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A New Summer Bag Adds Brightness & Fun To Your Wardrobe

Sewing a bag is a fun way to grow your sewing skills and your wardrobe accessories!

This is the Cleo bag, a new pattern release from Samey Atelier Farbstil. It is a wonderfully designed tote bag that offers endless possibilities for styling.

The Cleo is created from two main fabrics, the outer fabric and the lining. Your outer fabric is best suited to a heavier weight such as felt, denim, leather or a heavier decor fabric. For my first bag I chose a medium weight felt in a lovely bright yellow. I loved the colour and knew that it would be a great colour to accessorize my summer wardrobe. The felt holds its shape well, offering good structure to the bag. If you were to choose a lighter weight fabric, I would suggest using a heavy interfacing on the backside of the fabric. If you decide to sew an exposed seam along the edges make sure to cut the interfacing an inch smaller all the way around so it is not invisible once the seams are sewn together. If you want to add a label to your bag add it before you sew your seams together. I used this fun label from Purple Threads.

The lining of the bag is designed to be sewn into the bag with a slightly raised upper edge so that it is just visible. I like this effect as it gives the top of the bag a nice detailed finish. This kind of finish would work really well with a contrast lining. If you would like the lining to not be visible at all, simply lower the edge of the lining fabric to just below the top edge before you top stitch it in place. It is important to note that if you are choosing this finish you will need to adjust the height of the grommet openings so that they correspond perfectly wiht the outer fabric. For my lining I used a left over piece of french toile home decor fabric. It has a lovely floral print that is subtle enough to be neutral but super cute when you open up the bag. I also added two inside pockets, one on each side of the tote. I used the interior pocket instructions that come with the Amanda Ring bag. You can find all of the details for this tote here.

I love the bow feature on this bag. It really adds interest and panache to the overall look. The bow tie closure is a fun, original design that adds a pop of interest and ensures your tote doesn’t fall open. Its a great way to secure the opening to your bag. For my bow I chose a damask chiffon. It adds a subtle contrast element to the bright yellow bag, blending in with the lining but isn’t too busy like a print. I like the neutrality of the bow which guarantees that it will match many different kinds of outfit.

Another creative feature of this bag are the grommets and ring clips added to the top edge. These allow you to accessorize your bag with a variety of handles. I have a set of bamboo handles and resin link handles that both look fantastic. You can also add a cross body strap to your bag for even more style flexibility. I ordered my handles from Amazon. You will find different styles and colours making your tote even more versatile.

Adding grommets to your purse can be done quite easily. There are lots of YouTube videos that show you each step of the process. I ordered both my grommets and my clip rings from Amazon, they are all reasonably priced and give you enough to make several bags. The bottom of the bag has metal feet which can be installed before securing your lining. They add another nice detail and will help to keep the bottom of your bag from getting dirty or scuffed.

The Cleo bag is a great afternoon project. You will thoroughly enjoy the process of sewing the bag and putting it all together in time for you to take a new bag out with you that evening. I think this bag will be wonderful in a heavy denim or a dark brown pleather; the options truly are endless.

After all… There is Sew Much To Design

Happy Sewing,

Lou Sheffer


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