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Dianne Nixon's Bag Project

Updated: May 16

A sewing enthusiast with many (too many) years of experience across a wide range of sewing disciplines, who wants to inspire you to try something new! Share my passion for lifelong Creative Learning and help you through with hints and tips which can make your sewing journey a little smoother.


Having 3 Daughters, 2 Stepdaughters and 4 Granddaughters – let’s talk Bags, not just a tote, let’s talk Bags that tick all the boxes for a fashion accessory without the expensive price tag! A challenge! Where do I start with their request! What’s out there’ to help me?


Luckily being a quilter I have the first necessity, a Janome CM8P that is capable of sewing through multiple layers of different fabrics, with a variety of stitches, as well as a large work/throat space aiding manoeuvrability, together with a plethora of useful accessories to make the job easier.


Second necessity, a good pattern that provides step-by-step instructions (with photos) that walks through the process of construction, even better if it has a supporting educational video, to hold your hand.


Bag hardware that ticks the ‘that’s cool box’ including funky zips and webbing. Plus ‘made in the right fabric, Vinyl would be so cool Nan.’  Deep breath – we can do this!


Research led me to sites that provide the technical know-how and yes you may have to pay a subscription, which is like having to pay to join a class – without travelling expenses.  Added bonus, these groups are made up of lots of like-minded people that will happily help you.


Materials needed – Follow the advice on the pattern, a good bag making pattern will provide a cut list and pattern pieces for the exterior, lining and stabilising fabrics required.

My top tip is the Ultra Glide Needle Plate with the Ultra Glide foot combination.  (Available for Janome Category D models). This will help the fabric to glide smoothly and evenly with nice even stitches when used together.  Using the Ultra Glide foot alone helps the glide from the top however, you may find vinyl sticks and stutters when crossing the needle plate and you may need to ‘help’ it through, which could result in the stitches appearing a little uneven.  The CM8P has a quick and easy function to release the needle plate and swap out the plates, this feature is also available on several other models in the range… it’s great not to have to get out a screwdriver.

Working with faux leathers and vinyl is tricky! It’s sticky and it’s not easy to unpick and re-sew as there will be perforated needle marks on the fabric – so use different tools and a new needle!


Select a lining fabric that coordinates with the bag exterior to provide the extra Wow factor.


And Remember - your creation is Unique it’s okay if it’s not perfect. STOP, Breathe, and Relax.


My finished Creation: which is “The Rosie Sling’ from Knotted Threads - see link below.


Supplier suggestions:

Patterns and Education Resource:


Bag Making Fabrics and Hardware


Janome Ultra Glide Needle Plate Part No.202201005 for Category ‘D’ models

or visit your local Janome retailer


I hope I have inspired you to Try Something New’ in my first ever blog for Janome. Look out for Part 2 (coming very soon) which will focus on How to Create the embroidered front panel pocket featuring the fabulous Artistic Digitizer embroidery software. 

If you have the software that’s great. If you don’t why not take advantage of the FREE TRIAL (until 31st May 2024)

In Part 2 I will be holding your hand for each step. 


Look out for my next Blog…


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