Monday, 6 February 2017

17 WIPs in '17 - a finish

I've been carrying the same handmade bag for a couple of years.  It's this one.  The zip had always annoyed me, being the wrong way round for someone who carries a bag on their left shoulder, and it was starting to look quite tatty. Then, on Christmas Eve the zip broke.  I had to make a new one.


I had a flick through all my bag books and patterns on Pinterest and couldn't find anything that took my fancy.  Nothing was quite big enough for my needs.  I'm one of those people who likes to carry most of their life in their bag at all times!  I decided to draft my own.  I picked this canvas that I'd had in the stash for a while.


I went with a completely contrasting lining, adding some Bike Path at the top for the recessed zip.  I added LOADS of pockets.  2 zip pockets and loads of slip pockets.  I need pockets.  


I sewed up the lining, then did most of the bag construction at Quilt Guild, I sewed the handles but hadn't attached them at this point.  It was time to tackle that recessed zip.  I'd never done one before so I turned to Lisa Lam's Bag Making Bible.  Hmmm, not as clear as her instructions usually are.  I'll try her blog tutorial... oh, well this is different, I'll try A Bag For All Reasons.  Oh, different again!  One's calling for a shorter zip than required, one a longer zip than required, the last a correctly sized zip!  OK, I'll make it up!


And, ta-dah!  For the handles I just used the piece of canvas I had left, at full length.  After carrying this round for a few days, I knew they needed to be shortened.  Have I done it yet?  Of course not!!


So, the bag you are seeing has been carried around and shoved around and thrown on the floor numerous times.  It's holding up OK, except for the top.


See how it doesn't stand up properly?  I used Bosal headliner fabric for the lining/wadding.  It's got loads of body and works great in the main bag, just not this top bit.  



Here's a peak at that recessed zip and the lining in place.


I gave the top a good squeeze here to try and make it stand up... no go.  I'm not sure how to fix it.  I could do several lines of quilting, which may help or may make it fold over more, but I'd have to remove the hardware first.


I will take it to bag camp and see what the experts say!

This was in my list for 17 WIPS in '17 and it's my first project completed!  At the minute, I'm project monogamous, so have no more progress to show.  I'll check in again next month, hopefully with another completed project or two!

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19 comments:

Cath said...

Very smart bag. Well done on getting it finished.

Bethany said...

Very nice! I used to churn out bags at an unbelievable pace, and now I'm sitting here trying to remember the last time I made a handbag...

Rachel said...

Well done you!

Maybe use buckram or something similar in the bag top to keep it stiff? Always assuming you really, really want to take it out of use for long enough to reconstruct it..

D1-D2 said...

Love the surprise color on the inside ;)

Kerryp77 said...

Lovely bag wendy. I really like the lining fabric and you're right about pockets too. Zips still terrify me!

pennydog said...

Bag camp is a great idea. I think with the foam stuff, it doesn't like to be in applications where you want it to bend/curve, it only likes being flat unless you get some clever darts in there (the sort of darts I know I would swear at).

Christine Barnsley said...

Looks a lovely bag Wendy.... I am sure someone will be able to come up with a solution for stiffening up the top! Christine x

Gina said...

I know there are issues but it's still a great bag. I need to get on and make a new one for myself. The one I'm using now is falling apart and has gone beyond embarrassing. I've had a pattern and fabrics picked out for some months, It's just finding the time and inclination as I'm not the greatest bag maker.

Fiona said...

Love the bag - I think yoiu are tough on yourself (I've said that before haven't I?).....
Hugz

Sandra :) said...

I started laughing at "project monogamous" and now I have tears running down my eyes, LOLOL! Love it!

pandchintz said...

Well Done You!! It's a gorgeous bag, so practical and it means a finish off your list!

RobynLouise said...

Nice bag.Love all the pockets. Would like to see how you correct the saggy top dilemma in the future without needing to unsew it all.

Cheers, RobynLouise

margaret said...

what a super bag you have created and all designed by ou. Very impressed with all those pockets etc and wow that zip works so well. Bosal is in my sewing room but not used it yet, no doubt it will be in a tote bag as could never tackle anything as complicated as you have done

Jane Galley said...

Love that bag, the inside is wonderful. I've used bosal for a back, and the close quilting has helped it to stand up even after being washed.

Magpie Sue said...

Good job! Kudos on the finish. You're doing better than me; I wouldn't undertake to make such a bag in the first place!

stitchingranny said...

Wow I love that bag, love the fabric the colour and especially love all those pockets, you are so clever. I do not own a sewing machine as I gave mine (which I inherited from my mother) to my daughter in law. I could never even stitch a straight line on it. Helen

Sarah in Stitches said...

I absolutely LOVE it! Great fabric choice. I agree about the pockets - you can never have enough!

Joy from Days Filled With Joy said...

oh wow, it is awesome! I think you need to do a tutorial!!!! Please!!!! xx

FlashinScissors said...

I love the bag Wendy, and all those pockets!
Hope you don't mind me saying, but I wouldn't attempt to alter it ..... your bag looks gorgeous! I would put it down to experience, if you alter it you may spoil the fabric!
Personally I would use it as it is, and enjoy it, but would be sure never to sit it on its bottom, always hang it on a hook ..... every time ..... invest in one of those table handbag hooks, if you don't already have one! I would never stand a handmade bag on its base anywhere!
Bear the problem in mind for the next bag you make!
Hugs,
Barbara x