Sugar & Spice Bag Pattern Review

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Disclaimer: Unsolicited Pattern Review

I had so much fun making this bag from ChrisW Designs “Sugar and Spice” pattern.  The pattern is so easy to follow.  She provides both visual explanation as well as text-only.  I printed the text-only pages with the pattern pieces and used it literally as a check-list as I proceeded through the construction.  It was nice to be able to look at the visual instructions on the computer when I would get stuck which only happened twice and had nothing to do with the pattern instructions.  All me folks.

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What was great about this project is that I learned a few new skills along the way.  I have wanted to learn to place a recessed zipper for a long time (shown above).  I never even considered making a project featuring piping, let alone MAKING the piping first!  I was really nervous because I don’t even own a zipper foot.  Gasp, I know.  I really want to own a zipper foot and if I am going to make more of these bags (yes) I definitely will get one.  My little foot was literally riding on top of the piping the entire time so I could get in close.  Listen, you do what you have to do when you are working the right job with the wrong tools and you are too excited to wait and get a stinkin zipper foot.  That’s just how I roll.

image (2) - CopyThis pattern includes lots of great pockets and she even encourages you to adjust the interior pockets to your liking.  I made three pen pockets, an iPhone pocket, and a couple extras just for….stuff.

The bags I typically make don’t include much hardware outside of the occasional magnet or snap.  I opted out of the rivets but fell in love with the strap rings.  I didn’t want to over-hardware myself on the first try.

All in all, this pattern is SO well written and easy to follow.  The bag is stunning and I am really excited to make another one.  I might square out the bottom because I am not comfortable with sewing on the curves but we will see.  If it ain’t broke….right?  I highly recommend this pattern and am looking forward to trying out another ChrisW Designs purse pattern soon.  Enjoy!!


Easy-Schmeasy Pillow Cover

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I live for the quality Hand-Me-Down.  Whether it be clothes from the older cousins, great-grandma’s recipes, or these pillows that just needed some love and attention.  These pillows are feather-stuffed and fabulous….except for the stains and broken zippers.  We’ll look past that and see them for their true value of feathery softness!!  They will look great on my other recent hand-me-down, a huge brown microfiber sectional couch in nearly-new condition.

This guide is very easy, but very non-specific so you can apply it to any size pillow you are updating.  I would like to thank all of the perfectionists for stopping by.  I truly do appreciate you but this day is not for you.  There are no measurements, just a method of assembly. Read on if you wish, but any hair-pulling on your part will fall under the “I warned you” category.  😉

So, here is what we are working with – large dingy old pillows with broken zippers but they are stuffed with feathers just waiting to be loved!  Fluffy and cuddly and yes please!  One final goodbye:

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First, bring your pillow to the fabric store with you.  I didn’t because I am a rebel but you should unless you also throw caution to the wind.  I figured I’ll just make an awesome bag out of any leftovers.  You will need three layers of fabric just larger than the size of your pillow.  See pic:

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After you cut something similar to the above pic (times 3), you then cut several inches off of two of the layers on one end.  I ended up cutting off more (3 inches shown) – cut off about 6 inches or so depending on how large the pillow is that you are covering.  Major “ish” factor applied.  It doesn’t matter as long as you leave plenty of room for overlap.  (I folded the fabrics up so you could see all three layers – nothing special happening there, just visual clarity.)

2014-03-06 12.12.53Next, on the two short ends that you have cut:  SEPARATELY make a clean edge each.  Fold under twice and sew as shown.  We are just making a pretty edge for the opening.  Again, no need to measure as long as you can handle a straight line.  If not, iron before sewing to make life easier.  See below:

2014-03-06 12.15.52Now we are going to assemble the pillow.  Essentially, we are making an envelope.  Place the largest piece right-side-up.  Top with the two smaller pieces, overlapped in the middle right-side-down (so right sides are together) and pin all around the edges.  Sew all four edges and clip the corners.  Turn right side out and stuff with your pillow.

A few hours (and 700 distractions) later….(excuse the toys in the background)

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Enjoy your gorgeous new pillow at an insane savings.  Decorative pillow covers can cost you well over $50 per pillow in large brand name stores.  For this set of four, I spent under $20.

If DIY is not for you, visit Heather at Castaway Cove Decor on Etsy.  She has beautiful covers at a very fair price.  She also provides her scraps to me for my bag creations – Thank You Heather!