Thursday, August 13, 2020

Bergen Bag - Pattern Release!

The Bergen Bag is the perfect everyday handbag. This firmly structured bag is big enough for a book or iPad on top of the necessities, and it has been designed with travel in mind. Many open slip pockets so everything has its place, and a large safe zipper lining pocket, with room for both boarding passes and passports.

It's available in English and Swedish and has both inch and centimeter measurements, and it's available HERE.

This bag comes with many different design options, it can be made with bag frame (open ended or closed) or zipper closure, with handle connectors or without or with high or low bottom decor.

Left: Zipper top closure, handle connectors and low bottom.
Middle: Open ended frame closure, handle connectors, high bottom.
Right: Closed end frame closure, no handle connectors, low bottom.

Finished size: ~10” (25cm) high, ~13” (33cm) wide and 4” (10cm) deep at the base.

The version with the closed ended frame has a slightly smaller top piece to accommodate. This version without handle connectors is slightly faster to make, and requires no rectangle ring hardware. 

This is made with Cotton and Steel quilting cotton, the line is "Santa Fe" by Sarah Watts and the print is "Stone in Turquoise", matched with a vinyl. It's lined with an unknown brown from my stash ;) 

The bottom is extremely sturdy, no bulging bottoms here!

This open ended frame version with the handle connectors and high bottom decor I made with Tula Pink's "All Star" line with the "Tail Feathers" print in poppy, also matched with a vinyl. The lining is from Tula's "De La Luna" line, the print is "I see you" in mystic. The beautiful hardware is all from Emmaline Bags.

The Bergen Bag is named after the beautiful city Bergen in Norway, which I visited a few times in my childhood. 

All the pockets!! I love being able to line up all my things in it's own pocket, so many open pockets are a must for me. 

The zipper pocket is discreetly hidden in the seam and barely even visible when closed. These zipper pockets are my own invention and are sewn without cutting a hole, so no uneven pocket openings with wonky corners!

The zipper closure version is made in Robert Kaufman "Atlantia" print cotton in charcoal colorway, matched with marine blue faux leather and another unknown brown from my stash. The zipper version is very elegant too and quickly became a favourite among my testers!

How to get that perfect, tight fitting lining is thoroughly described in the pattern, so expect your linings to be perfectly fitted! 

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My fantastic pattern testers were awesome as ever and tested the pattern for me, and just look at all the gorgeous Bergen Bags that were sewn! A sincere thank you goes out to each and everyone one of you for helping me make each new pattern -  into my best pattern yet! 

I'm so very grateful for all your help and hard work!

Anette Lundin - Made this drop dead gorgeous, closed frame version in a blue furniture fabric matched with a black vinyl. Her bag has the high bottom decor and handle connectors and is just sooo classy and classic looking! 

Sofia Nilsson - of TRÅkärlek whom can be found here on Instagram and here on Facebook, made two absolutely breathtakingly stunning bags! With zipper closure, no handle connectors and low bottoms. I love them both, but just LOOK at the pattern matching in the first one here with the roses on the inside of the bag, isn't it amazing?! 

Doris Lövgren - whom can be found here on Instagram made this oh so beautiful floral version paired with a stunning light brown leather! So very pretty! Her's is a zipper closure, high bottomed version with handle connectors.  

Tamra Morley - of Tamras Textiles made this absolutely amazing all cork version! So very classy and cool! And look at that beautiful embroidered logo! This is the open frame version, with handle connectors and a low bottom decor. 

Christine Davis - of Bags by Bags of Style whom can be found here on Facebook and here on Instagram made this absolutely adorable version! I love how she used those polka dot, ready made handles, and that cute piping was just the icing on the cake! This is a zipper closure low bottom version.

Becky McCoy - of Simply Memorable Bags made this so beautiful and very happy version! Loving the cute print and that bright pink lining is just amazing! Can't help but smile when you open that bag! This is a zipper closure, low bottom version with handle connectors.

Anne-Le Wängelin - whom can be found here on Instagram made these two, absolutely stunning versions! Love that she added a key strap to them. The beautiful Tula Pink one with it's bright and happy colors are right up my alley, but so is the lovely black one! Both are made with closed ended frames, handle connectors and low bottom decor. 

Margareth Tai - Bags by Mags can be found here on Instagram, made this absolutely adorable polka dot version! Classic and cute! It's a zip closure, low bottom decor without handle connectors version. 

Kristin - whom can be found here on Instagram made this just stunning version! Love the classy outside matched with that happy polka dot lining! This is a closed ended frame, low bottom version with handle connectors. 

Eva Arthursson - made this simply gorgeous poppy version! I just love this! Poppies are one of my favourite flowers so this is just perfect in my book! This is a closed ended frame, low bottom version with handle connectors. 

Lori Peoples - whom can be found here on Instagram made this insanely stunning and cool version! Look at those details, the decor on the handle connectors, the beautiful handles, the piping and tassels, all oh so beautiful! This is a low bottom decor, zipper closure version with handle connectors. 

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Skipped Stitches and Tension Issues - Help

"My machine can't sew several layers of interfacing" 
"My tension is off"
"My machine skips stitches when I try to sew vinyl" 

Some of the most common cries for help during my classes. As I can't teach classes right now, I thought I'd compile a list of remedies for these issues here, for easy reference for you all =)

 Usually these issues are easily solved by playing around with your machines settings or with simple adjustments of tools used. People are often afraid of adjusting top thread tension, presser foot pressure and similar - but there's absolutely no need to be! I'm here to help you! My patterns are made to be sewn on your domestic machine, and for all my patterns,  I always sew one of my own tester bags on my domestic Husqvarna Opal 690Q, to make sure I'm not asking too much of your machines out there ;)

If you're very unsure about this and currently have settings that work for your most common sewing, take pictures with your phone of your machines tension and similar settings before you start playing around with them.

Skipped stitches

If you experience pretty much any issue when sewing, always start by rethreading your machine top and bottom making sure all is correct, clean out the bobbin area/under your needle plate and change to a brand new needle.

  1. Switch to a brand new needle, preferably a topstitch needle (they have a longer and bigger eye, allowing the thread to move freely and catch the bottom thread more easily). I sew pretty much exclusively with topstitch needles. For thick layers, a 90/14 or 100/16 needle is usually needed for proper penetration.

  2. You might need to increase (higher number on the dial/setting) your presser foot pressure to compact your layers, and help the thread catch. Increase it a little at a time, to ensure your fabric still feeds evenly. Many machines especially have an issue with the presser foot pressure becoming too low when using a walking foot.

    On the Juki 2200 QVP mini you adjust your pressure foot pressure like this:

    On the Husqvarna Opal 690q you press the SET menu (A) to get to your settings and there at the top you can adjust you P-foot pressure at the very top. Increase the number for higher pressure.
  3. It might be that your machine has issues keeping the pressure foot pressure even. Switch from a walking foot if you use that to a teflon or roller foot. If you’re already working with a teflon foot, try a slimmer one such as an edge stitch foot or a zipper foot (like the universal one in the photo, they’re available for most machines). This will allow the entire foot to lay flat on the fabric while you sew, keeping the pressure even even if you're working next to bulky interfacing for example.

    If you don’t have a slimmer foot but can move your needle, try moving your needle as far to the right as it will go, so as much as possible of your presser foot is on the fabric when you sew, keeping the pressure even. But I highly recommend getting one of these feet, they're amazing for everything from bag making, zipper installations and piping.

  4. If you always experience the skipped stitch when making a turn with the needle down, the reason for that is that you haven allowed the machine to "go all the way" and finish the stitch before you stop and continue sewing. Meaning that the bottom thread hasn't catched to top before you keep sewing. So allow your machine to come to a full stop on it's own, or even hand crank the machine so the needle has just started to move up again in the stitch - to ensure the bottom thread catches.

  5. If you experience skipped stitches when sewing over a thick seam allowance, or when sewing a thick strap for example, that's also because it makes your pressure foot pressure uneven due to the leaning angle of the presser foot. To remedy this, you can use a "hump jumper" or "seam jumper" that often comes with your machine. Place the little plastic piece under the back of your presser foot to bring the back of the pressure foot up to the same height as the seam allowance or strap, before it starts leaning. If you don't have a hump jumper, you can do like I do and fold up  some scraps to the correct height and use that instead to level out the presser foot. 

Saving a skipped stitch after sewing the seam

If you need to save a skipped stitch without unpicking the entire seam, I show you how I do that in this short video, to view full size on YouTube, please go here:

Tension Issues

If you experience pretty much any issue when sewing, always start by rethreading your machine top and bottom making sure all is correct, clean out the bobbin area/under your needle plate and change to a brand new needle. 

  1. If you’re having issues with your tension there’s a simple rule:
    * If you can see the bottom thread on the top of the fabric - top thread tension is too high = Decrease (turn to a lower number on the dial/setting) the top thread tension.
    A highly unlikely issue when working with thick layers - if your machine is threaded correctly that is.

    If you can see the top thread on the bottom of your project - top tension is too loose = Increase (turn to a higher number on the dial/setting) tension.
  2. In the unlikely case that your top tension dial isn’t doing the trick despite being “maxed out” in either direction, try rethreading your thread, top and bottom with your presser foot up. Before rethreading the top thread, with your presser foot still up so the tension discs are loose, blow hard into them to clean out between the two top tension discs to remove any dust or thread residues. Restart your machine if it’s a computerized one.

    On the Juki 2200 QVP mini the tension discs are clearly visible and just by the tension dial

    On the Husqvarna Opal 690q and many similarly constructed domestic machines, the tension discs are "hidden" in the first (to the right) vertical opening the thread goes through when you thread your machine.  So not the left opening with the little "lever" that goes up and down as you sew. 

    If you remove the little middle section by carefully pushing up and out from the bottom of the plastic piece (thanks dad for that tip!) you can clearly see the discs and clean between them easier. You might not be able to do do this on other brands.
  3. If none of those things help, you might have to adjust the bottom thread tension to get this seam perfect. Please check your machine manual or YouTube, as there's a few too many peculiarities with this for the many different kinds of machines to list here.

    If you have a Juki 2200 QVP mini like me, all the ones I've had in classes come from the factory  with slightly too loose bottom thread tension IMHO, so I almost always end up adjusting that for my students when they bring their Juki 2200 QVP mini to class. 
I hope you found this helpful! =)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Catania Card Holder - Pattern Release!

I'm so excited to be able to release my new Catania Card Holder pattern! This cute little card holder / tiny wallet is super quick and so fun to make! Perfect when you need to whip up a quick gift! It's unisex and perfect for men or women alike. It can be made with the zipper pocket fully lined or without lining, and with or without clear ID card pocket. It's a raw edge pattern made for cork, vinyls, faux or real leather, "Kraft paper"-fabric and similar materials that can have their edges left raw.

The best thing is - its available for FREE for all members of my Facebook Group, feel free to join!

It's available in English and Swedish and has both inch and centimeter measurements, if you wish to buy it instead, it's available here.

It has two card pockets on the front (but I stuff more than one card in each).

You can choose to either make it with an ID card pocket:
Or with a simple back pocket.

You can make it with or without lining, my yellow one here has an adorable Tula Pink Fairy Dust scrap as lining.

It's the perfect little wallet for many of my smaller bag patterns, like this one here in my Singapore Sling Bag. 

This gold one is the original one, I made it as a christmas gift for my hubby as he'd begged me for a small, sleek little card holder with room for coins for a long time.  One he could carry in his jean pocket. And I couldn't find a pattern that struck my fancy, so this design was born. 

It's made with kraft-tex paper, very fun and easy material to work with for this design. This is the back.

I made myself one out of white glitter vinyl, it's beautiful in real life, but photographs absolutely horrible *lol* It looks so boring, but it's actually pretty IRL =)

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My amazing pattern testers were awesome as ever and tested the pattern for me, and just look at all the amazing little card holders that were sewn! A sincere thank you goes out to each and everyone one of you for helping me make each new pattern -  into my best pattern yet! 

I'm so very grateful for all your help and hard work!

Pia Jestin - whom can be found here on Instagram made these beautiful, contrast stitched kraft-paper versions, lovely!

And she also made this classic black faux leather version

Margareth Tai - Bags by Mags can be found here on Instagram, made this absolutely stunning glitter cork version! So pretty!

Cheryl Wright Simmerman - of Adarra Handmade who's impressive production I envy, didn't make one or two, but four stunning cork versions, and I love the clever little D-ring tab she added.

Eva Halvarsson - of Borlänge Sycentrum made these two so very cool, but oh so hard to photograph 3D vinyl ones, so lovely!

Anja - whom you can find on instagram here made this pretty natural cork one, with such a sunny lining, so cute!

Annette - made this lovely red vinyl version with white contrast stitching!

Anna Van Berlo - Whom you can find here on Instagram made this pretty and classic faux leather one.

Eva Arthursson - made these two beautiful Catanias, one in vinyl and one in cork.

Doris Lövgren - made this super pretty bordeaux coloured one with a classy gold pull.