Chris W Sugar and Spice bag

My finished Sugar and Spice bag
My finished Sugar and Spice bag

As I mentioned in my last post, I am honored to have been invited to participate in the ChrisW Designs Global Blog Tour! 15 bloggers have come together to make one of ChrisW’s bag patterns and blog about it and I am so very excited to have been selected. As part of the tour, I was able to pick one pattern to make. I received the pattern for free in exchange for blogging about it. I chose the Sugar and Spice tote bag. I need a good bag that can hold my laptop, a book or two, drawing pads, colored pencils, and any other craft supplies for the project de jour. The Sugar and Spice tote looked like a great starting point. I like the rounded based because of the appealing shape it gives the bag. I like the rounded slip pockets on the outside of the bag. I like the statement the straps give the bag. I like scoops to the top of the bag. All combined, it’s a great looking bag with the space to be a functional bag for hauling all my tools and supplies with me.

Splatter cork
Splatter cork
Base of the bag
Base of the bag

Because I’m just not me without being a little over ambitious, I tried a few new things with this bag. I used cork fabric, lots and lots of piping, and I made a few modifications to the pattern. So let’s dive in and look at the bag!

First, can we all just ooh and ahh a bit over this gorgeous cork? I mean, really, just look! It’s pretty and it’s got the most amazing texture! This is my first time using cork, but it most definitely won’t be the last. I used the Pollock cork from Sew Sweetness and solid black cork and black cork piping from Fabric Funhouse. For those of you who haven’t worked with cork before, yes, it really is cork. Like the cork in your cork board or your wine bottle, but so so much better. It’s a very very thin layer of natural cork adhered to a woven fabric backing. It’s sews just like butter and gives the bag an amazing professional finish.

Shiny gold hardware
Shiny gold hardware

Second, let’s ooh and ahh a bit of the amazing hardware. The combination of the pattern, the gorgeous cork, and the shiny gold hardware really just make this bag completely amazing. Within the bag I used strap ends, rectangular rings, rivets, bag feet, gold teeth nylon zippers, a zipper end, a tassel, and of course a ‘Homemade’ script bag label all from Emmaline Bags, my very favorite hardware supplier. Who new one of my favorite ‘sewing’ tools would end up being the adorably tiny screw driver given to me by the Janelle MacKay of Emmaline Bags fame? Well it is, because I use SO much hardware in my bags now. It’s a great way to elevate the look of your bag.

Shiny gold hardware
Shiny gold hardware

Finally for the lining, I used Moda Grunge quilting weight cotton in a burgundy and red.

Now that we have explored all of the materials, let’s talk a little bit about the bag pattern. As a note to those of you in the United States, ChrisW Designs is an Australian based company and therefore the pattern PDF is in A4 dimensions. This can make printing it a little tricky and as I have started ordering more and more non-US patterns lately, I finally just ordered A4 paper from Office Max so it prints perfectly.

Recessed zipper
Recessed zipper

Chris’s pattern is beautifully written and very easy to follow. Each step was clearly explained and the images help you to know exactly how to complete each step. It’s important to remember however that a pattern is a template. The pattern designer has given you a template that you can use to create the bag of your dreams, but the template can be modified to suit your needs. In my case, because I wanted this bag to hold my laptop, I needed to make it larger. As designed, the Sugar and Spice bag is 14″ x 8″ x 3′. My MacBook is 13″ x 9″, so the bag was definitely not tall enough. I chose to add an internal padded divider pocket to the bag for the laptop so I wanted to make the bag deeper to have a good amount of space either side of the laptop compartment. My final dimensions were 16″ x 12″ x 5″. I also added a ton of extra pockets to the inside of the bag to hold lots and lots of tools and supplies nicely organized. This all took a fair amount of adjustment to the pattern while keeping the gorgeous shape that Chris designed into the bag. I’m going to blog this weekend about how to modify a pattern using this bag as my example.

Interior
Interior
Laptop compartment
Laptop compartment
Interior
Interior

In the end, I now have a perfect bag for my laptop and craft supplies tailored exactly to my needs and I am in love with it.


Now, here’s some fun for you, my lovely readers… PRIZES!

First, ChrisW Designs has generously provided two FREE copies of the the Sugar and Spice pattern for me to give away! To enter, comment below with a short description of a bag you have modified to fit you perfectly. On Sunday November 19th I will select two commenters to receive a pattern.

Second, the blog tour has lots and lots of prizes and discounts – details below. Now go see the 15 other bags!

 


Tour Discounts

  • ChrisW Designs is taking 20% off all patterns until end of day (Australian Central Standard Time) November 21. Code GlobalBlogTour17 (applied automatically with this link. Buy without fear: If you purchase during the tour and then win a pattern, your purchase price will be refunded.
  • Handbag Hardware Australia (aff link) is offering a 10% discount for the duration of the tour. Use code: CWD10. (Excludes interfacing and Emmaline Bling.)
  • Bobbin Girl has a 10% discount using code BLOGTOUR17. (Not to be combined with any other discount or rewards points.)
  • Gold Star Tool is taking 15% off for our tour readers. Use code chriswdesigns.
  • Zipit (aff link) is also offering a 10% discount on shop items. Use code ChrisWDesigns.

Giveaway

Prizes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule

(Australia Central Standard Time)


// Please note that none of these post links are available before the scheduled date (ACST). If you click on one too early, you will get an “Error 404: Page not found.” You know about those, right? //


Sunday, November 12


Monday, November 13


Tuesday, November 14


Wednesday, November 15


Thursday, November 16


Friday, November 17


Saturday, November 18


Tuesday, November 21

  • Giveaway winners announced on all the blogs:

ChrisW Blog, Glitter in my Coffee, Michelle’s Creations, Flying by the Seam of my Pants, Serial Bagmakers, Tiger in a Tornado, Vanaehsa, Judith Stitches and More, Doctora Botones, Sewsewilse, Suck It Up Buttercup, Vicky Myers Creations, Marvelous Auntie M, inspinration, Fée bricolo, Trisha’s Craft Corner


 

29 Responses

  1. Michelle
    | Reply

    Wow! What an incredible bag! I love the whole thing, from the cork to all the pockets. It’s beautiful! I’m going to have to come back next week and see how to do all these hacks.

  2. Karen Christensen
    | Reply

    I’ve never tried to modify a bag pattern. Your post gives me the just that. inspiration to try doing. I look forward to your post on how you did it.

  3. Katherine Maldonado
    | Reply

    Really like all the modifications/hacks up you have shown with thie purse. I love pockets and usally add a pocket that spans the full length of the lining and then split it into 3 or 4 sections. I also like a zippered pocket and usually add one to the outside or inside of any bag I make. I did both of these in the Lined Tote by Inspired Wren which is very scalable.

  4. Karen Christensen
    | Reply

    I can’t find the link to sign up for your blog posts.

    • trishawells
      | Reply

      Karen – I haven’t set up any kind of subscription. I’ll look into that this weekend!

  5. Carol Spring
    | Reply

    I modified a bag, not for me but for a friend, by increasing it in size by 20%. Some pieces were modified by enlarging the pattern on the printer, other parts were just a math exercise. Some parts like the strap and the depth were left the same. It all worked out in the end. There was now room for all her gear.

  6. Terry L
    | Reply

    Love the cork and burgundy grunge fabric. It looks awesome. The bag I hacked was a small carry one which I added a couple inches of height and length so my portable sewing machine fir perfectly

  7. Amy mills
    | Reply

    Im currently working on a bag pattern that’s based on a cheap store bought bag of my sisters. It’s a great bag in shape and size and such, just trying to get the pattern pieces, construction, etc figured out 🙂
    Looking forward to your hack on the Sugar and Spice bag! How kind of you to share your work with everyone!

  8. […] Trisha’s Craft Corner […]

  9. Tammy Lamb
    | Reply

    I modified the messenger bag by crazy little projects. I love working with cork. Must sew up a sugar and spice to hold my iPad and project supplies.

  10. Tammy Lamb
    | Reply

    I modified the messenger bag by crazy little projects. I too love working with cork. I must sew up a sugar and spice to hold my iPad and craft supplies while travelling.

  11. Ann
    | Reply

    I love working with cork and have found your post very inspiring! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise!

  12. Rho
    | Reply

    I love the bag.. and the bling…and the whole wonderful thing!
    The only modification I was brave enough to try was to sew an extra line down a slip pocket inside my latest tote…voila…a pen pocket!

  13. Joyce Thompson
    | Reply

    Love the bag!

  14. Kathy
    | Reply

    I modify bags by adding pockets can’t have enough of them.

  15. Marti Zieg
    | Reply

    I add more pockets and zipper pockets. And sometimes I alter the size up or down.

  16. Ginger Z
    | Reply

    I modify just about every pattern I have. Maybe a little by printing it bigger or smaller. Sometimes adding an inch or two to the height, depth and/or length. Also added padded laptop pockets and divider pockets. Add, modify or take away a flap, a zipper closure. Change out straps. Sometimes I draft my own pattern. Like you said patterns are guidelines.

  17. Sonya
    | Reply

    Your bag looks great. I have only enlarged a bag, added a key clip, and interior zipper pocket. I would love to learn how to add a zipper divider.

  18. Hippiemomdotblogspotdotcom
    | Reply

    Very pretty!

  19. Marsha
    | Reply

    That centre zip pocket! Must. Do.

  20. Harriet
    | Reply

    I have fallen in love with the cork fabric and your hacks. Have been looking for a design for a work bag big enough for laptop and lots of papers. I think this might be it. I look forward to reading about the hacks in your next post.

  21. Mandy Sieger
    | Reply

    I have always wanted to sew a bag/purse but haven’t done it yet so I don’t have a bag that I’ve altered to suit me. I’ve sewn 2 quilts and a handful of things for my kids. I have altered a shorts pattern to fit my kids better but that’s it. I have been staring at the Snazzy Slouch and Sugar n Spice bags from Chris W Designs this entire year but have been too afraid to try them. I just need to dive in head first and just do it! haha

  22. Christina
    | Reply

    I’m still learning so I haven’t motified many. I’ve printed bags smaller. I helped my sister put a welted pocket big enough for her phone in a bag for Disneyland.

  23. Kathy E.
    | Reply

    This is my favorite bag on this blog tour! I love the shape and the outer pockets for storing all of the important things that need to be fetched quickly and easily. I have added extra pockets to bags I’ve made, both on the inside and outside. I’ve also lengthened straps, so I can hang it from my shoulder. Using the cork fabric and piping really make your bag look amazing!

  24. Jane Kirk
    | Reply

    I love the bag that you modified to fit your laptop. I’ve not had the pleasure of using cork as of yet but I do intend to make use of the cork that I have purchased very soon.
    The bag that I modified came from Merge Bags. It is called the Middleton Tote Set. Although the dimensions of the bag are large enough for my needs, there was not an inside zipper in the original so I added a zipper compartment in addition to the slip pockets. It turned out very nice.

  25. Chris Bevan
    | Reply

    I modified a beach bag by adding lots of pockets to hold keys, phone, money etc and then put in a recessed zip so everything was secure 😃

  26. Dyan
    | Reply

    Love your cork!! And what a beautiful bag. Very nice job! 🙂

  27. Maryanna
    | Reply

    That cork is absolutely GORGEOUS! Great bag!

  28. Sandy Levy
    | Reply

    Trisha, the bag is beautiful. I too love sewing with cork from Sara Lawson. I think I have 8 different cork fabric from her. lol I made my own tennis bag so I would have all the pockets inside and out the way I wanted. I had fun designing it and knowing its “One of a Kind” I wish I could post a picture for you to see.

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