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Handmade handbag - Passion Flower Tote from Blue Calla patterns

Handmade handbag - Passion Flower Tote from Blue Calla patterns
Whatabout ye folks, it's Lee here.  I'm back to share a new handmade handbag I've made for my wee Mamma for Christmas.  Our wee Mamma loves handbags and she loves to change them for different Seasons, outfits etc.  So, for Christmas this year I wanted to make her a special bag.  I've made a tonne of Debbie Shore's tote bags in the past but I wanted to try an actual  handbag pattern that would challenge me a bit more but wasn't impossible to make for a novice like me.  Thanks to the good old YouTube algorithm, a video popped up on my homepage from someone called Blue Calla Patterns .  I watched all 3 instructional build videos first to see if it was something I thought I could manage to make.  And as per my usual mind set, if I see it once......I think I can do it, lol.  So I went straight to their website and purchased the pattern.  And I am so happy that I did, because I am incredibly chuffed with how this bag turned out.  It doesn't even look handmade....although you might think differently, teehee..  I am very much a visual learner, and although the pattern has fantastic instructions and diagrams included, the videos were definitely my preferred method of learning. The videos were so incredibly detailed and well thought out that I felt more than confident to make this bag. 

JUST A QUICK NOTE:- It's incredibly difficult to photograph a bag particularly when it is empty. When it's empty it looks a tad more wrinkly and not quite as structured.  So, please keep that in mind when you see the photos, teehee.  To me, in person, the bag looks much nicer than I could show in photos.  But isn't that the way of things, teehee.
I used black faux leather for the accent pieces, straps, zipper panel and base.
I love the design with the crossover straps.  Gives it a bit more stability too.  The bag isn't looks it from this photo but it's just perspective.  I promise, it is straight and even, lol
I added this wee handmade bling emblem to the front - details of where to buy your own is below.  This was a beautiful upholstery weight fabric called Boudin Flint, and although it was a perfect weight for a handbag....these embroidered flowers were SO incredibly thick, it was unbelievable.  I'm glad the fabric wasn't smothered in them because frankly, I would have had to chose a different fabric.  These flowers were very heavy to get my needle through at some stages, so I just had to take it slow.  When I make this bag again (which I definitely will), I'll still chose to use a heavier fabric, like canvas or upholstery weight, but I will be aware of any embellishments or embroidery on it.  It was these flowers that nearly ended my bag making career, teehee.  Put it this way....I definitely needed to change the needle after this project....and it was a heavy jeans needle too!  However, other than the embroidered sections, this fabric was a dream to work with and perfect for this bag.  And Pandora on Ebay has such beautiful fabrics.....I would buy them all if I could, lol.
It's a really lovely sized bag with tonnes of space inside.  Oops...sorry, the base needs a little straightening out there..
On the inside, it comes with a zipped pocket area to keep all your bits and bobs safe
Of course, I had to add my wee "Crafty Loops homemade by" label inside, lol. Just along the top of the front of the bag here is where I had just a bit of difficulty with the embroidered flowers.  They were so, so thick so folding them over and trying to top stitch was a bit of a "tongue out & concentrate" kind of task. The thickness meant that the folded embroidered flower part sits up ever so slightly, making the very top edge look maybe a wee bit wonky....but it's not.  It's just that the embroidery on that bit of the flower just sits a bit too proud for my liking.  But I think it will be ok.  Next time, I will make sure there is nothing that can hinder the top folding of the bag.
And on the opposite side of the zip section, there are 2 slip pockets that are perfect for your mobile phone
I was so chuffed when I managed to get these cross over straps to line up perfectly.  As a novice bag maker, it's the little victories that get you over the frustrating parts of sewing...(ahem....embroidered
The front of the bag has another pocket with a magnetic closure to keep items secure.  And I love the little metal grommet details.  They really added something to the bag and makes it look legit
Sorry about the odd colour on this photo, I don't know what went wrong.  The bag has a detachable, adjustable cross body strap, in case you prefer to wear it that way.  Or wear it just over your shoulder.  The strap is fully adjustable so can be made any length that suits you.
The closure is a zip closure. This was the part of the project that I was most worried about.  But honestly, the video instructions are so clear and Celine is so thorough in walking you through every step.  The one thing I definitely recommend when making this bag, is to put a heavy duty or Jeans needle in your machine.  You are going to need the bigger, stronger needle to go through all the layers of the bag, particularly when top stitching and attaching the lining and main body of the bag together.  I also used a teflon foot when sewing the faux leather parts which I found handy.  My machine is a Janome QXL 605 machine and I've linked the foot I bought below.
My wee Mamma likes to keep her bags in good condition and uses dust bags whenever she can.  So, I made a very simply dust bag just using some plain white polyester dress lining fabric that I had.  It's nothing fancy but will do the job well and won't look out of place with her other bags. 
And that's the bag folks.  I really hope my wee Mamma loves it.  We'll find out on Christmas day...eekkk!  We'll see if it's nice enough to sit beside her other lovely handbags, teehee.  Bless my wee Mamma, she'd say it's the best thing ever, even if it wasn't, lol.  

That's it from me folks.....Christmas is only a handful of days away now.  I hope you have all your shopping done, wrapping completed and the run up to the big day is stress free.  And if you are in the UK or Northern Ireland, I hope you are keeping warm.  We're used to cold in Northern Ireland but even this weather has rocked our socks a bit.  Brrrrrr!  Wrap up warm and keep safe.

Toodles Noodles.......Lee aka Crafty Loops xx
At the time of typing, the items I linked to are available.  However, items stock changes all the time and with time marching by, some items I link may no longer be available from that particular seller.  However, a quick Google search should help you out if my links are no longer working/available. 
I highly recommend the Passion Flower Tote from  Celine is a fantastic teacher and her videos are so well thought out and her instructions are very clear.  I didn't get this pattern for free, I paid for it with my own money.  So this is a very honest review.
Faux Leather, black - Ebay
Jeans Needles - Amazon
25mm Swivel Lobster Clasps for shoulder strap - Amazon
Metal bag feet - Amazon
Teflon non-stick foot, Amazon- for sewing machine.  Works great when working with faux leather.  This foot works perfectly with my Janome QXL605 sewing machine
Woven Fusible Interfacing - (G700 or equivalent) - Ebay
Boudin Flint Embroidered Fabric, Upholstery fabric - purchased from Pandora-Upholstery on Ebay.  This is normally very expensive fabric to buy, usually £50 per metre!  But I got a great deal on Pandora's Ebay site. 
Lining fabric, Ditsy Floral Poly Cotton - Grey & Black - Ebay
Zips, no 3 & no 5 - bought from various sellers on Ebay.  Try ZipperStation
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  1. What a stunning bag with the beautiful fabric and leather straps, you have done so well on your first attempt, it looks perfect to me (and your Mum I bet ) lol Have a very happy Christmas and lots of fun sewing in the new year, xx


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Helloooooo! Anybody out there??!! Hey....there you are! Thanks for leaving a comment and stopping by my Blog. Lee x