Tuesday, August 9, 2011

super cute sensible lined everyday bag

Yesterday, after completing the puffy applique pillow cover for my boyfriend, I made a quick little tote bag.
What do you think...?

It is based on this tutorial by verypurpleperson:
[source]
It took only a short while to make and was quite a lot of fun to put together. I actually spent a lot of time cutting out the fabric, because I wanted to match up the plaid design. I cut the first piece of outer fabric on a fold (making sure the pattern was symmetric around the fold), and then I laid open this piece on the rest of the fabric, finding the place where it would "camouflage" completely - meaning, it would have the exact same pattern on it as the first piece.

Lessons Learned

This bag is very cute but is slightly fabric-consuming. Bags are relatively efficient and don't waste a lot of fabric because they are usually made up of relatively square pieces, that pack well on fabric. Since the straps and the bag itself are cut as one fabric piece, this leaves a "gap" of pretty useless fabric pieces in between the straps. Obviously, matching plaids also wastes more fabric than usual.

The instructions call for reversing the bag through one of the straps - I initially found this a bit peculiar but I understand why it was done this way - reversing the bag through one of the other, rounded, seams, would theoretically be easier, but it may be harder to top-stitch the round seam from the outside later on. Use a sturdy fabric that doesn't get damaged or stretched out of shape when it is stretched by the pressure of trying to squeeze a clump of fabric through it!

An edge stitch foot is invaluable for getting precise, beautiful, even edge stitches. Don't set the needle too close to the edge, or the pretty top stitching won't be visible. Use a 3 mm stitch length for all of your top stitching, and a top stitching thread, which is thicker and more pronounced than regular thread. Top-stitching around that tight curve is tricky, so go slow and you'll be fine.
my beloved and beautiful top-stitching
Adding the inner patch pocket for my cellphone was a smart touch :-) You need to add it quite early in the process - be sure to take the seam allowance of the lining into account so the pocket doesn't end up too close to the edge.
inner cellphone pocket, and snap
I added the snap at the end, by burying the knots at the beginning and the end between the fabric layers. I'm quite happy with this snap!

2 comments:

Terri said...

Love it! The plaid you chose is so nice. I'm such a novice sewer but you've inspired me!

pe.art said...

Very nice - fine project and lovely fabric.
pe-art

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