Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Sew Along, Week One - a bag!

I've joined in the After Christmas Sew Along over at Sew Much 2 Luv.  It's a very loose spec - you can make whatever you like!

I thought I'd start off the year nice and easy with some very simple unlined shopping bags for my weekly trip to the supermarket.  I never take the throw-away bags and my stack of the heavy-duty plastic bags keep getting ripped or worn out so I want to replace them with life-long fabric bags.  I knew I had a good, simple pattern in my big lever-arch folder so started flicking through to find it (I really do need to organise that folder!).  And I found this.

So I made it!  first of all, apologies for the terrible photos.  Yesterday I was off work so actually around in the daylight, not that it did me any good as the weather was terrible!  Wind and gales and very very dark.  I did see 2 double rainbows on my way to Asda though which really made my day.

Amended to add: this is not a shopping bag!  I think there is a bit of a language barrier-type thing going on here.  This is a hand bag or a bag, just a bag that I keep my stuff in - I believe you'd call it a purse or a pocket book in America.  There's no way I'd put my shopping in this baby!

This bag is bloody enormous!  I cut all the pieces first so didn't really have an idea of the scale.  I cut into my precious Ruby layer cake and used up the last of my Bliss yardage - but I don't care as this bag is for ME!

I made a few changes to the pattern.  I didn't have the black webbing called for for the handles, or webbing of any colour.  In fact, if I'm being honest, I haven't a clue what webbing is!  Instead I fused interfacing onto one strap piece, fleece onto the other, backed them both with cotton tape, sewed them up and turned them (which was an almightly nightmare - even with my tube turner) so they're almost round and soft.  They're also a lot longer than the pattern calls for.  I like to put my bag on my shoulder without it digging into my armpit!

I also changed the inside pockets.  I like a zip pocket, so I put one on either side, then I added a couple of loose pockets on one side too.  By that point in the construction I'd pretty much decided this will be my travel handbag when I go to Tunisia and wherever else work sends me, so it has to be big enough for my laptop.  In my normal handbags I have a zip pocket for all my pills (yep, I'm a hypochondriac and never leave the house without 3 types of painkillers - actually essential if you suffer the kind of migraines I get), so I added another one which I think is big enough for my passport, but you know what, I've only just thought it might be a good idea to measure it!!

I lined each zip pocket with contrasting fabric - all taken from the instructions in The Bag Making Bible by the way - and added two 8" zips I had in my massive zip statch which were a perfect match!

Here you can see the layered pockets.  I sewed a line down the red pocket and the bit to the right is the right size for my phone, the bit to the left is the right size for my tobacco tin!  Got to get the essentials in there - pills, passport, phone, 'backy tin!

The bottom has very heavy duty interfacing in so the bag stays square and doesn't crumple up.  I decided to add some bag feet and I'm glad I did as they look pretty good.  You can only just make them out in the picture above!

I used a magnetic snap as stated on the pattern to close it, but I could have done with adding some poppers to the sides - this is the side in the photo above.  See, massive!   I think it will be really useful as a big bucket bag though, I'm just hoping I added enough pockets...  After all, I didn't think it through, it was a spontaneously-made bag!


Mindy said...

What a great bag! I just love the fabric and the versatility of the style. Fantastic!

Sandra :) said...

That's a sexy shopping bag, Missy!

Ady said...

That's such a great bag! Love the colours and the size.

Craft Couture by T.C. said...

What a great shopping bag! I love the style and the fabrics you picked. :)

Karen said...

So stinkin cute! Love that bag and your fabric choices!!! So glad you decided to join us in the Sew Along!

Pam said...

A great bag made with bright and cheery fabric. Love all those internal pockets.

Donene said...

Awesome bag! Love the colors and the size! Thanks for visiting and your nice comments!

Rae said...

That is one stunning bag - I love it

mdgtjulie said...

Wow, color me impressed. It's awesome!!

The Dotty One said...

This is fab - especially for a spontaneous project! And a handbag can never be too big - I'm sure you'll manage to fill it!

Casandra said...

Saw you on Craft Envy Linky Party. Love the bag and think you are very talented! I've never participated in a sew along and plan to check out the one you mentioned. Thanks for sharing. I feature mostly sewing projects on my blog, Stop by and visit sometime!

Alisha @ Crafty Brooklyn Army Wife said...

Great bag, fabric and size. Stopping by from Creation Corner and already a follower.

Here is what I shared this week:

Jill said...

What a great bag! nice and big! Love the combination of colours you used too!

I would love if you came over and linked this project to my weekly Round Tuit party at:
Have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success