Autumn – and another Echino bucket tote

It’s getting cold in the Blue Mountains. I love all the seasons here, but autumn is particularly lovely. Here’s a view from my studio right now. What a glorious day!

Autumn in the blue mountains

In Japan, we think of autumn as a season of creativity and reading – a time to resurrect your brain after a mind-numbingly hot and sweaty summer. And even though the summer in the mountains is mild, I feel a surge of fresh creative energy these days!

Bucket shoulder bag by Piggledee

 

So, here’s another Echino bag in the same smaller bucket bag design I showed you last time (that bag, by the way, has sold already and is on its way to a new home in the US as we speak – woohoo!).

Bucket shoulder bag by Piggledee

How cute are these budgies? Well, they are more realistic-looking rather than “cute,” but I love them anyways. Budgies were my childhood pets growing up in a small apartment in Japan.

Echino Bucket shoulder bag by Piggledee

Etsuko Furuya’s designs are often large-scale, so they shine in larger items like this.

The natural colour of linen will go with a lot of different outfits, but I also have this print in hot pink and black.

Echino budgie fabric

It’s available in my Etsy shop now.

Polar Bear Fabric Storage Box

Here’s something super cute that I made for a customer today.

polar bear fabric storage box by Piggledee

 

 

It’s a fabric storage box! How adorable is this polar bear fabric by Japanese designer Mico Ogura? She actually designed a similar polar bear fabric last year, which had sadly sold out quickly.

But miracles do happen, and this year she again came up with this equally-cute polar bear fabric. I love all the colors, but the grey one is particularly beautiful, don’t you think? Paired with natural, off-white lining, its cuteness is subtle enough for a grownup to use.

polar bear fabric storage box by Piggledee

 

Fabric boxes are fantastic to organize things around your house. I’d think of diapers, baby clothing, kids’ toys, etc. But see, books might work well as well!

polar bear fabric storage box by Piggledee

Cook books, kids’ books, that tend to scatter around the house can be neatly piled up in one of these boxes (not that they are neatly organized in my house, unfortunately…).

And if you are wondering if I am ever going to finish that sewing pattern for these boxes, I’m very sorry! Yes I am going to finish it as soon as I have some free time. Thanks for your patience, everyone.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these boxes, they are on my Etsy shop. The polar bear one is not listed, but if you send me a message, I’d be happy to custom make one for you, too (while the fabrics last, that is – the grey one is nearly sold out!).

New Bag!

It’s been a while since I added a new bag design to my shop. Not that I didn’t have any new ideas, but I’ve been so busy fulfilling orders, I had no time to play with new designs. This is the real shortcoming of having a do-everything-yourself business – that when your shop is busy, you just can’t get around to developing new products or write patterns… But I’m not complaining! There are many wonderful benefits to having a (mostly) one-person business as well, so really, I’m okay with it.

This week though, I’m happy to show you a new bag design finally! Well, it’s more like a “variation on the theme” of bucket bags that are already in my shops, rather than a radical new design. Still, I’m patting myself on shoulder for sewing up something different for a change.

Echino bucket bag by Piggledee

It’s a nice size for a handbag, except it has an adjustable shoulder strap. It resembles my bucket diaper bags, but there are no outside pockets. It’s also longer in shape than it is wider. It looks more grownup that way. It’s for women of all ages – not just mothers of little ones.

Bucket shoulder bag by Piggledee

Bucket shoulder bag by Piggledee

And the fabric! It’s this fabric that inspired me to make this bag. It’s a new “Echino” line of designer fabric by Etsuko Furuya, called “Den.” How I love the tiny specks of silver triangles like sparkling snowflakes. And the shade of steel grey background and the large-scale dots. And of course those cheeky little foxes in silver. I have loved Echino fabrics for ages, but this one is one of my favorites.

Echino bucket bag by Piggledee

 

Bucket shoulder bag by Piggledee

 

This bag is now available in my Etsy shop. I can’t wait to make more stuff this gorgeous fabric!

 

Potholders for Mother’s Day

My mother, who is gifted at finding amazing fabric from Japan, sent me this bit of unusual fabric this week. Doesn’t this fabric look a bit like a book of postage stamps, or a sticker sheet? A bit festive and Christmassy, too.

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I pondered what I can make with it. I only had about half a meter of it, so larger items were out. The “stickers” were all so pretty, particularly when cut out individually. But the rectangles are too small for a lavender pillows or coasters… Then I thought – applique!

potholders with applique

And what better than applique potholders for Mother’s Day? My mother loves cooking and she loves potholders. These came out so quickly, too. Just like real stickers, I stuck the fabric bits on with fusible web, and then straight stitched around the edges. The checkered binding adds a bit of interest to the otherwise minimalist design.

potholders with applique

I hope these will brighten up my mother’s kitchen. And for me? I have plenty of the lovely fabric left to play with still. Hooray!

leftover patchwork fabric

 

Facebook Holiday Market

Thank you very much to those of you who came by my Facebook market last weekend. This market featured a brand new, original fabric collection by the fabulous designer and friend Amy from Gloriousmess! Amy has designed my “Piggy” logo, banners, medical ID card, and other packaging materials in the past. It’s fair to say I’m a huge fan of pretty much everything Amy designs. I have been hoping for a long time that she would one day design fabrics. Then my dream came true!

Here are some of the products I made with Amy’s fabric for the Facebook market.

Piggledee lunch bag Piggledee lunch bag

Insulated lunch bags and matching insulated snack sleeves. Can lunch time get any happier with these fabrics?Piggledee wet bags

These are small-sized wet bags. The designs are printed on a very sturdy, cotton linen blend canvas – perfect for all kinds of bags.

The most popular items at the Facebook market were these coloring pencil cases – black and white fabrics with gorgeous detailed drawings that children (or grownups even) can color in with permanent or washable market pens. There are three designs – sushi, “under the sea” and space. All are fantastic, but being Japanese and all, sushi is by far my favorite! I love that these designs would appeal to both boys and girls, so I used gender-neutral colors for the zipper and lining.

Piggledee pencil case Piggledee pencil case

Here are mini activity tote bags that children can decorate themselves.

Piggledee activity tote

Amy’s fabrics also came in 100% certified organic jersey – which is super soft yet sturdy. For the market, I made simple wash towels with certified organic terry towel backing.

Piggledee organic towel

Piggledee organic towel

Most of these items were sold out in a matter of hours. But if you missed out, please don’t despair. You’ll probably see more items in my shops soon – now we know how popular they are.

It was such a privilege and joy to have worked with Amy to introduce her first-ever fabric collection. Thank you so much, Amy! And if you like her fabric designs, please visit her shop (website or Etsy) for other gorgeous designs in greeting cards, packaging items, and art prints.

 

Black and white day

Today I continued to play with the black “boy” fabric.  I really love this fabric. First I made an insulated lunch bag.

insulated lunch bag for men by Piggledee

I realize this lunch bag may not look too manly…. A while back, I asked my Facebook friends if their husbands and boyfriends might go for a tote-style lunch bag if the fabric was sufficiently manly. And their answer was largely – um, no. Men don’t care about a nice lunch bag, and they can’t be trusted to bring it back home safely anyway, they told me. Or men would be too embarrassed to carry a handbag-style lunch bag. Fair enough, I thought. But here I am making a handbag lunch bag anyway! Maybe I am hopelessly optimistic that there are some men (or older boys) out there, who are comfortable wearing this adorable bag to work or school. Or there are women who would like to carry this cool lunch bag. We shall wait and see what the global Etsy community will say about this bag. 

insulated lunch bag for men by Piggledee

 

In that same Facebook conversation, some people suggested that toiletry bags might be the thing to make for men – assuming the fabric is right. So just to be on the safe side, I also made a large wet bag pouch in the same fabric. This would make a nice toiletry bag with the waterproof lining and all.

toiletry bag for men by Piggledee

toiletry bag for men by Piggledee

Speaking of black fabric, I sewed with a few other black (or black and white) fabrics today – quite by coincidence.

black and white lunch bag by Piggledee

This is an extra-large insulated lunch bag in black and white stripe – this fabric is popular. I’ve sold a lot of lunch bags in this zebra-chic fabric.

checkered cat wet bag by Piggledee

 

Here is a medium wet bag in a black and white checkered cat fabric. I also have this fabric in pink, green, and blue, but this black and white version is my favorite. 

drawstring lunch bag by Piggledee

 

This one is a simple drawstring backpack lunch bag. It’s the same “Cocoland” series of cat fabrics as the checkered one. 

The drawstring bag has such a cute shape, don’t you think? I have a tutorial here if you’d like to make one yourself. It would make a great craft project bag, too! Here is the bag with my current craft project inside. It’s going to be a scarf for Mr. Piggledee (because it’s really cold in the Blue Mountains). My knitting needles don’t quite fit in this bag, but if you use circular needles it will fit with no problem. 

Most of these items are now available at my shop

drawstring lunch bag by Piggledee

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New fabrics from Japan

It’s a happy day when new fabrics arrive at my doorstep – particularly if they’ve taken six long weeks to arrive. Here’s are the latest additions to my sewing room.

Cactus fabric (natural)

cactus fabric (yellow) linen leaf fabric

leaf fabric insulated lunch bag by Piggledee

As Piggledee continues to grow, I am now buying more fabric in bolts, rather than a couple of meters at a time. Bolts of fabric are heavy, so they get shipped by the least costly option – surface mail. I have to say, it’s worth the wait. 

There is always an element of surprise when I first “meet” a new fabric in person. For example, the scale of the cactus print was bigger than I imagined (print scale is really hard to tell from photos). These cacti are huge! But that’s okay, I love them all the same. While they may not be suitable as smaller pouches, they’ll look stunning as bigger items, like tote bags. 

This boyish fabric also had an element of surprise – I didn’t care for it too much when I ordered it (I ordered it for boys and men), but as soon as I saw it in person, I fell in love. It’s totally cool – for women as well as men. It’s the first fabric I wanted to play with – making a glasses case and a mini wet bag. I added faux leather zipper pulls to add more manliness.

mini wet bag by Piggledee mini wet bag pouch by Piggledee glasses case by Piggledee

This leaf fabric was gifted to me by my mother a few months ago, so I already knew I’d love it. Here’s an extra-large insulated lunch bag I made with it before.

insulated lunch bag by Piggledee

My absolute favorite fabric in this shipment though, is the other leaf print.

linen leaf fabric

This one is 100% linen, and linen feels oh-so-wonderful against your skin. It also has amazing colors and drape. At nearly twice the cost of other fabrics here though, having a whole 13-meter bolt feels like having a precious treasure. I just want to cuddle the whole bolt!

I hope you like these fabrics as much as I do. I can’t wait to make more things with them.

 

 

Fabric box pattern – coming soon!

It’s been years since I wrote pattens for an insulated lunch bag and drawstring gift bag / mini towel. I had lots of fun with them and had plans to do more patterns, but had since been struggling to find the time (I know, excuses, excuses….). Finally though, I’m working on another pattern – this time fabric boxes elephant fabric box by piggledee   Why fabric boxes? Well, everyone loves them. They are not only useful, but they instantly brighten up any space in your house. The boxes are also a snap to make once you get the hang of it, and the satisfaction level when you make one is immense. Trust me. You can’t just make one. Echino fabric boxes by Piggledee Actually I have written a mini tutorial on a fabric box before, but this time I’m using a different construction method, which is quicker to cut, sew, and wastes less fabric. I’ll be offering several size options, but more importantly, I will show you how to draft your own custom-size box.  Here are some sneak peak of the pattern-making process. Aren’t these bright fruity fabrics gorgeous? They are my current favorite, by Cloud 9. They are organic cotton corduroy, and they are great for zakka sewing. I’ll write more about them in another blog post. fabric box tutorial photo by Piggledee fabric boxes for new pattern by Piggledee   Here are my kids “helping out” with a photo shoot. Can you guess what they were bribed with? kids helping out with photo shoot Piggledee kids helping out with photo shoot Candy, of course! fabric boxes by Piggledee Would you like to know when the pattern is ready for purchase? Please sign up to receive an email notification of my blog post, and/or newsletter! Both signup boxes are at my front page. With the Facebook reach rather dodgy these days, I’d really love to keep in touch with you on this blog.  cloud 9 fabric boxes for Ppiggledee pattern Stay tuned!

Echino Tote Bag

Here is a simple tote bag I made this week, using a stunning “Echino” line of fabric designed by Etsuko Furuya. 

Echino patchwork tote bag by Piggledee

I love this large-scale faux patchwork print. It’s very colorful and the mix of different patterns could have looked busy, but it doesn’t. The earthy tones of the colors make everything look cohesive instead of chaotic. It’s joyful and delightful.

I love this large-scale faux patchwork print. It's very colorful and the mix of different patterns could have looked busy, but it doesn't. The earthy tones of the colors make everything look cohesive instead of chaotic. It's joyful and delightful.

I designed the bag a while ago actually, and made these for a couple of customers. The first one was a very large one – great size as a diaper bag.

I love this large-scale faux patchwork print. It's very colorful and the mix of different patterns could have looked busy, but it doesn't. The earthy tones of the colors make everything look cohesive instead of chaotic. It's joyful and delightful.

I love this large-scale faux patchwork print. It's very colorful and the mix of different patterns could have looked busy, but it doesn't. The earthy tones of the colors make everything look cohesive instead of chaotic. It's joyful and delightful.

The second one was a little smaller. This week was the second time I made this smaller bag.

Echino patchwork tote inside view by Piggledee

When the fabric is this special, simple designs are the best. There is an exposed zipper pocket and a large patch pocket inside. The handles are padded for comfort. There is also a key-holder tab. But that’s about it for features. 

Echino patchwork tote keyholder view by Piggledee

After sewing the bag, I was left with a bit of scrap fabric. Normally it would go into this big box of scrap fabrics for use “one day.” But this time I felt too sad to toss this perfectly gorgeous bit of Echino fabric in there. So I made this little… pouch thingy at the end. What is it? Hmm. I’m not sure. It’s too narrow to be a tissue holder and too short to be a pencil case.

Echino coin purse pouch by Piggledee

Could it be a coin purse? Why, yes, it could! I hope my customer will enjoy this little impromptu gift of a coin purse, along with the bag.

There is just enough of this Echino fabric left for one more bag – and then sadly, that’s it!

 

 

Library Tote Bag

It feels good to make a new product for my shop. Yes I know I have so. many. products. already, but there’s always something new brewing in my head. I just can’t help myself. This particular library bag had been brewing in my head for so long, sewing it up was the easiest part.

Library tote bag by Piggledee

The bag is a flat tote bag in the “portrait” orientation, that is just large enough for a few books, and other A4-sized documents and folders. It’s lightly padded and I used heavy-duty cotton for the lining, so it is sturdy enough to carry not only heavy books, but your iPad or even a laptop computer. My 13″ MacBook fits in there perfectly.

Library tote bag by Piggledee

Library tote bag by Piggledee

This one is in the dark blue cat fabric, which I love. It’s not too childish, and a grownup cat-lover would (I hope) carry this to the office as a casual document bag. I know I would totally carry this “briefcase” to court hearings if I were still practicing law. That would make me giggle inside, feeling like a small-time rebel in a world of all-black-and-all-serious environment. Actually the clean lines and sharpness of the bag make it more grown-up friendly, allowing some wiggle room for a playful print. 

Library tote bag by Piggledee

 

The tote bag is available now at my shop. I have this gorgeous print in black and red as well, but if you’d like a different fabric, please feel free to request a custom order.

Oh, did you notice the cute felt cat mascot hanging from the bag? That was made by Ina Sudjana, who made a bunch of felt bag tags in collaboration for my popular prints, including the strawberry print. She can even stitch an initial to the back of the charm, which is a great way to personalize your bag. It’s totally adorable.

Library tote bag by Piggledee

Here are more bag charms by Ina, and they are available to purchase from my shop, as well as from Ina’s Etsy shop.

Ina Sudjana's felt bag charms

 

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