Monday, July 20, 2015

Welcome to Charleston!

Hello from Seattle, and welcome to day 2 of the Charleston Blog Tour!

For those of you that haven't visited my little corner of the blogging world, my name is Leslie, and I love making bags and quilts (and more bags and more quilts).  I am quite honored to have the opportunity to participate in the Tour, and I can't wait to reveal my project and some extra goodies (including 2 chances to win some fantastic prizes)!

Charleston, the first collection by REVIVE, brings the glitz, glamour, and undeniable Art Deco style of the 1920s-1930s to sewists of the 21st century.  With the combination of rich, bold colors and metallic ink, Charleston is ready to hit the town. 

When I think of the 1920s and 1930s, one of the first things that comes to mind is travel.  The automobile and air travel were beginning to change how people moved from point to point, and the large steamer trunks covered with colorful labels from exotic, foreign locations were being replaced by suitcases.  After feeling lost in a sea of bland, garden variety black bags that populate the airports and cruise ships of the world today, REVIVE's Charleston collection was my source of inspiration to bring Art Deco style to a bag suited for a traveler in the 21st century.

To do my part to combat the menace of the plain black bag, I made the Get Out of Town duffle from Patterns by Annie (the pattern is available through her site as a hard copy or check with your favorite local quilt shop for availability).  The bag is a small duffle style bag that measures 16"L x 10"H x 7"D which makes it a size suitable for a weekend getaway or as a carry on bag.  This would also be a great size for a teenager or an older child.

To make the bag, here's what you will need:

  • 1 yard main fabric (I used Puttin' on the Ritz - Revive-CM4201-Coral)
  • 1 yard lining fabric (I used World's Fair - Revive-CM4202-Multi)
  • 1 1/4 yard coordinating fabric (I used Jazz - Revive-CM4210-Blue)
  • 1 yard of Soft & Stable
  • 5 1/2 yards of 1" wide webbing/strapping
  • 1 - 10" or larger zipper for the front pocket
  • 1 - 18" or larger zipper for the main zipper
  • 2 - 1" D-Rings
  • 1 - 1" Strap Adjuster or Slider
  • 2 - 1" Swivel Hooks
  • 7" x 18" piece of fusible interfacing (I used Pellon SF101/Shape Flex)
  • 6 1/4" x 16 1/2" foam core or heavy cardboard for use as the stabilizer for the bottom of the bag (I used foam core)
  • Thread to coordinate (I used 40 weight Aurifil in colors 2225, 2310, and 2785)

I opted to purchase a finishing kit from which included the strapping, zippers, metal hardware, and the fusible interfacing.  I chose the antique brass hardware optionand I love that the kit offers a choice of zipper colors (my pick was navy).  With the amount of time and gasoline that I would spend driving around to different shops to collect the materials, it was more cost effective (and super convenient) for me to order the kit.

Part of what sets this bag apart is its use of materials, especially Soft & Stable.  Soft & Stable is a foam stabilizer that allows a bag to keep its shape while still remaining lightweight and flexible. It works extremely well on both quilted and non-quilted bags. I chose to quilt a grid pattern with lines spaced at 1.5" apart, and I selected a thread color that blended with the fabric so the gorgeous colors and prints would remain the stars of the show.

I love that most of the bag is assembled while it is flat, and the sides are sewn and bound on the interior of the bag. The pattern also incorporates webbing/strapping into the handles and straps to provide comfort, strength, stability, and flexibility.  A foam core insert keeps the bottom of the bag from sagging (it's in a removable sleeve).  To add even more support and durability, the straps continue under the bottom of the bag.

Annie's patterns are designed for functionality and her attention to detail give her patterns a professionally made look and feel.  The exterior of this bag features 4 open pockets, one zipped pocket, and a removable, adjustable strap with pad.  On the inside of the bag, a series of 3 slip-in pockets are available to assist with organization. 

I love the clean finish of the zipper installation.

I didn't find the pattern to be difficult, but managing thicker materials and wrangling the Soft & Stable would make me inclined to say that it would be more suitable for an advanced beginner to intermediate level sewist.  While the Soft & Stable is quite easy to sew, you may occasionally find that you need to remind it who is in charge (hint:  it's you).  Using handbag zippers will also make this project flow smoothly.  With the wider zipper tape, I can install the zippers without having to use my least favorite foot, the zipper foot!  The large zipper pulls are also easier to grab than their smaller cousins and more durable.

The front of the bag with the slip in pocket (top) and zippered pocket.

As with most items I sew, I can't seem to make a pattern without any modifications.  For this bag, I opted to bind it by hand as I would bind a quilt instead of finishing it by machine.  The other modification that I made was to to cut the fabric for the exterior 1" longer than instructed, cut the fabric into two pieces, re-orient the fabric to account for it being directional, and sew it back together with a 1/2" seam allowance before I could quilt the body of the bag.  Looking back at the entire project, I would make the same modifications again.  It was a great project. 

My original intent was to make just the duffle, but I found myself in need of a quick project with near instant gratification.  With only scraps remaining of my Charleston fabric, the Bon Voyage Passport Cover pattern by Lee Chappell Monroe of May Chappell was the perfect companion project for my travel theme (the pattern is available as a PDF for instant download or as a hard copy on Etsy).  If you are following the Charleston Blog Hop, you will see more from Lee later this week.

While it isn't necessary, I chose to quilt my exterior fabric to the Soft & Stable so that it matched my bag.

To make this pattern, you will need:

  • 3 fat eighths - I used the Puttin' on the Ritz, World's Fair, and Hollywood Revive-CM4203-Navy
  • 6" x 8 1/4" piece of Soft & Stable
  • Thread to coordinate
  • Optional: 6" fold over elastic (I prefer the matte finish of the wrong side for this project)
  • Optional:  Embroidery floss (there is an design for an adorable embroidered ship included in the pattern)

If I hadn't needed to make a trip to the fabric store to buy the navy blue elastic, I would have had it finished in less than an hour (including quilting the exterior).  The pattern is designed for a quick finish, and it would be a great project for somebody learning how to sew, plus it's super cute and useful!

The cover of the passport can slide into the two side pockets so it remains open, but my passport has no stamps to show off.  :(

I made 2 changes to this pattern.  The first, as previously mentioned, was to quilt the exterior fabric to the Soft & Stable, and the second modification was to sew a line down the center that will help encourage it to fold nicely.

Maybe I should try to pry myself away from my sewing machine for a day or two and drive to Canada so I can use my pretty new passport cover and bag!

Now that you've seen my projects, it's time to hear about the goodies that I promised. 

The first of the two giveaways is a big one.  THREE lucky winners will win this beautiful fat quarter bundle of the complete 28 print collection.  To enter, this grand prize giveaway (via Rafflecopter), you will need to visit the SewTimeless blog and find the post for the Charleston by REVIVE Blog Tour or click this link to go directly to the page.

Thanks to the generosity of the team at Timeless Treasures, I am also hosting a giveaway for folks that visit my page and leave a comment.  In your comment, I'd love to hear what you would like to make with the Charleston fabrics.  The winner, to be determined using a random number generator, will receive a yard of fabric from the collection.  While receiving a yard of any fabric is pretty fantastic, it's even better when you get to pick which of the fabrics from the collection that you win!  Once the winner has been determined, I will be in contact via email (please make sure that you have a valid email address when you submit your comment) to obtain your mailing address and find out which fabric you've selected.  From there, Timeless Treasures will send you the fabric.  It's that easy!  There's only one catch, you MUST leave your comment before 9 pm PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) on Saturday, July 25. So, that means you have almost a full week to enter the giveaway on my blog.  The winner will be posted no later than 10 pm, so please check back in to see if you've won.

I'd like to take the opportunity to say thank you for spending a little bit of time with me today, and a huge thanks to the folks at Timeless Treasures for sponsoring the Hop.  There are many more projects to see (and more chances to win) on the Charleston Blog Hop, so please make sure to visit my fellow bloggers to see what they've been cooking up for you.

Monday, July 20:
Shayla Wolf, Sassafras Lane Designs

Tuesday, July 21:
Leslie Meltzer, 50 Sq Ft Studios
Kim Buffington, Make Something/Dritz

Wednesday, July 22:
Rebecca Silbaugh, Ruby Blue Quilts

Thursday, July 23:
Kim Brackett, Magnolia Bay Quilts
Lee Chappell Monroe, May Chappell

Friday, July 24
Jessica VanDenburgh, Sew Many Creations/The Straight Stitch Blog

That's all for me on the Charleston Blog Tour.  Thanks again for visiting, and don't forget to visit the Sew Timeless blog to enter the big giveaway and leave a comment below to win a yard of your choice from the beautiful, Art Deco inspired Charleston collection.

UPDATE as of 9:30pm PDT on 7/25/15: says that #17 is the winner, so congrats to LeAnne on winning a yard of your choice from the collection!  I'll send you an email in just a few minutes to find out which fabric you'd like to have sent to you from Timeless Treasures.

Thanks to everybody that visited.


  1. Love the bag! You do such fabulous work. I might attempt a bag if I was to win. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beautiful work as always Leslie! I'd definitely make a bag as well... I've got my eyes on that Gatsby print in the multi colorway!! ❤️

  3. I would love to make the passport holder....ideal for travel!

  4. The duffle bag made up very nicely plus what a handy passport cover.

  5. You are the bag queen. I love your attention to detail and recommendations. I am on a Dresden Hunt right now. But I think this fabric needs something more classy, less whimsical. I'll have to think.

  6. Love the bag and your passport wallet. Nice quilting, and your zippers look great.

  7. I would have a hard time choosing what to make, but your bag looks wonderful so I would probably give it a go.

  8. Love your bag! I've yet to make a bag like this but would like to try one day. Such a beautiful collection! I'd love to make some zippy bags, a few for Christmas presents.

    Awesome giveaway!


  9. What can't you do? This is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing, Leslie.

  10. Beautiful. The navy and gold rosebud fabric is my favorite.

  11. Wow! I love your bag!
    My favourite print is Gatsby.

  12. I just finished my Get Out of Town, too! Super cute!

  13. Love the bag. By Annie patterns are great.

  14. HELLO, I'd love to make a bag like yours in the Gatsby !
    Thanks for sharing!

  15. I believe I would make a Dresden applique quilt or maybe an Irish Chain quilt. I love the way that these two patterns can really show off fabrics. I would choose the Hollywood Revive CM 4203-Blue. Thank you for sharing your wonderful bag and for the opportunity to win this prize! Have a wonderful creative day!
    my email is

  16. I have a purse pattern I've been wanting to make. These fabrics would be perfect for it.

  17. Like you, I like making bags and quilts and more bags and more quilts! So I would make one of those things with these fabrics. I haven't tried making a duffle; I'm totally impressed by yours!

  18. CM4203 is beautiful. I'd most likely incorporate it into a quilt. Thanks for the opportunity to win!
    kakingsbury at verizon dot net

  19. Thanks for sharing this post! I love your duffle and passport holder! I just got some Soft and Stable with the intention of making a Weekender bag. I'd love to use Gatsby for it.

  20. These are some darn gorgeous prints! Your projects are exquisite!

  21. I like making quilts with bundles like Charleston. Great job with the duffle and matching passport cover.

  22. I would like to make a lap quilt for my mom.

  23. I would adore a skirt in Speakeasy!

  24. Lovely bag and such a cute passport cover- if only I had somewhere fun to show it off! I would love to use some of the Glitz in a quilt for my niece and her soon to be hubby- they are having a Gatsby theme for their wedding! Thanks! Sarah: crjandsbj(at)netzero(dot)com

  25. Lovely bag-I'd love to try making it!

  26. Your bag is amazing! I wouldn't have thought of a travel bag from these fabrics - very inspired :) x

  27. Love that bag. It is gorgeous!!

    determineddebby at gmail dot com

  28. I would make a sleeveless top for summer. I love the Hollywood print x
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

  29. Your bag is gorgeous! I would make a quilt with these fabrics. So pretty!

  30. This is such a classy collection of fabric! You chose the perfect ones for your bag and passport holder...I hope they carry you to many exotic and memorable places! My favorite fabric is Glamour in this collection.

  31. Your bag is gorgeous in these fabrics! It makes me want to make one just like it and I'm usually one that changes things up. I think I would make a bag with the fabric too. I think I'd like either the World's Fair in Multi or the Glitz in Cream. Can't make up my mind....

  32. You did a beautiful job with that bag.

    I am thinking that a yard of this fabric would make beautiful matching hot pads and oven mitts. Any left over would probably go into a table runner to match the hot pads and oven mitts so it all worked together as a gift or for my own kitchen.

  33. I would make a bag out of one of these beautiful fabrics.

  34. I want to make a quilt for my bed. I love the fabrics!

    wlinda_ca at yahoo dot com

  35. Love the bag. The fabric looks great. I am always looking for the perfect carry on bag. This one looks like it could be the one. I'd try it . Thanks.

  36. I would make a purse. I have to perfect pattern in mind. Thank you for the chance to win!

  37. Love love love your bag!! And the passport cover is the perfect coordinating project:) Awesome job!

  38. Loooove it! I'm not usually one to make purses, but this looks fantastic so I'd make a bag. So chic!

  39. I love the fabric, especially Gatsby. I'd probably make a bag, love yours.

  40. Great fabric! I think I would make a tote with it if I win.

  41. I'm crazy about your choice of fabric for the tote and passport cover! I'm a quilter, so that's all I ever do with fabric--I admire the way anyone else puts fabric together to do anything else with it.

  42. I love this fabric collection! I also love the duffel bag you made so that is what I would make. Thanks!

    Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

  43. The overnight bag is beautiful in these prints!

  44. I could really use a new carry-on bag for airplane travel, so I'd probably make a duffle bag. I love the Puttin' on the Ritz fabric you've chosen for your bag - and the blue/white accent looks great!

  45. I think I would like to make a bag too, as I love the colours in this range.

  46. I'd make a tote bag for sure! -- soparkaveataoldotcom

  47. This collection is a stunner. I have a pattern for a sewing bucket which would look great in this fabric and I'd get to look at it every day.

  48. Oh wow, how cool! I'd like to make some pillow cases for our living room pillows. Thanks and God bless! ILuvTheEucharist @

  49. Beautiful fabric!! Would love to make a runner for my table. :)

  50. love the fabric. I would either make a wall hanging or a bag

  51. I would love to make a new table topper

  52. I would love to make some accent pillows for the settee in my bedroom.

  53. Other than "a quilt" I don't know.
    jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com

  54. I would make a table runner.
    ebbtide45 at yahoo dot com