Finding Inspiration for Sewing Projects

Finding Inspiration for Sewing Projects

Need help finding inspiration for  your next sewing project? Welcome to my sewing blog! Thanks for joining me. I’m Jo, a sewing enthusiast living in Cornwall, UK. My husband Adam and I set up Country Cow Designs in 2019 and together we create sewing patterns, video tutorials and sell hardware for bag makers across the globe. Every Friday we write a new blog post for bag making tips. Join our mailing list to receive it directly to your inbox along with other exclusive perks. This post may contain affiliate links.


Inspiration is essential for creative endeavours.

  • Are you looking for some ideas and trying to decide which direction to take for your sewing projects?
  • Are you looking for specific colour combinations, fabric recommendations or hardware styles?
  • Are you searching for inspiration to spark your creative mind and get your sewjo back?

In this week’s blog post I’ll be sharing some of the methods I use to find inspiration for sewing, specifically bag making. I’ll also discuss some of the bag makers I follow and how they’ve each inspired me. If there’s a sewing or bag making account that you want to recommend, please drop it in the comments below so we can check it out!

Zip Pocket Trim  Ojyma Crossbody


My two favourite platforms to find inspiration for sewing are Instagram and Pinterest. Why? They both make it easy to search. Pinterest is a search engine for crafters so it’s pretty perfect for this sort of thing, and Instagram has the hashtag search function which I find really helpful.


This is my favourite place to find new sewing patterns to try. Visit and search for “bag patterns“. You’ll find tonnes of patterns by a huge variety of designers, some you may never have come across on other social media. You’ll also find a vast array of free patterns. If you’re struggling for fabric ideas, search for “fabrics“, or if you want some ideas on which colours to pair together, search for “colour combinations” or “colour palette“. This is one of my favourite things to do – each time I’m starting a new bag project, I check out colour palettes to find the perfect colours to compliment my main fabric.

My favourite thing about Pinterest is how you can save the “Pins”. If you’ve used Pinterest before then you probably know this well, but basically you can create “boards” and save the pins to them so you can come back and refer to them later. You could have a board called “bag colour combos” and one called “bag patterns to try” and so on. This way, whenever you need a bit of inspiration or your sewjo is lacking, you can pop onto Pinterest and find the ideas you saved.

photo 6 Konin Bowler


This works well for hashtags. Hashtags are basically words or statements that people use to identify their pictures. For example, if I were posting a photo of a Lemonza clutch wallet I’d made, I could add the hashtags #countrycowdesigns #lemonza #handmadewallet #walletpattern #sewingproject and so on. This is really handy if you already know which bag you’re making and you want to find some inspiration for that particular bag. Search for the hashtag associated with that pattern and you can see all the photos others have posted who’ve made that bag before you.

Why do I like searching the hashtag before starting a bag? First, it might inspire me to go ahead and start the bag, giving me the confidence I need to get started. Seeing others having made it first is a real confidence booster. Second, I might see some pattern modifications or pattern hacks that I want to add to mine. Third, it gives me an idea of fabrics and colour combinations that look good on that bag.

Before you start your next bag project, give it a go and search for the hashtag before you start. Start by searching for the name, e.g. #Lemonza and Instagram will bring up the most common suggestions. If the bag has a widely used name, for example Daisy, then you may need to try it with “bag” following the name.

Yasmota handbag sewing pattern with leather handles



There are thousands of incredible, inspirational bag makers out there. I’m just going to share a few of my favourites with you and tell you what I love about each one. Comment below to add your recommendations!


If you know me well, you’ll know how much I admire Amy’s work. In fact, we even released a pattern that was of her design last year and are hoping to do another of her designs in 2023. What’s inspiring about Amy’s makes? The details!! Amy inspires me to put more thought into my bags. She thinks of every little detail and co-ordinates the whole project. Take for example this Hiraeth handbag she made (pattern by Lavender & Twine). She double sided the handles so they’re black on the outside and rainbow on the inside, tying in with the zip and front pocket fabric. Stunning!

Bed Hog Shop
The Hiraeth Handbag made by Bed Hog Shop (pattern by Lavender & Twine)


Laura combines waxed canvas, cork and floral fabrics to create elegant and stylish bags. I aspire to create bags as elegant as hers, although it’s not a niche I’ve ever managed to conquer myself. Check out this Cami bag she made (pattern by Georgia Girl Stitches) – she combined four fabrics for a beautiful finish. I struggle to match two or three. Laura inspires me when I want to make a bag with multiple fabrics and convinces me that it is possible to combine multiple fabrics and still achieve an elegant result.

The Nesting Birdie
The Cami Bag made by The Nesting Birdie (pattern from Georgia Girl Stitches)


Sharon makes a lot of bags using Harris Tweed. Her bags are stylish and cool. Check out this set made using a beautiful turquoise tweed. Sharon inspires me to keep trying new fabrics. I still haven’t tried Harris Tweed but it’s on my “to try” list purely because of Sharon and her incredible makes.

Tweed bags made by Love Quirky
Tweed bags made by Love Quirky


Kimberly has inspired me to use more cotton fabrics on my bag exteriors. Sometimes I get caught up thinking everything needs to be cork, vinyl or waxed canvas for durability. Kimberly’s bags look incredible and brighten up my day, reminding me I can and should be using bright cotton fabrics on the exterior too! She made these Krystal convertible bags using the pattern from Linds Handmade.

Krystal convertible bag made by My Dani Bags (pattern by Linds Handmade)



Elissa combines outstanding Tula Pink fabrics and the result is WOW! I have a fear of using too many bright fabrics on one bag. Elissa takes that fear away and inspires me to go bigger and brighter! Check out this amazing Erica bowler bag she made (pattern by Oro Rosa).

Quilting Elissa
Erica bowler bag made by Quilting Elissa (pattern by Oro Rosa)


So there you have it, my top sources to find inspiration for sewing. If you’re struggling with your sewjo or feel you’re in a bit of a sewing rut, I hope this post has helped. Keep aspiring to find new ideas and try new things, and most importantly, have fun!



8 thoughts on “Finding Inspiration for Sewing Projects

  1. Thanks Jo, I struggle with colour combinations and usually play safe (and sometimes boring), looking at bags from other makers is inspiring.

    1. Waxed canvas is absolutely awesome, you’ll have to give it a try sometime. Maybe start with a small project to work your way in. Make sure you get the good stuff though as there’s a lot of thin, see-through stuff which isn’t great to use. I like Merchant & Mills 12oz (400gsm) waxed canvas in the UK, or if you’re in the USA then AL Frances on Etsy is supposed to have the best stuff!

  2. Thank you so much Jo that’s really interesting and very helpful, I too struggle with putting colours and different fabric types together and have become a bit of a copycat 🤭 so I will give these great ideas a go ,I have to say you are one of my favorite go to bag inspiration /designers I am in ore of your talent and can only dream of being as good a bag maker as you. Really luv reading your blogs keep up the great work and thank you.🙂

  3. What I would like to know Ms. Jo, is how one so young could be so intelligent. I look forward to reading your blogs, and anything else that shows up with Country Cow Designs. I always feel I am in the same room with you and listening to you in person. You are so helpful and UP Front Honest that who could not go away with Inspiration/Admiration to follow what Jo has to offer all of us in the wonderful bag making community. Continue on and I will be there with you.

  4. Do you happen to know if the Love Quirky bags are self drafted or patterns that can be purchased? I love Harris Tweed !

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