Mini Coin Purse

I can’t tell you how much I appre­ci­ate all the sup­port and com­ments on my Face­book page. There is noth­ing more grat­i­fy­ing than com­ing up with a new cre­ation in the morn­ing, shar­ing it on Face­book, and get­ting imme­di­ate feed­back from my cus­tomers. Like yes­ter­day, when I shared this photo of a mini coin purse.

Liberty of London Mirabelle coin purse by Piggledee

I made the coin purse with Lib­erty of Lon­don lam­i­nated print called Mirabelle. Nor­mally I wouldn’t use white fab­ric for a coin purse, because it’ll get dirty very quickly. But that’s the magic of lam­i­nated fab­rics — they are super stain resistant!

The pat­tern is my own. I made sim­i­lar coin purses a cou­ple of years ago, and just mod­i­fied that pat­tern. The ones I made before had sep­a­rate com­part­ments for coins and cards, and were more com­pli­cated to make.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Original coin purse by Piggledee

 

This time, there is just one com­part­ment for coins and folded notes. But sim­ple is good, accord­ing to your com­ments. Because school chil­dren only need to carry a bit of change.

Encour­aged by the pos­i­tive feed­back I received, I made four more of these coin purses that very afternoon.

Liberty mini coin purses by Piggledee

I took their pho­tos imme­di­ately after­wards, and by the evening, the coin purses were added to the auc­tion album. These all fea­ture lam­i­nated prints and nylon lin­ing — all Lib­erty of Lon­don prints except the ele­phant one. Don’t they look so cute together?

Laminated Liberty mini coin purse by Piggledee

Green elephant mini coin purse by Piggledee

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

(More pho­tos)

Open­ing and clos­ing a zip­per can be fid­dly for lit­tle ones. But with the key ring tab on one side of the zip­per and my Pig­gledee tag on the other, it should be much eas­ier. I attached a key ring and a swivel clip, so you can secure the coin purse to a hand­bag or a school bag. You can also attach it to your key chain, and that might be all you need for a quick trip to the shops.

I have five of these mini coin purses in the auc­tion album. Please check it out if you are interested!

 

Rainy Day Shoulder Bags

I’ve been a lit­tle obsessed with lam­i­nated fab­ric lately. Par­tic­u­larly those matt ones that are more sub­tle look­ing. From a dis­tance, you won’t know that these fab­rics are vinyl-coated — they look like nor­mal cot­ton fab­ric. Even up close, it’s hard to tell some­times. My favorite is the Lib­erty of Lon­don lam­i­nated fabrics.

Liberty of London laminated fabric

These are the most beau­ti­ful lam­i­nated fab­rics I have ever seen. In addi­tion to the gor­geous Lib­erty prints to begin with, the lam­i­nated ones have great stur­di­ness, mak­ing it suit­able for bags of all sorts. It feels amaz­ing to touch — smooth and reas­sur­ingly solid, and it doesn’t have any icky syn­thetic feel. As a bonus, the mate­r­ial is water­proof and stain resistant.

The only draw­back is that these Lib­erty fab­rics are super pricey! This is why I had only made small things with it so far — like phone pouches with a wrist­let, makeup pouches, and pen­cil cases. 

Liberty of London pouches by Piggledee

Top left: rainy day mini wrist­let pouch / top right: tri­an­gle pen­cil cases / bot­tom left: flat makeup cases / bot­tom right: makeup pouches with a flat bottom.

But today, I made some­thing a lit­tle bit big­ger — cross-body shoul­der bags! These bags are twice as large as my pen­cil cases, and has a sim­ple zip­per clo­sure at the top. It’s a nice roomy size for a small wal­let, phone, keys, makeup, and a few other essentials. 

Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee

Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee detail view

Isn’t this blueberry-like print gor­geous? The strap is long enough for a small to medium-sized woman to wear cross-bodied, or hang from one shoul­der.

Liberty Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee

 

 

You can remove the strap if you like, and use the bag as an orga­nizer pouch instead. 

Liberty Capel Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee

 

This print called “Capel” is one of my all-time Lib­erty favorites. And black goes with everything.

I used water­proof nylon taffeta for the lin­ing. Hav­ing water­proof mate­r­ial for the out­side and inside makes these bags pretty handy for rainy days. There is also a layer of quilt wadding inside for added cushi­ness and softness.

Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee

Here’s another rainy day bag using lam­i­nated fab­ric — though not Liberty.

Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee

I love this zebra-like bag.

Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee detail view

There is a tiny gus­set at the bot­tom — just to give some three-dimensional shape to the bag.

These rainy bags will be avail­able at my Face­book auc­tion, which is going on right now. Please come over and say hello

 

 

 

Snack Sleeve

I’ve been hav­ing so much fun mak­ing things for the Face­book auc­tion mar­ket. There is some­thing about cre­at­ing for a spe­cific audi­ence — my lovely Face­book friends and sup­port­ers — that is par­tic­u­larly moti­vat­ing and excit­ing. I love com­ing up with prod­ucts I think they’d appre­ci­ate. Like these insu­lated snack sleeves.

Snack sleeve by Piggledee - green cats OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sev­eral peo­ple in the past have sug­gested that I make either smaller insu­lated lunch bags, or insu­lated ver­sion of snack bags. So I made some­thing that’s in between the two - it’s a very ver­sa­tile size!

Piggledee snack sleeve inside view

These snack sleeves are a lit­tle big­ger than a typ­i­cal sand­wich bag, and has a flat bot­tom. It’s a per­fect size for a tab of yoghurt and a piece of fruit, OR a small­ish con­tainer of lunch or snack. I rec­om­mend using a mini-sized reusable ice pack to keep the con­tent nice and cool.

Piggledee snack sleeve inside view

This round con­tainer with a blue lid is from Ikea — the shal­low one, not the deep one. I love these, and use them all the time for our kids’ school lunch box. The snack sleeve also fits other types of small con­tain­ers. Fill it with cheese sticks, yoghurt, slices of cake, choco­late… or any other snacks that are best served cold. The ice pack and the insu­la­tion mate­r­ial should keep the con­tent cool for a few hours.

I used a layer of Insul Bright inside for the insu­la­tion effect. The lin­ing is PUL, using the non-coated side on the out­side. I used PUL just because I was run­ning out of coated nylon, but I do like the soft hand of PUL — with the non-coated side fac­ing, it almost feels like nor­mal cot­ton fab­ric, but with water-resistant effect. Even though the non-coated side is sup­pos­edly safer with food, as opposed to the coated side, I’d still avoid putting food directly in con­tact with the lin­ing. It’s safer to use a con­tainer or a wrap around food, before stor­ing it in the snack sleeve. 

Here are some of the cute fab­rics I used for children.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Piggledee snack sleeves for children

And for grownups, or for older chil­dren, isn’t this mush­room fab­ric lovely? 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Piggledee snack sleeves with mushroom fabric

I hope to see you at the auc­tion! You can visit my auc­tion album here.

 

 

Everyday Tote Bag

I have been want­ing a new tote bag for a while. You’d think I have plenty of bags to choose from by now — but I didn’t. I have sev­eral bucket nappy bags, a back­pack con­vert­ible bag, a beach tote bag… and they are all won­der­ful for fam­ily out­ings. But they are all too big for every­day use. What I needed was a bag small enough for my wal­let, phone, keys, small snacks… and my beloved iPad. That’s it. 

Black cat tote bag by piggledee

So this is the lit­tle black bag I whipped up this morn­ing. I used a very sturdy cot­ton can­vas fab­ric my mother found in Japan a cou­ple of years ago. I love the cute-but-not-too-childish print of cats, yarn, apples, and other whim­si­cal drawings.

Black cat tote bag by piggledee detail view

I like sturdy bags, so I used black can­vas for the lin­ing, for­ti­fied with inter­fac­ing.  There is a lit­tle patch pocket inside for my phone.  I also installed a cara­biner tab on the side for my keys. These tabs are so handy — because there is noth­ing more frus­trat­ing than hav­ing to fish for your keys in your bag when you are in a hurry.

Black cat tote bag by piggledee inside view

The han­dles are heavy-duty cot­ton web­bing in black.  All this black­ness means I won’t have to wash this bag for a long time! Plus black goes with every­thing — espe­cially in win­ter. The han­dles are long enough for me to carry the bag from my shoulder. 

Black cat tote bag by piggledee bottom view

The bag has a nar­row flat bottom.

Black cat tote bag by piggledee

See, the bag is just the right size for all my needs, but there is still a lit­tle room left for extra things, just in case.

I’m very happy how the bag came out! I might make some for my shop in the future. 

 

 

Echino fabric boxes

I am a big fan of “Echino” fab­rics by Japan­ese designer Etsuko Furuya. Her designs for this year are par­tic­u­larly pretty.

Photo collage of new Echino fabrics

Although my sewing room is over­flow­ing with fab­ric, I could not resist order­ing these prints. They arrived this week, and they were even pret­tier in per­son! I wanted to play with them right away.  The bird prints posed a chal­lenge though, because the birdies were big­ger than I thought. They are almost life sized, ready to fly out of the fab­ric. So I put them aside, and played with the other prints instead.

fabric boxes by Piggledee

Small fab­ric boxes! I thought these super bright, bold prints could be over­whelm­ing in large sizes. But as small boxes, they exude just the right amount of impact. Put one or two on your work desk, and they’ll brighten up your space — and your mood, too — instantly. Or so I would hope.

Echino fabric boxes by Piggledee

 

Echino fabric boxes by Piggledee

green fabric box with an orange by Piggledee

They are large enough — or small enough — for one big orange or apple. Which is a great size for desk­top orga­ni­za­tion. I use these boxes in my sewing room for orga­niz­ing small sewing tools, address stamps, washi tapes, cut-up vel­cro strips… etc. They are very handy to have.

Echino fabric boxes by Piggledee bottom view

I used heavy-duty cot­ton for the bot­tom to give firm struc­ture. I also padded the fab­ric for struc­ture and cushiness. 

Echino fabric boxes by Piggledee lining view

To match the vivid­ness of the Echino col­ors, I chose vivid Kona cot­ton col­ors for the lining. 

Echino fabric boxes by Piggledee

It’s hard to choose which box is my favorite — but I love this green stripe one in par­tic­u­lar. It’s cool because you see dif­fer­ent pat­terns and col­ors from dif­fer­ent angles.  

Next project: what should I make with those life-sized bird fabrics?

 

Spoon and Fork Case with Reusable Serviettes

For this week’s “Sun­day Fun­day” sale, I made spoon + fork uten­sil case and mini servi­ettes, to go inside a chid’s lunch box for school or day­care. I used organic cot­ton prints from my stash. Piggledee spoon + fork utensils casePiggledee spoon + fork utensils case with a serviette   Aren’t they cute? I love the tulip fab­ric in par­tic­u­lar. The cases are just lit­tle padded bags, with a small vel­cro clo­sure in the mid­dle. It fits one spoon, one fork, and one small servi­ette. The padding inside makes the case soft and cushy. I hope this set will make chil­dren smile at school lunch time, hold­ing the cushy case to take out their favorite uten­sils. I hope they’ll feel a lit­tle more loved — even if the lunch itself might con­sist of din­ner left­overs. Piggledee spoon + fork utensils case Piggledee spoon + fork utensils case with a serviette I lined these cases with coor­di­nat­ing organic cot­ton prints. Yes they might get dirty if the lunch involves tomato sauce or some­thing, but it’s easy to just toss it in the wash­ing machine. Piggledee spoon + fork utensils case with blue lining Piggledee spoon + fork utensils case with blue lining I am a big fan of reusable servi­ettes or nap­kins. They feel so much bet­ter on your face than paper ones. We use them at home all the time, as well as for the kids’ school lunch boxes. Piggledee reusable serviettes or napkins Piggledee reusable serviettes or napkins Even though the uten­sil case has a sim­ple design, I spent hours com­ing up with it. In my mind I thought of zip­pers, tabs, flaps, rib­bons, and other clo­sures, and then ruled them out one by one. I thought of using nylon lin­ing, then I ruled it out. I thought of a tall design but decided to go with a wide design. I love this process of com­ing up with the per­fect design — and in the end, it’s often the sim­plest design that works best. I hope to make these cases in grownup prints next time. Piggledee spoon + fork utensils case with a serviette

Apple Cozy

If you have fol­lowed me on Face­book, you know I have started this “Sun­day Fun­day” thing. It’s a Sun­day mini mar­ket, where I make some­thing new and offer it for sale on Sun­days, directly from my Face­book page. I love how it allows me to enjoy a cou­ple of hours of cre­ative free­dom every week, even when I’m super busy sewing to orders. I had missed a few Sun­days while get­ting my new online shop up and run­ning, but I’m back on track this week.

Photo of an apple cozy by Piggledee

 

This week, I made apple cozies. I had so much fun mak­ing these! We went for a drive to Bilpin this week­end, where they grow lots of apples. We saw apples every­where, even though the apple sea­son has offi­cially fin­ished. There were lit­tle cafes and road­side stands sell­ing bags of Pink Lady apples, home-made apple pies, and apple cider.

photo of Pink Lady apples

While dri­ving, I thought it’d be neat to have a shop­ping bag with an apple print. Mark (aka Mr. Pig­gledee) thought it’d be neat to have an indi­vid­ual apple bag — just for fun. So when we came back home, I began to make one — using my favorite Japan­ese apple fab­ric of course.

Photo of an apple cozy by PiggledeePiggledee apple cozy in red Japanese apple print

It took a cou­ple of tries to come up with “just” the right size for one large apple. It’s a draw­string bag with a large flat bot­tom — kind of like a fab­ric box with a draw­string top. How cute is it? I can’t decide which I like bet­ter — the green apple or the red apple print? 

Piggledee apple cozy in green and red Japanese apple printsPiggledee apple cozy in red and green Japanese apple print

These apple cozies may not be on everyone’s list of essen­tials — in fact it is slightly friv­o­lous. But I love it. It’s a happy bag, and it makes me smile when I see it. And that’s in the per­fect spirit of Sun­day Fun­days I think. 

photo fo a row of apples

Teapot Cozy

It’s get­ting cold here in Syd­ney. I love fall dearly, but I don’t love how quickly my tea or cof­fee gets cold, before I even have a chance to drink it.  A con­stant sup­ply of hot bev­er­age is essen­tial to keep me going, espe­cially when I work my “night shift” in my sewing room.

So last night, I decided I needed a teapot cozy. 

Piggledee photo fo a potholder pattern in progress

I began by play­ing with paper. I’m ter­ri­ble with maths, so the only way I can come up with three-dimensional pat­terns is by trial and error. Mak­ing a pat­tern using paper is easy and inex­pen­sive. You draw some­thing to start with on paper, cut them out and put them together with sticky tape, and try it on a teapot. If it doesn’t fit, you cut off excess paper or add extra bits to the pat­tern, until it’s a per­fect fit. 

 

Piggledee teapot cozy pattern in progress

It took a few tries to get here, but the rest is easy. You copy the tat­tered pat­tern onto a clean piece of paper and smooth out the lines. Now you are ready to sew up a sample!

Piggledee photo fo a sample teapot cozy with cat fabric

I love this cat fab­ric by Japan­ese designer Megumi Sakak­ibara. It’s 100% linen — gor­geous, isn’t it?

Piggledee photo of a sample teapot cozy with cat print

This is a view from the other side. And there is a sur­prise! The teapot cozy is reversible.

Piggledee teapot cozy sample with flannel fabric

For the reverse side, I used a flannel-like fab­ric by another favorite Japan­ese designer, Mico Ogura — isn’t the small-scale win­ter scenery appro­pri­ate for a teapot cozy?  There is a layer of Insul-Bright inside, to keep the teapot warm.  I fin­ished the bot­tom with a brown linen bias tape.

Piggledee sample teapot cozy hat

And the cozy also dou­bles as a silly baby hat!

I stayed up extra late last night to actu­ally test out my new cozy. Did it work? Yes, it did! No more going back to the kitchen for my sec­ond cup of tea to be microwaved. Hooray! 

 

 

 

New and improved sandwich bags

Sand­wich bags are one of those seem­ingly sim­ple prod­ucts that are, in fact, trou­ble­some to make. Well, tech­ni­cally it’s not dif­fi­cult to make of course. It’s just dif­fi­cult to come up with the per­fect design — at least for me it was. In the past I have made a zip­pered ver­sion like this…

Zippered sandwich bag - pink elephant

and a sim­ple vel­cro ver­sion with vel­cro tabs at the top of the bag (the one on the right)…

Velcro-top sandwich bag - Cats

and a flap ver­sion with a sin­gle fab­ric like this.

Flap sandwich bag - hippos

But none of them was truly sat­is­fac­tory to me. Why? Well, here are my “pros and cons” com­par­i­son notes.

Zip­pered Version

Pros: Neat-looking design. Food bits don’t get stuck in the vel­cro. Easy to main­tain and wash. Prob­a­bly lasts longer than vel­cro ones. A ver­sa­tile pouch, because it’s great as snack bags (muffins, crack­ers, etc). Also can be used as a small wet bag, for wipes, makeup, crayons, and so on.

Cons: Fid­dly to get a sand­wich in and out of the bag because the zip­per doesn’t open to the full width of the bag. If the zip­per width is wide enough, then it’s too wide inside the bag, and the sand­wich swims in it. Zip­per can be fid­dly to use for toddlers.

Velcro-Top Ver­sion

Pros: Nice sim­ple design. Easy for chil­dren to use. Sand­wich fits in snugly and securely.

Cons: Food can get stuck in the vel­cro while putting a sand­wich in and out. Fluff sticks to vel­cro in the wash. Stitch lines for sewing the vel­cro shows through — not a very ele­gant finish.

Velcro-on-Flap Ver­sion 1

Pros: Flaps are cute. Food doesn’t get caught in the vel­cro as much, because the sand­wich doesn’t have to touch the vel­cro strips while pack­ing and unpack­ing. Sand­wich fits in snugly and securely. Vel­cro is eas­ier for kids to use.

Cons: The one-fabric design only works with non-directional prints — mean­ing, fab­rics that have no upside and down­side. The flap sec­tion was small, and it took some force to rip the vel­cro open. The stitch marks around the vel­cro strips can be really notice­able. And then there is the issue of wash­ing vel­cro, and a pos­si­bly short lifes­pan of vel­cro products.

New!! Velcro-on-Flap Ver­sion 2

Version 2 of flap-style sandwich bags

So this is my lat­est sand­wich bag. Is this the “per­fect” sand­wich bag I was seek­ing? I think it’s very close. Here’s the “pros and cons” assessment:

Pros: I love that I can slide a sand­wich in and out of the bag smoothly, with­out wor­ry­ing about food get­ting caught in the zip­per or vel­cro tab. The sand­wich sits in the bag snugly and securely — not as snugly as with a sand­wich wrap, but close.

I also love the two-fabric design. It allows me to use rather spe­cial fab­rics for the small flap sec­tion, while keep­ing the cost down some­what by using plain cot­ton linen can­vas fab­ric. I can also use direc­tional prints this way, because the print is used only for the flap bit.

The flap sec­tion is larger than the first flap ver­sion, which adds to the cute­ness fac­tor. More impor­tantly, the large flap allows an extra-wide space between the edge of the flap and the vel­cro strips. You can grab onto this bit of fab­ric to open the vel­cro eas­ily — very child friendly.

Version 2 of flap-style sandwich bags - view with the flap open

If I use busy prints for the flap sec­tion, the stitch lines for the vel­cro are not notice­able. Pretty ele­gant look­ing overall.

New sandwich bag - closeup of the flap

Cons: The only cons here are the inher­ent prob­lems asso­ci­ated with vel­cro — tricky to keep clean and wash, and the lifes­pan may not be ter­ri­bly long. Of course, if the vel­cro stops stick­ing after a cou­ple of years, it’s easy to replace them — so I hope peo­ple will not throw these pretty bags away!

Version 2 of flap-style sandwich bags - Liberty Hello Kitty bags

How adorable are these Lib­erty Hello Kitty sand­wich bags? They are so pretty, in fact, that you can use them for other things like pens and crayons (the water­proof nylon lin­ing comes in handy here). If I attach a shoul­der strap, it’ll be such a cute lit­tle girl’s bag, too, don’t you think?

These sand­wich bags will be avail­able at my upcom­ing Face­book mar­ket day, and will be listed on Etsy later on.

New sandwich bag lineup

 

Backpack diaper bag

I didn’t think I needed a new nappy bag — I already have two styles of nappy bags on Etsy and madeit, and they are both very pop­u­lar. But this week, while climb­ing this tower in a local play­ground, haul­ing my kids all the way to the top and then back down, I sud­denly real­ized that I needed a new nappy bag.

Playground tower at Newington Armory in Sydney

So when we came back home, I spent the rest of the day and much of the night think­ing about the design. Then the fol­low­ing day, I made this.
New backpack nappy diaper bag - front view
Hmm, isn’t it just another big ele­phant bag, look­ing slightly more sporty than my other bags? Well, maybe, but not really. If you look closer, it’s actu­ally more like my French pas­try bag (or the “birth­day tote bag”) than like my “day­care bag” or “beach tote bag.”
New backpack nappy diaper bag - bottom view
It has a wide rec­tan­gle bottom.

New backpack nappy diaper bag - inside view

I also used heavy-duty cot­ton for the lin­ing, to give the bag a firm struc­ture. You can see it’s firm enough to stand well on its own, with noth­ing in the bag.

There is one large patch pocket inside. I used the same yel­low ele­phant fab­ric here, but in ret­ro­spect it was a bit too much of the ele­phants. Next time I’ll make a plain white pocket.

New backpack nappy diaper bag - front pocket view

The main bag body has two dec­o­ra­tive white ver­ti­cal stripes, to give it a sporty look. There is a “hid­den” pocket in the mid­dle of the stripes, on each side of the bag. These pock­ets are not huge, but are handy for things like sun­glasses, wal­lets, and keys. 

New backpack nappy diaper bag - front pocket detail view

The bag comes with two adjustable, remov­able straps. That means you can carry the bag as a tra­di­tional tote bag with two han­dles, or use just one strap to carry it like a mes­sen­ger bag.

New backpack nappy diaper bag - front strap view

It looks a lit­tle like my “day­care bag” like this. It’s great for hang­ing over stroller handles.

But the best fea­ture of all, is that you can attach the two straps like this.…

 

New backpack nappy diaper bag - backpack straps view

and you can wear it as a back­pack in case of emer­gency — like hav­ing to push two kids up an enor­mous tower, or when cross­ing a busy road hold­ing their hands.

The “back­pack con­ver­sion process” takes just about 5 sec­onds. Well, it might take a few sec­onds longer if you need to adjust the strap lengths. Any­way, I tried to make it as pain­less as possible.

The bag is not quite ready for sale yet, because I need to source bet­ter hard­ware. I mean, the ones I used func­tion fine, but I know there are more elegant-looking clips out there. It should be shop ready in 3 – 4 weeks.

Over­all I’m very pleased with this bag. The hard­est part was to make the bag look good both as a nappy bag and as a back­pack. It gave me quite a headache think­ing about it, but in the end, I fig­ured that most peo­ple would use it mainly as a reg­u­lar nappy bag, and use the back­pack fea­ture only occa­sion­ally. So I pri­or­i­tized the nappy bag part of the design.

New backpack nappy diaper bag - being worn by me

So you see, it may not look very backpack-like when worn like a back­pack… but I think it looks okay, and it’s sur­pris­ingly com­fort­able. And when you really need your hands free to look after your kids, it’ll be price­less to have that option.

By the way, don’t you just love this yel­low ele­phant fab­ric? I’ve been using the ele­phant fab­ric for years, but had never thought to order the yel­low vari­ety before — because I thought it was too sim­i­lar to orange. But the yel­low is so much more beau­ti­ful in per­son — it’s such a gen­tle, sophis­ti­cated color. It’s sim­i­lar to the grey ele­phant one in that sense — both are per­fectly suit­able for grownups to wear.