Simply Stylish Bag

2015-Jan-25, Sunday 11:51 pm
chebe: (Sewing Machine)
[personal profile] chebe
I made up this bag from a blank (no fabric) bag kit by U-Handbag. It provides everything you'll need; the hardware (snap, handle), interfacing, wadding, just without the actual fabrics. Which gives you great scope for personalising.

No, this isn't a knit. It's fancy (quilting?) cotton, the kind that you aren't really supposed to make bags with. But I don't have much experience with matching patterned fabrics, so wanted to play around a bit.

Front outside view of finished bag, sitting on a chair

Finished bag
Photo by chebe

The light grey heart fabric is only on the outside; the bit on the front, the tab, and all the back. I took great care to make sure my hearts lined up nice and symmetrical. And I think it turned out alright.

The pink black-cherry fabric is supposed to be everywhere else. But while assembling the bag I realised it was just too much pink for me. (In my head I'd seen it as an accent to the grey, but it should actually be the majority.) So I limited it to the front pocket, inside the tab, and an extra internal pocket that I added myself.

For the bag lining (inside) I got a second grey fabric, a darker grey, with a less strong pattern of small flowers bunches/tree branches.

Inside view of finished bag

Surprise! Cute pocket!
Photo by chebe

Pattern review.
  • While the pattern does include colour images, they were printed in colour saving mode, which makes it quite difficult to pick out details.

  • It seems like the pattern uses Lining and Pocket interchangeably. Which makes sense if you make the bag-interior/lining the same fabric as the front pocket interior fabric. But then they need to correct the Main Body pattern pieces to say "3 x Lining", not 1, because otherwise you get to step 23 and find you don't actually have any fabric cut to make a lining.

  • A little reading between the lines is required. For example, step 27 says; press in preparation for topstitching in next step. Step 28 does not mention topstitching.

  • And step 20 is terribly confusing. What they want to say is, "place the right sides of the Pocket fabrics together, and stitch." To illustrate;

    Pieces laid on top of each so that looks like a single continuous piece of pink black-cherry fabric

    This is Wrong. It will lead to unpicking.
    Photo by chebe

    Pieces laid on top of each so that looks like the finished bage arrangement, with different coloured fabrics (and the brass magnetic snap) showing

    This is Right. It makes happy.
    Photo by chebe

  • The finished bag is a lovely size, and sits at a good length. (Although the fact that the top is mostly open will limit how often I get to use it here in highly-changeable-weather-land.)

The kit itself, on the other hand, is fantastic. All the bits you need, with very little wastage. I tend to worry whether I have the correct weight/type/etc, so having them all provided like this makes sewing a less stressful experience.

On the fabric matching front, I think something is missing. Which is why I added the extra internal pocket. I followed this tutorial, which for a heart shaped pocket boils down to cut out two shapes, sew together, turn right-side-out, top-stitch onto the lining back (before assembling the lining). It is sickeningly cute, but that's the vibe of the whole bag.

I still need something to tie all the separate fabrics together with the black strap. Perhaps I can add some accents in embroidery thread. Or decorate liberally with pins. We'll see.
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