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Oct 6, 2019

My First-Ever BAG!

Ten years of sewing and I've never made a bag?

It's true -- or rather, it was true until today.

Here's the deal:  I made it using a subscription craft box from Bluprint.  The craft boxes are part of Bluprint's newly launched Premium subscription plan.  You choose one craft box seasonally (four times a year in total).  It can be a sewing, quilting, crocheting, knitting, or embroidery project.

In short, it's the regular membership plus the four seasonal subscription boxes.  It's something different.  A lot of people like the subscription box idea because it saves time.  Currently the only way to get the boxes is with the membership (which, naturally, includes all the streaming classes like the regular membership does). 

What's cool about it is that for someone like me, who wouldn't normally sew a bag, it's an easy way to learn new skills.  And if I want to try embroidery next season, I can choose the embroidery box, or the knitting box, etc.  Plus, if I want to make more bags (the kit includes fabric and notions for two), I know what I need to purchase and how to use it.

Inside the box are all the supplies and written instructions.  A great feature is that there's streaming video instruction too.  I found the video extremely helpful as I needed a lot of hand-holding, never having made a bag before.  The teacher, Vanessa Vargas Wilson, was excellent: warm and very clear.

I cut my pieces -- striped cotton outer fabric and coordinating solid cotton lining fabric -- interfaced them and, following the instructions, carefully put the bag together.

Do you pre-shrink your fusible?  I do, but many don't.  I was surprised to see it listed as an option on the Pellon instructions.

You may know that I have a new iron, a Maytag M400.  I loved my Black & Decker Digital Advantage iron -- the only iron I ever owned -- but the frequent beeping started to drive my chihuahua Willy crazy.  So I bought the Maytag which only clicks: problem solved.  Unfortunately, it's a sucky iron.  Not only does it drip, mine drips brownish water that can stain fabric.  Not recommended.

I used my Singer 15-91 to make the bag.  Thanks to the video instructions, I didn't have too many problems.  But it was weird, after so many years of garment sewing, to feel like I had no idea (or almost no idea) how this was supposed to come together.  But come together it did, and quite nicely if I may say so myself.

I think it would have been cool if the project included instructions on making your own tassel instead of using a ready-made one, but that's me.  This clip-on one is nice because it's removable if you want to launder the bag.

It's a cute bag, nice and sturdy (both outer fabric and lining are interfaced), and roomy too.

If you want to find out more about Bluprint Premium and the craft boxes, click here.  Joining through the link also entitles you to a $10 discount (and in the spirit of complete candor, I get a small percentage of the sale too).

Hope you'll check it out and happy sewing!

(Now on to my next bag!)


  1. I do hope you discover the joys of the NCW from Emmaline Bags. It's a great purse/ wallet with many variables and there's a great online support group. I only wish there was a men's variation just as good!

  2. Wow that sounds like a really great program! All this time I had never heard of pre-shrinking fusible! All fusibles? It doesn't change the iron on adhesive on the back? Can you elaborate on that? As in, water temp etc.

    1. I do it to all fusibles. You're just soaking it in warm (not hot) water for a few minutes and let it drip dry. It works for me but you should try it first and see.

  3. Wow. I can't imagine how many times I would've saved myself the agony of a puckered iron on, if I'd only know about pre shrinking it! I too was afraid it would melt the sticky stuff. THANKS!!!!

  4. I never knew about pre-shrinking fusibles either!!!!

  5. Peter I clicked on the link, but the boxes are only available in the United States and I am in Canada. There is an option to just sign up for the streaming content, but I was unclear whether you would receive any compensation if I signed up for that. Do you have a link to sign up for just the streaming, outside of the US where you would get compensated?
    P.S. Your bag looks fabulous!

    1. I'm not sure but please go ahead and sign up anyway, compensation or no compensation.

  6. I got really excited when I read you were using the Maytag... and then the crowd moaned 😂I loooove the Smartfill M800 if you want to give another Maytag a go. I asked Bluprint to replace my onset Rowenta with the M800!

  7. Iron-ticular,
    our Oona be,
    dry or steamed,
    it's crease-ology.

    For she knows which,
    to ask for by name.
    with output supreme,
    her claim to fame.

    So heed the tip,
    oh Peter, dear.
    reach pressing perfection,
    in the blogosphere.

    Should the M800,
    leave you bereft,
    the Maytag repair man,
    can warp your weft.

  8. Bag sewing is the best! So practical and NO fitting problems.


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