Monday, April 14, 2008

Sewing Workshop Village Bag

This was so much fun to make. I haven't made many bags in my sewing years so some of the process was new to me. I bought this bizarre fabric on the Pattern Review LA weekend. The shop owner told me it was real leather (have you ever seen leather with a selvage?), gave me a bargain instead of $60 it would be only $30. I had this type of bag in mind though I didn't have a specific pattern for it. I guessed at needing 1 1/2 yards and paid for that... $45 plus tax. When I laid it out to cut I found he had shorted me and I only had 1 1/8 yard. Maybe he didn't intend to (???) and that happened because of the stretchy quality of the fabric. It is all puckered up in a design by stitching with elastic thread on the back side of the "leather". Anyway I had just barely enough to cut out the big main piece of the bag.

I wanted a fun lining for the bag so I chose a bright red brocade with an Asian design including panda bears. In studying the pattern ahead of time I did not realize that the lining would show. I thought there was a facing at the top but that pattern piece was the lining. When I got to the point of sewing it all together I discovered that the red would show. At first dismayed, I thought I would need to cover this somehow. But I quickly came to like the hint of red at the top. It makes the bag more playful.

Sewing Workshop suggests upholstery weight ultra-suede for the straps. I found some at a reasonable rate on-line and ordered it in dark brown. The color looks alright in person but photographs looking lighter. If I did it over I would use black as the brown faux leather reads as more black than brown. Or I would cover straps with the flat selvage area of the fabric. I would redo the straps but that was the hardest part of the project. My poor machine really did not want to sew through 4 layers of faux leather, 4 layers of lining, 2 layers of interfacing, and 4 layers of ultra-suede. I made it do it but I had to hand turn the wheel. This would have been a good time to have an old, sturdy mechanical machine on hand.

The heavy duty magnet closure I ordered with the pattern from Sewing Workshop. It was so strong I needed my DH's help getting the 2 pieces apart. When sewing it was an amusing struggle as the magnet attached itself to the feed plate and wouldn't allow sewing to continue. Also trimming the threads with scissors was an interesting problem as the magnet grabbed the scissors. But, now that it is sewn in as instructed, the magnet is not strong enough to hold the bag together.

The bag is very big as you can see but hangs in a nice, comfortable slouch. It has handy interior pockets, 2 zippered and a third with pleated space for the cell phone.

I think this will be really fun to carry especially on outings where I need to carry a wrap, extra shoes and a water bottle, a guide book, and my knitting.


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Linda T said...

Now that's a bag! A very big bag. Darling!

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