Button It Up

Before we release our new free pattern later this month on Sew Mama Sew again (squeeee!), we wanted to pop in for a quick pattern hacklet. It’s not a real pattern hack, so we’re trying to see if pattern hacklet catches on. Help us out and use it in your next sewing conversation, okay?

So by now, we have sewn about 15 Gotta Go bags between us. But we often find ourselves either (A) being intimidated by the irreversible damage we could do if we screw up the snap installation on the Zipper End, or (B) being too lazy to go through the hassle of actually adding the snap. And of course, the latter scenario is almost always the case.

The reality is that you don’t really need the functionality of a snap unless you plan on regularly overstuffing the Gotta Go, because undoing the snap makes opening the bag easier when it’s extremely full. So we started adding buttons to several of our Gotta Go bags instead.

Gotta Go Button1

If you want to be lazy like us, here’s how to add a button instead of a snap to your Gotta Go. First, choose a size and color button that suits your bag and some coordinating thread.

Gotta Go Button2

Then, hold the button over the center of the Zipper End, and sew it down, through the Zipper End, the Inner Divider and the Inner Divider Lining. Secure the button by sewing through it several times.

Gotta Go Button3

It’s that easy! Now your Zipper End is permanently sewn down, but we’ve found that it works great for us and how we use the bag. We always keep our cash, cards, keys and phone in the Gotta Go and then just throw that into our larger bags. Then, when we need to run a quick errand, or leave the house without kids and diapers and pull-ups, we grab the Gotta Go, and well, we go!

Gotta Go Button4

We hope you enjoy this little pattern hacklet for the Gotta Go. You can buy our most popular pattern via instant download in our Etsy or Craftsy shops for only $9. And be sure to check back in with us the last week of May when we release our next free pattern!

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There’s More Than One Way to String a Bag

For our newest pattern hack, we *maybe had too much wine one night* and decided it would be a fun challenge to each find a new way to make a cord for our Witchy Woman bucket bags we use all the time. Thankfully our tipsy contest lead to a fantastic pattern hack, and we came up with two awesome ideas to make different cords – a sewn sash, and a knotted paracord.

Sash Hack

Witchy Woman Paracord Hack

For the sash, Ali bought a 1/3 yard of a fun coordinating fabric for her amazing fleather bag that we unveiled a few days ago. She experimented with a few different lengths and widths until deciding that this was the perfect look for this bag.

We think it adds a feminine, sophisticated touch and the possibilities are obviously endless. You can punch up a neutral bag with a bold colorful print, like Ali did, or you can use a solid to quietly complement a beautifully patterned bag.

Sash Hack2

Sash Hack Side

Sash Tutorial

Step 1. Cut a 5” x 60” piece of fabric.

Step 2. Fold in half with wrong sides together and press. Sew 1/8” along the long edge.

Step 3. Flip sash right side out and press.

Step 4. Fold each end inside itself and press. Topstitch 1/8” from each end to close the openings.

Step 5. And you’re done! Weave the sash through the eyelets starting at the middle front and ending at the eyelet next to the one where you started and tie a bow.

For the paracord, Courtney bought a pre-packaged length that you can find at any craft store for just a few dollars. She researched and practiced various knots and landed on the “overhand sliding/scaffold” knot. It slides very easily and is simple and quick to tie.

Witchy Woman Paracord Hack2

For the visual learners, you’ll find step-by-step photos below. For those of you that prefer something a little more hands-on, we filmed another video with a quick tutorial, which you can watch on our YouTube channel here.

Paracord Tutorial

Step 1. Weave the paracord through the eyelets starting at the middle front and ending at the eyelet next to the one where you started. (Note: we decided to double up the paracord to make it stand out a bit more.) Leave the cord(s) shorter on the left-hand side.

Paracord Knot1

Step 2. Hold the short end(s) in your hand, then place the long end(s) on top.

Paracord Knot2

Step 3. Wrap the long end(s) around the short end(s) once, being careful not to twist the cord(s).

Paracord Knot3

Step 4. Wrap the long end(s) around the short end(s) two more times, being careful not to twist the cord(s).

Paracord Knot4

Step 5. Wrap the long end(s) around one more time to insert them into the wrapped cords (you may need to loosen them up a little to make room).

Paracord Knot5

Step 6. Pull the long end(s) down and through the wrapped cords completely.

Paracord Knot6

Step 7. And you’re done! Pull on the short end(s) to slide the knot up to the top of the bag then trim the long end(s) to the same length as the short end(s). To keep the cut ends from fraying, wrap scotch tape around the ends or singe them with a lighter.

Paracord Knot7

We hope you enjoy our newest pattern hack. It’s a great way to add versatility to our Witchy Woman bucket bag. You can make sashes and paracords for every occasion!

To keep you in the loop, we’re already hard at work on our next collection. It’s a little bit different than our previously purely bag collections and we’re really excited to share a sneak peek with you soon. We also jumped on the Instagram bandwagon this week, so come follow our misadventures here. Finally, we will be having a Valentine’s Day “love yourself” sale, so be sure to check back early next week for the details!

The Morning After

Happy New Year! We figured there’s no better time to post about this new addition to our website…

So we all know that the morning after having a bit too much to drink, there are good memories and bad ones. In that spirit, we decided to create a new page on our blog, aptly titled “The Morning After”. There we will share the good – ways to hack our patterns – and the bad – corrections to our patterns. We hope that over time the good will outweigh the bad on the page, just as we hope the good always outweighs the bad on your mornings after!

Thankfully we don’t have any “bad” to report just yet, but we do have our first “good”! We designed an awesome hack for our Fall 2014 Starburst Clutch pattern that we can’t wait to share with you.

Starburst Hack

Yes, folks, those are interchangeable flaps! We altered the pattern to add a separating zipper along the back of the outer bag and along the top of the flap so that you can make as many different fun flaps as you want. How cool is that?!?

Starburst Flap Zipping Off2

Ali was the genius behind this hack and her inspiration stemmed from her undying love for homemade holiday bags. She has a seriously enviable collection. So what is a girl to do when she needs (even) more holiday bags? Hack your own pattern so you can make a Halloween themed flap and a Christmas themed flap to cover your bases. Wait, why did Thanksgiving get the shaft? We’ll have to chat about that soon.

Starburst Halloween Flap

Starburst Halloween Flap Inner

Starburst Christmas Flap

Starburst Christmas Flap Inner

Our 2 page PDF tutorial explains step-by-step how to hack the original Starburst pattern (which you can buy at our Etsy or Craftsy shop for only $9) and includes 14 color images to help you along the way. All you need is a 10” separating zipper, the male end of a magnetic snap, fun fabric scraps for the flap, and a 20” X 15” scrap of batting.

Starburst Flap Zipping Off

Starburst Two Flaps Zipped Off

So click here to download the free Starburst hack and plan to spend the next several days making mountains of super cute interchangeable flaps. And check back often as we have some other fun hacks of our patterns already planned!