 

Lori Peoples of Green Lane PA

            Lori is another valued tester that has been on the team for a year now. She is an integral part of getting the pattern refined during testing to help make it an easier sew for everyone else. Lori has been making clothing and quilts for a long time but has recently fell in love with bag making. In fact she is just starting to sell her lovely bags.

Why does Lori enjoy pattern testing? When asked she answered, “I like the fun of sewing something new before everyone has it… I enjoy being part of an awesome team of sewers!”
 

Yvonne Spinks of HandCrafted By Yvonne

Yvonne has been a part of the pattern testing team since the beginning. She was one of the first testers and continues to be an asset to the team; whether it is testing a pattern or offering moral support during a test. She loves to sew and has been has been at it since she was a child. She has created some really amazing bags from my patterns and s always supportive of RLR Creations.

“Well, I love to sew and have been doing it on and off for the past 30 years. I love the challenge of testing new patterns, learning new techniques, gathering feedback and working with peers to create something fun and unique”, is the reason she continues to be a pattern tester.

You can visit Handcrafted by Yvonne by stopping by her facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HCbyY You will certainly find some inspiration and lovely items for sale there. 

 

Andrea Fuhrer from Recklinghausen in Northrhine-Westfalia, Germany

Andrea skills go way beyond making a bag and her being part of the team has been such an asset to the growth of RLR Creations Sewing Patterns. She makes every pattern I write from the words to the construction better. She challenges me and inspires me. She is a wonderful motivation to the others on the team and is always there to make the new/guest testers feel welcome.

She writes that she likes being a tester because, “first of all I love to make different bags, it’s great to help finish and polish a pattern to get it out to the public. I like that nobody else made this bag before and there’s a new bag coming every few weeks, helping me learn new techniques and sometimes challenging my skills. It’s amazing and inspiring to see all the different bags. I also love to be a part of a creative team and our wonderful, supportive tester group. And maybe most importantly – I made friends all over the world.”
 

Fran Bott from Norfolk VA

Fran is the new kid on the block, and we are so happy to have her on the team. Bag making is therapy for her and she adds that getting to work with a designer is an extension of that therapy.

Fran adds her reasoning for being a pattern tester, “I enjoy working the bugs out of things - gets the mind working, that in turn distracts me enough so that I don't dwell on what hurts. Much like the circle of life where one thing leads to another, etc”.
 

Penny Sharpe-Scofield

Penny joined the testing team about 5 months ago after patiently waiting for a spot to open up as a guest tester. She fit right into the group as if she was always there so was happy when she decided to stay on as a permanent part of the team. She is always there with input on pattern, with suggestions to make it even better, and always goes the extra mile when asked.

Why does Penny enjoy being part of the team?  “I like testing because my input is heard and not overlooked. I learn a lot and of course, I love being in the front of the line. Love the friendship in this testing group. When a designer is actually concerned about the end user is a bonus.”
 

Kelly Ann Compton from Denver Colorado

Kelly has participated I a few tests as a guest tester and has stayed on team as a permeant member to be our chief editor. She is the final but certainly not the least part of the pattern testing process. She is the one that makes sure all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. She is defiantly a punctuation princess and a very valued member of the team as a cheerleader and motivator.

Here are a few words from Kelly as to why she is part of the team, “ I love to sew. Period. I also love words and moving words around, hence, I love being an editor for the test patterns. I also love being part of a group that is all working toward a common end: a wonderful pattern that reads well and is easy to follow”
 

Tanya Summers of Little Mate’s Wardrobe

Tanya joined us on a last minute plea for more testers on the Wayfarer pattern and I have held her hostage since. She is the inspiration beyond many of the names of my patterns and is always there when I need inspiration. Tanya makes beautiful things and has a heart of gold. If you are part of the RLR Sewing Patterns Group you most likely already know her as she is always there to lend a hand to anyone that has a question on a pattern. She is the owner of Little Mate's Wardrobe and you can visit her here to see many more of her lovely creations-www.facebook.com/littlemateswardrobe

When I asked Tanya why she enjoys being a pattern tester this is what she had to say, “I am a sucker for finding and pointing out mistakes and this is the best way for me to learn new things and push myself to get them done. I test specifically for Rachel coz I like her style. As a tester and a part of the RLR Creations group, the support is fantastic. The techniques are explained well in both written word and graphic illustrations but you know if you get stuck or have a 'moment' there's someone there to give you a hand.”

Thank you for taking the time to learn about my testing team and why they enjoy testing new patterns.

 

Please stop by our facebook group- RLR Creations Sewing Patterns, say hi to the members of my team, and see more of the lovely bags they have made. 

You can find all of my patterns in my Craftsy store here: Patterns.

While there are not any current openings available for the current test in progress we do from time to time need new testers and often have new faces join us as guest testers to try out a pattern. If this is something you feel you may enjoy please take a moment to fill out the FORM HERE to be added to the list.

Be sure to stop back next Friday for a great step by step tutorial and to maybe learn something new!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Koala Handbag with a Detachable Clutch pattern has been published.

 
The new Koala Handbag with detachable Clutch pattern by RLR Creations. 

The new Koala Handbag with detachable Clutch pattern by RLR Creations. 

This new handbag is the ultimate day to night accessory.

The Koala handbag will have your transitional style needs covered! A roomy handbag to hold all of your daily essentials and a detachable clutch when you don’t want to take your whole bag with you.

 

The Koala hand bag features a 21” wide clam-shell opening, a large interior zipper pocket, and pretty accents that make the bag look stylish even when used without the clutch. It offers two carry options with dual handles and a detachable shoulder strap.

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The detachable clutch functions as a front easy access pocket on the front of the bag, or simply slip off the front of the bag for a roomy clutch when you want to downsize the size of your bag. Features a double slip pocket on the interior and a removable wrist strap.

The Handbag Measures: 12” wide, 10” tall and 4” deep and the detachable Clutch measures: 9” wide, 6” tall and 1” deep.

You can find the pattern here:The Koala Handbag

Behind every RLR Creations pattern that is published...

     is a team of hardworking and dedicated pattern testers. The unsung heroes! No pattern would ever be as good, or really even make it to publication without them. They all have big jobs on the team that go beyond creating a new bag for themselves. They are the ones that have read the instructions, printed and used the pattern pieces, and completed the new handbag. Feedback on the pattern is also a big responsibility of the testing team, for if they don’t love it and support it, chances are neither will you. 

Talking new handbags and the testing team.. if you need some inspiration for purchasing the new Koala Handbag or are just looking for some amazing ways to combine textiles to make your very own Koala  take a moment to view the fantastic bags made by them and read their feedback on the new pattern.

If you would like to learn even more about the new Koala Handbag with detachable Clutch, have any questions you would like to ask my team, and to see what is next for RLR Creations drop by our Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLRCreationsSewingPatterns/

Who are these amazing ladies and why do they do it? Stop back next week and meet some of the talented ladies that make up my testing team , learn more about them and why they do it; as well as, what it takes to become a pattern tester.  

How to finish a bag with a Drop-In style Lining

When it comes to finishing any bag the lining construction is a very important factor in judging the finished quality. There are two basic methods for attaching the lining to the exterior: drop-in or fixed. Each has its merits in the construction process for both support and appearance in a bag.

The drop in lining method is perhaps the easiest but most feared by bag makers. For a drop-in lining you are simply making the interior separate from the exterior. Drop-in linings offer an interior that is the same shape and size as the exterior and if done correctly gives a far nicer appearance to the inside of your bag.  This method is commonly used with bags that offer more depth; especially at the zipper opening of the bag. Most of us judge a bag by its exterior presentation, but once you start looking at the interior appearance you will like making your own bags even more!

 
 

The following tutorial will focus on the Final Assembly and how to get a nice tight fitting liner on the drop-in assembly method. You can download a free copy of the Sunday: Life’s Little Everything Bag that was used for this tutorial here: Sunday My Way Bag

 

The Sunday Bag was designed to be like a lazy Sunday afternoon- A Blank Canvas.  The design was created to be simple; a beginner sew, but an open canvas for those that like to add their own creativity. This little Everything Bag features a slip pocket on the front, a wide mouth opening, and cute carry straps. Perfect as it is, or make Sunday “My Way”. Add some piping, zipper pockets, use the zipper pulls to add a longer carry strap, omit the fleece and make a soft-sided bag.  Play with contrasting fabrics, or mix some textiles, quilt it, embellish it… the possibilities are endless! Finished size measures: 12” wide, 6” tall, and 4 1/2” deep.

 

 

 

THE DROP-IN METHOD ASSEMBLING THE EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR:

In order to achieve a drop in lining you will create a top gusset panel in which the exterior contains the zipper and the interior top is folded and pressed in 1/2” in the center of the top panel. Once your Exterior and Interior Bag pieces are assembled, these two top panels will "match up" allowing you to attach the Interior to the Exterior.

 

 

 

 

**At this point the Interior and Exterior pieces will already be assembled. When trimming your seam allowances after adding the side gusset panel you will NOT trim the seam allowances around the top zipper panels of your finished pieces. This will be done after you assemble the bag pieces to help you achieve a nice tight fitting liner. Go ahead and trim the seam allowances around the sides and bottom, for both the Exterior and Interior as instructed in the pattern. 

1. Open the zipper all the way and turn the exterior WRONG SIDE OUT. Fold the top zipper panels on both sides to the inside so you have the top seam allowances exposed.

2. Keep the Interior RIGHT SIDE OUT and fold the top panels outward to expose the seam allowance where you attached the gusset to the front and back pieces.

3. Now place the Exterior inside the Interior. The WRONG SIDES will be facing each other. 

 
 

4. Align the top seam allowance for the Interior with the top seam allowance of the Exterior. Starting at one side of the bag pin all the way across to the other end of the top panel as far are you can go.

Be sure to match up the lines of stitching along the seam allowances. 

 
 

5. Starting as close to the side seams of the Side Panel as you can, sew through both seam allowances of the Exterior and Interior across as far as you can to the side seam on the opposite side of the bag. Be sure to stitch through the existing stitches on both pieces and that you are only sewing though the seam allowances and not the panels.

Sometimes it is easier to start by getting the pieces under your machine then pulling the pieces towards yourself  to get back as far as you can to start stitching. 

6. Trim the seam allowances close to the stitching and turn the piece so that the Exterior is RIGHT SIDE OUT. Align the bottom pieces and sides so your Interior sits nicely in the Exterior.

 

7. Fold the top Zipper Panel back in place. Match the top of the Lining top Panel along the folded in edges along each side of the zipper covering the lines of stitching you made when you attached the zipper to the Exterior, but making sure the lining sits right under the zipper teeth so the zipper can open without catching the lining. Pin in place

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*NOTE: If your machine has a free arm now is a great time to use it. 

8. With the Exterior face up, topstitch the Interior in place; following along in the existing zipper stitch line. Check to be sure you are catching the lining. 

 

As mentioned above. It is easier to get the pieces under the machine and then pull the piece toward yourself to get it further back before you start stitching. For a nice finish follow the same line of stitching you created when you installed the zipper. 

As always practice makes perfect, the more drop in linings you create the more you will enjoy finishing your bags with this technique.

Please be sure to stop here http://www.rlrcreations.com/freepatterns/sunday-my-way-bag  and download the free Sunday Bag pattern.

We would love to see your Sunday bag when you finish. Please join our facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLRCreationsSewingPatterns/

Rachel-RLR Creations

The City Tote Materials List Revealed

As the time nears for the first round of testing for the City Tote bag pattern I wanted share the Materials List for anyone that is interested in testing:

Materials Needed:

1 yard 44” wide Main Fabric (1 ½ yards for Large)

3/4 yard 44” wide Lining Fabric (1 yard for Large)

3 yards 20” Fusible Pellon SF 101 or a shaping Interfacing (3 1/2 yards for Large)

1 yard Fusible Fleece (Pellon Fleece Thermolam Plus)

¼ yard Ultra Firm Fusible Stabilizer Peltex 71F

12” or larger Coordinating Zipper for outside

1 Large Magnetic Snap for the bag closure

20” ½” O.D. Clear Vinyl Tubing (Available at hardware stores in plumbing section)

Hardware: 2- 1” Metal rectangles, O rings or D rings
                  1- 1” slider
                  2- 1” Swivel Hooks

Coordinating thread

Removable Fabric Marker (I recommend a Frixion gel pen as it can be removed by pressing with an iron)

Microtex (Sharp) Needle 80/12 –Recommended for topstitching through the thicker parts.

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The Pattern testing Call for the City Tote ihas already began, if you would like to test this pattern please join the event here:https://www.facebook.com/events/278541832269974
Limited number of testers needed for each size and chosen on a “first come” basis.

Call for Pattern Testers for the City Tote Pattern

The Pattern testing Call for the City Tote is getting ready to begin, if you would like to test this pattern please join the event here:https://www.facebook.com/events/278541832269974
or CONTACT ME HERE. Limited number of testers needed for each size and chosen on a “first come” basis.

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The city tote offers two carrying choices: Double handles with a dropped curve to provide a nice dip on the arm for comfort and ease to grab and go, or a cross body strap when you want to go hands free.
It offers a large back zipper pocket and optional customizable front slip pockets to keep your essentials handy when you are on the run.
The inside features 3 slip pockets for great organization. Nice roomy interior with magnetic snap closure to keep everything neatly inside.
Pattern will include two sizes; an everyday purse size and a larger daytripper option.



DAYTRIPPER: 

Part WEEKENDER, part TOTE...designed and sized to be the perfect daily companion. Daytripper (large size) City Tote. Measures 15" high, 17" wide, and 5" deep.


THE EVERYDAY SIZED CITY TOTE:

Functional & Structured; perfect for everyday adventures. Measures: 13" high by 13" wide and 4" deep.