My dear friend Kaelin and I run the Goodie Bag Swap over at Flickr. This is our second round and this time I put myself in the intermediate category instead of the beginner. Oh dear. I've sewn all kinds of things in my lifetime...I've been sewing for as long as I can remember. But bags are just a little out of my comfort zone I guess. I can do them, but I really have to push myself.
I'm not at the point where I am super comfortable designing my own patterns or even modifying a pattern very much, so it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to make for my partner. I searched a bunch of bag patterns out there and finally found one from Valori Wells called the Mina Bag. I haven't really seen this one made before, so I was intrigued right there. You know...because I could do it the hard way. ;) With no help.
I like the simple shape but little details like the pleats and the hardware. Their chosen color combo is kind of hurting their sales of the pattern I think though. There aren't too many people out there with a blue bag in this shade. And I LOVE blue. lol. Plus there wasn't any doubt that my partner would prefer colors a little more subtle.
That gusseted side was of course trickier than I wanted it to be...this is why I don't make box pillow cushions very often. But I prevailed and it all worked out. The bag is fully lined with Katie Jump Rope dots and has one small pocket. I definitely think that a clever person could add some nice details to make the interior more functional. There's plenty of room in there!
I wasn't quite finished here yet!
I didn't use any extra interfacing, which I could have for a sturdier bag. But I wanted to experiment with the fabrics I had. I always use fusible fleece in bags lately and it can be bulky. So I wanted to see how this did without it. Frankly I thought it did fine. I might add a covered hard plastic or cardboard to the bottom of the bag interior for some extra shape, but it's certainly sturdy enough with out it.
One thing I did discover is that my sewing machine actually sews the multiple layers better with a regular foot rather than my walking foot. I thought I was being all clever by using my walking to foot to sew the bulky parts of the bag. But my machine just "walked" right over them! It was crazy. I had to put the bag aside for a couple of days before I tackled it again. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that my machine had no problems when I used a regular foot. Go figure.
But it really all came together for me when I added the very last details of the button and the fabric flower. The button is part of my little stash of buttons I've acquired from saving all those extra buttons that garments often come with. The fabric flower was made from voile scraps and based on the tutorial here.
In fact, the only thing that I bought for this bag was the hardware and I spent about $3 on that! Woohoo! Another stash buster project. And a little shout out to Jennifer and Elena for the Oslo fabric used in the main body of the bag.
This is one swap where I know that partner already loves the bag and she doesn't know it is for her. ;) Fun!
Oh and I meant to do this earlier, but at least I remembered! I'm linking this to Rachel's Celebrate Color.