Extra-Large Insulated Lunch Bags

Ever since I started mak­ing insu­lated lunch bags, cus­tomers have been request­ing that I make them in a larger size. I hon­estly don’t know why it took me nearly two years, but I finally made one today. Just in time for another hot Aus­tralian summer!

Extra-Large Insulated Lunch Bag (Stripe) by Piggledee

I love this big size. It’s only two inches wider and two inches taller, but the dif­fer­ence in capac­ity is pretty sig­nif­i­cant. Just look at this com­par­i­son photo.

Extra-Large Insulated Lunch Bag (Stripe) by Piggledee - Size comparison

The bag looks so roomy inside, I can fit lunch for my whole fam­ily in it. If you are using the bag just for your­self, there is enough room for your morn­ing tea, lunch, after­noon tea, a water bot­tle — plus a cou­ple of ice blocks to keep every­thing cool for a few hours. 

Extra-Large Insulated Lunch Bag (Stripe) by Piggledee

 

Even at this large size, doesn’t the bag still look cute? I love this black and white stripe fabric.

Extra-Large Insulated Lunch Bag (Stripe) by Piggledee

Extra-Large Insulated Lunch Bag (Stripe) by Piggledee

This extra-large lunch bag is avail­able now in my shop. There’ll be more fab­ric choices in the future, but if you con­tact me, I’d be happy to make a cus­tom lunch bag in your choice of fabric.

 

 

Cocktail Napkins

I have been mean­ing to make servi­ettes for my shop for the longest time. We use cloth nap­kins at nearly every meal­time, and they are incred­i­bly ver­sa­tile. The only rea­son I waited this long to make them for my shop was that they are bor­ing to make. I mean, they are just… square cloths. And fold­ing the four sides with a hot iron (before sewing them) isn’t the most fun job.

Piggledee cocktail napkin (organic leaf)

But last night I had a sud­den inspi­ra­tion. I can skip the iron­ing part! Instead of iron­ing all the folded edges first, I gen­tly rolled the hems with my fin­ger­tips as I sewed them. This tech­nique took a bit to get used to, but once I got the hang of it I was thrilled with the result. The hems are nar­row, clean, rea­son­ably straight, and best of all I didn’t have to burn my fin­gers with a hot iron. 

Piggledee cocktail napkin (organic trees)

As a bonus, I found this napkin-making process relax­ing. The sim­ple motions were ther­a­peu­tic instead of bor­ing, and I loved that I could sew while lis­ten­ing to my favorite pod­casts (This Amer­i­can Life and The Longest Short­est Time). It was a lit­tle addic­tive actually.

Piggledee cocktail napkins (stripe)

These nap­kins are about 7″ square (18cm). Great for enter­tain­ing, every­day meal­time, or for pack­ing in the kids’ lunch boxes. They also dou­ble as a reusable wipe for clean­ing your lit­tle ones’ faces. You can also use them as mini place­mats to brighten up a snack time.

Piggledee cocktail napkin (organic trees)

Isn’t this tree fab­ric adorable? It’s 100% organic cot­ton. But my favorite might be the stripy one — the cot­ton linen fab­ric has a nice linen feel, and the yarn-dyed stripe pat­tern means you can see the stripe just as clearly on the back side as well. Then again I love these tulip organic cot­ton ones, too… Just adorable! All these cock­tail nap­kins are now avail­able at my shop

 

Piggledee cocktail napkin (organic tulip)

 

EpiPen Case

I have recently launched my new prod­uct range — EpiPen cases for chil­dren and grownups. Over the years, peo­ple have asked me to make EpiPen cases, because they couldn’t find any com­mer­cial ones that are pretty. It took a while for me to come up with them, but here they are!

epipen pouches by piggledee (elephants)

These are the ones for chil­dren. Aren’t the mini ele­phants adorable? I love this sturdy, lam­i­nated cot­ton from Japan that is water­proof and stain-resistant. The matt fin­ish of the vinyl coat­ing is gor­geous. The mate­r­ial feels solid and smooth in your hands.

Epipen case by Piggledee (blue elephant)

epipen pouches by piggledee (green elephant)

I used rip­stop nylon for the bag lin­ing. The pouch is not machine wash­able, but it’s easy to wipe it clean, inside or out, with a soapy damp cloth. The pouch has a layer of padding inside to pro­tect the EpiPens — it feels nice and cushy.

epipen pouches by piggledee (grey elephant)

Each pouch comes with a spe­cial med­ical ID card. Amy from Glo­ri­ousmess!, who is an amaz­ing designer and a med­ical doc­tor, cus­tom designed these for me.  I par­tic­u­larly love the “Dr. Piggy” ver­sion for chil­dren — so cute! For grownups, Amy designed one with a red cross. The cards are printed on thick, high-quality paper to keep inside the pouch with your med­ical devices.

Epipen case by Piggledee (green elephant)

The pouch comes with a D ring tab on each side, and one cara­biner tab. With a cara­biner, you can attach the pouch securely to a hand­bag or school bag, so you can eas­ily find it in case of an emergency.

Epipen case by Piggledee (pink elephant)

Epipen case by Piggledee (elephant straps)

I also made an optional, adjustable strap for wear­ing cross-bodied — in case of school out­ings, for exam­ple. You can remove the strap and keep it inside the pouch when not wear­ing it.

Here are my lit­tle mod­els test­ing the pouches with the shoul­der straps.

Epipen case by Piggledee (model shots)

Epipen case by Piggledee (model shots)

I couldn’t have designed these pouches with­out the help of kind friends who tested them and gave me feed­back. I don’t own any Epipens myself (except for the smaller, trainer ones I use for tak­ing pho­tos) or have any expe­ri­ence with ana­phy­laxis, so their feed­back was cru­cial. So thank you, Tanya and Sam! Based on their rec­om­men­da­tions, I made the pouches large enough for two EpiPens and a small bot­tle of antihistamine. 

For older chil­dren and grownups who might find the ele­phants too child­ish, I love these clas­sic stripes and polka dots.

Epipen case by Piggledee (stripes and dots)

Epipen case by Piggledee (stripes and dots)Epipen case by Piggledee (stripes and dots)

Epipen case by Piggledee (polka dots)

And for the ulti­mate in pret­ti­ness, I made these Lib­erty of Lon­don pouches with their lam­i­nated cot­ton fabrics. 

Epipen case by Piggledee (Liberty of London)

Epipen case by Piggledee (Liberty of London)

Epipen case by Piggledee (Liberty of London)

These pouches are great for lots of other uses as well. I’ve been using mine to carry blood glu­cose test­ing devices, and a set of med­ica­tion tablets. It hap­pens to be just the right size for it, and I love that I can keep it in my hand­bag with­out get­ting it all dirty.

Piggledee epipen cases (Liberty of London)

These med­ical pouches are all hand­made with love from start to fin­ish. They are now avail­able at my shop.

 

 

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