Saturday, 3 May 2014

New Best Bag

Over the last few weeks I have been working on a project that has kept me challenged.  Yesterday, I finished it....
I wanted to make myself a bag to carry projects and to take when I go on a day trip.  I had made a great bag using Elizabeth Hartman's tote pattern back here, and use it heaps.  The only failing of this bag is that is doesn't zip shut - it has only a magnetic closure.

So I thought about how I made that bag, using the multiple layers and QAYG.  I also thought about how I had played with the sizing of the latest Oliver+S Backpack (here) and how the lining was sewn in so cleanly.  I had in mind a smaller version of Amy Butler's Weekender bag, especially the one made by Elizabeth Hartman.  I do not own this pattern, but the style of the bag is fantastic and I drool over the projects being made using it on Instagram (#wsa2014).
Using all these inspirations I created my own pattern, planned fabric and then sewed!  My bag in quilted all over using QAYG (quilt as you go) and then the pieces trimmed and sewn together.
I used a selection of Sweetwater's Road 15 prints - mainly neutral and olive green.  I added in some Essex linen in olive, as well as using Kona cotton in (you guessed it) olive as well.  I had only just enough fabric so had to plan the cutting carefully, even needing to use some similar but different fabric to line the two large side pockets.  Unlike the Weekender bag I did not put pockets at the ends, preferring to just add some accent piping in.
The fantastic thing about designing your own bag is that you can specify the size of things - my side pockets are just large enough to hold an A4 sized magazine, and can be kept 'closed' by using the magnetic snaps I placed in them.
There are three pockets inside.  One (above) is 4" by 9" and allows for smaller items.
The other lining side has a zipped pocket, overlapped with a 6" by 7" pocket for my purse.

The lining is sewn in place into the bag (similar to what I did with K's backpack) and is not quite sized perfectly, but I'm super pleased with it.  I need to fine tune the pattern before sharing it - but this has been a BIG project so am not keen to do so just yet.  I have been pinching myself that it all turned out so well...

Maybe I should tidy my garden instead of planning day trips!

The bag finishes at approx 16" long, by 6" wide and 12" tall.  I've even worked out that it is just perfect as airline carry-on luggage.  Where shall I go to??

In the meantime I'll link up to Amanda Jean at 'Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday'.  What do you think of my bag?  I'd really love some feedback ...


  1. Your bag turned out great - love your fabric choices! I love the quilting on it! And your zippered pocket inside is the bomb. I made one of these about two years ago. I taken it on the airlines to Kawaii, Utah (many times), Arizona and on many driving trips. LOVE the bag!

    1. Thanks Julie! Aren't bags great - they can be both patched/quilted AND a fashion item! I've just had a look at your blog - love the quilting you've done! :-)

  2. Your bag looks fantastic. I love the colours you have chosen too. I love the weekender too, but the comments on it's how difficult it is, have put me off. The other bag I like is the Cargo Duffle from Noodlehead (free pattern too). Good on you for designing your own pattern. I could be very interested in being a tester if you need one for your pattern.

    1. I should check what gmail sign is in being used too, before I comment.

  3. You are so talented! My aunt gave me a sewing machine and I really hope to learn!! Your projects are inspiring!


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