Friday, May 31, 2013

Winner & Hat Box Giveaway #2

The winner of Her Ladyship's Hat Box Gail Carriger series giveaway is:

Sarah Wilder, who suggested Sterling by Dannika Dark.

Sarah, when you have a chance please send your ship-to information to LynnViehl@aol.com so I can send your package out. My thanks to everyone for joining in.

Now it's time for the second giveaway of the week:



This prize package begins with an uncorrected galley of Her Ladyship's Curse, which I will inscribe as the very first print copy of the book that I have signed (as the winner will be my very first online visitor to read it, and collectors like that sort of thing.) If you would like it to be yours, in comments to this post tell me the title and author of the last novel you read by midnight EST tonight, May 31st, 2013. I'll choose one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner the signed galley.

There's also a little bonus to go with this giveaway: when I receive the galley for His Lordship Possessed, which should be in a few weeks, I will also bind, inscribe and send a copy of it to the winner of this giveaway as well -- so you'll have not just one but both parts of the story. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, so please join in.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hat Box Giveaway #1



For this week's first giveaway Her Ladyship's Hat Box is offering a wonderful treat: a boxed set of unsigned paperback copies of Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless and Timeless, aka the complete Parasol Protectorate series by New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger, as well as an unsigned hardcover edition of Etiquette & Espionage, the first book in Gail Carriger's delightful new Finishing School series.

If you'd like to own all six books, in comments to this post name an urban fantasy novel that is currently available to order online (can be traditionally or self-published) that you think I would enjoy reading by midnight EST on Thursday, May 30th, 2013. Also, in order to win you must name one novel; simply tossing your name in the hat box doesn't qualify as an entry this time. I will choose one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner the Gail Carriger books. I will also buy and read the novel recommended by the winner, and post a review of it here on Disenchanted & Co. in the near future (which is why you have to name something for the contest.) This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, so please join in.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Forthcoming

Next week on Disenchanted & Co.:



Her Ladyship's Hat Box is full to the top, and I need to make some room for my summer promotions, so next week expect not one but two giveaways. Of what, you ask? You'll just have to stop by to find out.

Have a great weekend, and see you then.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Touch of the Victorian

While we can't go back to the Victorian era, and it would cost a fortune to buy enough antiques and authentic pieces to live exactly as they did, we can still bring a little of their art and style into our homes. We can also interpret and update the Victorian look to suit our tastes and make them fit the needs of our busy lives.

According to this article, the four basics of the Victorian look for the home involve color, opulence, pattern and romance -- the more lavish, the better. This may be true of classic Victorian decor, and certainly we've all seen enough fussy sitting rooms and ruffle-swathed vanities at some elderly relative's house to have a pretty good idea of how all that looks: stuffy and outdated. My approach to decor has always been more subtle, as I prefer hints rather than full-scale reproductions that eat entire rooms. Changing a few items to alter a look for seasons or holidays is also much easier than renovating an entire room from floor to ceiling.

Here are some photos from around my house, along with some details on why I chose these particular objects:



This assemblage occupies a corner of my formal dining room, and aside from the fun look it's also a collection of useful objects, too. I often have to sew my larger quilts in the dining room as it has the largest table in the house, so I keep some bobbins, needles, shears and spools of thread in the bottom dark green hatbox. The pink one atop it is actually Her Ladyship's, which I use for my blog giveaways. The antique chair, which I picked up at a quilt show, also comes in handy as an extra seat when we have seven for dinner. The patchwork bear, which I made from some leftover quilt scraps, is a handy toy to lend my youngest visitors.



Using a Victorian touch to preserve a memory also adds warmth to a home. For Valentine's Day my guy gave me a pretty vase of pink and white flowers, and after the real flowers faded I replaced them with silk duplicates. Seeing this little arrangement in my front hall adds a nice splash of color to the space, and the association always puts me in a good mood.



This is a night table in our guest room, and I paired this decorative pillar candle with a small hand mirror in an ornate/antiqued stand to add a touch of the romantic, which makes the room more welcoming to visitors.



Even the smallest touch can add a bit of Victorian elegance to an ordinary space. Here I've put a Victorian-styled pen and notepad on a little clipboard next to the phone.



This small key cabinet, which I keep parked on top of my writing desk, has a wonderfully old look that hides a very practical purpose:



Instead of hanging keys inside we use the cabinet to store all the USB backups for our home computers.



Displaying a small group of Victorian-styled objects can form an instant collection, and if you can't find exactly what you want, consider making your own version. Here are three tins I've made using some wonderful inspiration kits purchased from one of my favorite vintage suppliers, Kathy Uhrig, the proprietor of Strange Notions on Etsy.com. Kathy is also the artist who made the very sweet sugar-bowl pincushion I featured with last Saturday's post.



I also use the tins to store an antique pearl necklace, cartridges for one of my fountain pens, and some chandelier beads and freshwater pearls.

Some things to consider when adding Victorian touches to your home:

If you have small children, you will want to put fragile or breakable items well out of their reach. This is especially important with items with glass beading or other features that toddlers might choke on or swallow.

Remember to guard your treasures from interested furry friends, too. I've learned the hard way to keep vintage items out of reach of pets who might be tempted to play with ribbons or chew on corners. We also don't keep any real or fake flowers where the cat can get them because he likes to eat them.

Don't be afraid to experiment with colors and patterns. While we tend to associate feminine and pastel colors with Victorian decor, bold colors and textures can be just as romantic (and in some cases even more interesting.)

Finally, crafting your own Victorian touches can be a lot of fun. First-timers should try a small project like decorating a hat box, picture frame, vase or old tin with lace, beads, silk flowers, buttons etc. You can also find lots of project ideas online by running a search for Victorian crafts, or checking out some books on Victorian decor at your local library.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Talking Torian

One of the most effective and flexible tools a writer can employ to enhance their world-building is language. Creating a custom lexicon for your fictional universe doesn't mean you have to learn another language, either; you can rearrange and create new words out of ordinary English (or whatever language you publish in.)

This particular skill is one that most of us developed in childhood. As toddlers beginning to speak, we didn't know the proper name of everything. That's why that big thing in the driveway with four wheels that took Mommy away and brought her back again was a brrroom to me, named for the sound it made. Only later did it become a car. Words that are difficult for a toddler to pronounce often result in versions that are shortened, slurred together or replaced by similar sounds. This happens most frequently with names, which is why so many grandmothers are called something like Nanna, Nona, or Omah (in my family, the grandchildren call my mother Booma.) When Aunt Sheila proved too much of a mouthful for my grandniece, she dubbed me Enchilada.

As adults it's more difficult for us to let go of proper language and substitute or invent new terms, and for that reason when you begin world-building through language it can be a little daunting. Studying different forms of slang is one way to dust off your renaming skills; slang is usually colorful and sometimes has a kind of weird logic to it. When I began language world-building for Toriana I knew the British would have much more influence over my version of America, and it was no great leap to include the common language, so I started out with the UK slang I already knew as resource base and built out from there. Here's the "B" section from my Toriana Glossary:

bacco: tobacco
barrister: attorney
bathboy: a male attendant/masseur who works at public baths for women
beater: a uniformed police officer who patrols the streets, usually on foot
believer: someone who believes in magic
belowground: beneath street level
binding: a stone or other object that can contain psychic energy until its release is triggered by touch or proximity
black: very strong, thrice-brewed tea
blackpot: a coal-fueled boiler
blacks: formal suit worn by high-class male servants
bloodbane: one of the highly toxic magic poisons used in snuffballs
blower: a chamber that uses air leeched from the city’s tubes to dry wet items
blue ruin: gin
blues: people of aristocratic birth
bookmaker: printer
braves: warrior class of native Torian people
BrewsMaid: an automatic tea maker
bronze, bronzen: a theatrical cosmetic that temporarily darkens the skin
brown: Ttalian currency
bruiser: a large or physically intimidating man; thug
bucks: clothing made of buckskin
bum: ass

As you can see all of the words are made up of existing terms (barrister, blue ruin, braves, bum) or bits of words in English that I recombined or redefined (bathboy, blackpot, blower, BrewsMaid, bronzen.) So that my readers don't spend the entire reading experience flipping back and forth to the glossary I also focused on defining the terms in the context of the story. Here are three examples of how I used my Torian language from Her Ladyship's Curse:

I needed to replace the old coal boiler outside with an in-house furnace, but then walls would have to be torn out to convert the pipes, work for which no decent piper would barter. I was saving up for it, though, and in the meantime made do with what I could coax out of the old blackpot.

Out of respect for the real natives, I didn’t wear any feathers in my hair or on my person; those were reserved for braves who had bloodied themselves in war.

I sprayed my face, arms, hands, ankles, and feet with bronzen, which darkened my tanned skin to a copper brown.

There's more to world-building through language than simply manipulating words; you need to see your world and think about it from the perspective of someone who lives there. For example, when I had to name emergency response vehicles for Toriana, I thought about the fact that they don't yet have electricity -- so these vehicles can't have running lights or sirens. How then would they be instantly recognizable to the other drivers on the road? Logically color was the next best thing, so my medical emergency response vehicles are painted all-white, a very visible color. The use of white to paint a vehicle is also by law restricted to only medical emergency responders, so these Torian ambulances are the only white vehicles on the road. That led me to naming them whitecarts; white for the color + cart as a synonym for transport.

One important thing to remember when you're world-building through language is to always work toward reader-friendly words. Don't resort to a lot of gibberish just because it looks cool; you may speak your universe's language fluently but no one else does. Assuming your audience will psychically know exactly what you mean is a big mistake. So is clustering, or throwing five or six new words at the reader at a time -- avoid this by introducing your words singularly and defining them as best you can in context, too.

Building a language for your universe can be a fun writing exercise, and here are three methods I've used to teach students how to coin new words:

Action nickname: rename an occupation by substituting a nickname based on something they do at work (cop walking a beat = beater; printer of books = bookmaker)

Heard Words: change the spelling of your term to a phonetic representation of how it's spoken aloud by your characters (girl = gel; foreigner = furriner)

Shortening: remove one syllable or word from your term (tobacco = bacco; fortune teller = teller)

One final note: if you wish to invent entirely new words for your universe that are non-English and/or cannot be understood on sight, my advice is to limit the number and use them sparingly. To a reader these words are gibberish, and too much gibberish can kick your reader out of the story.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Forthcoming

Next week on Disenchanted & Co.:

Let's talk Torian: I'll explain how with a post on world-building through language, word choices and easy methods with which you can coin some imagery-rich terms for your universe.

We'll also be going retro as we'll be discussing the fun of creating and adding a few artful and practical touches of the Victorian to your home and life.

See you then, and have a terrific weekend.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Victorians on Film

Much of the Victorian era predates film, but classic works of literature began inspiring movies as early as 1901. In the 100+ years since dozens of films have been made based on either works by Victorian-era writers or the Victorian era itself; for the latter Eras of Elegance has a comprehensive list of titles here.

Movies and shows set in the Victorian era didn't interest me at all when I was a kid, and as a young adult I was much more into mysteries and SF shows. Merchant & Ivory films, which were very popular in the eighties, seemed pretty depressing (to this day I can't bring myself to watch Howard's End again, which I think was very well done but one of the saddest movies I've ever seen.)

I think it was my weird love of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, however, convinced me to watch an A&E mini-series production of the novel in 1995. The previews looked gorgeous, and I was curious about how faithful to the book the show would be. It was an accidentally wonderful choice that I was finally mature enough to appreciate. Since then I've been building a modest collection of Victorian-era movies and series to watch when the modern world gets a bit too much to handle.

Jane Austen's works own a large chunk of my collection, and I have multiple productions of the same stories. A&E's Pride & Prejudice mini-series will always be my first film love, I think, but I also liked the Spotlight Series movie with Matthew Macfadyen and Keira Knightley, which was not as faithful to the book but beautifully interpreted and filmed. I watch both of these often for different reasons. Sense & Sensibility claims the #2 spot, and it's another toss-up between the Emma Thompson version and the Andrew Davies adaptation for BBC; both I like for different reasons. As for Emma, my least favorite of Austen's works, the Gwyneth Paltrow version is more popular but I actually prefer the BBC production with Romola Garai and the highly unlikely casting of Johnnie Lee Miller as Mr. Knightly.

We don't usually think of the Victorian era spawning great action-adventure heroes, or at least we didn't until Robert Downey Jr. began making his Sherlock Holmes movies. These are great fun and definitely guy-friendly, and prove that not all Victorian-era films are sedate period pieces. One note for Mr. Holmes lovers: the BBC has been producing a marvelous modern-day version of the great detective called Sherlock, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson; I love this series so much I buy extra copies of each season so I can share the love with friends.

Some films I include in my collection aren't strictly Victorian-era, but I still consider them excellent movies for people who enjoy the period. A Room with a View, one of the few Merchant & Ivory films I liked, is an Edwardian-era drama based on a book written in 1908 by E.M. Forster; naturally it has a more modern look than Victorian dramas but it captures the same atmosphere of restraint, elegance and unexpected passion. I thought Colin Firth gave an academy award-winning performance alongside Geoffrey Rush (who actually won it) in The King's Speech, which is set just before the beginning of World War II. This movie may have missed the Victorian era by a handful of years but is a terrific, harrowing look at the life of a reluctant king struggling with a minor but mortifying disability that affects his whole life. Master and Commander ~ The Far Side of the World predates the Victorian era by depicting life on an early nineteenth-century English warship, but is as exciting as Downey's Sherlock Holmes movies. I really loved the attention to details in this movie; Russell Crowe is entirely gorgeous and convincing as Captain Jack Aubrey, but it's Paul Bettany's brilliant performance as the ship's doctor that makes the whole film.

Some Victorian-era films and series have been problematic for me for different reasons. I recently watched the Cranford and Return to Cranford, which Judi Dench made a lot of fun -- that lady is a chameleon of an actor; I think she can play anyone. The problem for me was my favorite characters kept dying from beginning to the very end. For similar reasons I have yet to finish watching Berkley Square, another dramatic series about English nannies that also doesn't quite fit because it takes place during the Edwardian era. This one has story lines that are equally absorbing and terrifying; you might think the lives of nannies are dull but in this production they'll have you biting your nails or holding your breath until you turn blue. Given the current popularity of Downtown Abbey I hesitate to say anything negative, but the way Season 3 ended broke my heart. I love the characters, and the fact that they're not using all pretty/perfect people in the casting (the Bates are amazing.) I know the reasons why Season 3 ended the way it did, and no doubt it was a necessity. That said, I just don't know if my heart can take anymore.

My most recent addition to my Victorian film collection was this boxed set of PBS Masterpiece Theater movies, and I bought it mainly because it included productions of Jane Eyre and Northanger Abbey that I'd never watched (and both were quite good.) It also convinced me to finally give up my lifelong dodge of Wuthering Heights and watch that in film, and while as I expected the story annoyed me to no end, I thought Tom Hardy was excellent in his role as Heathcliff. Now all I have to do is tackle Dickens' Great Expectations, another story I've been avoiding my entire life, maybe sometime this summer.

I know many Victorian lovers demand accurate details in films set in the era, or that the movies are completely faithful to the novels written during that time. I think it depends on what you want from a film or series; great characterization and an interesting performance is more important to me than the proper length of someone's gloves or who has the correct hairstyle. I also like stories that transcend the period to be relevant to me in my era; I think that's why Pride & Prejudice has endured as long as it has. We may have all the modern conveniences and gadgetry coming out of our ears, but the choices in life that we have to make as men and women haven't really changed all that much. Somehow Jane tapped into some universal wisdom about relationships and family and how they shape us (and we them), and all these years later she's still handing out very wise advice. I think that's what makes the best Victorian film; that in some way we can still relate to the characters being portrayed in them.

If tomorrow someone walked up and offered to make a movie based on Disenchanted & Co., I'd probably have a small heart attack. But after I recovered, I'd ask if I could have some input as to the casting, as I've already put together a dreamcast of the characters in my head. To see who I would put in what role, click on the links below:

Charmian Kittredge
Lady Diana Walsh
Lucien Dredmore
Harry
Thomas Doyle
Lord Nolan Walsh
Docket
Carina Eagle
Hedger

Do you have a favorite Victorian-era film or series you'd like to share? Let us know in comments.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Big Reveal

My big news can at last be revealed: we now have cover art for both Her Ladyship's Curse and His Lordship Possessed. To have a look, click here.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Forthcoming

I almost forgot to post what to expect next week at Disenchanted & Co.; probably because this week has been such a nonstop whirlwind of activity (and as a result my brains are a bit fried.)

Do stop in to find out exactly what news I've been keeping under my hat; that I should have ready to announce on Monday. I'll also try to deliver my promised post on my favorite Victorian-era films.

In the meantime, have a terrific weekend.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Change of Plans

My editor just sent some work to me that has to be done by tomorrow morning, so the post I intended to write this week about Victorian films must be put on hold for now. I do apologize; generally I have my posts written well in advance, but this is also a new release week so things are a bit chaotic.

I do have some news to share; I'm just waiting for final confirmation from my publicist before I post the announcement. Watch for this to happen in the next couple of days.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Winner & Forthcoming

The winner of Her Ladyship's Hat Box market bag giveaway is:

Deb Salisbury

Deb, when you have a chance please send your ship-to address to LynnViehl@aol.com, and I'll get your bag made and send it out to you.

Next week on Disenchanted & Co.:

From 50 years of Merchant & Ivory films to the current Downton Abbey craze, we'll be talking about Victorian-era movies and television shows, as well as which to watch, which to skip and our personal favorites. I'll also show you my dream cast list for the primary players in Her Ladyship's Curse.

As with this week I'm not sure I'll have time to put up more than one post, but if I do get a chance to do more I promise it'll be something fun.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Put Me to Work



I think we should do something fun today, and Her Ladyship's Hat Box agrees. If you're interested in owning a Torian market bag made by me, tell me what color(s) you'd like in comments to this post by midnight EST tonight, May 3rd, 2013. I'll choose one name at random from everyone who participates and I'll make the winner a market bag in the color(s) they choose. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, so please join in.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Market Bag

As promised today I'm going to show you my Torian market bag design, and teach you how to make your own. Before we get into the project directions I wanted to explain why I settled on this particular design. Needlework wasn't just a feminine hobby for women during the American Victorian era; making clothes, knitting shawls, piecing quilts and even spinning thread and weaving their own cloth was a matter of survival, especially on the frontiers where the nearest dry goods store might be a hundred miles away. Often the only clothes and fabric goods a family owned were hand made by the lady of the house.

Thanks to earlier industrialization in my universe things aren't quite as bad for the women of Rumsen, but the costs involved in the transportation of most household and dressmaking fabrics from textile factories in Britain across the Atlantic and by rail across the Toriana make it very expensive. Recycling and repurposing fabric is especially important for Torians who have limited income, which is 99% of the population.

I think my Torian ladies would make a reversible bag so they could use two smaller pieces of fabric to make it; the result gives them two bags in one (they could also turn it inside out when the outside becomes stained or worn to have a fresh new bag.) The design allows it to be made in virtually any size as well, which is a big plus when all you have to work with are scraps.

Onto my market bag design. This piece is basically made from a rectangle folded like an envelope; here's a paper mockup to give you the general idea:



There is no pattern or complicated stitching involved, although you will have to do a little math. I do recommend that if you want to make this bag on your sewing machine that you use a walking foot to prevent bunching (I did make one bag with a regular foot, but it gets tricky when you're stitching through the bulky layers of the cuff portion.) To avoid busting your needle I also advise using a heavy-duty machine needle (a denim needle is perfect.) The bag can be entirely hand-sewn, too.

The materials you'll need:

Two pieces of prewashed and ironed fabric (size to be calculated)
One piece of low-loft (thin) batting (size to be calculated)
Sewing thread that matches your fabrics
Needle or sewing machine
Sharp scissors
Straight pins
Fabric marker (i.e. a pencil, tailor's chalk or disappearing ink pen)
Steam iron
Ironing board

As to size of your fabric, calculate it according to this formula:

length of your fabric = bag front + bag back + length of flap + 3/4"
width of your fabric = bag width + 1/2"

This means if you want a bag that is 9" square with a 5-1/4" long flap (these are the dimensions of the one I'm making as an example today) you'll need to cut your fabric to 24" X 9-1/2", as your formulas would be:

Length = 9 + 9 + 5-1/4" + 3/4" (or 24 inches long)
Width = 9 + 1/2" (or 9-1/2 inches wide)

I recommend you make a small bag first for practice purposes, and once you get the hang of the sewing involved then try something larger. You will also need enough fabric to make a strap for your bag (you can make this as long or short as you like; for my example bag I used two strips of 30" X 1-1/2" fabric with 1/4" seams, sewn right sides together down the long sides, turned inside out, pressed and the ends sewn to the finished bag on either side of the flap.)

You can use a scrap piece of batting for your bag as long as it's a half inch to an inch bigger than your fabric on all sides. This is because you're going to sew it right to your fabric and then trim it to the stitch line (this is the quickest way to make the fabric/batting sandwich you need for your bag without basting, fusing or binding.)

The fabrics I'll be using for my example bag are a red print cotton drapery fabric and a solid cream-colored canvas utility fabric, primarily because they photograph well. You can use virtually fabric for this project, but I don't recommend silk, organza, lace or anything see-through or flimsy. The sturdier the fabric, the stronger the bag.

Once you've worked out the math for the size bag you want to make, cut your two fabrics in those sizes and place the right sides together (this means the underside of each fabric faces out.) Using a ruler and your fabric marker, draw straight lines on the wrong side of the lightest fabric 1/4" from each of the longest sides, 1/4" from one of the shorter ends and 1/2" from the other short end. The 1/4" lines are your sewing lines. You do not sew the 1/2" line until you've finished sewing together the rest of the bag; that end of your fabrics has to stay open so you can turn the piece inside-out.

Place both fabrics on top of your batting (the line-marked fabric should be on top) so that a little of the batting extends out on all sides and pin all three together.

You also need to mark your fold lines. For my bag, that means marking 5-1/4" from the 1/4 line on the short end for the flap fold, and 9" from the 1/2" line on the other short end for the bag bottom fold.

So that you can see which end of the bag is the flap (and because I like a flap with rounded edges) I'm going to mark and sew two curves on that end of the piece. You don't have to make these curves; you can leave them squared and your flap will have square corners.



Now it's time to sew. I'm using red thread on my bag so you can see the stitching I do. Starting at the turning end of the piece, stitch from where the 1/2" line intersects with the 1/4" line, all around the piece, removing your pins as you go. Stop when you reach the opposite side of the 1/2" line where it meets the 1/4" line on that side of the piece.

With your scissors trim all the edges of your batting as close to the stitch line as possible, like this. Also clip your flap's curves or your corners like this to prevent bunching.

Your stitching should look like a three-sided rectangle with an open top or the letter U, depending on if your flap is cornered or curved.

Now turn the piece inside out and press it flat with an iron. Once you have pressed it, turn the bottom of the piece inside out like a sock cuff to the line you marked for the bag fold. Press the piece again to flatten it out.

Mark another line 1/4" inside your stitched lines on either side of the cuffed end of the piece, and sew a straight seam up to the 1/2" line on both sides. This creates the inner hidden seam and makes the bag reversible.

Turn your cuffed portion inside out, and then turn the bottom of the bag inside out. As you do your piece should look like this:



Now it's time to sew closed the 1/2" seam you've used for turning the piece. Fold the raw edges down inside and blind stitch them together or run a straight stitch across them on your machine. Press your bag, make your bag strap, attach it to the sides and you're done.

As to how you can adapt this design, here are some bags that I've already made alongside the example bag, to give you an idea of the different sizes:



Some final notes on the project:

1. Quilting it -- you can quilt through the layers of the flap and the back portion of the bag while the piece is flat (right before you sew the cuff portion) but don't quilt the portion to be cuffed until after you've assembled the bag or you won't be able to turn it.

2. Closures: You can install a zipper at the top of the inner pocket once the bag is assembled, but remember to size the width of your bag to match the length of the zipper. If you want an easy reversible closure on the flap, the easiest is probably an elastic loop sewn in the center of the flap and two buttons sewn on the outside and inside of the front pocket. You can also use a frog, Velcro, or a hook and eye closure on the flap and front pocket if you aren't going to use the bag as a reversible.

3. Skipping the batting: If you're not into quilting, buy a piece of pre-quilted fabric or use a cutter quilt piece, match it with a fabric for lining and you can skip the batting.

4. Stabilizers other than batting: I haven't had a chance yet to experiment with interfacing or fusible web, but I do have some and I plan to make a couple bags with those to see how I can make it work. Those of you who are more experienced with these materials can probably figure it out, too.

5. Patchwork: You'll notice that a couple of my bags have stripes and one is made from log-cabin blocks; I made these by using patchwork for the outer fabric (the log cabin bag is simply two 12" blocks sewn end-to-end.)

6. Trimming and Embellishment: as with the quilting, if you want to add trims, beading or other embellishments to your bag you can do so to the flap and back portion of the bag before you assemble it. Save any embellishment of the cuffed portion until after you've sewn it in place.

7. Terms of Design Use: There are none; I'm making this design free for anyone to use for any purpose they want; if you want to sell the bags you make go right ahead. Also feel free to adapt and improve the design however you like (I love to hear about what others do with my designs so please send me an e-mail and pics if you'd like to share ideas.) If you want to give me credit for the design or link back to this post, that would be nice but it's neither expected or required. Have fun with this.