Yes, it’s true.

Watch for my new design blog project called BAG’nTELLE.

It is about expert ideas and tutorials about fashion accessory design, bag design, construction techniques, do-it-yourself approaches, and more from designer and educator Don Morin (aka Weekend Designer).

I am hoping that you’ll come back and check it out.

008_01 foley & cox homeFeatured: Mitered Pillows by Foley & Cox HOME

Clever use of the stripe from Foley & Cox HOME creates the illusion of mitered corners. With careful cutting and matching, a smart striped home décor fabric takes on a novel contemporary style when stitched into a mitered designer pillow. Select a favourite striped fabric and coordinate the colours with your home décor for this easy DIY project.

You will need: (for each pillow)

  • 54″ [137 cm]wide balanced stripe home decor fabric*
  • 1 loose fiber-filled knife-edge pillow form
  • matching all-purpose thread
  • kraft paper

* calculate required yardage by reviewing Cutting Instructions times the number of pillows desired.



Measure the pillow form from seam to seam (length & width). Using a ruler and right-angled square, draw a SQUARE template following these dimensions. Divide the paper pattern into 4 equal sized triangles by drawing two straight lines from opposite corners, intersecting in the center.  Cut paper into 4 pieces along lines.  TRACE off onto additional paper, add a 1/2″ [12mm] seam allowance to all edges of each of the four triangles.


layThe paper triangle patterns have two sides of equal length.  Label the pattern with the letter X, at the center point, between these two equal sides. Label the corners on the unequal side with the letter O. With the points and corners of each triangle facing in the same direction, position the triangles on the striped fabric so each O-O line is parallel to and measures the same distance from a stripe. Mark and cut 8 identical triangles from fabric; four for pillow front and four for pillow back.008_03 foley&cox home

Design Note: To create the “cross” motif, align X facing in the same direction and position the triangles on the striped fabric so each O-O line is perpendicular to and centered on a stripe.


1. With right sides of fabric facing, and raw edges even, pin and stitch together one short edge of two triangles, matching stripes.  Press seam open. Repeat for remaining 3 pair of triangles.


2. With right sides facing, and raw edges even, pin and stitch together two triangle assemblies matching stripes and center seams. The Xs of the individual triangles will now be in the center and the Os will make up the corners of the pillow.  Press seam open. Repeat for remaining pair creating a mitered pillow FRONT and mitered pillow BACK.


mitered3. With right sides of fabric facing, pin pillow front to pillow back along all edges.  Sew front to back using ½” [12mm] seam allowance and leaving a wide opening at the center of one edge. Clip corners and press seams open.  Turn mitered pillow cover to the right side through opening and press flat.


4. Insert pillow form into cover through opening.  Pin opening closed around form and using a hand needle and thread, slip-stitch opening closed.

Design Tip: Embellish the pillow edges with corded piping or a brushed fringe to change the pillow style  from contemporary to traditional if desired.

22w369-LARGEFeatured: Imperial Dog Palace from Victoria Trading Co.

Creature comforts for the one who leaves no doubt who rules the roost.

You will need:

  • Approx. 1 yd. [0.9 m] of upholstery fabric, 54”[138 cm] wide
  • Approx. 1 yd [0.9 m] of ticking, 54” [138 cm] wide
  • 1 closed-end zipper, 26”[66cm] long
  • Coordinating thread
  • 1 ½ yds. [1.2m] to 2 yds. [1.8 m] upholstery felt (kapok), 24” [61cm] wide
  • Kraft paper

DIMENSIONS: Approximately 26” X 22” X 4″ [66 cm X 56cm X 10 cm]


bed draft

Seam allowance is included


Cut  1X in upholstery fabric and ticking.


Note: Construction of the pet bed is the same for both the exterior cover and the padded cushion with the exception that the ticking will receive the kapok stuffing and the upholstery fabric with have an inserted zipper.

  1. On both short ends between X and O, turn under ½” [12mm] and press flat.
  2. zipperFor the exterior cover, center the zipper between X and O and align the foldline along the zipper teeth. Pin/baste zipper in place and topstitch fabric to zipper tape.
  3. Fold fabric with right sides together (RST), and repeat to other side of zipper. Note: If the zipper is shorter than folded edge, center zipper placement and stitch up seam at both ends of zipper.
  4. For kapok cushion, fold ticking with right sides together (RST). Stitch 1 ½” [40 mm] seam at X and repeat at O. Topstitch folded edges between X and O.
  5. With ticking RST, align and match side seams. Pin/baste and sew side seams using ½” [12mm] seam allowances. Press seam open.
  6. miterFold each notched corner and align and match the raw edges to form a miter. Pin/baste and sew seam at each corner.
  7. Turn the ticking right side out.
  8. Layer the upholstery felt in a high loft slightly larger in dimension to the ticking. Stuff the layers inside the cushion and slipstitch the opening closed.
  9. Repeat Steps 5 to 7 for the exterior cover. (Remember to open the zipper so you can turn the cover right side out.)
  10. Insert the kapok cushion into the exterior cover.
36552_1-bag1Featured: Lex Trip Bag

So this weekend will have you jetting off to the coast for sun & surf? For a weekend excursion you need a quick trip bag. Forget the luggage (too bulky); you need a versatile tote made specifically to carry all your belongings from wallet to swimtrunks for a quick weekend getaway.  Here is a fun choice in a cotton waxcloth outer with leatherette base and trim, perfect for the do-it-yourselfer,  similar to  the Lex Trip Bag from PROPERTY OF.

Dimensions: approximately 18″ x 8 x 17″ [45cm x 20.5cm x 43cm].

You will need:

  • 6 pop rivets
  • 1 metal slider, 2″ dia [50mm]
  • 2 latch hooks, 1″dia [25mm]
  • 2 d-rings, 1″dia [25mm]
  • 1 square ring, 2″ dia [50mm]
  • 2 dome snap set, 5/8″ dia [15mm]
  • 1 heavy metal zipper, 25″ [64cm] long *
  • 1-2/3 yds. [1.5m] of nylon webbing, 2″ [50mm] wide
  • heavy-duty thread
  • 1 yd. [0.9 m] of upholstery weight fabric, 54″ [137 cm] wide
  • 1/3 yd [0.25 m] of polyurethane leatherette, 39″ [100 cm] wide


1 square = 1 inch [2.5 cm]


bag-layBag – cut 1X on fold

Pocket– cut 2X

Struts – cut 4X

Handles – cut 2X

Handle trim – cut 2X contrast

Bag Bottom – cut 1X contrast

Tab – cut 6X contrast

DESIGN TIP: Use a permanent marker in the leather colour to carefully  “dye” the edges of the leather pieces if you get a white edge after cutting it.


  1. To make D-ring tabs, wrap tab piece around D-ring and stitch close to d-ring. Open ends of tab flat.
  2. To make latch hook tabs, wrap tab piece onto latch hook and stitch close to ring.
  3. To make Shoulder strap, cut a length of webbing 6″ long and another, 30″ long.
  4. bag-hdwreOn the 6″ piece, wrap one cut end of the webbing with a latch hook tab and X-stitch in place. Secure tab with a pop rivet. On the opposite end, slip a square ring onto webbing and turn end back on itself and X-stitch it closed.
  5. On the 30″ piece, wrap one cut end of the webbing with a latch hook tab and X-stitch in place. Secure tab with a pop rivet.
  6. Slip a slider on to the webbing. On the opposite end, slip the strap through the square ring on the shorter piece and back on itself through the slider.
  7. Stitch across the end of the webbing and secure with a pop rivet.
  8. On pocket piece, turn the top edge under 2″ and stitch down.
  9. Apply the top portion of the snap kit to the pocket following manufacturer’s directions.
  10. Place pocket up-side down at points G,H and stitch bottom edge to body using 1/2″ seam allowance.
  11. Fold the pocket upward and mark contact point of snap on body portion.
  12. Apply bottom portion of snap kit to the body.
  13. Turn under long edges of struts 1/2″ and press flat.
  14. trip-bag-assmbly1Place a pair of struts at points A,B,I,J and C,D,K,L on the body portion with pocket sides under the strut pieces.
  15. Topstitch struts in place.
  16. Repeat the  above proceduces for the opposite side of the bag.
  17. Center contrasting bag bottom piece onto bag and overlap strut ends. Topstitch in place.
  18. On bag straps, turn under 1/2″ on both short ends. Press flat.
  19. With right sides together, fold the strap piece in half lengthwise and stitch along the length using 1/2″ seam allowance. Press seam open. Turn strap piece right side out. Press flat. Topstitch perimeter of bag straps.
  20. Fold the strap in half lengthwise and center a contrast handle trim along the open side of the strap. Wrap the trim around the “doubled” handle edge. Topstitch in place.
  21. Repeat this for the other bag strap.
  22. Align the ends of each strap level with the top of the pocket and sew an X-stitch to points A-B and C-D. (Note: ensure you allow for 1/2″ seam allowance at top of bag.)
  23. With right side together, align and match up the side seams of the bag. Stitch seam using 1/2″ seam allowance. Press seam open.
  24. endFold across the bottom, centering the side seam in the middle and stitch across the open end using 1/2″ seam allowance.
  25. On the top edge of the bag, position the zipper FACE UP inside the bag on the wrong side of the fabric. Center it.  Pin and baste in place. Unzip the zipper.
  26. With right side together, sew the pair of zipper plackets together across the short ends using 1/2″ seam allowance. Press seams open. Turn right side out.
  27. On one long edge of placket, turn under 1/2″ and press flat.
  28. With right side of placket to wrong side of body, pin/baste raw edge of placket over the zipper opening. Stitch around circumference of opening using 1/2″ seam allowance and ensure that you are securing the zipper tape in the seam.
  29. Fold over  placket face up to right side of bag and align the folded edge with the machine-stitching. Topstitch in place.
  30. At top of each side seam, below the placket, center the D-ring tabs and apply with topstitching.

* Design Tip: Purchase the metal toothed zipper in the same metal colour/finish as the metal luggage hardware.


Featured: Ruffled Empire Shade

So, you want to make your own lamp shade…

The good news is that anyone can make a lamp shade – in a jiffy.

There is no bad news, so let’s get started.

The easiest (and most common) lamp shade is the conical “empire” shade. You can make the conical structure yourself by purchasing a shade frame or use the structure of an old lamp shade.

You will need:

  • 1 candle-stick lamp
  • 1 metal “empire” lampshade frame
  • 1/3 – 1/2 yd. of fashion fabric (a tightly woven, non-fraying fabric works best)
  • 5 yds. of double-sided satin ribbon, 2″  wide
  • Approx.10 yards of bias tape, (in matching colour) unfolded and pressed open
  • Topstitch thread (in matching colour)
  • Coordinating thread
  • SoboTM fabric adhesive
  • Straight pins


1. Make the Ruched Satin Trim

zigFold the cut end of the satin ribbon at a 45° angle and press. Follow this foldline with a hand-sewn evenly spaced running stitch in a zig-zag pattern. Use the topstitch thread to make the running stitches. Draw up on the running stitches to create the ruched trimming. Make enough trim to go around the circular top and bottom of the shade frame.

2. Tape the Shade Frame

prod_1569_empireThe first thing you’ll need is cotton bias tape in a colour that will match the colour scheme you have in mind for the final lamp shade.  Press the bias tape open flat.

Wrap the cotton tape around each strut (the metal bars that make up the lamp shade structure) and around the rings at the top and bottom. You’ll eventually sew your lamp shade to that, so make sure your cotton tape is wrapped tight. Use the fabric glue to tack the ends of the tape together.

3. Measuring for the Shade Cover

lampshade-mmtMeasure the height of the lampshade (A) and cut the material 2 inches longer. [50 mm]

Measure the distance around the base of the lamp shade frame  (B) (lower circle at the widest point) and cut the material 2 inches wider. [50 mm]

4. Hem the Top and Bottom of Fabric.

32hemming51Turn under ¼” [7 mm] of the top and bottom edge of the fabric and press. Turn these edges under 1″ [25 mm] and press. Machine-stitch the top and bottom hems.

5. Sewing the Shade Cover.

Make a French seam by turning the shade fabric wrong sides together and sew the ends together, using a ¼” [7 mm] seam allowance. Press seam open. Trim seam allowance 1/8″ [35 mm] from stitching.  Fold the material right side together and press a knife-edge along seam. Sew a ¼” [7mm] seam allowance along pressed seam to encase the seam allowance.

Hand-stitch an evenly spaced running stitch along the bottom and the top of the material to shirr the fabric .

6. Draping the Shade Cover.

invisible-stitch1Place the material over the structure and gently pull it down until it fits snugly over the lamp shade frame. Pull the running stitches and draw around the top and bottom of the frame. Now sew the pleated fabric to the cotton tape that you’ve wrapped around the lamp shade frame. Do this by hand using a blind stitch.

6. Finishing the Lampshade.

Now all that remains is the finishing touches to your lamp shade. Attach the satin ruched trim around the top and base of the lampshade by gluing it in place over the stitching. Use straight pins to hold the trim in place while the glue dries. This will give your new lamp shade a finished look.


NOTE: Take care with the colour selection. A good choice here can turn a good lamp shade into an exquisite lamp shade. Consider using a contrasting colour.



The tree ornament tutorial has been removed by the request of the designer.


Wedding ring pillows are traditionally decorative pillows that have the wedding rings placed delicately on them for their trip down the aisle. The young ring bearer usually walks the wedding ring pillow down the aisle. In the interest of not losing the rings, or having any sort of accident considering the young age of the ring bearer, having the rings tied to the pillow is a very good idea.

You will need:

  • ¼ yd. of peau de soie, 45″ wide
  • 1 small package of fiber-fill
  • 1 yd. of satin ribbon, 1″ wide
  • 60 Small pearls, 5 mm diameter
  • 12 Large pearls, 10 mm diameter
  • Clear monofilament thread
  • Coordinating thread



Cut 2 of each pillow size in fabric.


  1. On clear monofilament thread, thread 4 small beads, 1 large bead, and 1 small bead. Then return monofilament thread back through the large bead and small beads. Leave long thread ends. This is one bead fringe. Repeat and make 11 more.
  2. For each pillow, turn under ½” along one edge and press.
  3. Layer fabric in pairs, with right sides together and match up pressed edges. Open pressed edge and pin layers together in all 4 corners. (I used silk pins)
  4. Stitch around the perimeter of each pillow, beginning on the pressed edge and curve stitching around the corners. Leave a 2 ½” opening to allow for turning. Trim corners.
  5. Turn pillows right side out.
  6. Thread bead fringe onto a large hand needle. Attach beading to each corner of the pillows and knot monofilament thread from inside to secure.
  7. Fill the cavity of each pillow with fiber-fill. Pad corners first then fill body (fluff up the fiber-fill if necessary). Do not overstuff pillows but be generous. Slipstitch opening closed.
  8. Thread monofilament thread on large needle. Take a few tacking stitches in center of largest pillow and pass needle through center of medium-sized pillow and then the small pillow. Return needle through centers of small and medium pillows and loop a knot between the medium and large pillows. Hide loose thread end by burying into pillow.
  9. Tie the ribbon around the stack of pillows and finish with a square knot. Attach wedding rings to ribbon ends and tie in a bow.


Eye Pillows provide soothing relief in two ways:

  1. Chill an eye pillow in a ziplock bag in refrigerator or use at room temperature to provide soothing relief for your eyes.
  2. Heat for up to 30 seconds in the microwave to use as a “mini” heat pad for other parts of your body. (Do not use heated product on your eyes.)

Eye Pillows are perfect for:

  • Migraines and other headaches
  • Sinusitis
  • Rest for tired eyes
  • Hand or foot warmers

Eye Pillows are made with 100% cotton covers (size 4″ by 9″) filled with natural grains such as millet or rice, or seeds like flaxseed or linseed, or an herb mix, such as lavender which is a favorite for calming nerves.

Combine Eye Pillows with soothing music and scented candles to maximize your relaxation experience.

To make an eye pillow, select 100% cotton percale or sateen for the inner bag. Cut a rectangle 5″ by 19″ [13 cm by 49 cm].

For the outer cover, select 100% cotton sateen or flannel. Preshrink fabric. Cut a rectangle 5″ by 22″ [13 cm by 56 cm].

To assemble outer cover, turn and stitch a ¼” double-roll hem on each short end of rectangle. Fold one end of rectangle with right side together (RST) 2″ [5cm] to create a flap. Fold opposite end of rectangle with RST to align ½” [1.25 cm] short of flap fold. (see X location on diagram). Stitch through all layers along long edges. Turn right side out.

To assemble inner bag, fold rectangle in half with RST and stitch along long edges. Turn right side out. Fill bag with a ½ lb. [200 g] of grain/seed/herb mix. Turn under ½’ [1.25 cm] at open end to inside and stitch opening closed. Insert inner bag into cover.