Yay! I’m so happy to be able to show you a few samples for the Bonsai Bag Sewing Pattern which will be forthcoming. Here they are (along with the brown one I made last year)! I have to admit with fall on the horizon they are a little summery compared to the brown one but I loves thems anyhoos.
Update: Bonsai enjoyed some time in the Made By Rae shop, but is now resting on its laurels and is no longer available as a sewing pattern.
That blue Princess and the Pea one there has been in progress for almost a year. I started with a ric-rac trim which I scrapped for pompoms and then got hung up on the recessed zipper and had to tear out the entire thing, but don’t worry, this bag does not take a whole year to make, haha (smooth, Rae, that’s great advertising *rolls eyes*). In fact one can be assembled in a few hours, and honestly now that I’ve gotten the kinks ironed out with the pattern pieces, the zipper part is easy-peasy.
To answer the question I always get when I talk about a new pattern, no, it will not be free. Sometimes I feel bad about charging for patterns because I really like getting free things on the internet and I like giving stuff away for free. But then I start counting all the hours I’ve poured into this thing and will, yet. It’s a conundrum for sure, because free patterns bring new people to the website, and so many of you have emailed me asking for tips on how to make and digitize your sewing patterns (I hope to post about that soon!) that I know you must be thinking about it too, for your own blogs. And I think that’s fantastic, we should keep sharing with eachother and don’t worry, I have plenty of free patterns in my brain for y’all. But I also think it’s important to assign value the work that you do, even if it’s online and doesn’t feel like a “real job.” I’m lucky enough to have been able to start a small business from what I do here on the blog (most of my revenue comes from pattern sales, with a much smaller part coming from advertising/sponsors), but I often still find myself undervaluing my time and skills, especially when I compare myself to professional designers who have true industry training. But when all’s said and done I think I still do a pretty good job producing nice patterns, even if I go about it in a completely unprofessional way. Can we call it “organic” instead of “unprofessional”? That sounds so much nicer….
Anyway, do you want to see some closer shots of the bags? One of the things I like about this pattern is that it takes very little of the center fabric (basically a 10×10 square for each side) and shows it off nicely. This one is made with Heather Ross’ Princess and the Pea fabric from her Far Far Away collection, framed with a pale blue baby wale corduroy:
And this one is a Heather Bailey print from her Freshcut collection, framed by a pale pink baby wale cord:
This one was inspired by my weekend in Vermont. Denyse Schmidt showed us how to do a fabulously easy strip quilting project and I really wanted to try the technique for this purse, so I did on both the front and the back. I imagine you could take any small quilt sampler and use it for that middle panel (zigzag, patchwork, embroidery, you name it).
Most of the fabric on the center panel is from Denyse’s Katie Jump Rope line from a few years back. I made a bunch of other stuff with it and all that remained is a bunch of scraps — perfect for a small quilt project.