Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bags, bags, bags

Customer came into the shop with a super-cute bag (it had frogs on it!!!) that her friend had made.  I asked the name of the pattern (since we sadly don't sell patterns--just books and magazines); was able to find that pattern on Craftsy when I got home. (The Convertible/Reversible Bag by cozy nest design)  Now I'm Jonesing to make that bag.


I've been looking for a bag pattern I might teach at the shop.  I feel like zippers are a source of stress for some people, so I've been especially keen on bag patterns that include zippers: which one(s) have potential?
(And if you can mix a lot of fabrics within a single bag, that's a bonus!)


Triple-zip bag
A zippered pouch I found on Debbie's blog, A Quilter's Table.
Pros:  free pattern; online tutorial; extra construction tips from a 2013 sew-along; uses 3 zippers; innovative hiding of the zipper endings; and lots of cool fabric mixing is encouraged.

Sew Together bag
A compact bag to hold your sewing or crafting stuff when you go off to stitch with friends.
Pros:  multiple uses for all the pockets--could be a gift for anyone; pattern is from an indie designer; online sew-along/tutorial plus extra tips for making sense of the pattern/directions; uses 4 zippers; main zipper cleverly becomes handles and allows bag to open fully;  fabric-mixing on this pattern can be addicting.

Bionic Gear bag
A more-specialized-but-incredibly-similar bag to the Sew Together bag.
Pros: pattern is from an indie designer (and was a 2014 Craftsy pattern winner!); has a whole host of YouTube video tutorials to help make sense of the pattern/directions; uses 5 zippers; fully open bag features a "tray" to corral your unruly notions; several bag accessories are available for more personalization and further stitching fun.

Winner: Sew Together Bag

Made up this pattern at Something To Crow About spring retreat, while several other campers were stitching the Bionic Gear Bag at the same time.  We did some compare and contrast to the steps, the helpfulness/thoroughness of the directions, and individual preferences for tweaks we might make (e.g. hand-stitch vs. machine-stitch the bindings; use an even-longer main zip.)  We all agreed that video and/or classroom assistance was pretty much mandatory in getting either project put together with minimal hair-tearing/cursing.

Love that my bag was made entirely with scraps and fat quarters.  Love that it makes use of the last of a long-stashed vintage-looking Hula Hoop fabric.  Love how well my machine handled both the zippers and the heavy layers of binding.  Love how useful this bag will be!!!

And I'm already pulling fabrics for my next Sew Together Bag.  I want to try a sexy zipper for the main zip (the one that becomes the handles).  And really want to teach this bag at New Pieces... stay tuned! 

And another bag detour...

Row by Row bag

Ya know, I am never satisfied with minimizing my multi-project involvement.  Row by Row Experience started this past Sunday, and I saw this tote bag as a way to incorporate one of those cute license plates I have been coveting.  No zippers, so it's not a candidate for me to teach as a class.  But I pulled out some fabrics to see what might look good together.

Hmm, Sweetie thinks it's a bit much...

Couldn't resist.

Fabric Destash accounting. Used on the Sew Together Bag:
Yardage Used: 3/4 yds

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