Monday, 31 December 2012

Inserting a concealed recessed top edge zipper? Part 1

One of my sisters (I have 3) asked me to make her a bag to go to work.
She gave me a long list with her wishes about size, pockets etc.
It should have a closed top....
A long time ago, I wrote this post about a recessed zipper closure.
At that time, I was not completely happy with the achieved result.

So, this time I decided to use the "Slimline concealed top edge zip" chapter, in Lisa Lam's most recent book: A bag for all reasons, as a guideline.
I followed the steps on p.25-26 and first made a zip tab. I made my version:

Next, I cut the zip top band pieces. They are trimmed off the top edge of the lining fabric. These top band pieces will also be the top closure of your bag. I didn't want the lining fabric to be seen at the top; so I replaced these lining top bands by exterior fabric.
In the book (p. 25) it is suggested to use a top band depth of 4 cm for a medium to large bag. I followed this advice.
The height of the top band determines how deep the zipper will sit in the bag.
Then I had to determine the width of the gap at both ends of the zip.
I wanted the top of the bag to be as wide as the base, so I measured half of the bag base width and added 1 seam allowance. (10cm)
This was a mistake, you will see...
I followed steps 4-5 on p.25-26.
Have a look:
This is the result after stitching the zip top band onto the zip and lining (p. 26, fig.e)
I repeated step 4-5 with the other side of the zip, lining and top band:

Then I completed the bag lining by stitching both sides together WSO.(I didn't add a gusset for this bag.)
I got this:
Do you see the problem? The gap at both ends of the zip is far to large. It didn't even fit the exterior bag.
How I got this result...
I will tell you in my next post.

Monday, 10 December 2012

A sunglass case Christmas gift.

As a Chrsitmas gift I made my husband this case to carry his sunglasses:

Without knowing it was for him, I asked him which fabric men would like for a sunglass case. He chose this lovely green fabric from the 'Magnolia Lane collection' by Laura Gunn.
This fabric comes in many different colourways.
For the lining I chose a cheeky fabric with mouses crawling all over, referring to his love for computers.
I hope he will be happy with it.
Have a look:

I reinforced this little case with Vilene S 520, to give it body and make it sturdy.
It closes with a magnetic snap.
As a finishing touch I added the top part of a pearl snap to the front.
Similar cases will soon be available in my zest4colour etsy shop.
Here is a sneeky preview:
What do you think?
Warm regards

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Warm gift ideas...

Here I have some more interesting gift ideas.
This is a lovely warm yellow - orange treasury on etsy.
Have a look:
To go there , here is the link.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Looking for a golden purse ...

Are you still looking for a purse to complement your outfit for the coming Christmas festivities?
Here are some golden beauties available on Etsy.
Here is the link.
Would you like another colour? Why not visiting my shop: zest4colour ? Or just send me an email with your wishes.
Warm regards

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Music for your heart and soul.

This post isn't about sewing.

I came accross this video on Youtube : a man is playing the contrabas on a square in a Spanish city. A  little girl throws a coin in his hat. Look what happens:
I found this so beautiful and moving.
I hope you like it.
Have a nice weekend

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A craft fair experience.

In my last post I told you about the Handmade in Belgium event.
This fair is held twice a year.
It was the first time I attended this craft fair. Here you can see my booth all set and ready.

My sales weren't brilliant; I was a bit disappointed.
I had a lot of positive comments: fantastic, beautiful, great work ... but it shouldn't cost money.
Now my motto is: "Quality comes at a price".
I use high quality materials, take a lot of time to create a product and set high standards.
So I am not going to ask a low price to have a sale.

But what shocked me most is how rude and unfriendly some visitors were. They took and inspected my items without even looking at me or saying hello. Within minutes, my booth was a mess.
Of course there were also very friendly people who were genuinely interested.
What is your experience with craft fairs?

Friday, 31 August 2012

Handmade in Belgium event.

An exciting event is taking place for the 6th time on Sunday September 9th!
Here is the flyer:

If you go to the handmade in Belgium website you can see who is taking part.
Of course I will be there too.
The location is also very interesting: CMine in Genk.
An old industrial coalmine is restorated and transformed into a large cultural centre.
Some pictures:

The building itself is worth visiting.
I hope to see you there.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

One & Only pop up store!

What is a pop up store?
Pop up stores have a tendency to pop up unannounced, stay for a short time, and then disappear or morph into something else, adding to retail a fresh feel, exclusivity and surprise.
Some examples:
Hermes opened up a temporary silk bar in Causeway Bay.
Hermes opened up a temporary silk bar in Causeway Bay.

Kate Spade opened up an inviting igloo for three weeks in New York City's Bryant Park. It handed out free hot chocolate to keep shoppers warm.
Kate Spade opened up an inviting igloo for three weeks in New York City's Bryant Park. It handed out free hot chocolate to keep shoppers warm.

Godiva opened a pop-up boutique for Valentine's Day this year on 5th Avenue in New York City.

Godiva opened a pop-up boutique for Valentine's Day this year on 5th Avenue in New York City.

I have the honour to take part in an upcoming pop up store
(23-26 th of August) , I am thrilled!
I have to tell you, it is not in New York, but in the beautiful old Belgian city Antwerp.
Here is the link to the Facebook Page.
Location: Zand 5 - 2000 Antwerp

This is the website of the lovely lady who organises everything:

I know, most of you don't live in Belgium to come to the store, but all my items are of course still available online at Zest4colour
Warm regards

Sunday, 1 July 2012

New book! "A bag for all reasons"

I hesitated before buying this book,  after reading the negative reviews on Amazon, saying that this new Lisa Lam book is a copy of 'The bag making bible'.
I am glad I didn't listen to them.
I already own the first book and indeed some of the techniques and pictures are repeated.
But they perfectly blend in with new work.

It is essential reference information you need, if you don't have the other book.

The layout of the book is lovely, printed on high quality paper and I am very happy with the spiral bound: much easier to keep the book open.

There are full size patterns, ready to use.
It would have been useful to have an envelop at the back to keep the patterns tidy , but I am going to add one myself.
I haven't started a project yet, but I am planning to make some of them.
I will let you know how I get on.


Friday, 8 June 2012

Taking pictures

Recently I found this interesting little book.

It is packed with suggestions, tips, advice and examples of how you can improve the art of photografing your work.
There is a good chapter on camera basics: light, aperture, shutter, exposure, colour, focus ...
Planning your photograph is important: advice is given on choosing a background, the composition, styling, using detail etc.
There is a chapter for almost every craft:

Each chapter has the same layout: Planning& setup; composition; common problems & FAQs and a practitioner spotlight.

At the end there is a chapter on how to edit your pictures and last but not least : business advice.

This book is a gem; I found it here

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Mothers Day Gift Guide - 5

Looking for a stylish, black and white gift? Here are some ideas.

Here is the link to the treasury.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Mothers Day Gift Guide - 4

Have a look at this delicious treasury!
Who doesn't love afternoon tea?

Here is the link to the treasury.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Mothers Day Gift Guide - 3

A spring bird collection - sooo sweet.

Here is the link to the treasury.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Mothers Day gift guide - 2

Some more gift ideas to spoil your mother: pastel choices.

Here is the link to the treasury.
Enjoy your weekend.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Kitchen poetry

When you're cooking in the kitchen,
You're learning all the while --
To pour and measure, mix and stir
And sift flour into a pile....
Unknown poet (not me)

Have a look at this treasury on Etsy

Here is the link.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Liberty fabrics

Last week , I was in London, the Mecca for Liberty fabrics.
Not only do you have the beautiful Liberty store,

but on Old Brompton Road there is a shop full of Liberty fabrics ,with  an even wider range than at the Liberty store itself and at a lower price.
Here is a link to their website:
If you go in there, watch your budget, because you will be tempted...
Look what I found
A gorgeous curduroy

Lovely silk

Fine tana lawn
Tana lawn from the new spring collection
This is tempting isn't it?

Saturday, 31 March 2012

My Blossom Shoulder Bag - Part 4

My bag was almost finished now.I just had to make and attach the dividers.
The first divider is easy to make. Just follow step 16a-g.
When stitching the dividerpanels, make sure not to stitch through the Peltex or Vilene S520, to get sharp edges:

I turned the panels right side out and edge stitched the top, starting and stopping exactly at the point where I would edge stitch the sides.
It is difficult to pin both divider panels together, as they are stiff and thick; so I used my getta grip clips and edge stitched both sides and bottom.

My first divider was ready.
Now the second divider:
I bought a 30 cm zipper (30.5 cm is not available) like suggested, but this seemed to small:

Here you see the first finished divider placed on the zipper and the next panel.
The zipper has to be longer than the finished divider.
So I increased the length of the zipper by adding small folded fabric pieces at each end like this:

I then followed steps 16h through 16o:

A finished second divider:

All that was left to do now was attaching the dividers to the inside of the bag, following step 17.
I did the first one by hand, broke a needle, a few threads and ruined my fingers.
It is much easier to bar tack with your sewing machine; turning the wheel back- and forward by hand.
Have a look:

Here are some final pictures.
I am not completely happy with the mauve colour of the dividers. If I ever find the perfect beige, I can easily make new dividers. Just by removing the bar tacks, the dividers can be replaced.

I can now show my bag to the world.

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