Does this ever happen to you?
You declare a goal: "finish it February". Well, declare might be a strong word, considering I never actually told anyone, or wrote it down. Not exactly the best way to go about goal-setting, from what I hear.
But in my mind, February was my month to finish things. So very many UFO's. And I kept leaving my projects so close to being done.
|Challenge fabric: what would you make?|
Then there is new and shiny. My arch nemesis. Don't get me wrong, this was not quite an out-of-the-blue new project. The fabric was purchased in November as a guild challenge. And the challenge due date was in February. But I did completely change my mind at January's retreat as to what exactly I was gonna make for the challenge (which would be due in February--did I mention that I am a bit of a procrastinator?)
|Voila, February finish: the Mondo Bag|
And now I'm sharing all the details with you. Pattern-review style, here is my take on making the Mondo Bag.
Name of pattern:
Mondo Bag, by Quiltsmart
Other, similar patterns:
Quiltsmart offers the Midi Bag and Bitty Bag, smaller versions of basically the same technique (8" square bottom, 12" tall sides; 5-1/2" square bottom, 9" tall sides, respectively)
Mondo [mon'-doh], Adjective - large, big: "This bag is so mondo, I can pack for a whole weekend!" Adverb - very, extremely: "This bag is mondo cool, and mondo easy to make!" Mondo unique assembly! Make yourself a Mondo travel bag, or a Mondo diaper bag!
finished bag measures about 10" square at the bottom, with 17" tall sides.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern when you were done?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
A bit tricky, I'd say. You need both the printed pattern and the printed fusible interfacing to make the bag (subsequent bags will need more interfacing). The instructions for using the fusible interfacing (that is the basis for many of Quiltsmart's products) worked fine for me. Additionally, there are a couple YouTube videos available (Quiltsmart's official Mondo video and online instructor Karen Dennison's version) that can help take you through the process more smoothly than the written instructions. I have a lot of bag sewing experience, so I was able to work thru basic bag construction techniques that were a little skimpy, even in the videos. I plan to write up a separate post with some construction hints.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the fusible product for setting and stitching your squares together--worked like a charm. I like the origami-like assembly technique that makes this bag--it is unique from any other bag I have made. And this bag is darn roomy! (I'm a little worried I might dislocate my shoulder if I load it up the way I do with my other bags. My reminder: fluffy, bulky objects only; no armloads of books!) I disliked the pocket option and I disliked the straps (so I changed them! see below)
Quilting cottons and batiks. The focus fabric was a Hoffman California screenprint (maybe a 2016 release?). All other fabrics were from my stash, including the purple batik lining (yay, stashbusting!) Interfacing was Pellon Fusible Fleece, my go-to for lightweight stability in many bag and kitchen sewing projects.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Ooh, many! In fact, one reason I waited so long to write this blog post was because I envisioned throwing lots of pattern hack/tutorial type hints up at the same time as showing off my finish. But... I'm planning on blogging about my alterations, just not here.
- Fabric placement (carefully considered design decisions here)
- Two internal pockets added
- Bag hardware for making the straps more attractive/stylish
- Stabilizing the bottom for a flatter appearance
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and yes. I have already been asked to teach this bag--both at the shop, and by my guild. I really want to make one with 5" squares, so individual fabrics are shown off better. I also have the Midi Bag pattern + interfacing pack on deck for a spring tote: same technique, different size.
I love this bag so much that I started using it before the topstitching was even done.(!) The size is wonderful for toting those bulky nearly-finished quilting projects. Would also make an awesome beach tote, as it's definitely of a size to cart along allll the towels.
If you have not made a bag before, this might not be the one to start with, however.
I finished a thing!
Thanks for following along.