So, after redesigning my original patten, here is the finished Shelstone Box Top with its brand new zip top…..
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I decided to make the zip long enough to start and finish on the side panels, rather than just being the length of the top of the bag, (hence the box top zip closing). This makes it even more practical and improves its functionality.
After being asked to create this Shelstone, I was then asked by the same lady to create another to be worn on the left shoulder instead of the right. This makes a difference with zip and pocket placement (you want the zip facing the front on whichever shoulder you wear the bag, so the zip is easily accessible; similarly, the inside phone pocket, situated on the inside side panel, needs to be at the front of the bag). All these requirements can be adapted so the bag is personal to how you use it.
For all the details, including prices and dimensions, please visit the Weekend and Travel Bags page.
Oh and did you notice – IT’S SNOWING ON MY BLOG!!!!!!!! Very exciting!
With all the ‘work’ (when is sewing ever work?!) for Christmas going on, I’ve been a bit behind with updating news of my projects. I was really excited to be asked to adapt an existing pattern for one of my favourite handbag designs so far. The Shelstone was originally designed with a snap-set closing, as shown below, but I was asked to create one with a box-top zip.
Creating one with a zip closing had been on my (rather long!) ‘to-do’ list, so it wasn’t yet something I had got round to completing, until a certain lovely lady requested one. It was then moved from half way down my list to the very top, and so began the pattern redrawing and redesigning.
Adapting an existing pattern isn’t always straightforward, so I literally took it back to the/my drawing board to work out what pieces needed to be adapted and what new pieces I needed to create….
…. fortunately throughout some of the (minor) head-scratching I had some of the very best advice on hand…..
So, after the pattern drawing was finished, I then started constructing all the pattern pieces and assembling the panels ready for creating the new version of Shelstone ….
…finished photos of the new design to follow….
Sightly later than planned, here are a few photos of the finished Huccaby…
As I said in my previous post, this was made using a lovely Japanese-inspired fabric….. there is only one of these satchels in existence and I believe it was for a very special 21st birthday pressie, which hopefully has been received by now (so I’m not spoiling anyone’s surprise)!
I love the finished combination of cream with that gorgeous green lining.
For all the information on this bag, please visit the Shoulder Bags by Ellie page.
After completing my first Huccaby design earlier this year, I wanted to start making another almost straight away. I had some beautiful Japanese-inspired fabric by Makower that I knew would be perfect for this satchel, so started thinking about the complimentary fabric I was going to use for the lining…. so many choices…..!
Because the main fabric has a delicate design, I wanted to use whatever complimentary fabric I chose for the buckle tabs as well; this would give it a bit of impact and bring out some of the colour in the main fabric. Having made the first satchel from a very strong colour and busier pattern, I wanted this one to look very different. I had kept hold of this particular fabric for a while, wanting to use it for just the right project and this was it!
So here are my fabric choices for this project…… more update photos to follow soon.
It has been a busy few weeks with the Bolla Tay Design Fair in Padstow at the beginning of August and all the work which preceded that, followed by all the work which followed that! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hello in sunny Padstow, talk about handbags and fabrics, and to those of you who are the new owners of a Handmade by Ellie handbag!
With all that’s gone on I haven’t had much time to update my blog with finished photos of the Shelstone Weekend handbag, so without further ado, here it is…
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I had great fun making this bag. It took a long time to ensure the snowflake design of the lining all matched up properly (like the spots on the Shelstone of my previous post), but it was worth it. This fabric is full of such vibrant, rich colours, it’ll add a touch of summer wherever it goes!
A bit of info about the bag – the Shelstone Weekend features a large inside zip pocket, two slip pockets, an inside side panel pocket as well as two buttoned pockets on the front. It has expandable sides – useful for all the things you need for a weekend away or a day out. For all information about the handbag, click here.
July is whizzing by and I haven’t yet posted an update of my progress on the Shelstone Weekend handbag…. so without further ado, here it is…..
This panel will form the front pockets of the bag. I think Makower’s complimentary spotty fabric looks great with the mint green main fabric. I was really pleased to find a perfect colour match with those buttons. I use the tailors chalk to mark exactly where the buttonholes need to go to ensure they are evenly spaced. The maroon and orange spotty fabric, which forms the trim at the top of the pocket, has to be cut and stitched so that the trim is even and the spots line up to the nearest millimetre…. Working with spots is great, but my goodness it can be frustrating sometimes!
Case in point was my very first Shelstone – if you look at the top of the red trim on the front pockets of the outside image of the bag, it sits exactly under a row of white spots; the bottom of the trim sits on top of a row of spots without cutting through the spots. The inside view shows the large interior pocket; again, I had to cut and stitch that so I didn’t stitch through a line of spots….
…That may sound easy, but because I back the main fabric with, on average, an extra three layers, including a quilting fabric, the panel pieces are so much thicker than a piece of cotton, so lining it all up does get a bit tricky. This pattern involved measuring so carefully before cutting the fabric (I always do, but this was something else!), as well as being super accurate when stitching all the pattern pieces together (I always am, but this was something else!).
I love spotty fabric (and I mean really love it!), but cutting and stitching with it and ensuring it’s all straight, is much more time-consuming than working with a plain fabric. I have to say, it is worth it though – this is still one of my favourite ever handbags.
After finishing my new satchel, I set to work on the other project I’d started during my machine troubles when all I could do was cut out lots of fabric…..
This gorgeous Henna fabric (sunshine fabric!) from my previous post in February is just a joy, and Makower did their usual wonderful trick of designing fabulous complimentary fabrics to bring out some of the other colours within the main print. So, as you can tell from the title of this post, I’ve decided to turn this into another Shelstone Weekend shoulder/travel bag.
Sometimes it can be tricky deciding which fabrics to use for which handbags, but the size of the Henna print lent itself to becoming a bigger bag, so it seemed like a natural choice. There’s still a way to go with this (front pockets, interior side pockets, zip pockets, side poppers….), but I thought I’d share this photo so you can see the colour combinations I’ll be using. This photo shows the main print, the darker print for the handles and the lovely mint green for the gorgeous lining.
So here it is! This is Huccaby, my brand new satchel! Buckles are attached, adjustable shoulder strap is finished and it’s ready to go…
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As with my other bags, Huccaby is made from quality cotton and is fully lined with quality interlining and quilting fabric, which not only helps strengthen the bag but also means it retains its shape.
Huccaby has a large, lined inside zipped pocket, big enough for a standard ipad, or large tablet, and the adjustable shoulder strap means you can wear it over the shoulder or across the body – whichever is more comfortable.
I’m really pleased with how this has turned out and look forward to making more in other fabrics.. so many fab colour possibilities….!
As ever, I’d love to hear what you think, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the comments button below.
For all the details on Huccaby, including price and dimensions, please see the Shoulder Bags by Ellie page.
My new satchel design is coming along a treat, so I thought I’d share this photo so you can catch a glimpse and let me know what you think……..
I’ve tracked down some great silver buckles, which I think will look really smart against this rich colour.
So, just got the adjustable handle to finish and the buckles to attach……. Photos to follow soon.
I’m aware my last post was the first for a while, and prior to that I had written that I would post photos of my new design. Well, that was my intention, but over the last couple of months I’ve had trouble with my normally very dependable sewing machine…. It started as an occasional glitch, but then got worse and it has taken me a while to get to the bottom of it. Turned out it was a problem with the tension on the removable bobbin case, but thankfully it’s now sorted (YAY!!) and I can finally get back to stitching away.
This meant that constructing my new design had to grind to a halt for a while (I did have a backup machine for other projects/orders, but it’s never quite the same as your own….); so I decided to use the opportunity to cut out and draw instead. I normally work on one project at a time, see it through, before starting something else, but my machine woes forced me to work a bit differently. So, I’ve been cutting, cutting, cutting, and now I have three projects on the go!
I can tell you that my new design is a satchel (I’ve wanted to design and make one of these for ages) and I’m pleased with progress so far….. Love the colours of this fabric……
As soon as I’d finished my Shelstone design, I set to work on a super-sized version. I took the pattern I’d created and worked to make the bag even bigger. I love the original sleek Shelstone size and shape, but wanted to push the design to see how big the bag could be whilst still being an oversize/everyday handbag as well.
I had the idea to add in expandable sides using poppers; this way it retains the original silhouette of the Shelstone when half full, but because the bottom and side panels are even bigger, you can pack this bag with even more when it’s fully open! This makes it the perfect handbag for a weekend away…
Click on the gallery to enlarge and scroll through –
For all the details, including price and dimensions, please visit the Weekend and Travel Bags by Ellie page.
After promising photos of my new handbag, here they are…!
Stylish and functional, Shelstone is the perfect handbag for so many occasions, whether you’re escaping for the weekend, working or travelling. The tailored straps give elegance and comfort, whilst the front pockets, phone pocket and large inside zipped pocket provide security and convenience whatever the event.
Click on the images to enlarge –
For all the information, including prices and dimensions, please click on the Weekend and Travel Bags by Ellie page.