15 January 2012

217. Simplicity 2350 Almost-Perfect Travel Tote

I travel a bit for work, and since most of my trips are 3-4 days long, I do a pretty good job packing EVERYTHING in my 18" rollerbag and a shoulder bag (i.e. I almost never check luggage).  My shoulder bag in recent years, which counts as a "personal item" per U.S. airline regulations, was a conference bag made of ballistic nylon.  It was pretty basic/ ugly, and the polyester straps were so uncomfortable, but the size and functionality were pretty solid.  The zipper broke about a year ago, and instead of making a copy, I sewed a replacement bag from Simplicity 2350 / Cynthia Rowley.

01 January 2012

216. Happy New Year! Norma Envelope Clutch - free pattern

Happy New Year!!!  New Year's Day is my favorite holiday!  But how would you know or remember that, given my propensity toward semiannual blog updates?  I plan to blog more frequently in 2012.  I've missed sharing my sewing exploits, and I have talked myself out of posting some patterns and tutorials for silly reasons.  This year, I'll just put it all out there and maybe it will be of use to someone, somewhere in the world, just when they need it.

First up in the new year is a free pattern and pseudo-tutorial (you'll see what I mean in a moment) for an envelope clutch.  I was OBSESSED this summer with sewing pleather, and faux suede, and other new-to-me fabrics, and I was digging the envelope clutches all over street style blogs and Pinterest.  I'm comfortable sewing clothes, so putting together a bag has never been a technical concern.  But when it comes to bags, there are often curves and proportions that look better when they're planned, and not made up on the fly.

I drafted a pattern and sewed the first prototype for this envelope clutch in October, and when I took it out one evening, my friend Norma gushed.  Norma has a very strong sense of personal style -- a way of looking appropriate and trendsetting and fashionable -- and I could not have been more surprised how much she liked the clutch!  I had to make her one for her recent birthday, and name this in her honor.  :)

Download the Norma Envelope Clutch Pattern here.  And the brief pseudo-tutorial follows the jump.