Tutorial Alert: really want to try this tutorial for a tote bag
Post Project Update: my birdie sling bag is in constant use since I made it, and it is still looking okay, although, I can see that the handle will get dirty with use… fortunately. the bag is washable (theoretically).
New Purchases: so I’m a little obsessed lately with drapery fabric (for sewing tote bags) and assorted hardware for bags (snaps, eyelets, assorted findings). I stopped by FabricLand yesterday (for one item!) and there was a sale. sigh. 50% off EVERYTHING. 2 hours later, I was happier, and poorer.
sewing patterns were buy 1, get 2 free.
assorted hardware at half price!
really loved the gorgeous shiny embroidery thread.
now, I don’t have to sew my own handles!
this was a steal at $4/metre.
this is a light weight denim-like cotton (twill, maybe?)…
this is fully reversible, perfect for sturdy grocery bags…
I’m making this tote without measurements or a pattern or… yep, it’s a potential disaster in the works, or sheer genius in the making 😉 Apparently I still cannot stitch a straight line, even with guides…
I’ve cut the body, lining, inside and outside pockets, stitched the pockets to the lining, and inserted a flush zipped pocket to the exterior front. I used a sturdier zip, as I discovered the Amy butler birdie bag’s zip is a little flimsy.
I spent this afternoon sewing the exterior together, and then the lining, and have carefully created the bag bottom with gussets. I pinned the whole thing together to get an idea of the finished size, and decide on handle placement. This bag is huge! Perhaps too large. I’m going to have to rethink this tomorrow.
In addition to quilting cottons, I seem to be accumulating home dec weight fabric. So this summer, I’m going to make a few tote bags, or maybe a messenger bag or two… or some other kind of bag. I’ve got three books to take inspiration from:
the bag making bible, by Lisa Lam
style stitches, by Amy Butler
carry me, by Yuka Kohizen
I have been trying to decide what prints to mix:
Source: FabricLand, both are drapery, at about $11/metre.
Source: the red fabric is from a drapery store on Keele street, at under $2/metre. the blue batik is from Sew Sisters.
For the 3 pictures below: red print, $4/metre, FabricLand. the striped fabric, and multicolored squares are from a fabric store on Cipero street in Trinidad
as promised, I took some snapshots today of the birdie sling bag… I used it today, and discovered some flaws. The zipper I added at the top does not fit properly, and puckers, looking untidy. I can likely fix this, with my trusty seam ripper, and some hand stitching.
But the bag is roomy, and handle is comfortable. Let’s see if I can cram my fruit and sandwich in there tomorrow morning 😉
I was unsure about the deep lilac lining for the pocket and the zippers, but it’s unexpected – I kinda like it.
Overall, I’m thrilled with it. This bag allowed me to incorporate a few “firsts”. I wanted to try working with neutrals, and the grey and cream work beautifully. I also incorporated two zips (yippee!). I created pleats and gussets, and tried a new shape.
Once I figured out the modifications to the Amy Butler Birdie Sling pattern, I was ready to get going. I picked up this pattern at Sew Sisters, but you can get it all over the web, including here.
So my stash is big enough now that I can dig through and find suitable materials for an impromptu project. This is both satisfying and somewhat scary at the same time. sigh.
What I used for this project
Ikea Stockholm Blad in grey and white
Metro Living – grey circles on cream background
Amy Butler Birdie Sling Bag Pattern
Lisa Lam’s The Bag Making Bible – section on flush zip pockets, and zipped bag top
Sew, Mama, Sew tutorial on zipper pockets
white thread, purple and magenta zippers, assorted fabric remnants for pockets etc
The pictures above show the inner lining with mini pocket, the exterior of the bag (minus the handles) and a close up of the zippered pocket on the bag front. I finished the bag late tonight, and will snap some pictures tomorrow.. good night for now 😉
I decided to construct a new bag, using an Amy Butler pattern I picked up about a year ago at Sew Sisters. Looking through my stash, I unearthed some medium grey home dec fabric from Ikea, and paired it Robert Kaufman’s Metro Living, a pale cream with grey rings.
Of course I decided to modify things slightly. I want to add a flush zip pocket on the front. But my last zip (on my IPad sleeve) was a bit of a disaster! I dug through my stash, and found a cotton print remnant to create a mockup.
Not bad for a first try, eh? Besides the puckering on the sides, which I can’t figure out how to eliminate, I’m quite happy. I used Lisa Lam’s (Bag Making Bible) book as a guide, as well as a tutorial I found on Sew, Mama, Sew. I love Lisa Lam’s book, but I can’t seem to figure out all the directions… I guess as I progress, I will learn sewing-pattern-speak.. anyway, the online tutorial filled in some of the blanks.
oh, so more on the bag in another post.