Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bye-Bye Love Bag

Though I'm really not much of a bag maker, I do so love tote bags and own an extensive assortment.  Last December I noticed a mention of an upcoming Bag-of-the-Month Pattern Club that would feature a new bag pattern every month (January through June) designed by some of my favorite sewing bloggers.  Seemed like the perfect opportunity to push myself into making more bags, as well as a fun surprise in my email on the first of each month when the patterns are sent out to participants.

Bag Front

Bag Back

This is January's pattern, the Bye-Bye Love Bag by Sew Sweetness.  I started it almost immediately upon receipt, but stalled while waiting for the zippers to arrive and became distracted by numerous other projects.  Apart from the zippers and rings, all materials used were sourced from medium to deep stashville (yeah!).  The floral print linen (home dec weight) is a remnant from a bed skirt project that dates back to the mid 90's.  I used well-aged ultrasuede scraps for the contrast, and quilting cotton for lining. 

Quilting Details

I couldn't find any of the recommended Annie's Soft & Stable interfacing locally, so used fusible fleece that I'd had around for eons (I'm talking 1980's people!).  Since I was using remnants, I needed to piece the fleece along one edge, and decided to add a bit of quilting to make sure it didn't detach with use.  I just followed the arch form of the bag front and back margins and then used the little quilt guide doohickey that attaches to the presser foot to make the subsequent quilting lines (about 1.5" apart).  I was determined to use antique brass finish findings and zips, because I really like the way they look with my fabric choices, but unfortunately could not find a 24" zip that matched my desire.  Consequently, I used two 12" zips for the bag closure (they meet at the center top), and it works just fine :D.  

I decided to eliminate the front flapped pockets.  I tried them, but just seemed to make the bag look a bit too busy for my taste when combined with the large scale print and contrasting trim.  The pockets are pretty cute though, so I stashed them away with the hopes on using them as contrast on a future bag.  I forgot to take a photo of the pockets though, sorry.

Simplified Strap Tab

I also simplified the strap tabs.  Both to suit my less-is-more taste more closely, and to make them seam free as the ultrasuede is a bit thick.  I first stitched the tabs with matching thread, but decided that I preferred the contrasting linen colored thread.  I used ordinary thread since my machine was occasionally cranky about sewing so many layers --- I didn't want to further annoy it with the use of topstitching thread, even though I think I would have liked the appearance of the heavier thread.  As it was, I broke 4 needles during the construction of this bag :/. 

Checked Cotton Lining

For lining I interfaced and used a neutral checked quilting cotton.  I really like the flat bottom of the bag and the 2 divided interior side pockets.  Sadly, I didn't seem to get a revealing photo of the interior.  I've yet to use the bag (and may not, as I'm thinking my sis would really love to have it), but feel it will be really easy to keep organized, plus hold a lot. 

Handy Zippered Exterior Pocket

I'm currently in the starting stages of March's Bag-of-the-Month, and at my current bag making rate, you might expect to see that one completed around the beginning of May.  Perhaps I'll surprise us all and get it finished quickly though.

In other sewing news, I've made an absolute slew of tees using Deer & Doe's Plantain pattern.  I really needed to refresh my tee shirt wardrobe and, as I had (confession: still have) a large knit stash, I've made more than a dozen (so far, I'm not anywhere near finished making these).  In my opinion, for my body type and lifestyle, it's a perfect tee pattern :D!

I've also been on an undie sewing extravaganza, primarily for my niece.  Hopefully, I'll get some of those blogged soon.  I absolutely adore reading the undie sewing adventures of other sewists, so I feel as if it's almost a duty to post mine.