Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,

Pattern Tester Required! (All Materials Supplied)


Just look at these gorgeous craft related fabric designs – they all arrived on my doorstep this last week!

Having long lusted after this design after seeing it as a banner on Teresa’s blog Navy Blue Threads, I discovered it was called “Sew Retro Montage” by Makower and tracked some down online. What initially began as a search for this amazing fabric …

sew retro montage

…ended with multiple purchases of fabric loveliness!

“Cotton Reels” also by Makower;

cotton reels

“Knitty Sheep” by Kanvas;

knitty sheep

“Sew Be It” by Henry Glass & Co;

sew be it

“Sew Retro Tonal Pattern” also by Makower;

sew retro tonal pattern

This fabulous Simplicity Pattern design by Fabric Traditions;

simplicity pattern co

I couldn’t resist this “Postcards” design either;


They’re all quite pricey at around Β£12.00 per metre for a narrower-than-normal width of 110cm but, as I intend to use them for smaller projects, I should be able to make them stretch a fair way.

I had in mind a WIP bag using my favourite two fabrics, this one for the main body of the bag…..

sew retro montage

…and this one for the lining;

sew retro tonal pattern

As this bag will be for myself, I could afford to be a little extravagant with my fabric and lining choices.

I also decided to make a real statement by quilting the fabric onto wadding prior to construction. This takes quite a long time to do but adds an air of “couture” to the bag and is totally worth it having invested in expensive fabric.

Free machine quilting is not difficult to do, just time consuming – take plenty of breaks to relax those shoulders!

Drop the feed dogs (or cover them, depending on your machine), remove the sewing foot and you’re ready to go. I did the free machine embroidery in a random swirly design, filling in the space as I went.

TIP: Use a new needle and good quality thread like Gutermann’s 100% polyester – cheap thread is often made from only two twists and will snap easily and frequently.


This is what the quilting looks like on the reverse;


The textured finish on the front is really lovely;


It’s not the easiest thing to show in a photograph, but here’s a direct comparison of an un-quilted and a quilted piece of fabric side-by-side to show you the difference;


Do you want to see the finished bag?



It’s HUGE, large enough for the biggest projects which is just as well as I have a penchant for making bedspreads and throws, whether they’re patchwork, crocheted or quilted. This bag can cope with the lot.

Here it is, holding my latest blanket; a crocheted super-chunky number that measures (at the moment) 1.5m x 1.5m. There’s still plenty of room to carry all the yarn and bag of crochet hooks!


Don’t you just love the lining?

It makes the inside a pleasure to gaze upon:)


When empty, you can see how cavernous it actually is.


Did you notice the sizeable pocket on the front?


Well that’s good then, because I was very careful to match the pattern so it just appears to be a continuation of the fabric.

Look again – you can just make out the handles of a pair of scissors peeping out of the top….


Inside the pocket I made provision for some sewing essentials; a pair of scissors, a seam ripper and a tape measure.

Even the pocket is quilted and lined for consistent quality.


I already know this is going to be the most used bag in my collection and I love, love, LOVE it!


Now, here’s the thing – I need someone’s help.

I have drafted a PDF pattern which I hope to sell in my Folksy shop, and I am looking for a volunteer to test it first to make sure it is easy to follow.

All materials will be included in a parcel that will be sent to the tester; fabric, lining, wadding, thread, wooden handles and pattern drafting paper.

The pattern will be sized for a smaller bag, but the construction is identical as that for the larger bag.

The quilting is optional but the wadding will be included if you wish to attempt it.

The pattern will be emailed in PDF format which can be printed off if preferred.

You will need to be able to follow instructions carefully and make a note of anything that could be worded more clearly/in more depth and any possible errors.

When completed, the bag is yours to keep – I would just ask that you blog about it (hopefully favourably!) on your own page.

So, is there anyone out there willing to give it a try?

Maybe Teresa, Karen, Beth, Lucie, Caren, or Lisa?


Update: Pattern is available NOW in my shop – CLICK HERE

Author: sewchet

Sewing, Crochet and other loveliness!

101 thoughts on “Pattern Tester Required! (All Materials Supplied)

  1. If you can’t get one of your usual pattern testers, I’d be happy to help.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have my hand waving madly in the air in my bedroom on my own looking a bit mad and I don’t care. Oops me please!

    That grovelling aside this is poptastically bootilicius. The fabrics are utterly luscious and your choice m’am I doff my cap to you, great job and am now suffering fabric envy πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • This had me laughing out loud! The fabrics are amazing, aren’t they? I couldn’t stop at just one – I had to have the lot! Thanks for volunteering – I wish I could afford to send everybody a kit:)


      • Cross my heart and hope to die if I tell a lie (Lordy did we really say that as kids) ……. I am sulking atm, typical only child syndrome I’m afraid πŸ˜‰ Already had it made in my head and blog mentally prepped lol!

        Ever the optimist I shall continue to read on with you and hope when you need a pattern tester in future you will give me a nod, I may have to cut out on the floor BUT nearly 46 years of sewing not a lot scares me.

        Keep being creatively spectacular.

        Samantha x

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Samantha, sorry I had to disappoint you and lots of others – didn’t realise so many people would be willing to give it a go! I will certainly bear you in mind for future pattern testing:)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d love to help too, though i’ve never pattern tested before. I’d probably have all the things needed if you wanted just the pattern tested and not as a kit. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, of course. Would love to. No problem.
    And of course would write a lovely post about it as I’m sure it’ll turn out just perfect.
    A great roomy bag, by the way. So useful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for your prompt response! You were the first one in my named list to reply so I would like to take you up on your offer if it still applies:) Could you email your address to please? I have to finalize the PDF pattern but can send the materials out to you now. Thanks again!


  5. I’ll do it! What a fun bag!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG your bag is amazing!! You thought of everything! Your pattern matching with the pocket is superb, you really cant tell there’s a pocket there. I love everything about it! Oh the stuff I could stash in there ..
    You just made me want to buy all that fabric you photographed but if you make me pattern tester of what I imagine will be a fantastic pattern I will forgive you πŸ˜‰
    I guess you will have to draw a commenter at random or something – I’m sure there will be a lot of very willing sewists/sewers/seamstresses/whatever!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Beth – a lot of thought went into designing a fit-for-purpose bag. Most on the market are simply too small to actually be of any practical use, so size was my priority. I’m sorry I can’t give everyone a chance to make this kit but the response has been overwhelming! Maybe Lucie’s blog post about it will encourage you to have a go anyway?


  7. I would love to have a go. I have never done it before but would try my best for you. It is absolutely lush. Niki
    PS i found out about you from your brother John & sister in law Kelly. Lovely couple. I do alot of sewing and we got chatting one evening and I have been following you since. I love all your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so beautiful! Too daunting for me yet, as I barely know how to sew anything more than a square, haha! Someday though!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh MY!!! What a FAB, FAB, FAB design!…AND, soooooo practical for your crafting!!!!! AND… to be put in your roll call for a prospective maker… I AM SO HONOURED :-D…. Thank You!!!!! even if I don’t get the chance to have a go – Thank you so much for even thinking of me as a candidate!!!
    LOL…I have the wonderful image of oursewingpatch bouncing on her bed with flailing arms about to take to flight in her desperation:-)
    Absolutely love your choice of fabrics too! It’s so nice to have something inside just as nice as the out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m thrilled that you are impressed, being such a talented designer maker yourself! I’m sorry I couldn’t choose everyone but, in the end, it seemed fair to go with the first out of my list to volunteer. As for being a candidate – all six of you seemed obvious choices as you stand out in terms of your creative abilities:)


      • I bet you’ve been blown away with all the offers to make up your little sample and very fair indeed to go with the first person to offer their services. I’m sure your pattern will make up wonderfully and I’m sure she’ll have a great time doing it! πŸ˜‰ I think after all my make it up as you go along approach….I would have had hot sweats following a pattern LOL πŸ˜€
        Also, Thank you Sheila for your lovely compliments too!!! : )

        Liked by 2 people

  10. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG Your bag IS simply stunning!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh lovey I adore this bag!! Everything about it is just fab. I have put it on the list of “have to do”. I am currently working on the Greengate afghan that you posted, Lucy’s granny stripe, Lucy’s jolly chunky bag and one of her awesome floral wreaths. All I have to do on the chunky bag is line and attach the straps and flowers. I am having such a wonderful time in my own little hooky world. I wish I could just take one stroll in one of the yarn shops that you and Lucy buy yarn at. The colors are just so scrumptious!!! The Rowan, Debbie Bliss and Andes etc would just fly me around the heavens. LOL So far all I have been able to try is the Style Craft Special DK and Style Craft chunky. Oh my…..
    Take care my friend. Lots of love and hugs sent your way from across the pond.
    Thank you for sharing your talent and world with all of us.

    Robin xxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh yeah completely forgot I got a brand new spectacular sewing machine for Christmas. πŸ™‚ So many crafty fun projects flying around in my head. Such fun!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, lovely fabrics. I adore the little sheep and the Vintage Postcards. πŸ™‚ Gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh! wow! Think Beth’s right you’re going to have to do a draw πŸ™‚ Count me in too, I absolutely love the vast proportions of this bag and the quilting detail is just lovely. Great to see the fabric made up into something and the lining matches perfectly. Great job and thanks for the mention x

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Lovely! This really makes me want to try machine embroidery. Must finish at least one project first!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I forgot I wanted to ask where you got the handle poles from? Are they actually sold as bag handles or are they some kind of wooden stick, or…??! They look great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a 2.40m length of 18mm wide dowelling which you can buy in any DIY chain or builder’s merchant for a couple of pounds. My husband bought this locally from Bradford’s builder’s merchant and just cut it down to size for me and sanded the ends. It’s enough to make two large bags and is far cheaper than sourcing ready made bag handles!


  17. The bag is stunning and I am most impressed! I can’t do that πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Love you bag! I would love to try it and post it on my blog. (I’m always posting about patterns that I’ve tried.) I’m currently in Utica, NY. I’m not sure where you’d be shipping the materials from but what a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you Tara, I’m glad you like it. I’m in England and overseas shipping wasn’t a viable option, I’m afraid. Maybe you’d be interested in the ‘Tutorials’ page of my blog – you might find a project that inspires you;)


  20. Super bag, I have this fabric and have been saving it for it for the right project.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s fabulous, isn’t it? I did it the other way around – couldn’t make the bag until I found the perfect fabric. Have you decided what you’re going to make with yours yet?


  21. Lol, I thought it was going to be a small WIP bag, like for socks and then bam! you hit me with the photo with a model for scale. Fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha! I know, all the bags out there are far too small for what I wanted so I knew I was going to have to design my own. At 46 I can only model my legs as they’re still skinny and make the bag look even bigger:)


  22. Reblogged this on Stitched Up From the Start and commented:
    Wow, thanks for thinking of me! I’d love to road test this but I’m knee-deep in second baby/c-section universe…a strange alternate planet where nothing exists outside my own house!! Good luck though. X

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I love it? Makes me want to be better at sewing!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I love that bag!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Fantastic bag – I really love it! So very smart to do the quilting first! Reading and seeing how you free machine quilted does make it less intimidating – must give it a try some time ….. thanks for sharing! Marianne xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Free machine quilting is quite theraputic really, once you get in ‘the zone’. It’s mesmerising seeing the scribbly pattern work its magic across a plain piece of fabric and lends such a great weight and structure to the finished bag.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. What a beautiful bag and the quilting made it couture! If you’re still in need of pattern testers, I would love to have an opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

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  28. I love your bag! It is adorable! You and your blog are just inspiring. I guess I should sew a bit more in the near future. Have been so busy with fingerprint art and natural toys… πŸ˜‰ I am going to follow you know. Can’t wait all the bags the others are going to sew. Best wishes from Toronto.

    Liked by 1 person

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    Liked by 1 person

  31. My goodness, you already have lots of volunteers. I like the bag. Let me know when the PDF is finished because I’d like to buy. And keep me in mind for a future tester.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. That’s a great bag, just the sort of thing every travelling sewist/knitter/crafter needs. I will keep an eye out for the PDF coming out!

    Liked by 1 person

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  35. How would love to be a tester, but I’m in Pa.


  36. I would love to be a pattern do I sign up for it?


  37. I a, a fairly new sewer and I would be willing to be a tester. Plus this could help you out with a not very experienced sewer than those that are more experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Please please … I want to be a tester!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. I have made 2 of these larger bags and I love these bags! The pattern and the tutorial is so easy to follow. Thank you πŸ™‚


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  41. What a fabulous bag! And such gorgeous fabric, I don’t even sew and I want them all :p

    Liked by 1 person

  42. I would absolutely love to be a tester for your bag.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Hi Sewchet,

    Really nice bag, I like it a whole lot. If you could come up with a pattern for one that also has a zippered gusset across the top – or even has that as an “add-on” for this pattern, please let me know? I love the bag, just need the zip in the top so when I’m klutzy the contents don’t end up spilled half across the road or down the stairs! πŸ˜€

    Kind regards,


  44. Hello, Megan.

    Perhaps you could cover (with the same material) and sew on three to five craft magnets along the inside top of each side to keep the bag neatly and securely closed until you needed to access your current project(s). Or in lieu of covered magnets, you could use white snaps.

    Good luck!


  45. I love to sew!! I would love to be a pattern tester for you. This is a great bag! Super design.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. A friend of mine made this similar bag for her quilting supplies. I love it! I have been looking for the pattern as she passed away and I never got it fro her.


  47. I know your original post was over five years ago now but I loved the bag and have ordered and received the pattern but can’t find the fabric you used anywhere. I think it must have been discontinued. Any ideas for some similar fabric in the vintage style? Or if you know someone with a secret supply of the Sew Retro Montage………


  48. Are you still looking for pattern testers?


  49. Beautiful materials, and a wonderful sized bag, it would be ideal for my chicken projects

    I’d love to test


  50. I would like to be a pattern tester – in sewing


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