Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Peace, Puff, Afro, Love" Fabric and the Urbanista Bag with Vegan Pleather

After making fabric to celebrate the beautiful hair embraced by my daughter, I decided to make some more. In fact, because of her excitement and the enthusiasm shared by my reader friends, I have been bubbling with inspiration. I want to design all the fabric and make all the things!

My most recent print is this "Peace, Puff, Afro, Love" design on 60-inch grey duck canvas. The base is airbrush painted and the accents are hand-stamped for added texture.

The canvas is a prefect weight for bag-making, I searched my stash for a candidate to showcase the print. The Urbanista Hobo by Cheryl Kuczek fit the bill because of its size and no distracting exterior pockets.

This choice also gave me an chance to use the Paradsio pleather kits that I got the same time I got the pattern. Aren't they yummy!

I met Cheryl at Quilt Market a few years ago. I was drawn to her fun patterns and she and I have developed a friendship since. Her patterns are written with a lot of explanation and detail for the novice. I prefer short bullet directions followed by an illustration to show me what to do. These text heavy steps are not a deterrent to making this great bag, but are different from commercial patterns. I find it best to read through them first and highlight the relevant sewing steps. Cheryl is a very approachable designer happy to answer email questions. She also provides online guidance on her blog  and includes tutorials on the following topics:
Many independent bag patterns give dimensions from which you make the pattern. I am so happy to not have to spend time on this step because the main pattern piece is included. I have made MANY bags by Noodlehead, Sew Demented and Amy Butler. They all have their high points and low points. I love the construction details unique to this bag. The body is stabilized with fleece and muslin instead of fusible fleece, or Shape flex and interfacing. I really like this time and cost-saving feature. With the other methods, no matter how I well fused, I have had these layers separate over time and use of the bags and it is very frustrating. With this method, the bag has structure, flexibility and weight that is not floppy or heavy.

Exterior fabric, lining, muslin and fleece 
There are six roomy contrast pockets inside the bag. I made mine without the contrast. The construction of the pockets gives added stability and support because they are secured in the side seams.

The bag is accented with pleather on the base, straps, binding and strap slots.  I sewed this bag completely on my home sewing machine with a regular needle and regular foot. There are suggestions for sewing pleather, but I didn't find I needed them. They are easy to work with.

Pleather base before attaching
Strap in process. Use clips and not pins which leave permanent marks.
The installation of the top binding is brilliant! I won't give it away here, but it is wonderful. I wish I had made this bag when I got the pattern in November. The binding would have saved me so much headache. I made three Noodlehead Maker totes last Fall. The hand-sewing of the binding was a beast! I wish I knew this method before starting. 

I applied three double cap rivets to each strap rather than add buttons and buttonholes. I would also suggest heavy-duty snaps or button studs to allow the strap to be swapped out with others.

When the bag was all made, I was worried that the pleather was too stiff and that the binding wouldn't droop like a hobo should. After wearing it for a day, it softened wonderfully and feels great. 

 I love the strap slot and riveted handle.


Considering the capacity of the bag, I am really pleased with how comfortable it is to wear. The pattern does not include a magnetic snap closure so I added one to the lining before attaching the exterior.

It is the perfect size for a busy mom as demonstrated here by my friend Lisa 

This pattern is available for purchase  in Cheryl's store.

My "Peace, Puff, Afro, Love" fabric is available in my Etsy Store in limited quantities and less than Spoonflower rates. I have also listed the "Puff Diva" fabric. All the fabric is hand painted by me and each is unique. Grab them while you can and make someone's day!

Happy Sewing,


  1. Yay! Yay! Yay! This is fabulous!!

  2. Love that fabric and that bag!! And such a cute little girl!

  3. Not only is your bag fantastic, but the fabric is just perfect. And the last photo . . . LOVE!

  4. LOVE THIS!!!! Are there options to buy the print with a different background color? I'd love to get this on a brown so that the faces are brown.

    1. Thanks Andrea! I am happy to make a custom print for you. Please email me at thanksimadethem at to discuss it.

  5. nice and colorful hand bag. We have a great collection of African fabrics. Colorful and best quality at lowest price. For whole sell price Visit us, hope you guys love them.
    African Fabrics
    Wholesale African Fabrics
    African Prints
    Guaranteed Wax Block Prints-Phenix
    Sequin Fabrics, Whole sell Sequin