Friday, April 24, 2015

Time To Travel Blog Tour: E-Book Review

It's Time to Travel - through this great new e-book from Sewing with Boys!

It's been so much fun reading through the e-book, exploring the printables and patterns and reading up on all the articles! Traveling with kids is always a particular kind of adventure, and Time to Travel is packed with activities and tips to make the ride a little smoother.

I sewed up the Ready, Set, Go! Wallet and the Swansea Bag. The wallet is a gift for my nephew, and since he wasn't here my daughter is modeling it instead. Just shows you how versatile these patterns are, right? ;) Though the patterns come from a boy-centered collaboration (since, let's face it, boys get the short end of the stick in sewing much of the time!), they're all excellent for girls as well!

This little wallet is perfect for small hands and pockets. Velcro closure means nothing is getting dropped or lost, and the little vinyl pocket inside closes with Velcro too, making it perfect for coins or little "treasures". There's a big cash pocket and two small pockets, just enough space for whatever a little guy or girl carries with them!

All edges are enclosed with bias tape, making it look polished - plus it provides an opportunity for adding a fun contrast color, if you wish! The instructions are easy to follow, and give great tips for the vinyl and bias tape, the only (slightly) tricky things about the whole pattern.
I used denim from my stash for the outside, plus an adorable Riley Blake print for the inside, and store bought bias tape. The vinyl is a Walmart remnant I was lucky enough to come across.

Making the Swansea bag was a step out of the box for me - it's so unlike anything I've ever made before, so I was intimidated! me, DON'T BE. It's basically 3 pattern pieces (5 if you add the optional pocket), and they go together so fast! I was able to sew the bag up in no more time than making a dress usually takes me, even with the added "challenges" of A) never having done this before and B) adding a lining. (The eyelets gave me fits, but that wasn't the pattern's fault - that was the eyelet package telling me to hammer "gently", and the eyelets didn't agree with that assessment. Haha!) I used a heavyweight corduroy, and flannel for the lining. Basic clothesline was the drawstring, and the eyelets and nylon webbing strap I found at Walmart!

The drawings are easy to follow along with, even for someone like me who's all about photos. Plus, even without visuals, the written instructions don't leave any doubt about what you're supposed to be doing. I love the finished product - it looks so much like the seabags my husband carried around in the Marines, only way cuter!

It's the perfect sleepover bag...blanket, pillow, and plenty of room in the pocket for a toothbrush!

I also made up a couple of the "e-book extras" included. The lacing cards were so fun for my daughter, and she even got to help make them. She did the coloring, as you can see ;) and helped me glue them to cardstock to strengthen the printables. I punched the holes, and away she went! The adorable travel-themed pictures are perfect for taking on any trip, long or short.

The pirate map is fun, too! There are a couple of options - you can make a freezer paper stencil, or cut the shapes out of felt. I made felt shapes, added details with fabric markers, and upped the fun by making them all movable - a little Velcro on the map and the backs of the pieces, and the kids can set up their map markers however they want!

The map rolls up and buttons closed, so it looks and feels like a "real" pirate map - on to adventure!

Now we'll talk about the e-book for a minute. It includes four patterns - the wallet, bag, and an adorable briefcase/coloring case, as well as an "Adventure Belt" - a neat cargo belt for carrying any number of treasures.

Each of the page numbers in the index is clickable, bringing you straight to the page you'd like to be on - makes it so easy to find your pattern or article of choice!

The e-book is packed with printables like the map, lacing cards, coloring pages, play money, and more! All simple and fast activities to throw together before a trip, making your kids' lives a little more fun - and yours a little easier! Not to mention the travel tips - a whole article devoted to ideas that you may not have thought of before, bloggers sharing their favorite trip activities; another sharing tips for packing and choosing clothes just right for your trip (everyone's favorite part, right?)

There's even a whole section in the e-book about choosing appropriate fabrics for your projects - I find things like that so helpful, because sometimes when I've never made a pattern before, I like to have some idea of what direction I should go! I don't like to be too adventurous the first time around a pattern, so having specific fabric types laid out for me helped a lot.

Each pattern has cutting charts, layouts, and line drawings to help with every step. Plus, there's a sewing glossary at the end of the book, just in case you're unfamiliar with a term used! This e-book is my go-to guide now for anything trip/travel related - with all the tips, tricks, and fun loaded into it, it's the perfect companion to your next vacation.

Head over to the SWB site, or Etsy shop for your copy - 30% off during the tour! And don't forget to enter the giveaway (Rafflecopter below): 

Grand prize: $50 gift certificate to FabricWorm and a copy of Time to Travel*
                   2nd: 1 yard of fabric from Mabel Madison and a copy of Time to Travel*
                   3rd: a copy of Time to Travel*
*If you buy the eBook and win the giveaway, we will either refund your money, or send the copy on to a friend of your choice.
                  But that's not all! If you buy the eBook during the tour, you'll be automatically entered to win a $30 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!

Follow along with the rest of tour (and check out earlier stops you might have missed)!

April 20: Rachel at Once Upon A Sewing Machine || Michelle at Falafel and the Bee April 21: Becca at Free Notion || Heather at All Things Katy! April 22: Chelsea at GYCT Designs || Ula at Lulu & Celeste April 23: Stephanie at Swoodson Says || Sherri at Thread Riding Hood April 24: Meriel at Create3.5 || Sara at Made by Sara April 27: Melissa at Oh Sew Boy! || Stacey at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts April 28: Teri at Climbing the Willow || Ajaire at Call Ajaire April 29: Jessica at The Berry Bunch || Dana at Sew Thrifty April 30: Stacey at From-a-Box || Maegen at Mae & K May 1: Kelly at Handmade Boy || Roxanne at Pen, Seb & Rox


  1. These are great projects for kids!!! Love that huge Swansea bag... Perfect for over nighters, beach, park, camping... Etc!! Thanks for sharing in the hop!!

    1. They are! I love this whole book, the patterns are fantastic!

  2. I love everything you've done with the patterns, but I think my favorite part is the little fingers lacing up the cards! Thank you *so* much for sharing in the tour!!

    1. Thank you for a great pattern, Nichole! Love the bag so much!

  3. This is so awesome Meriel! I love your in-depth review and it's so exciting to see so many different versions of our patterns! Thank you so much for hanging out with us on the tour :)

    1. Aww, thanks Amy :) It was so much fun, the book is really wonderful. You all did amazing!

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