You don't need EXPENSIVE clips, rulers, or machines to sew, you DO need a little creativity & a willingness to try…..


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Juniper Toiletry Bag

(Blue Calla patterns is one of my affiliate links, I will be compensated if you purchase a pattern)

I am a pattern tester for Blue Calla Patterns, it’s one of very few Canadian Bag Pattern Companies.  I love testing patterns for a few reasons:

1. I get unlimited free patterns (totally awesome), and I get to try the new ones before the rest of the world does!

2. Having a testing deadline FORCES me to finish things, even if I have no “sew-jo”.

3. I get to make suggestions for patterns I would like to see, and have someone actually consider creating them!  (and yes, she has done some of my ideas!)

4. I love being able to feel like my feedback, along with the other testers makes it possible for her to present an amazing product to her customers.

**** BTW, this will be a great end of year Teacher Gift, it’a getting close to that time!****

Last week I tested the Juniper Toiletry Bag for Blue Calla.  This is one of my favourite styles of bags to make and I sell many toiletry/make up type bags to my customers.  Everyone needs one:  men, women and children.  This pattern is totally unisex and can be customized in sooo many ways.  I usually sew 1 bag as my test bag for her and provide feedback….this time I sewed up 4, in 2 days!  That is how much I love this one!

Info:  Release date: Wednesday, April 12th
Dimensions: 9.75″ W x 4″ H x 8″ D

Features: It has 2 zippers that open 2 separate compartments, a top carrying handle, and a very wide, flat bottom that won’t tip over.  There are small pull tabs at the end of the zippers.

Potential Fabrics: This can be made out of a huge range of materials, such as vinyl, cork, cotton, laminated cotton, waxed canvas and possibly even leather. As for interfacing, it requires a little bit of foam, fleece and fusible woven interfacing, and a piece of Peltex stabilizer for the base.

Hardware: This one hardly takes any hardware, just 2 zippers, that’s IT!!  You can always add more hardware to fancy it up, I added Bridge Connectors and Rivets and Feet to some of mine, but it’s not necessary at all.

Skill Level: I would say this is for a confident beginner/ intermediate skill level, if you are comfortable with zippers, you should be OK.  I always encourage beginners to try something they think is slightly out of their skill level, you will likely surprise yourself!  It’s easy to omit the piping to simplify the bag slightly.

As I mentioned above, I made 4 of these!  1 of my 4, I decided to do as Sewing Bag, to hold my hand sewing for travelling.  I added an exterior divided pocket, used Sewing Theme fabrics and combined them with yellow marine vinyl.  I was pleasantly surprised by how cute it turned out and it’s very useful too.  There will be a tutorial for this simple customization on the Blue Calla Website when the pattern is released.

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I also did a classy metallic gold faux leather version.  It was easy to quilt the vinyl to foam for the side panels, and I recommend this, to add a little interest to plain vinyl.  I also added some shiny gold hardware, including a Handmade in Canada metal label, bridge connectors for the handle and purse feet.  My zippers on this one have gold teeth and shiny gold pulls.  I did NOT make vinyl piping for this, (as that sounds about as appealing as cleaning a toilet: I hate making piping), I used a metallic gold piping that is available at Hobby Lobby in the US.  (I have never seen it in Canada.)  I have included a photo of it alongside the popular Clematis Pouch to give a feeling of the size.IMG_7327EDITIMG_7366EDIT

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Next one: I ordered in this perfect fabric called Jubilee by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel fabrics.  I combined it with navy vinyl.  It was meant to go on a bag like this!  I just love it.IMG_7242EDITIMG_7253EDIT.jpgIMG_7257EDIT

Finally, I did a “Tabby Road” version.  I am a Tula Pink addict and although I am not really a cat lover (more of a dog person)…I broke down and bought a little bit of this line because the colours were really pretty.  I combined it with lime green vinyl, and also featured a bit of the fabric’s selvedge on the handle. There are 2 different cats on this print, so I fussy cut each side to show off the 2 different kitties.IMG_7378EDIT.jpgIMG_7374EDITIMG_7383EDIT

If you need a quick Christmas, Birthday, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day gift..this is your pattern!  From start to finish it took me about 2 hrs.  This is something everyone can use in one way or another.  I am going to make some for my kids for summer camp and personalize them with their names.

The pattern will be available in 2 weeks!  So, you’ve got time for some plotting and planning, or even a sweet little paper piecing for the side panel!

Michelle