Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sophie's Mini NCW, my #5!

At this point all of my grandchildren have had bags made for them in the past couple months. The one above, which I think is my favorite so far, is for Sophie, a fashion conscious 11 year old young lady. I have learned that girls her age are really into small bags with cross body straps. I provided both the cross body strap as well as the wristlet strap.

The camera is playing tricks making that wristlet strap look extra long. It's not. The mini is quite small, about five and a half inches across.

I've reviewed a mini and the NCW before and you can read that here: NCW

Here's the deets on this one, which really is my favorite of all.


The print fabric is a 100% cotton from the quilting area at Joanns. It is the same fabric used in the Stella Weekender diaper bag I just finished. The print is used for the lining, flap and straps. For the body of the little bag I used a faux leather in black, the same that I used in the Boy Bags.

The hardware is from Emmaline bags.

Interfacings used were  non-fusible  Peltex, SF101 from Pellon and Decor Bond. All were purchased at Joanns using their coupons. I am now buying this by the bolt on those big discount days.


The pattern used is the Necessary Clutch Wallet from Emmaline Bags, better known as the NCW. There is a mini version available and this is  the second mini I have made. My first was scaled wrong, my own printing error but this one was "juuuust right" as Little Red Riding Hood says. It was a tad larger than my first and I was thankful for that. It's really important with these small items to get the scale right. Measuring is done every step of the construction in order to stay on track and when half way completed I figured out the error on Carly's bag. I had to fudge to finish hers but this one was spot on with the proper scaling.  The straps and wristlet were not in the original pattern but there is info in the files on the NCW Facebook page. That includes measurements.

The pattern for the mini is an add on to the original NCW and as such only contains that which makes it different from the larger pattern. The directions are very clear despite them being written by someone other than the original designer. The mini pattern is with her blessing and featured on the Emmaline website. You will definitely  need the original NCW pattern as well as the Mini add on to get this done.


I'll just deal with the differences from the big NCW here.

I have found it very helpful to mark the centers of all pieces of this little bag. It will definitely help you as with an item this small accuracy is critical. The mini directions for the zipper pocket simply refers you to page 6 of the bigger bag's directions for the zip pocket. No measurements were given. With the help of those on the FB NCW page I cut my zipper to 5 1/2 inches and proceeded from there. This does have the card slots of the original, but that's something you could certainly eliminate if you think a child won't need them. I kept them in mine as I think they give a "grown up" note to the bag. On the pleats above you can see the Chicago screws  being used. They are so much easier than rivets and far more fool proof, IMO. I probably could do better with rivets if I had the professional punch, etc but I just didn't want to invest in that.

The turn lock is attached with tiny little philips head screws. I had one of that type of screw driver and it has disappeared since a couple weeks back. So I ordered this pack from Amazon of tiny little screwdrivers. I highly recommend if you are going to be using more than an occasional turn lock. Lots of bag hardware has these tiny screws, and whew, they are tiny.

This is the set I got from Amazon. It cost seven dollars and change and is Prime. Well worth it.

You can also see in the bag above I did not top stitch the flap. I simply forgot and when I noticed it I decided I liked it and have left it that way. Out of all the NCWs I've seen, they've all been topstitched. I like this one without.

The flap and body have Peltex interfacing. The lining is all fused with SF101 but I think next time I will used Decor Bond for the  zip pocket. The straps are fused with Decor Bond and fusible fleece. ALL interfacing has the seam allowances cut out, critical! The side pleat area has SF101 on the exterior faux leather. It is cut separately from the bag interfacing so the SAs could be removed. That really made the bulkiest area much easier to deal with. The bag has a really nice heft to it and I like that.


This is my most favorite NCW yet and it is Number Five! I do hope Sophie likes it. It won't be my last to make either as these make great gifts. Keep in mind, this is not a quickie gift and definitely takes focus and a few "tricks". I highly recommend.

If this dress is looking a bit large for my size, it is. It was a gorgeous find, size large, from the thrift this week. Lots of fabric and I already have plans for it......................Bunny


  1. What a fun and cheerful bag. I'm sure she will love it! Abbey

  2. Great little bag. I was lurking Emmaline's bag hardware last night! because I was wondering if I could do a turn lock on a fabric bag. Love the way they work on small bags, so secure.

    I also think the pleated interior is so cool!

    1. It's the trickiest part of the construction, Coco, dealing with the bulk in those pleats. That's why, IMO, it's critical to remove the SAs from all interfacing. When I get to the stage where I fold the zip pocket into the pleat , I take some E6000 glue and run a bead along the pleat and where the screw will go. I clamp it with a binder clip overnight to dry. Then the next day I cut the holes and put in the screws. They can be sewn and my old Kenmore handles it well but I just like eliminating the bulk issue by using the screws and glue.

      They just started carrying copper hardware which is really awesome. I have my eye out for fabric that will work with that.

  3. Thanks for all your great tips! I've had the pattern for awhile and now feel much more capable of making it.

  4. I can see why this one is your favorite! I especially like the faux leather accents. You conclude that the pattern is great if one knows all the "tricks." Have you covered them all in this post? Or perhaps at pattern review?

    I think you meant Goldilocks. ;)

    1. It's been a while since I thought about fairy tales. Thanks for the correcction Jenny Jo. I will double check and make sure all NCW blogposts are taggged NCW. What I would suggest to any interested in making these is that you go to the "NCW Addicts" page on Facebook and ask to join. Once in, go to the files, which are listed under the banner and you will find TONS of great help there. There is also a lot of information on the Emmaline site, like how to install the hardware types, etc. But probably the best help of all are the youtube videos by Jean the Jelly Roll Queen. They are listed under NCW Wallets by Janelle Mackay. That will be huge help. The files on FB give you their order if you can't figure it out. You will also find in there lots of customization how to's like changing flap shape, double zippers, etc. I hope you give it a try. I'm really enjoying making these.

  5. The bag is adorable and looks so professional! I'm still on the "Sew Together Bag" stage but hope to up my game in the future. Thanks for all of your tips. I search your site for tips all the time. You are such an inspiration to us!

  6. That's so sweet. Thanks, Cynthia.

  7. the patience of you! It is gorgeous. So is that op shop dress, yummy!

  8. Oh goody! I needed an idea for a xmas swap of sewing notions with a maximum cost of $10. This little tool kit fits the bill nicely.

  9. Wow...what a lucky young lady. That bag is beautiful and I am sure she loves it and will treasure it.

  10. I was wondering what thread you used for the NCW's you are making?


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