November 20, 2011

Goodie Bag Swap

November is always our busiest time of year at work, because most of our clients renew their policies January 1st (which means we're working behind the scenes putting everything in place 2-3 months in advance of that). I worked roughly 8 hours of overtime last week, so it was a real rat race trying to get my swap bag finished and to the post office in time! I really need to reform my procrastinating ways - argh!

This bag is very simple in appearance, and a departure from the bright colors and busy patterns I'm drawn to, but I had a really hard time letting this go at the post office! To date, I think this was my hardest swap item to part with, mostly because I'm madly in love with how the B&W plaid and mustard yellow look together - it's got a cool, retro vibe to it. Plus I'm a sucker for a good wintery plaid, and the Moda Bella Solid I used for the outside was so buttery soft. I just wanted to rub it on my face, lol! (don't worry partner, I didn't actually do that). I love this bag so, so much and feel like it's the most "professional" looking one I've made. Hopefully my partner likes it - I'm worried it might be a little too simple.

As you can see in the photos below, I decided to alter the pattern a bit and add a zipper pocket. I don't know how the rest of you feel, but if I'm going to go to the trouble of making a fancy bag, I'm gonna make it worth the effort by adding hardware that's durable and polished looking - especially if it's for someone else!

I left in the large pocket that was called for in the pattern, and eliminated the smaller pocket that is supposed to lay over it, so now my partner will have storage on both sides of the purse - a zipper pocket on the side closest to her body, and a large pocket with two sections for her phone, keys, etc. opposite that.

I've been wanting to try this pattern for a while, and even bought the fabric used on the cover, but hadn't gotten around to it in the year+ that I've had it. I'm always at the bottom of my To Do list - but I think it's safe to say we're all like that :)

This pattern is a bit tedious with a lot of detail work, but overall I thought it was well-written and easy to follow (I've always had good luck with her patterns). I did find one error though, which I'll pass on so you all don't make the same mistake. When you get to the point where you're supposed to make two gathering seams 1/4" and 3/4" away from the top and bottom of the exterior panels, you should make the second seam only 1/2" away from the edges. The finishing seam when sewing the exterior of the bag together is only 5/8", so if you place the gathering seam 3/4" away (rather than 1/2"), it will show when you turn the bag right side out. I wondered about that while I was making the 3/4" seam (since most of the seams up until that point had been 5/8"), but instead of reading ahead to make sure, I trusted that the directions were correct, and ended up having to rip out both seams. Make a mental note on this, because picking out stitches between a million tiny gathers is not fun!


Hey good job! I think it's great that you added a bigger zip pocket. I think that is SO important in a bag I wonder why more pattern makers don't have them in there :)

WOW- it's amazing! There is no way that your pattern will not just go crazy over this :) She's lucky!!

Obviously I haven't seen this pattern, but it's not unusual to have gathering stitches on either side of the seam line so you don't get big puckers. The trick is to baste them so they're easier to gather and remove when the seam is finished.

I don't think it's too plain, K. I think it's stylish and lovely. The lining is awesome!

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