August 16, 2012

No. 186 Bag

Remember those Riley Blake Ombre Dots I got from Caitlin at I Don't Do Dishes?

Well I used ithinksew's pattern (No. 186 "The Rachel" bag) and put together a happy little purse. Originally I was going to pair it with some Echino, but I decided to go the sweet & innocent Shabby Chic route instead. The print you see at the top (and inside for the lining) is the Green Bouquet print from Denyse Schmidt's Sugar Creek line for Joann's.

Caitlin has tons of other cute stuff in her shop right now besides those dots, like some new Riley Blake Tonal Chevrons and Denyse Schmidt's new Chicopee line! She also just got in a batch of my favorite brand of batting, Quilter's Dream...that stuff is so soft I seriously wanna rub my face on it like a cat whenever I pull it out of the packaging.

I'm kind of in love with how the strap turned out - you cut the strap the full width of the fabric (44"), so you're able to see the full ombre effect with it. And I thought it was a bit nuts to have a strap that long and NOT make it adjustable, so I added a 2" metal slider.

I keep supplies like that on hand, especially since the larger sizes (bigger than 1") can be hard to find at Joann's, Hobby Lobby, etc. And a lot of the time all they have are plastic ones, and I hate plastic hardware. If I go to the trouble of making a bag, I want it to last as long as possible, and I don't want to worry about plastic hardware breaking.

And in case you're curious, I order a lot of my hardware from LoraLee on Etsy. She's not paying me to say this (promise), but her prices are good and she always ships same or next day - I usually have my order within 2-3 days of checkout. I just know that I prefer shopping with Etsy sellers that come recommended, because there are SO many vendors out there and it's hard to choose sometimes.
Anywho...on to the pictures! Here's the back...

...and a better shot of that slider I inserted.

Did I tell you all that I finally ordered custom labels? If not, here's proof. I ordered a batch of these twill tape labels, and also some sew-in side tags that just have a black and white outline of my Scottie logo on them, with my shop name below it. I'll have to remember to snap a picture when I get home.

And I hope this isn't misconstrued as me "attacking" anyone, because my intent is to be helpful and offer constructive information (rather than being a nitpicky a-hole), but I want to give you all an honest opinion of the pattern in case you're considering buying it.

  • The directions can be hard to follow and are vague in places. Even though the bag construction is beginner/intermediate, I wouldn't recommend this pattern for a beginner because the directions assume you have a working knowledge of bag-making and leave a lot of helpful details out. I didn't have a problem reading in between the lines because I've made a ton of bags, but you might want to try another pattern if this is your first or second attempt.
  • There are no dimensions or cutting instructions if you want to add a pocket. The cutting list at the top of the pattern mentions cutting 1 Pocket Panel, but there's no pattern piece attached, and after scouring the pattern no dimensions are included and no other mention is made of pockets except for an Appendix at the back. The appendix contains a few photos that generically demonstrate how to sew on one small regular pocket or an inset zipper pocket, but nothing specific to this bag. So you're kind of on your own.
  • Strap is really long, which is fine if you're making the bag for yourself and can adjust exactly to your height. But if you're making it to sell or as a gift, it might be difficult to gauge. In those instances, it's probably better to make the strap adjustable like I did.
  • Comes together very quickly. Including cutting, it maybe took me 2 hours to complete this bag, which is lightning fast compared to most bags.
  • I like that the style of the bag makes it look more complicated than it is. It looks cute and sophisticated, but really doesn't require much more work than a tote.
  • Easy introduction to pleats. There are only 2 pleats at the top and bottom of the bag, and they're fairly large, so it's a gentle introduction to them (since you don't have to do a million of them, and folding is easier since the pleats are big).

So there you have it :)


Great bag! I love the green DS print!
Thanks for your honest opinion of this bag!

I think it turned out really cute, Kaelin! I've not used this pattern, but it seems to me that you could make the front and back identical if you wanted. Nice to have options :) Thanks for the shout-out!

Great use of those dots, K! They go really well with the DS print. And I think you made the right call on adding the slider. Fun labels!

Very sweet bag indeed. I always wonder what to do with ombre prints. Which is why I haven't bought any. Good idea!

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