Friday, September 16, 2016

I'm an NCW Addict!



What's the NCW? It's the Necessary Clutch Wallet from Emmaline Bags. There is just something very potato chip-y about this design and I am eating the chips! What I like about this pattern is that it makes a really functional wallet, requires no fitting, is definitely more challenging than I thought it would be (fun) , can be uniquely personalized, makes a great gift and has its own community of sewists who have made tons of them. That community, the NCW Addicts group on facebook has tweaked this tiny bag every which way imaginable and provides amazing support, knowledge and inspiration.

The outside of the wallet can be made with or without the band. Some add wrist straps and/or cross body straps, which I have done and really like. Some have put beautiful hardware on the front flap. Some have personalized the bag with photos, weaving, artwork and more. Many are made of leather, faux leather and cork that is to die for. You see the addiction setting in?


The inside of the bag has loads of credit card slots on each side, a zipper pocket and dividers. The side flanges are sewn in but I soon took the groups inspiration and now use Chicago screws and a bit of E6000 glue for holding in the folds. Many use rivets as well. I never knew Chicago screws even existed before this!


On this NCW#2 the exterior fabric is Kaufman Essex linen blend. The focal fabric is a quilting cotton and the piping and inner pocket are patent leather. I've since learned topstitching tricks from the group that improved later versions. This version closes with a simple magnet closure and has a swivel hook and D ring for the strap.


One of the learning curves on this project is about the interfacing. The first wallet was made per directions and looks sweet but it is a bit softer than I'd like and I am not alone in that opinion. Advice abounds in the Addict group on improving the feel of the bag through interfacing and there are various possible combinations. This blue wallet below is my first, NCW#1,  and made exactly as the pattern dictates.



This has the sewn side flaps. Since making this one I have found a template in the FB group files for lining up the sides for perfect folds, which I then made in oaktag and just lay it down and mark.  I also now interface both sides of the interior pocket for a flatter, crisper finish as well.


Here you have NCW#3. The exterior is a cotton batik and the flap is a home dec fabric. I clearly have a bit to learn about scale but I'm getting there. On this one I used a thumb lock closure to take full advantage of the print on the flap. I also piped the edge. Next time I pipe I will use a smaller cord.


Placement on the bird is much better on the inside. The thumb lock is screwed and glued to the edge of the flap. Notice the zipper. The ends are covered in little squares that get caught in the fold and make it prettier and more secure, another tweak from the group. I love the colors on this one.


A bit of bling was added to the zipper pull.  Topstitching was done longer and in a rayon embroidery thread,

The interfacing in the bird wallet includes a sheet of Flex Foam from Pellon slid into the area between the exterior and lining and under the flap and bag body only, not the side flanges. In the rose wallet fusible fleece was ironed to the exterior flap and a piece of Peltex interfacing, non fusible, was slipped into the same area. I really like that "feel" but again, its personal. I like a crisp feel and look.



My NCW#4 bag is a "Mini". I made it for my granddaughter to have for school and she loves it.  She loves it so much that when she got home with it she changed into a matching outfit, her decision, and then asked her Mom to send me a picture. It is just like the big versions but about 65% of the size. It's a free download with the purchase of the original pattern. Wish I had a better picture for you. It is navy linen with the blue and white floral on the flap and green piping around it. For the cross body strap, which she asked for, I did the navy strap and green grosgrain ribbon on the other side. Love to see my girl happy and I love that preppy color combo.

A bit about the actual  pattern: I did the paper pattern for my NCW and the PDF for my mini. I have since purchased other patterns that I chose in PDF format. I am liking PDFs for these bags. There is very little paper used and very little taping. The instructions are VERY  thorough and there is a you tube video to follow along as well. There are also other NCW "experts" who have youtube videos as well and  they are really helpful. The instructions are really clear and at no point was I scratching my head. The pictures are clear and even clearer printed off in color if you can do that option. Janelle McKay, the designer really knows her bag business. I like her designs and the hardware most of them use. She has a craftsy class which I have taken and reviewed and  she proved to be an excellent teacher. Her patterns are the same quality. I recommend this pattern because it is very good, fun to make, challenging and still very doable. There is also a support system through the "Addicts" group as well as Janelle herself on the website and Emmaline FB page. After completing my NCW and the Craftsy class, I didn't hesitate to order other patterns

Let's get clear that I have no affiliation with Emmaline bags. I have simply become an addict like the other 7000 people who have purchased this pattern. ( Wish I could remember where I read that, but I did. ) It is fun. I have a stack of fabric all ready to go for NCW#5 and can't wait. In the meantime I will work on the diaper bag I have to hustle up for my gift for my darling new little red headed niece. But right after that I will make bags for two little boys!!! Bagapalooza continues......

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Bag making requires a lot of zippers and one good yard sale provided me with close to 300 zips, nearly all new. Here is my granddaughter helping sort and organize some of them after they were all washed and dried. She loves to organize and she did a great job with the zips. She loves helping Bunbun and it does my heart good.................Bunny

33 comments:

  1. I've been drooling over this bag, but have yet to make it. Your versions look absolutely gorgeous!

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  2. The bags are beautiful, but it's the bunny tags that set them completely over the edge-- love them!

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  3. Bunny, those bags are adorable. And so practical. Perfect for out walking, out dancing or going to the market. MUST HAVE ONE

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  4. Stunning bags! You are an inspiration to us all

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  5. Most of the time I admire other bags that people make but have no desire to make one myself....but this one might be the exception after your remarks. Your versions are simply stunning. Thanks for the great pics and encouragement.

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  6. Beautifully done! As always!
    Joyce from Sudbury

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  7. Thanks, everyone. If you check out the Emmaline website and the NCW addicts group as well as the Emmaline page on Facebook, you will see some truly inspiring versions. One of the things that I've learned from these sites and been so impressed with is that beginners who have never sewn have made this wallet clutch their first project and it comes out so well. They get a serious sewing bug fueled by the success of this project and I am so tickled by that. On the other hand, very experienced sewists like myself and many others find them very challenging and fun to make as well. For me, and it is emphasized in McKay's pattern, the secret is constant measuring and trimming to get it all the right size. Doing that makes it all fall into place.

    Can I add that the photos of the bags show things I learned in my photography class from Jon Chabot. He was such a good teacher. There is much I need to employ to make them even better but I am working on that and will show some of my photo learning as we go along. Feels so good to get back to blogging with you all. Thanks for your great comments on the NCWs.

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  8. You really have been having FUN,Bunny! Love each & every one of them...each has their own personality. I know you'll get a great deal of enjoyment out of making them very special for the recipient. Your DGD's is TDF!!!

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    1. Thanks, Rett. She's a cutie, our little "Miss Sweden". She LOVES to organize and do crafty things with Bunbun. A delight!

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  9. So nice! I love Emmaline clutch patterns.

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  10. Such an excellent review! I normally avoid pdf patterns, but you have sold me on this one. My granddaughter would also love the smaller version.

    Were the Chicago screws easy to install? Did you just use a leather punch to make the holes and then insert the screws?

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    1. The thought of a 70 page printoff, all that ink and paper, taping the whole wad together and the prices just stop me when it comes to PDFs for garments. With bags you may piece 2-4 pages and it is easy to print just the pages, which are minimal, and hold the rest of the instructions in your computer. Most of these downloads are in the 5-7 dollar range and unique enough to be worth it. Paying twenty dollars for another tee shirt patterns just seems wasteful to me. Try these bag PDFs. I think you'll be happy.

      The Chicago screws are not hard to install, punch a hole and screw them in. They are successful every time as there is no banging like with rivets. I find those who are successful with rivets have the professional punches and setter machines. The screws require none of that. I punch my holes, and its through a lot of layers, with the Nancy's Notions eyelet cutter. I put a blop of E6000 glue in the folds and set in the screw. The trick with the screw is getting the right width. If it is too wide it will spin and not fit tight. I've used 1/4 inch so far but you can get them thinner. I don't see an 1/8th inch working however, too much thickness. Many use a leather punch.

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    2. I just want to add that the challenge with the screws is holding them to set the back section in. My husband gave me a vice grip set to the right width and it grabs them nicely and makes it easier to install the back section.

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  11. Your bags are so cute, I can see how one can become addicted. I looked at the website but will stay away from the FB page, as I'm sure it is too tempting. I have enough backlog items to sew.

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  12. Holy cow Bunny! Now I've GOT to get that pattern! Thanks for posting!

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  13. Oh great, I'm going to have to add this to my list too!

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  14. All of your bags are wonderful! I love each and every one of them but that gray and rose one is unbelievably beautiful to me...

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  15. Love, love, love this pattern and Janelle's incredible customer service. Her hardware is to die for. Bunny, if you have a moment- what machine do you use for your bags? My Bernina really struggles. Thanks.

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    1. I've used both my Pfaff 1472 and my bull vintage Kenmore. What I like about the Kenmore is that zipper foot, the older ski type.

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    2. Thanks! I'm thinking Santa might bring me a Juki.

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  16. Glorious. I love the way these bags lend themselves to mixing and matching pattern - the blue one, and the one with red floral on grey, work perfectly. They are also really professional looking and I am not surprised you are addicted. It's great to make something really nice when one has enough clothes!

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    1. That's kind where I am right now. You are seeing a lot of bagmaking but these will be Christmas gifts. I also find it is nice to have a freshly made bag in the stash as I never know when and "appreciation" gift will be needed. It's nice to have the backup and they never seem to hang around. I think you will like the "boy" bags coming up for gifts.

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  17. P.S. Check out @cpeicheff on IG. She is an incredible wallet maker.

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  18. Very cool. I love the dividers. I have seen some very expensive handbags with dividers like this but fewer. Have you thought about making it larger?

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    1. Yes,some of the "addicts" simply up the enlargement percentage and print off a larger pattern. I may try that. I think it would be an awesome cross body bag a bit larger.

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  19. Bunny, I definitely understand the addiction! Your bags are absolutely beautiful! These would definitely make great gifts! I foresee a great startup business in the making. You are very talented.

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    1. Thanks, maybe one day, Patricia. Many of the addicts have gone into business and one of the really outstanding things about Janell McKay and her Emmaline business is that she allows and encourages the sale of bags made with her patterns and just asks for acknowledgement. Great business move!

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  20. Wallets look fantastic! Such a great review of the pattern.

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  21. Hi Bunny. Pure inspiration as always, thank you. I've got a question on the Chicago Screws you've used on the NCW pockets to outer shell. Where o you buy them from? I've looked for a tutorial on installation but am coming up empty. I like the look and know my sewing machine will struggle trying to sew through all those layers. The screws or rivets look much better. Thanks for your help. Kathy

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. get mine on amazon, here: https://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Screws-Plain-Pcs-Silver/dp/B00355AN4U/ref=sr_1_2?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1475912613&sr=1-2&keywords=chicago+screws

      I've done rivets on other projects. These are more foolproof. You don't get "crooked" installations that can break like you do with rivets. They just screw into each other with male/female parts. I will do a post on installing them for you, how's that? They are really simple to do. They can take a little muscle to punch the holes but there are ways around that too. Glad to help.

      Previous comment deleted due to bad link.

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    3. Thank you Bunny. I'm going to start the Butterfly Bag sew-a-long Monday. Bought interfacing today with coupon at JoAnn Fabric. Anxious to start NCW too.

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