Thursday, August 26, 2021

Playing with Clam Up

I am currently obsessed with making bags using By Annie patterns. After going more than 20 years as a quilter who couldn't make bags, it turns out I just needed the right patterns! I've bought quite a few of Annie's patterns and actually have a few completed that I still need to post. One that I recently bought is the Clam Up pattern, a cute little dumpling pouch in five sizes. 


I went through my novelty scraps to find what I had that would be a good match for each size.  For the smallest Clam Up, I had a piece of leftover quilted soft & stable from the Call Me I made my mom last Christmas.  For the other 4 sizes, I didn't quilt the fabric.  I wanted to see all the variations of Clam Up in this first batch.

Each bag nests inside the next size up!

In my quest to try all the variations, I made one of each size.  I really like them all.  On a recent trip (before Delta really took over and made travel scary again), I took the extra large, large, and extra small.  They all came in handy!  I put my toiletries in the extra large, my sewing supplies in the large, and hair clips and bands in the extra small.

Extra Large

The large is currently my favorite size.  It is perfect for a few sewing supplies and stands up very securely for easy access as I need something. 


A great feature of these bags is that they nest inside each other when empty.  I'm thinking of making a set for my niece for Christmas because I think she will be amused by opening a pouch to find another pouch inside, like Russian nesting dolls! 

Clam Up has options for square or triangle tabs at the bottom.  I tried both.  I like the look of the square tabs better and I find them easier to hold on to.


There is also instruction for adding a swivel hook.  I added this to the extra small bag.  It actually calls for a 1/2" hook but I only had a 1" hook.  

extra small, with swivel hook

They call for a double slide zipper but I also tried one with just one zipper.  No real issues, but since I use zippers by the yard and they come with lots of pulls, I'm not sure the single slide zipper saves me anything. I'm bummed that on the small bag, I seamed the fabric wrong so my fairies are upside down.  Oops! But that one also has my favorite lining fabric.


inside of the small

These are really fabulous pouches and now I want to make them in all the fabrics!  I look at scraps and think, "that could be a medium, that could be a large, that could be a small..."  I've been using them, too, and it's always nice to use something you made!


  1. Those are really cute, Emily! I love the ByAnnie patterns too.

  2. I think your idea to make a set for your niece is genius. She will love them.

  3. It just brings a smile to my face knowing that you are enjoying bag making, now! How fun is that?! Those little clam-ups are darling - I like that they fit inside each other, and I think it would be a great Christmas gift idea!

  4. I love that you are enjoying making all kinds of bags now! Useful and so pretty tooπŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

  5. Those are so cute, I have supplies for bags, just need to get busy!

  6. Love the gift idea for your niece. Anyone would love that gift as these are so cute and practical. Really nice. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Your Clam Up bags are great!!! I love the variety of prints that you used - so fun!

    They are so easy to make! I LOVE them.

  8. Cute bags, I haven't tried one like that. The inside looks interesting with the panel inserts.

  9. Absolutely darling bags!!! I understand now why you all have been singing Annie's praises. I feel like I am a new member of the Annie Bags Fan Club and I get it. How does this work for directional fabric. I don't see any upside down horses. Just curious :-) Did you purchse the zippers from ByAnnie?