Friday, May 29, 2015

Boys Can Sew, Too!

Meet Kendal. He is our in-house website designer and has just started doing our distributors orders while he is out of school for the summer. Since we like everyone to have some idea on how to use ByAnnie products, Kendal headed over to Annie's house to get some one on one instruction on how to make a Daytripper 2.0 bag. He wanted to send some mail to his girlfriend who is currently gone on a service mission and it was the perfect opportunity to fulfill both needs. 

The Daytripper bag looks professional and polished, but it is quick and easy enough to for a beginning sewist. Kendal was able to get this done in about 4 hours. It teaches how to use Soft and Stable and two methods of installation for handbag zippers

We'll tell you the story in photos. 

And here is the completed project! Kendal just may be the new sample sewer. We think he did a great job, don't you? 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Giveaway time!

WE DID IT! We made it to 5,000 likes on Facebook. We are so happy to have connected with you all, and Annie wants to give away 18 autographed copies of her newest patterns. The prizes include three each of her six newest patterns: All Bottled Up, Power Trip, Daytripper 2.0, Picnic in the Park, Potluck Pals, and All Aboard! Train Case Trio. That's right, to thank you we are giving away EIGHTEEN AUTOGRAPHED patterns, one per winner.  Thank you THANK YOU!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 3, 2015

Starr Fabrics Travel Duffle

     One of our favorite people in the world is Kathleen Starr of Starr Design Fabrics. Kathleen and her daughter Shelley are often our neighboring vendors at quilt shows and one couldn't ask for better neighbors. Sweet, kind, knowledgeable, and efficient, these ladies have taught us so much about the ins and outs of navigating the show world.

     We love Kathleen's beautiful color-graduating fabrics and eye-catching quilts, so were especially excited when Kathleen decided to use her fabric and our Travel Duffle Bag pattern to make a bag.

     She used a 12 pack of their graduating hand-dyed fabrics and about 2 1/2 yards for lining. Though it must have been a bit time-consuming to plan and piece all those gorgeous colored strips, the effect is stunning. Kathleen says, "I love the way it turned out." We couldn't agree more!!

Find Kathleen's lovely-to-work-with and beautiful-to-behold fabrics at

Monday, March 2, 2015

Staff Projects: Casey

My mother is Annie, so you can imagine that I have been around sewing machines since birth. As a toddler, I remember being literally terrified of going into her sewing room because I was afraid to step on a needle. Later, as a teenager, I recall being mortified when I snapped a needle off in the machine. Still, despite being so close to sewing for the first thirty years of my life, my projects we limited to hemming pants and patching holes.

All that changed in 2014 when I joined Annie and began working full-time with Within six months after joining I bought my first machine and, not any machine, I bought a Consew 226-R with table and motor (all for $600). It is a work-horse industrial walking-foot sewing machine. It can move heavy thread, punch through thick material and work well with nylons and other slippery items. I wanted these characteristics because I wanted to sew heavier-duty bags for outdoor sports.

After much testing and learning, I finally got the tension right and the machine sewing like a champ. My next step was to put the machine to use on a bag. I had seen them made and played small roles in various bag-making projects, but I had never designed or made one all-by-myself.

Being the proud owner of my new machine, I decided to dive right in and develop a bag myself. The results are below. Without pattern, sample, guide, template or for an expert help I designed this little gym bag with mesh on one side for ventilation. It went okay and it will work, but boy is it riddled with mistakes. The mesh is too stiff to turn under the way I did, causing it to flex strangely and have rough edges inside. The zipper doesn't align. And worst of all, when I sewed on the red side panel I did it to the wrong side out, causing the raw seams to be outside not inside! In desperation I turned the seam over on itself, making for a very bulky seam and chunky look to the bag. (I later learned this is called French seam and is actually a standard application when you plan for it).

All and all, while the bag was not the shining success I'd envisioned, the experience was great. I learned to use my machine better, I learned to sew better, and I gained a greater respect for the great value of having a detailed pattern before starting a project. We'll see what is next!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Staff Projects: Gloria's first

One of my first sewing projects was a chalkboard mat for my nieces. I made it was last year when Annie gave me my first sew machine. At first, the only thing I knew about the sewing machines was how turn on and turn off, but Annie taught me some of the basics and soon I was making things alone.

When I finished the chalkboard mat, I was very happy because I did the whole project myself. From design to sewing, I did it all without any help. Sure, I had some problems. For example, when I started sewing, I realized that one piece of fabric was longer than another. I had to cut all the sides to make a proper rectangle. Later, I had a perfect dream for wide & accessible pockets, but when I went to attach them to the mat I didn´t have good access to sew them. It was a challenge, but well worth it.

Once I was done I gave it to my nieces and I was especially proud to see how much they loved the mat! They played with it all day and they wanted to bring it everywhere. For two weeks we played with it constantly. And perhaps best of all, for them it was perfect! They couldn't identify the mistakes. All they could do is have fun and be creative with my creation.

This mat was one of our first steps toward developing our artist's portfolio, the Fetch Your Sketch.  If you want to make your own with the help of a pattern, you can find it here: