Mug Rug Inspiration and Free Gift Tag

I am on a¬†kick with mug rugs lately! Not only are they super fun to make (and don’t take near the amount of time an actual quilt would), they make great gifts so I’m stocking up for the holidays ūüėČ

In addition to sharing some of the mug rugs I’ve had fun constructing, I’ve thrown in a few extra goodies – links to free patterns & tutorials as well as FREE printable gift tags designed by yours truly especially for you!


mug rug blog post

“What’s a mug rug?” you ask?¬†A mug rug looks an awful lot like a potholder, but functions like an oversized coaster + mini placemat.

I have one on my desk at work. Not only does it add a pop of color and pizzazz to my office decor, but it keeps my smoothie and water bottle from smearing condensation all over my desk.

I¬†gifted the one pictured below to my stepmom and she said it’s been very useful on her desk as well!

mug rug

I picked up a quilting book from Red Hen Fabrics a while ago. The book teaches you how to build several different quilt blocks. The pinwheel design caught my eye so I figured I’d give it a try for a mug rug. It was much easier than I thought and I’ll definitely be visiting the design again!

If you’re interested in trying out the pinwheel block design, here is a great tutorial for how to make the perfect pinwheel.

mug rug 2a

{Front of the Liberty of London scrap mug rug}

The mug rug above is made from Liberty of London scraps I snagged from Mad For Fabric on Instagram. The pieces are mostly too small to sew as a traditional block so I used some pretty messy zig zag stitching to keep them in place.

As you can see on the back, the zig zag was pretty crazy, but it looks kind of fun, right?!

mug rug 2b

{Back of the Liberty of London scrap mug rug}

Perhaps in the future I should attach the scraps to the batting and add the backing fabric after all the craziness ūüėČ

One of my favorite mug rugs so far is this one (which I’m saving¬†for my sister):

mug rug 3

Last month I joined the Palmetto Modern Quilt Guild¬†and at my first meeting the President showed up with 3 gallon size bags FULL of beautiful scraps. She let us pass them around to¬†plunder and take what we wanted. She had a lot of modern designer fabric that I have been admiring online, but hadn’t splurged on yet. I jumped on the scraps to use for mug rugs!

Here is a great tutorial for how to create a frame quilt block (a great way to “frame” a design like I did with the mermaid above – except that the tutorial includes a way cooler frame design!).

mug rug

I think the mug rug above is the one I’m most proud of! I followed this tutorial from Owen’s Olivia (linked again below). This could be a newbie issue, but once I had the top pieced together, I realized that it was much smaller than the backing I’d cut. This worked out great because I was able to wrap the backing around for the binding (yep, no separate binding attachment! A great time saver).

Here is a great tutorial for how to bind¬†a quilt with the backing. Speaking of binding, here’s a helpful post from Crazy Mom Quilts on how to bind tiny things.

Even by “cheating”, the mug rug still came out to the specified dimensions: 8 1/2 inches square.

Mug-rug-gift-making-hack: If you are following a tutorial and cutting specific sized pieces, cut double what you need so that you can make two at a time. Since they are pretty quick to sew, it’s much easier to sew them simultaneously than one at a time (for the same design at least).

Want to make your own mug rug?

You totally should! I’m sharing some fun [free] patterns and tutorials I’ve found around the blogosphere and beyond. Each image links directly to its source – if you see one you like, just click the image and you’ll be routed to the tutorial.

I don’t usually follow a specific pattern when I’m making my mug rugs. I’ve been using these as opportunities to build my quilting skills. I just find a quilt block tutorial I like and give it a shot.¬†When I get it to a size I like, I stop and add binding. It’s been a really great way to build my quilting skills and knowledge as well as use up a lot of fabric scraps ūüôā

If your quilt block comes out too big, just turn it into a pillow cover {PS: my Pillow Ideas Pinterest Board might be of help here ūüėČ }

Mug Rug Patterns & TutorialsNote:¬†these are not my tutorials nor have I followed all of them (yet!) unless otherwise noted. They all look fabulous and I intend to try them out, but in the meantime I wanted to share them with you and also to credit their source – please click the image to find the artist’s tutorial.

Honeycomb Mug Rug from Going Home to Roost

honeycomb

Honeycomb Mug Rug Pattern and Tutorial from Going Home to Roost

Mini-Hexie Mug Rug via Craftsy

hexie 2

Here’s another hexagon-themed mug rug – you can find the free pattern & tutorial on Craftsy

Peppermint Twist Mug Rug via Fort Worth Fabric Studio

peppermint

Peppermint Twist Table Runner and Mug Rug Tutorial from Twiggy and Opal via the Forth Worth Fabric Studio Blog

Half Star Mug Rug from Owen’s Olivia

half star

Half Star Mug Rug Tutorial + How to Match the Binding to a Design from Owen’s Olivia

Looking for more ideas? Check out my Quilting Pinterest Board!

Tips on How to Gift a Mug Rug

The obvious choice is to pair a handmade mug rug with a mug when gifting.

Mug recommendations:

  • Handmade mug from a local potter (My favorite: Kyle Smith – I can’t say enough great things about Kyle! His pottery is incredible quality and he’s just a super cool guy [who, btw, teaches art – including pottery! – to middle schoolers…bless him!] you can find him most weekends at the Soda City market and he’ll also be at Crafty Feast! Follow him on Facebook to stay in the loop.)
  • Vintage teacup – hit up your favorite thrift store and search the shelves! {For teacup inspiration, check out my recap of the¬†DIY Bridal Tea Party my sister helped me throw for my BFF Caroline!}

Accessories you could pair with the mug rug:

  • Handmade tea bags & blends – use this picture to inspire you to make your own hand-stitched tea bags! You can find loose tea in most specialty grocery stores or google around to find some recipes.
  • Share your favorite pre-made tea bags with this adorable paper teapot¬†(DIY it with some pretty¬†scrapbook paper) to hold them!
  • Got a techy tea-lover on your gift list? Gift them this super fun robot tea infuser!

FREE Printable Gift Tags!

Because your recipient may not instinctively know your beautiful mini-quilt-of-sorts is actually an incredibly useful¬†mug rug [and you don’t want to risk it being called a potholder because that’s a real downer], I’ve designed a FREE Printable Gift Tag for you to attach!

Below is an image of version 1 of the gift tag. Click here or on the image to open a printable document.

mug rug tag

{Click image for free printable!}

The document contains 2 different versions of the tags: on page 1 there are 3 larger, rectangular tags (like the one pictured above). On the second page, there are 6 smaller, rectangular tags (like in the image below). Just pick your preference and print the corresponding page.

You can print these on card stock and punch a hole in the top left to attach with¬†yarn or ribbon (like I did in the picture below) or you can use the version on the first page to wrap around the mug rug. You could even glue the tags to scrapbook paper or other colorful paper¬†to frame them. Be creative! ūüôā

mug rug 2

Note: You are welcome to use the printable for personal use (to attach to gifts). Please do not use my tag to profit in any way (selling of the document/images or attaching the tags to sold goods is not permitted). Feel free to contact me {find my info here} if you have any questions on how you can use the gift tags. 

Thank you for supporting this little blog of mine! I would¬†love to see your mug rugs – tag me on Instagram (@jordslice11) or post your image on the blog’s Facebook page.

Happy mug-rug-making! ūüôā

Birthday Month Giveaway #3

Congratulations to my crafty friend Shanika of Life is Pichey for winning last week’s giveaway of 6¬†Cookies by Cat!

cookies

I assure you this was purely coincidental – Rafflecopter holds me to random winners and it just so happens that my friend Shanika is quite clever at following all of the options for entry (be sure to follow as many of the prompts as possible when entering for extra entries!).

This week I’ll be giving away 1 pair of silver plated sailboat charm earrings!

giveaway3

These earrings are handmade by me, but they are possibly the easiest handmade jewelry I’ve ever made! If you’ve got hands that can clamp plyers, you can absolutely make these! All you need are dangle earring posts (these can be found at Michael’s or any arts & craft store), a charm of your choosing (you can find charms in your local craft store or on Etsy here are some sailboat charms similar to mine) and matching jump rings (these can also be found in your local craft store or on Etsy). Just bend the jump rings slightly to open them and hook the charm to the post. (Make sure that the charms are facing outward when hooked to the ear.) That’s all – isn’t that so easy?!

sailboats

My sister and I originally ordered these charms to make gifts for her to give to her¬†besties on her wedding day (I was the only “bridesmaid,” but her circle of best¬†friends¬†worked just as hard to make her day special and we wanted to make sure they knew we appreciated it!). I made them necklaces – like this one¬†(PS: This necklace is still up for auction – proceeds benefit the Seven Oaks Elementary families who have been affected by the recent flood – read more here. So if you want one of your own, bid on it by commenting on the picture on Facebook!)¬†– and used the leftover charms for simple earrings. Super easy handmade gift!

Enter this week’s giveaway

One lucky winner will receive 1 pair of silver plated sailboat earrings made by me!

** Click here to enter the giveaway **

This giveaway will be open until midnight on Sunday, October 25, 2015.

Because the earrings will be shipped to the winner, you will be required to leave your mailing address when entering the giveaway. Your address will only be used for prize mailing purposes. In addition, your email address is also required РI will contact the winner via email and will also provide a tracking number for the package via email. 

Please read this post for more information about my birthday month giveaways. 

My Day Tripper Top

I love everything about this top! It turned out¬†nothing¬†like I’d planned, but I’m practically living in it so obviously it worked out great!

day tripper

My Day Tripper Top

The Day Tripper Top has been in my pile of “patterns to make” for a¬†long time. I got the top as part of the Just Add Jeans Collection from Pattern Anthology. I rediscovered it a few weeks ago while reorganizing my patterns (and realizing how many I’d been hoarding that needed to be made!).

My goal was to try to replicate this version (with the fabric I had on hand):

Daytripper3

{Photo via Schwin Designs – click the image to see the source}

Originally I had planned to include the shoulder tabs – I had even bought some cute buttons for it, but completely skipped over the part of the instructions where I was supposed to jump ahead to add them. Oops.

I¬†love pockets so I wanted to include them (and I did…at first). Because I cut the shortest version of the shirt (in an attempt to make a petite version), the pockets bunched up at the waistband and ultimately I ended up spending a lot of time with my seam ripper taking them out.

I also removed the waistband (which was purple to match the neckband) because the purple fabric I chose wasn’t as stretchy as it probably needed to be and made the waistband a little too fitted for my taste. Honestly, I don’t normally love the look of the fitted waist band (like pictured above) on me. It looks great on others (like on the model above!), but it’s not a look I’m any good at rockin’. So it actually worked out well to remove it.

For the bottom hem, I just did a regular ole tuck-and-sew (that’s completely made up and not a real method…as far as I know).

Removing the waistband made the shirt a little short, but it’s actually a great length for me (hits just below the waist of my pants…on anyone else that would be a crop top, but for me it works!).

I don’t normally love high-low hems, but this one is subtle like in the Date Night Dress so it’s just right!

I¬†adore the look of the sleeve bands – I fell in love with sleeve bands when I tested Addie K’s Amenity pattern (which I highly recommend – that was possibly the¬†quickest pattern I’ve¬†ever sewn!) – for some reason I find them¬†way easier than the tuck-and-sew for hemming.

For my Day Tripper Top, I used a floral knit that I found on clearance at my local Hancock Fabrics (it was super soft like a ponte, but light like jersey and not too stretchy, but stretchy enough. It was basically what knit dreams are made of). The purple knit was courtesy of my lovely (and mega-talented) friend, Addie, from the time I tested her Amenity pattern (I know I just said it, but let me say it again: I¬†highly recommend that pattern! Especially with the cool weather approaching. It’s an easy, quick sew that would also make a great holiday gift for someone you like enough to sew clothes for).

Here’s proof of me enjoying my Day Tripper:

day tripper 1

trippin’ through the day with my sister

Oh – and – see those matching bags my sister & I are carrying? I’d love to tell you I made them, but I did not. Last year at Vintage Charlotte, I discovered Sans Maps and have been SO in love with my Chloe Messenger Bag. I let my sister borrow it a few months ago and she was smitten.

I plan to make many more versions of the Day Tripper Top so stay tuned!

My First Date Night Dress and Slip

Y’all know my love for April Rhodes‘ fabric from my first quilt, but did you know she also designs garment patterns?! I hadn’t made any of her patterns¬†yet, but I’d had the Date Night Dress pattern in my “to-make” pile for a while.

I’m trying to make more clothing to build my handmade wardrobe. The Date Night Dress pattern is pretty straight forward so I figured it was a great piece¬†to jump back into garment-making with.

The Date Night Dress

To begin with, my sister’s birthday was coming up so I made a “muslin” to test the pattern which I planned to give to her for her birthday (she fits typical clothing sizes better than I do). I shortened the size Medium by 2 inches and it was still a bit long for her, but she claims to like it ūüôā

Here is how it turned out:

datenightdress2

Katie’s Date Night Dress!

That adorable floral knit fabric is from Girl Charlee.

For my own Date Night Dress, I shortened the pattern an additional 2 inches (4 inches total) and brought the neckline in and up a bit. I used a burgundy linen blend fabric that I picked up a JoAnn’s for my version.

datenightdress1

My Date Night Dress!

Fits perfectly! I’m so glad I took the time to adjust the pattern as I was going to best fit me. Now I’ll easily be able to whip up future, well-fitting Date Night Dresses with ease!

The Simple Slip

One of the cool features of the Date Night Dress pattern is that it comes with a second pattern: a simple slip!¬†When Rachel from Sew Happily recommended this pattern to me, she recommended making the slip because the arm holes are quite large (which is actually¬†really nice when you live in an area with extremely hot and humid summers like we do… Hello, air flow!). Since neither of the materials I used were translucent (and I thought a¬†matching bra or undershirt would suffice), I considered skipping it. But I knew a slip would be worth my time because of its versatility so I gave in.

For my slip, I ordered this rayon challis fabric in ivory from Imagine Gnats. It was so soft! Perfect for a slip. With 2 yards, I even had enough left over to make my own bias tape for the straps:

bias tape

I shortened the slip the same amount that I shortened the dress. I ended up cutting off the first set of straps I made (I think I attached them wrong – there was a double layer across the back that didn’t look great) and bringing the armpit in a bit (for some reason it was gaping open awkwardly on me). It was worth the modifications because the fit is great on this one too!

slip

I’m excited to keep plundering through my “to-make” list so stay tuned! I reorganized all my patterns last weekend and rediscovered a lot of great tops and dresses I had forgotten about (like the entire Just Add Jeans collection from Pattern Anthology). I’ve already got a Day Tripper top (pattern by Shwin Designs) underway and hope to have it finished soon – pictures to come!

Handmade Scarf Swap

A few weeks ago, I got wind of a Handmade Scarf Swap being hosted by two of my very favorite sewing bloggers: Sew Caroline and Sewbon. I can’t say my scarf endeavors have been particularly impressive, however I’ve successfully made a few infinity scarves so I knew I’d have¬†something¬†I could make. With that quick self-convincing, I immediately jumped on applying to be a part of this swap. And lo-and-behold, I actually got accepted! {insert happy dance}

scarf swapI did a little research [like I always do…#DataNerdHabit] and decided to stick with infinity scarves because it’s all I really know in the land of scarves (plus, who doesn’t love an infinity scarf?!).

The only information I had for my buddy was her Instagram profile (which I immediately stalked for ideas).

I had some¬†gorgeous¬†bright batik-ish print fabric [with zebras!] from Butterfly Vintage that I knew I wanted to use and after browsing my partner’s profile I decided I thought¬†(*hoped*) she’d like it too!

Before the holidays I had picked up some cream colored minky fabric in hopes of making a few scarves as gifts before leaving for England (that didn’t happen…). I decided to use that as my “lining” fabric for the scarf.

Minky is stretchy and a total pain to sew. I’m sure there are tips on how to sew it, but I didn’t research that part…

Anyhow, version #1 turned out a little shorter than I had hoped – it fit more like a cowl.

Version 1

Version 1

I can’t lie…after seeing my partner’s scarf, I was seriously inspired and desperately wanted to use faux fur.

scarf3

Teal faux fur + floral chiffon!! #want [Photo credit: @hcsharp on Instagram]

I set off to JoAnn’s (I had zero time to search online for more options so big box shop it was). Their faux fur selection was weak. The only soft fur they had was a kind of swirly cream. It was actually perfect, but after seeing the TEAL my partner used, I kind of wanted something more fun.

Nonetheless, version 2 turned out strikingly similar to version 1…

version 2

version 2

The unfortunate similarity: it was still shorter than I’d hoped. Le sigh. My perfectionism sometimes gets the best of me, but I’m trying desperately to suppress it. (Plus, I was out of faux fur because I only bought 1/4 yard – which btw is the perfect width for a scarf [should your local craft store employee cut a straight line unlike mine]. I also recommend immediately washing and drying it because those fuzzies get¬†everywhere before you do).

I knew I wanted to send a little bundle of goodies along with the scarf and I had 2 ideas:

1. Per my buddy’s Instagram profile, I gathered that she is the mother of two adorable girls (again, y’all know my love for a sister bond!). As a reminder of her precious girls, I made her a brown bird nest necklace with two light pink moonstone faceted beads (one for each of her daughters).

2. Additionally, I happened to figure out that she is from South Carolina (how ironic!). As a little reminder of home, I contacted my favorite local potter, Kyle Smith, to see if he had any of his palmetto tree ornaments left. I picked up one as a gift to the Hubs’ family in England and they¬†loved it. Luckily, he had one left!

ksmith ornament

Palmetto tree ornament handmade by Kyle Smith Pottery.

I gathered all the treasures up and wrote her a note on one of Rachel Tenny’s Flower Cards¬†and got so giddy thinking about her receiving the package!

scarf swap2

I whipped up a calligraphy address label for her and wrapped the package in my favorite polka dotted kraft paper (from Target) and delivered it to the good people of the USPS to take to my new friend in Oklahoma.

scarf package

Meanwhile, I received my scarf last week from my #HandmadeScarfSwap partner too!

scarf package

Pretty packages are my favorite!

My partner (Virginia of Chaos and Adventure) rocked it.

I’ve been really into floral patterns lately and this soft, neutral toned scarf is exactly the accessory my wardrobe was in desperate need of ūüėČ

Because it will literally match everything, I will probably wear it ALL THE TIME. #NotSorryAboutThat

Because it will literally match everything, I will probably wear it ALL THE TIME. #NotSorryAboutThat

My partner said this was her first time doing a flat felled seam (which clueless ole me had to look up – if you’re curious too, you view a tutorial here). Not a blemish on that seam…I would never have guessed it was her first time trying a new method!

scarf seam

The seam! So gorgeous. Not to mention: how cute is that little deer?! [Photo credit: @airmandanswife on Instagram]

I’ll be honest – when I received it, I immediately checked out the seams (I’m such a nerd. I don’t know why I always do this, but I do) and was all “wow! How’d she do that?!” I only recently learned how to do a blind stitch [the right way] by hand so I’m fascinated with new [to me] techniques!

Thank you for the beautiful scarf, Virginia!! ūüôā

It’s party time and you’re invited!

With the holidays approaching, I’m planning to host my annual resliced holiday party and sale! If you’re live in or near Columbia, South Carolina, I’d love to have you join me on November 1 from 11:00am to 12:00pm! {Sign up here so you’ll receive the location details}

party1

Missing in action¬†– For those of you who have been following resliced, you may have noticed I haven’t been around town as much as I have been in previous years. At the beginning of this year, I decided to scale back and let myself breathe. Working full-time during the week and spending my weekends at the market¬†was a tough balance. I was feeling a little suffocated with re-creating the same items in an effort to “stock up”. I wanted to give myself time to play around with new designs and improve my skills. I’ll admit I’ve spent a lot of that time “selfish sewing,” but I’ve tried hard to improve my skills and extend what I have to offer.

Last week, I sent the first announcement to my resliced email newsletter subscribers (interested? Sign up here), but I wanted to extend the invitation to all of you lovely blog readers! ūüôā

I also wanted to share a little more info about what this party is all about.

party2

Last year, I hosted an “exclusive” party for my friends and family. I had so much fun¬†chatting with friends and sharing my creations with them just in time for the holidays. This year I wanted to extend the invitation to any and all local resliced supporters!

So, what will I have at the party?

Oldies, but goodies – I’ll have all the items currently in my shop online available at the party.

Like these…

zigzag

Green ZigZag Shoulder Bag [Click the image to see additional pictures in the listing on Etsy]

Copper bird nest necklace with genuine opal stones.

Copper bird nest necklace with genuine opal stones.

green paisley

Green Paisley clutch [Click the image to see additional pictures in the listing on Etsy]

Gold bird nest necklace with genuine Tigers Eye stones.

Gold bird nest necklace with genuine Tigers Eye stones.

AND I’ll be recreating some past designs.

Like these…

wristlet

Remember the Tribal Wristlet? I’ve got enough fabric left over to make a similar replication. [Click the picture to check out my blog post about the original!]

Brown bird nest necklace with genuine blue jade stones.

Brown bird nest necklace with genuine blue jade stones.

Reduce, reuse, recycle¬†– In addition to the items in my Etsy shop, I’ll have first drafts¬†and gently used¬†items for sale at a discounted price.¬†When a new design hits me, I’ll construct it, try it out for a few weeks, come up with improvements and recreate a new / improved version or move on to something different. The original (gently loved) piece is thrown aside and often not used again. Instead of letting said pieces gather dust in the bottom of my closet, help me give them a new loving home!

Here’s an example of one gently loved bag that will be available:

purple

Magnetic clasp clutch with hand painted dots on vegan leather, super soft purple upholstery fabric exterior and fun floral interior.

NEW¬†skills¬†– As you may have caught on, I love learning new crafts. My love of snail mail + the calligraphy craze (is it just me or is it¬†everywhere?!) led to me taking a Modern Calligraphy class recently. I ordered some blank cards and got to work last weekend on some holiday cards. While I don’t plan to offer these cards in my shop (maybe one day..), I will have them available exclusively at the party so come stock up!

birthday

This card already has a recipient, but I’ll have similar ones available.

IMPROVED skills –¬†I learned how to add zippers! ūüôā¬†I’ve played around with them before, but I think I’m finally getting the hang of it!

Proof:

Brown patterned zip-top clutch with vegan leather bottom.

Brown patterned zip-top clutch with vegan leather bottom.

Crafty sharing – For those of you Pinterest addicts like myself, I’ll have some crafting supplies available too!

This will include:

  • Bags of beads and stones for jewelry-making
  • Fabric scraps in many different sizes – including upholstery (mostly), cotton prints and knits
  • Other craft supplies as I find them¬†[which could include anything from blank canvases to fold-over elastic]

…because I believe in you!

makers

I hope you’ll be able to make the party! I’m looking forward to kicking off the holiday season with you!

If you’re in the Columbia area (or driving distance!) and would like to attend the party, be sure to sign up for my VIP newsletter list (by clicking here!). I’ll be sending location details to this list when the party gets closer.

In the meantime, follow resliced on Facebook and Instagram (@reslicedsc)¬†– I’ll be posting sneak peeks¬†of items as I make them in the coming weeks¬†for¬†the party! ūüôā

If you live out of driving distance but are still interested in stocking up on resliced for the holidays, sign up for this newsletter. I’ll be running a sale after the party on anything left in the shop.

Melly Sews Favorite Purse {and mine too!}

In July I visited Baltimore for work. The trip snuck up on me and backed right up to our annual trip to Asheville.

As usual, I had about a bajillion sewing projects running through my head that I was determined to make before leaving. At the top of the list was¬†Melly Sews’ Favorite Purse. I¬†knew this would be¬†the perfect travel bag – it has ample pockets and is larger than my usual cross-body pattern.

And so, I spent the Friday evening before leaving for Baltimore cutting out and taping the paper pattern pieces followed by cutting the fabric. Since I wasn’t going to sew until Saturday, I pinned the paper pattern pieces to the fabric pieces so I could easily locate pieces for construction.

I had bought the pattern when Melly was running a killer sale for Memorial Day weekend (you should sign up for her newsletter so you can get in on those and see all the free patterns & tutorials she offers Рand check out her blog).

I was feeling a little intimidated with all the zippers involved with constructing the Favorite Purse, but I’ve been practicing with simple zipper clutches lately (here’s my favorite tutorial!) and was feeling more confident.

Melly includes great instructions in her pattern with lots of helpful pictures.

I even learned how to make my own bias tape which was very exciting after I had looked at fabric shops to see if I could find a cute package of patterned bias tape a few weeks ago (in an effort to save time) and was super bummed to discover only solid colors ūüė¶ I knew I wanted the main fabric to be solid for versatility, but wanted the bias tape to add a little pizzazz. So, I taught myself! It was much easier than I thought.

I’m really excited at how my bag turned out AND how it perfectly matches my Noodle Head Super Tote (which I used as my carry on bag).

favpurse

matching handmade bags for the WIN!

One thing to note about my version of the Favorite Purse is that I excluded the oval shaped side tabs. I had originally cut out the pieces and fully intended to add them (because they looked so cute!), but attaching the bias tape around the curved edges almost killed me. I had little time to spare so I just nixed them from my design (since they weren’t essential) and it turned out okay! ūüôā

I also added a magnetic clasp to the front pocket (behind my label on the interior). I did not add a magnetic clasp to the back pocket (which looks the same as the front without a label) because it would be lying flat against me so would likely stay shut (and it did). I appreciated the back pocket not having a clasp because it actually made it more convenient for holding my plane tickets.

My zippers are a bit mismatched because I decided late Friday night that I’d spend the whole day Saturday constructing the purse. I knew if I went to the craft store for matching zippers in the morning, I’d be there for hours buying all sorts of other things and lose precious construction time. {I needed to be up early Sunday morning to drive to Charlotte to catch my flight. And I still hadn’t packed. Time was of the essence.}

The black zipper at the top is from The Zipper Shop on Etsy, the interior zipper (I used a 6 inch zipper and added fabric zipper tabs on each end so it fit the area I’d cut in the interior to attach) is from The Zipper Stop on Etsy, and the light blue zipper that you see on the front is a vintage zipper I picked up at an estate sale (never underestimate the goodies you can find at a garage or estate sale!).

On similar¬†note, I recently ordered¬†zippers from The Zipper Shop on Etsy. I¬†love the selection and the quality of these zippers. The shop is located in North Carolina which also makes me happy (we Carolinas like to stick together ūüėČ #GeographyJoke) and the shop owner is¬†super fast with shipping!

I just ordered these beauties and can’t wait to use them!

zipper

[Click the image to be taken to these zippers on Etsy]

I skipped making my own removable strap.¬†Thanks to my obsession with vintage purses and the fact that many of them have¬†removable straps (and my friend Emily who brings me straps she finds while thrifting!), I had a few on hand so I knew one was sure to work. I had a shorter leather luggage strap that Emily¬†found a few months ago that worked perfect (thanks Emily!)! Since the bag is a good bit deeper than my usual cross-body bags + I’m a good bit shorter than the average person, this shorter strap was a life saver (because I couldn’t find an adjustable strap in my stash to match!).

Excluding the time it took to cut out and piece together the paper pieces (which wasn’t too bad) and cut the fabric pieces, the bag took a full day to construct (if you eliminate my coffee reheating breaks and a dinner break [yes, I forgot about lunch], it was probably close to 6-ish hours). That being said, it was¬†totally worth it! I know I am going to get¬†a lot of use out of this bag – it’s by far my most useful yet (because of all the pockets and the depth! It’s got the storage of a shoulder bag, but the comfortable wear and functionality of a cross-body bag…win!).

From the airport to the streets of the Inner Harbor (shopping, dining, sight seeing and wandering), this bag was¬†perfect. It easily held all my necessities and even a few small souvenirs. It kept my plane tickets, room key, conference badge and other essentials organized and easily accessible so I wasn’t awkwardly digging around trying to find something when I needed it.

Oh, and here I am taking shameless elevator selfies after arriving to Baltimore {I just had¬†to get an “in action” shot so you could see how fabulous this bag is!}:

travel bags

Matching handmade bags & my weirdest wolf shirt make for great travel attire ūüėČ

Interested in making your own version of Melly Sews‘ Favorite Purse? Find the pattern here.