Forever Shopper Sewing Pattern – Let’s save the Planet ! (at least a little bit)

I’d like to introduce you to my new sewing pattern 

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A proper retro shopper like the good old days, just like your granddad used to have in the cupboard under the stairs. A great unisex shopping tote.

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Made in oilskin, waxed canvas, heavy duck canvas or dry oilskin, so it virtually stands up on it’s own – an important factor in shopping.

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With super strong stabilised handles, a generous inside zip security pocket and a front profile stitched pocket. And an option to add side D-rings to attach a shoulder strap.
The bag has a flat base to allow for huge amounts of shopping and to hold its shape.

a bag that will last for years and age beautifully, and put an end to wasting money and the planets resources on disposable bags

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So we all know we need to stop using single use plastics – let’s make a resolution.
If you are like me, you stopped using the supermarket free carrier bags straight away but then bought into the bags for life – which of course are still plastic even if we use them a few times

Unfortunately my car boot is now overflowing with pretty plastic ‘bags for life’ of which I often buy another because being a bag addict, there is always a new pretty design

So I decided it’s time to make a commitment – no more, it’s still in essence single use plastic – so here is my little contribution to start saving the world and using less single use plastics

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No, not me, that’s my mate Claire – always a willing model (and works for gin) – sporting both sizes at once, she is multi-talented

We make a bag in fabric and it just doesn’t stand up on its own which makes things difficult with a shopping trolley. Oilskin and waxed canvas are amazing and virtually stand on their own.

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Your men folk are going to love this too, particularly in oilskin – it looks so weathered and vintage, and it’s really water resistant so great for the outdoors!

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Three of these fit beautifully if a large shopping trolley and can accommodate the whole weekly shop, yet fold flat for easy storage

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And there is also a second free smaller size included with the pattern as a bonus, which is large enough to use as a handbag size shopper – great for coffee and shopping at the mall, days out at the park and really great for rainy days –a bag for the outdoors girl.

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I am a complete oilskin convert now – if you can get hold of it, it is definitely worth it.

It’s strong yet supple, can be sponged clean, and if the look get’s a little too vintage for you, simply reset the oil again with a hair dryer.

The bag is unlined for durability and to keep the bulk down, but with chunky feature facings and inside pockets, and made using a super strong durable utility construction of French seams that conceal all raw edges so it will last for years and age beautifully.

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Make it with bought straps, self fabric straps, webbing or even a stolen belt from your partner’s wardrobe – the instructions are included for all types. This is the second time I have stolen one of my husband’s belts and he still hasn’t noticed.

 

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Ooops, sorry dear (again)

I’ve also made up in a dry oilskin which is a great colour vehicle.

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I used rivet on PU leather handles which I stock in my internet shop here:  https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/607119615/24-pu-leather-bag-handles-suitable-for

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I hope you like the new pattern, what are you waiting for – go shape some fabric!

Get the pattern here

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Want to see the bag in real life? Check out my YouTube pattern intro here:

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I’ve been YouTubed !

It’s been an exciting week at Spencer Ogg Towers!

I’ve just filmed my first short sew-a-long to get started with the medium of video. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but scared of being seen in real life!

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So here’s my first toe in the water, just me and a film student Jake. Thank goodness he knew something about camera angles/directing/editing/re-shooting/throwing great lumps away etc. It really is time consuming.

I know I was filmed for the Craftsy Class, but that was all singing, all dancing with crew and cameramen everywhere, make up artists, hair fluffers, sound checkers etc – all I had to do was sew. Now I have to think for myself too, it’s so much harder, and a steep learning curve for someone who was a social media illiterate just over a year ago, I hadn’t even heard the word vlogging.

So, I have unbelievably just launched my YouTube channel here: 

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and loaded up my first 8 minute video clip. It’s just on making an adjustable bag strap, and I’m sure most of you already know how to do it blindfold, but I needed a starting point. Be kind to me, its my first attempt and I’ve learnt a lot along the way!

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My plan is to do a couple more quick tutorials just to get myself and Jake used to it – and maybe improve a little into the bargain, and then, my first full sewing pattern sew-a-long! Now I know how long these things take to make, I better set a few weeks aside for that one!

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Please subscribe to the channel while you are on there, and my next free video tutorial should show up in your YouTube feed

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FREE SEWING PATTERN. The Cool Clutch

I love making handmade gifts, it is just so much more personal and really shows you care enough to share your time and efforts. So, with the Christmas run-up fast approaching, I thought this would be a great time to share my easy Cool Clutch Tutorial with you.

2bI love a clutch bag, so handy on a night out, but also invaluable in the day. The fashion is for huge handbags at the moment, which for me means I can never find anything. I even have a light in there so I can see what’s in the bottom.

I use a huge leather bag to cart around my array of ever-growing day-junk, and I use a clutch bag inside it for my purse/phone etc so I can easily get to them.

This is a great pattern if you are new to bag making, or you want a quick make for sew to sell or gifting.blog

You can make these from just about any fabric light or medium weight, as there are few seams. I have made them in everything from denim to satin. You could even decorate or embroider the fabric first however you would like, then just dive in!

Lets Go !

COOL CLUTCH PDF PATTERN – Make sure you toggle ‘actual size’ when you send to print or your printer could automatically reduce the size. There is a 1” square control box shown on the pattern. Stick the 4 sheets together as directed on the pieces.

FULL PATTERN

Materials:

  1. Outer fabric – Any light to medium weight fabric of your choice.
  2. Lining – Any light weight fabric of your choice. Use a contrasting print or a striking colour of satin.
  3. Extra firm fusible interfacing – such as Fusible canvas or Decovil Light  
  4. Medium weight fusible interlining (MWFI) – I use Vilene F220
  5. One Magnetic clasp fastener
  6. All Purpose thread to match outer

Cutting instructions

From pattern Piece A cut

  • 1 outer,
  • 1 lining,
  • 1 MWFI,
  • 1 extra firm fusible interfacing, (trim it down by 1cm (3/8″) all the way around to reduce bulk)
  • You could add a layer of compressed wadding too for extra squishyness. (Trim down also)

Additionally cut pocket piece B 18 x 18 cm (7 x 7″) – cut

  • 1 lining,
  • 1 MWFI.

Seam allowance: 1cm (3/8”) throughout. The seam allowance is included in the pattern piece

Approximate finished dimensions :  W26cm×H14cm×D2.5cm  (W11.5”×H5.5”×D1”)

I still need followers guys! If you enjoy this post, please click to follow the blog over on the right (or bottom if you are on phones), to be notified of new free patterns and tutorials as I post them. 10,000 people downloaded the Groovy Glasses Case, but I only have 380 followers, so please do click! I want to be able to keep doing this. Thank you!

Fuse interfacing to lining and pocket

Fuse the MWFI to the wrong side of the lining fabric piece A and the pocket piece B. Press well from both sides and set pocket piece aside.

Attach the magnetic clasp to lining

Attach the male part (the slimmer part) of the magnetic clasp to the top curved edge of your lining piece A, centrally 4cm (1 1/2”) down. I like to add a bit of firm interfacing to the back to strengthen – if you need a reminder how to attach magnetic clasps I have a quick tutorial here

DSCN2952bMake the pocket

Press a 1cm (3/8″) hem up on two opposite sides of your pocket piece B.DSCN2963b

Fold this piece in half across its width so that the two folded ends line up, and right sides are together. Pin the sides.

Stitch down each of the short sides 1cm (3/8″) from the edge, leaving the bottom folded edge open. Trim the corners to reduce bulk.

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Now flip through and poke out the corners with something blunt – a ruler or a thick knitting needle. (My weapon of choice is a chopstick). Press flat. Edge stitch the top folded edge if you wish.

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Attach pocket

Lay your body lining piece A with the right side facing up and curved edge at the top.

Grab your pocket, make sure that the open end is at the bottom, and topstitched edge at the top. Lay your pocket onto the lining piece, centrally 16.5 cm (6.5”) down from the top curved edge.

Pin the pocket in place – make sure it’s straight!

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Stitch along the two sides and along the bottom of the pocket 3mm / 1/8″ from the edge, which also closes up and hides the opening in the bottom of the pocket.- clever huh! Don’t sew across the top or you will have a patch instead of a pocket 🙂  I slid my branding label in whilst stitching one side.

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Press. Lay this to one side.

Get yourself a cup of coffee and admire your work!

Fuse extra firm interfacing to outer fabric

Lay your outer fabric piece A wrong side up. Centre your extra firm interfacing (trimmed down by 1cm (3/8″) all round) and fuse. You should have 1cm (3/8”) of fabric showing on all four sides. (I’ve used black canvas here so you can see it clearly)DSCN2942.5b

Press up a 1cm (3/8”) hem on the bottom edge of both outer and lining. If you are using vinyl, use Wonderclips rather than pressing. I’m sure you know why !
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Join outer and lining

Flip so the two pieces are right sides together and pin in place. Make sure the two pieces line up exactly, and that the two bottom edges remain folded back as shown.

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Using a 1cm (3/8”) seam, start from the straight folded  bottom edge and stitch all the way around the long sides and curved top, leaving the folded bottom edge open.

You can use the interfacing as a stitching guide, sewing just 1mm (1/16″) outside it.DSCN2945d

Trim your seam allowances and clip corners to reduce bulk. Then clip the edges on the curved top edge to help it lie flat after turning through. DSCN2993b

Now, turn your bag right side out – Looking good? You’re nearly there.

Push your fingers into the bag and firmly push out the sides and curved edge then iron your bag flat.DSCN2998b

We are going to fold your bag into thirds.

Fold the bottom straight edge up by about 14cm (5 1/2″), and the top curved edge down over it. The curved edge should sit 1cm (3/8”) from the bottom fold. When you have your clutch looking the way you want it, press those folds flat. DSCN2999b

Time to add the magnetic clasp to the outer fabric

Fold the top flap edge down and check where the nipple of the male part of the clasp lands. Mark

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Attach the female part of the clasp here. Remember – you are just going to snip through the outer fabric. Hold the lining back separately whilst you do this. I used a small piece of firm interfacing on the back to strengthen again.

Closing the bag

Open out again, and with the bottom edges still folded in, topstitch 3mm (1/8”) all the way across this edge. This closes the folded edge and gives a neat finish.DSCN3018c

Stitch sides of bag

Fold into place again and close the clasp. Wiggle the sides of the bag until the positioning looks even on both sides and pin in place.

You will see the edges are tapered in slightly on both sides to give a little extra tolerance.

Open the clasp carefully, holding the bottom third in place, and make sure you are happy with the placement of the sides and they look even.

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Stitch down each side about 3mm (1/8″) in from the edge, back-tacking at start and finish.DSCN3022c

Trim any loose threads and give your bag a final press

And there you have it – your finished masterpiece ready for its first night out!

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If you would like to make a smaller version as a coin purse, just reduce the PDF size to print at 65%.

Hope you enjoyed my tutorial and found the instructions easy to follow.

Tag your makes with #SpencerOgg or #SewWithSo

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We are running a competition this week on my FB bag sewing board to make this clutch using charity shop finds or re-purposing something from your wardrobe. Do join in with the group below. Runs 28th Sept to 7th October

You are welcome to join my bag sewing group on Facebook for help, support, photos and questions about Spencer Ogg Patterns, and a place for general chat and help with bag and accessory sewing. Just click below!

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New Bag Sewing Group on Facebook

So…I thought it was high time I opened a bag sewing support group on Facebook, for help, support, photos and questions about Spencer Ogg sewing patterns. So on Sunday I launched the Spencer Ogg Bag Sewing Group Facebook board – just press the button to join!blog SO facebook board

I have been putting it off for a while as I just didn’t know if I had enough patterns out there yet, but I have been delighted with the response so far, so thank you those of you who have already joined. (and now I have counted, I actually have 22 patterns, lots of free tutorials and a Craftsy class out there, so maybe more than I thought!)

I am aiming for a friendly, happy group and want everyone to feel part of it. It doesn’t matter if you are new to bag making or an old hand, we know from other groups that a wide mix works really well, the more experienced members helping the newer ones. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.

Feel free to post pics of any work in progress or finished items from Spencer Ogg patterns or just chat about bag making. There will be free tutorials and competitions and lots of fun, and I’ll keep you updated with what is happening in my sewing studio.studio

Thank you so much for your continued support, I look forward to chatting to all of you. I know so many of you already, even if we haven’t communicated before we have often seen each other’s pics out there.

So as a start did everyone pick up the free Groovy Glasses Case pattern from the blog on Friday ? –Free Pattern

We’ve already seen lots of lovely cases, and I’ll be running a mini comp on the new board this week for the most ingenious versions.

Happy Sewing, and I look forward to chatting with you soon.

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The Turnaround Bag

I am happy to announce the release of my new sewing pattern – The Turnaround Cross Body Bag.

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It has two fronts with two distinctly different looks, so you can wear it ‘different ways on different days’4

When I was developing this pattern, I couldn’t decide what design layout I preferred for the front of the bag, and whilst pondering for hours on which to do, I realised I could actually have both ! Why limit yourself to one, just ‘turn it around’ for a different look, and hence the Turnaround Bag was born.20180726_130810

Filled to the brim with pockets of every shape and size, use it to organise your daily life, and really great for travel.

One side has a feature twist lock fastening flap pocket, and the other, a roomy, built-in zip wallet pocket with credit card slots.

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Yeh, let’s play spot the dog – he has to be on everything

Inside the bag are two generous bellowed gadget pockets, and a roomy faced pocket. You can make the pockets in bright contrast colours as I have done here, to give a surprise pop of colour when the bag is opened.

The main compartment is more than large enough to hold an iPad, and securely fastens with a recessed zip closure.ipad

The bag is suitable for a wide range of materials, make it up in quilting cottons, cork, denim, vinyls or leather, or in lovely Harris Tweed as this one I made for myself.blog

Made in ‘tougher’ fabrics, it also works for men – try waxed cottons, earthy tweeds, or leather to make a sturdy man-bagdetail

I do hope you enjoy making this bag as much as I did, and make it many times over. You can get the pattern here. It’s on offer for the first week end at a discounted priceHero single

With many thanks to my lovely testers who did a great job in helping to tweak this bag into shape.

 

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Sewing Mojo Sale Day

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**SALE 20% OFF SPENCER OGG PATTERNS NOW ON**

This weekend only 20th to 22nd July in my Etsy pattern store

Quite a few people have told me this week they have lost their sewing mojo….Well we can’t have that!

To get everyone back on track and happily sewing again I thought I’d give you a boost – the hot weather won’t be here forever you know. Time to come in from the garden and start stitching again.

Use the link below to get 20% off my PDF patterns this weekend only.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SpencerOggPatterns?coupon=OGG20

(or key in OGG20 at checkout)

Happy sewing everyone.

Oh and don’t forget – if you want to watch sewing rather than actually doing it, there is still a free 7 day trial of Craftsy unlimited – Now Bluprint, just click the pic for deets.

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Sewing Machine Review – Janome Atelier

Sewing Machine Review: Janome Atelier 7

Whilst preparing and filming my Craftsy class I was lucky enough to have on loan the Janome Atelier 7 (Janome Skyline in the US). I was very impressed, and I got so comfortable with it, I thought I would review the big beauty before it disappeared out of my life.

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I usually work on a Janome TXL607 at home for bag making, which is a mid range domestic sewing machine, and I have been happy with it for the few  years since I traded up from my 25 year old Bernina Sport (which has had an amazing innings and still going strong despite years of overwork and misuse).multi mc

I think it is important that I don’t move to an industrial machine as I need to be sure my patterns are all ‘do-able’ (is that a word??) on a domestic machine, as that is what most of my customers work on.
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While still a domestic machine, the Atelier 7 is a range up from the old TXL models, and she is an amazing beast.

I didn’t think there would be a huge difference, but trust me, I really don’t know how I am going to go back.dec stitches

 

Given that the Atelier is all singing, all dancing with amazing features I have never seen before, I still did what all of us do when we get a new machine, and went straight to the pretty decorative stitches to have a go at a few sewing symbols and handmade logos.  It has 240 built-in stitches so it took me a while!

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feedOne of the main selling points of the Atelier range is the AcuFeed system, which the supplied walking foot, or dual feed foot, is specially designed to engage with. This moves the top layer of fabric in sync with the bottom layer. I’m going to bang on for a bit about this because it is a marvellous tool, especially when you are sewing multiple thick (and often a bit sticky) layers as we do in bag making.

The mechanism is built into the back of the machine rather than dependant on your needle just going up and down as I have used previously, so there is much more control, there is even a twiddly nob to adjust the differential between upper and lower feed.

feetThe Dual Feed foot is a much wider foot than a normal straight stitch foot, and although I wanted to use it for nearly all my stitch work, I couldn’t because it is too wide to get into some of the tight corners I often find myself in. Whilst ruminating with another bag maker about how fantastic it would be to have a narrower version or one with a stitch guide, I decided to ask Janome if there were plans to make such a thing. To my surprise, I found they were already available and the supplied foot just slips off like a shoe, and can be replaced with the other feet – well blow me! Obviously I ordered them immediately and am waiting very patiently (yes that’s me, patient) for their arrival so I can play some more.

I swear this beast sews straighter than any machine I have owned previously too, but it does have 7 feed dogs, and I guess with the AcuFeed that could possibly be true.

There are a host of other useful features of which I will list but a few:

confusedThe Atelier 7 has a large full colour screen that you may question when you get it out of the box if you are ever going to be able to understand it, but it’s very owner friendly and I was creating and programming stitch pattern combinations within the day via the USB connection.

Some very useful features are a fully lit machine with a number of LED lights at various spots around the body to give a really well lit work area – they can be turned off individually too – so if you are a chronic migraine sufferer like myself, this is always a prerequisite of a machine (although unscrewing the bulb has always worked technically very well for me in the past)atelier7-1

The automatic thread cutter and presser foot lift functions are brilliant. I am still getting used to the foot lift and keep reaching around to raise it manually, but it’s getting more natural. The machine is also supplied with a knee lift control for the presser foot, which I am trying to use on a regular basis as I feel  it could be useful, if I could only stop feeling like I’m dancing to a Rhianna track every time I give it a nudge.

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There are many improvements on previous machines I have encountered –

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Look at the size of that foot peddle girls

an additional straight stitch needle plate for fine fabrics, improved alphabets and size control, the zipper foot is a dream compared to my last one, (which ended up sat in a jar next to my machine so I could glare daggers at it every time I thought I might have to use it – in fact I didn’t use it, I just kept my straight stitch foot on and moved my needle far left!)

The foot pedal is a gentle giant – it is HUGE – and I love it, much more easy to control, and you don’t end up with dancing feet chasing it all around under the table.

screenThe Atelier also features Sewing application buttons – so rather than choosing what stitch you want to use, you can just tell the machine what you want to do, for example zipper sewing or gathering, and it will automatically select the stitch and tell you when to stitch where. I think this feature is probably suited to more novice sewers, or maybe it is just that I am a control freak and can’t let it choose anything for me.layers

If you are an avid bag maker like me – and boy do we know the problems with bulky fabrics, vinyls and numerous layers – and you are looking to upgrade your current machine, I can heartily recommend the Atelier 7, it has handled everything I have thrown at it so far, even 8 layers of vinyl !

The only improvements I could suggest are, that the machine should also be available in bright pink, and should have an option of a prescription glass protruding at right angles from the front so I don’t have to take my glasses on and off every time I sit down.specs

Thanks for the lend Janome, any chance I can keep it??

 

Watch the ad for my new Craftsy bag making class herecraftsy class link