Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

Paradiso Designs bag

For a while now I've been wanting to make one of these cute-and-practical totes by Paradiso Designs, one of my lovely sponsors.

But I just got a new bag, and don't really need another at this point... so I made one for my mom!

It wasn't really a surprise, because she picked out the fabric (a ginko pattern woven into a 100% wool from the Pendleton Outlet) and the lining, but she didn't look closely at the pattern before or know what to expect.

We were both so happy and impressed by how it came out!  Here's my mom modeling it:

I'm happy to say the pattern was really fun to make--I don't make purses or small items often, so I definitely learned a few things from Cheryl's great design!  Some of the finishing and construction details are just ingenious--I had no idea it would be so easy to make something like this!

I'm proud of myself for following (almost) all of the instructions (I NEVER read pattern instructions--except when I don't know how to put the item together, like with something new like a purse!).  Unfortunately I didn't have enough pleather to make the straps long enough to go where they were supposed to.  But I made it work.

Oh--and I didn't put in the inside separators.  My mom was hoping for more of a tote bag than a purse, so I left it open on the inside but did add the cute outside pockets.

I love all the top stitching and seam finishing details included. The belt loops and ties make a simple and practical bag fun!

My mom, a professional seamstress for the past 20 years and an amateur one for another 30 or so before that, was so impressed by my purse-making skills!  Again, I'm new at this.  And she loves the big totebag-ey size of the bag, too.

Like I said I'm happy to recommend Paradiso Designs patterns if you're looking for great homemade Christmas gift ideas or want to try your skills at making something awesome with not too much fabric.

I particularly love how I was able to do a few steps and put it down, making a little bit every evening for a week or so, because so often when I start a clothing item it just feels wrong to stop in the middle.  But the instructions were easy to pick up on again, and I could start again.  It was really exciting when it started looking like a purse!

Anyway, check out the other patterns from Paradiso Designs for some very original, functional, and stylish bags--I'm so glad to have Paradiso as a sponsor!


  1. That's a great bag, lovely design and you've made it so well. Your mum looks v pleased! x

  2. The bag looks great! Nice fabric choices. And your mom is super cute!

  3. Great bag, I usually stay away from items like these as I find them rather frustrating and finicky!

  4. The bag is great! And, you're the second blogger in my roll to mention the Pendleton Outlet -- I'm new to the Pacific Northwest and now I know I need to get over there. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love it! Great fall color too :)




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