The Great Canadian Craftsy Bag Tour - Kick Off!!

4/04/2016 12:28:00 PM

Hi everyone, I'm turning my blog over to Marsha today, a great Canadian blogger who is going to help kick of our Great Canadian Craftsy Bag Tour. I've watched some of these Craftsy classes, but not all of them… so also I can't wait to hit all of the stops on this tour! Here's Marsha:

A couple of months ago when this idea for an all
Canadian blog tour of Craftsy popped up and I jumped all over organizing it, I had no idea it would be so exhausting and so rewarding at the same time.  Reap some of the rewards and join us for an epic road trip, if you will.

Hi, I’m Marsha. I’d try to give you a brief synopsis of who I am, but there’s nothing brief about me.  I can make a short story long, and I usually do on my own blog Seam of my PantsI’ll rein it in for once and just say that I sew, I craft, I draw, I rescue cats, I teach, I read, I travel, and despite my long-winded writing, I’m an introvert.

Let me share a little about this Great Canadian Craftsy Bag Tour. (Say that out loud just one time fast, I dare ya!) … ok, then! … We are a group of eight Canadian sewing bloggers scattered all the way from the Maritimes (on the Atlantic coast), over the Canadian Shield, across the prairies, up and down the mountains, all the way to the Pacific coast. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any bloggers from our northern territories and I’ll try to do something about that next time. Short of moving further north myself, that is, because that just. aint. happening! Not all of us are bag-makers, but those who weren’t, were more than game to give it a shot.  (Have you ever eaten Caribou or Moose meat? Now, that’s gamey!)

Each of us chose a bag-making class offered on the Craftsy platform. (Please don’t tell me you never heard of Craftsy because I’ll have to come and slap you awake!) Anyway, we each chose a class, followed it through and sewed the class projects. We’ve written up our blog posts documenting our experiences and opinions, and will be posting them this week from April 4th  to 9th. Craftsy generously provided us with the classes at no charge, but don’t let that fool you, we still say what we think! – Politely, of course. I’ve seen some of the fabric choices and the work(hu)manship of these ladies and I have yet to pick my jaw up from the floor. Wow! Just WOW!

My very humble little beginner tote bags and pouches are taking care of the Montreal Monday (that’s today) stop on the tour as I review two classes: Bag-Making Basics: Reversible Tote & Zipper Pouch and Learn to Sew: Simple Bags.  Pop over to the blog and find out what I did (and didn’t do) to those unsuspecting pieces of fabric.  

Check out the first stop on the tour! 
Then we take our lives in our hands as we cross the Champlain Bridge to the suburban cities collectively known as the South Shore of Montreal. Over there, we’ll find two more bloggers. Deborah started her fabric obsession before she could even talk, and she hasn’t stopped playing around with it since. Who can blame her? If you got a purple sewing machine when you were 5, you’d become an accomplished sewist too! Although, there was that time she took a little break to work in women’s retail, but that didn’t last. Just to make the rest of us seethe with jealousy, she also studied photography so the pictures on her blog Sprouting JubeJube are to die for. (hrmph!) These days, she takes her coffee intravenously to keep up with 4 kids while sewing for them and herself. They all have very different personalities and style preferences so no hand-me-downs happening there. That’s a dedicated mother! She still has time to take on the challenge of making Annie Unrein’s  Sew Sturdy HomeOrganizers from Craftsy.

Because we don’t want to travel too far on our first day, we’ll just run down the street to visit Ula of Lulu & Celeste. Ula also chases kids around, but only two. She’s just a teeny weeny bit  (ok, I under-exaggerate) crazy about wool felting and creates some adorable ornaments and critters when she’s not sewing for her girls. But she put down the sheep long enough to make some bags and organizers out of oilcloth. That’s one brave woman!

Then, because neither rhyme nor reason has any part in a Canadian road trip, we jump nearly 5,000 Km to visit Reece in the spectacular Fraser Valley between Rocky Mountains and Pacific coast.  And we run into Annie Unrein again, this time with her class: Sew Sturdy Travel Organizers.  (We could seriously use a travel organizer for this tour!) Reece was kind enough to interrupt her enjoyment of gorgeous spring weather to sew and write. If you want your lower mandible (jawbone) to hit the floor like mine did, you have to go to Happy Okapi on Wed., April 6 and see what she made. 

A wee sneak peek form Reece's review - can you tell what she made?
Go West, young m… Oops! Big scary ocean that way! I guess we have to go East. And our first stop for a rest break is smack dab in the middle of Alberta, somewhere between the foothills of the Rockies and the wide-open prairies. (You do not want to take on those prairies without a full tank of gas, among other things.)

We can use the facilities at Michelle’s place but it’s ok if we spend a few minutes celebrity-stalking Janelle because we’re sooooo close!  We drag Michelle away from her obsessive bra-making, rip the stretch lace out of her hands and force her to (gasp!) make one of Janelle’s clutches from the Mix & Match: Clutch Bag Techniques class that’s the talk of the town.  We didn’t have to force too hard because as it turns out, she’s also a little bag-making freak. Bras, bags, bras + bags … Go see Michelle’s “Brags” at Michelle’s Creations and check out her post about Janelle’s class on the 7th. “Only in Canada, you say. Pity!

Take a peek inside Michelle's bag!

Are you tired yet? Well, suck it up, Toots! We still have a long way to go on Friday, the 8th – 5,000 Km to be more or less exact-ish. First to see Shelaine hiding herself away in Southwestern Ontario (that little part of Canada that dips south of the 49th parallel.) This lady is brand new on the blogging scene and we’re going to show her some love in the friendliest Canadian fashion. We’ll just pop in for a little looksee in her sewing room. She’s working on Sew Better Bags: The Weekend Duffel pattern from the Craftsy class by Betz White and sharing what she learns on her blog Shelaine’s Designs. This feisty lady is a study in opposites, going from hunting and four-wheeling in the Northern Ontario wilderness to playing with her Juki and pin cushions in her sewing room. I warn you, be vewwy, vewwy careful around her because she’s taken down a bear with her bow and arrow. (Let’s see Daryl Dixon do that!) And before anyone gets mad about Pooh’s cousin, Shelaine eats what she kills. (That could be taken as another warning. Hmmm…) In any case, you do not want to miss her bag!

You'll want to see more of this one! 
Aaaaaand off we go to get a little bit of Down East hospitality from Fiona, the transplanted Brit and freshly minted Canadian, in Nova Scotia. (If… only… we… can get Shelaine to stop squirming in the duffle bag…) Fiona runs Tangled Blossom Designs, in between running after 2 kids and a husband. The woman has a lifelong thing for vintage fashion (and seriously, the cutest hairstyle in her profile photo!) Go look! Ok, so here we are on the east coast with Fiona and her blog is set to go live with her take on Lisa Lam’s class 20 Essential Techniques for Better Bags. And as with all things multitasking, we’ll just wait until she’s done cutting and shipping those international orders of fabric, oh glorious fabric, your satiny hand … Sorry, lost you there for a minute… Yeah, so kids, bags, fabric, and the world’s highest tides in the Bay of Fundy.

I know you’re tired and so am I. Let’s ditch the car and fly back to see Janelle, who needs no introduction, just outside of Edmonton (with the world’s biggest the world’s second largest indoor mall). She’s waiting in the middle of all her yummy bag bling to give us a quick recap of one epic road trip across (and cross again) the True North with Craftsy!

Now that I’ve taken you on the tour in your mind, how about joining us for real? Visit our blogs, and follow us, as we share our adventures on the Great Canadian Craftsy Bag Tour. I must thank Craftsy for proving us with the classes and a super duper pri… (uh, I can’t say anything about that until Sunday), Janelle of Emmaline Bags and Celine of Blue Calla Patterns for even more pri… (sorry! Right, not until Sunday), and all the warm-hearted bloggers who put husbands, kids and lacy underthings on hold to host us on this tour. And thank you readers for being here, and especially for getting all the way to the end. You all ROCK!

Wrap it up and bag it for us, Janelle!

À tantôt,

PS. Is it Sunday yet?


Thanks Marsha! 
Just to recap, you can hit all the stops here:

Monday, April 4th - Seam of My Pants
Tuesday, April 5th - Sprouting JubeJube
Tuesday, April 5th - Lulu & Celeste
Wednesday, April 6th - Happy Okapi
Thursday, April 7th - Michelle's Creations
Saturday, April 9th - Round up with Emmaline Bags
Sunday, April 10th - Surprise!

Thanks for reading & happy blog hopping!


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  1. Fantastic! So excited to meet all these great Canadian bloggers. What a great idea. Thank you all :-)

  2. Thanks for kicking off our tour, Janelle!


  3. This is awesome. I love bags. I'll be the caboose from Washington State as I follow you around the tour!


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The contents of this blog, including text, original photos and ideas are the sole property of the author. If you intend to use my text or images, please link back to this blog and give credit to Emmaline Bags & Patterns. A notification email would be greatly appreciated too! Please do not ever republish an entire post, any tutorials, or post photos of my family. Thank you, Janelle