March 20, 2013

Sew-vivor Challenge #1: Emerald

So I never got a chance to officially announce it on here, but last week I found out I'd been picked as one of the 10 finalists in Family Ever After's Sew-vivor Challenge - yay! Please go VOTE for my project if you find it worthy - voting ends Friday (3/22) night at 12 pm Eastern/ 11 pm Central.

Our first challenge was to create any project we wanted, so long as Emerald colored fabric was predominant. My stash was seriously lacking in Emerald, so after having Caitlin rush me some Pearl Bracelets, and Hawthorne Threads some Essex Linen in Putty, I was good to go! (But seriously, a huge shout out to both those shops, because they burned rubber and got my orders in the mail same-day - thank you THANK YOU!)

So on to my project. I've had the idea for an expandable tote bag floating around in my head for over a year, and it all started when I was packing my suitcase for a trip a while back. Do any of you have one of those suitcases with the special zipper around the middle to expand the suitcase and make it fatter? (so you can jam more stuff in there without having to sit on it?). Well I was looking at that, and thought to myself, "why can't I do that with a bag?". So I jotted the idea down in my sketchbook, and then unfortunately it was put on the backburner until this challenge forced me to dust off the cobwebs and pull out my big creative guns. 

My friend Heather agreed to my shenanigans and modeled for me outside her home in Uptown New Orleans. Gorgeous! (both her and the trees)

And honestly...with the adjustable strap and's really more of a messenger bag/tote bag hybrid than a straight-up tote. I actually made this for myself, and I wanted something with a little more polish that a regular tote. And it felt good to do it. Seriously...I can't remember the last time I intentionally made something for myself. Sure, I've kept things I've made in the past year or so, but always because it was originally intended for someone else, and then I screwed the pooch on something and didn't feel it was fit to give away.

But anywho, the point is that I work in a big corporate office, and sometimes I feel a bit unprofessional schlepping in the office with a giant tote bag on my half the time I don’t really need a big bag, and my handful of items end up rolling around in there like tumbleweeds. It all depends on what my workload is, or what kind of errands I have to run that day. But this bag solves both of those problems for me - I have a professional looking bag I can use that is slim and sleek, but if I need more storage to bring a big file home with me, PRESTO! The bag unzips around the sides and expands to 6" wide.

I also included a snap closure on the inside, and an angled front pocket (inspiration found here) to store my phone, keys, pens, or pencils in (because when you have your hands full, sometimes it's hard reaching inside a dark bag to 1) find and unzip the zipper, and 2) fish around the pocket trying to feel what you're looking for). Well, at least I have issues with that...mostly because I'm clumsy and slightly absent-minded ;)


And just because he's adorable, here's a picture of Heather's little guy. His dad took him on a stroll and joined us during our "photo shoot". I use that term loosely, because mostly it was us laughing, and then trying to stop laughing + making stupid faces long enough to take a serious picture. But in case you were wondering, yes, when unzipped, this bag is large enough to hold one adorable chubby cheeked baby. SO CUTE! Heather and Warren made one good looking baby ;)

And if you don't want to VOTE for the bag on my part, at least do it for the baby. Yeah, I'm going there. I really want to win, and am not above using shameless (albeit adorable) tactics!


This purse is awesome! I want one. I hope you move on to the next series of the competition.

I am in LOVE with your bag.....and the baby! Seriously! The design is amazing and I'm a huge fan of green!

Your bag is ADORABLE.. I love the color combination and the functionality of it.. Of course your Sweet little baby doesn't hurt at all :)

genius! And can I steal that baby? Thx!

What a great idea, won my vote. And multipurpose too, now would a dog fit inside?

I voted for you before I realized it was from you, a blogger I follow! The bag is, hands-down, the standout in this round. That zipper functionality is brilliant. Best of luck!

Cute! Bag baby does not look amused. :P

What a genius bag! and the gorgeous baby is a bonus for your photoshoot! Will you release the pattern or a tutorial for it? I have voted for you, your bag is definately the best entry. Good luck :o)

I adore your bag! It's almost as cute as the baby!

Precioso!!!! Me gusta mucho.

Such a brilliant design for a bag! Best of luck in the comp.

Cute baby! It worked on me ;) good luck!!

genius! please make a pattern for this!!!

This bag is (pardon my French) bloody genius! Please put out a pattern - I will buy it with bells on!!

I was too late to vote, but I am sure you will make the next round. Your bag was the best entry and that wonderful baby was adorable!

It`s just fabulous.Want one!!

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The bag is awesome, and the baby in the bag picture is EPIC.

This is genius. I love your work. Will you be selling the pattern? Pretty please with sugar on top?

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