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Archive for August, 2013

Denim Bag Finished

The first version of the denim bag turned out way too big.  That is a seriously large messenger bag!  I gave it to my daughter, M, to use as a travel bag, and away it went before I remembered to take any pictures of it.  I started right in on a redraft.  First, I measured my current leather bag and drew a pattern.  I used the corner draft from some pattern I had in the drawer, and I changed the flap to a curve instead of a rectangle.  I used some heavier denim that I got at the thrift store and some new cotton sheeting for the lining.

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The side edges  of the pattern piece slope inward slightly so that the bag will maintain its shape instead of being wider at the top (which is common when you sew the corners into a straight sided piece).  I put a pocket on the front of the flap to hold my credit card when I am at the gas station.  It’s hard to hold the card, gas cap, and gas nozzle all at the same time, so a convenient outside pocket to hold the card temporarily will be great.  I don’t put the gas cap down anywhere because there have been two times when I drove off without it and had to buy a new one.

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You can barely see it on the right in the above photo, but there is a pocket across the front under the flap.  The strap was made to measure and is perfect for me mainly because I couldn’t find the hardware to make it adjustable.  I have since ordered some and look forward to learning how to make an adjustable strap.  The finished length measurement of the strap (not including the seam allowances) is 46″ and the bag is meant to be worn with the strap ‘cross body’.  Here’s the inside:
DSC00270That denim was pretty thick, and I had a hard time attaching the lining to the top, and luckily, any wonky stitching is inside and not visible most of the time.  There is no interfacing in this bag, only some batting sewn to the lining pieces.  No needles were broken in the sewing of this bag!  All in all, this first attempt turned out great, and now I am going to use some of my bright decorator fabrics to make some more.

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Denim Bag Progress

Making bags is not hard but there is a lot of prep work.  So far, I have interfaced, applied batting, sewn on the velcro closures, sewn pockets on the lining, and made the strap:

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The bag looks like it is going to be rather big, but you can’t really tell until it’s done since the seam allowances make a big difference.  Here’s a view into the almost completed lining:

DSC00256This is the first time I’ve thought to add pockets to the gusset  panels on the sides, but they should be handy for a hairbrush or small bottle of lotion or hand sanitizer.  It’s been way too hot to sit and sew in the afternoons, so the bag is progressing slowly.  Once I finish up the bag, I’ll be able to see if I like the size or not, then I can shrink it or rethink the pockets for the next version.

At my last visit to the thrift shop, I found three lengths of vintage doubleknits.  I like these for their bright colors and indestructibility.  I make tops out of them, and they always look fresh and crisp.  They don’t work in steamy weather, though, but here in California that’s not much of a problem.

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Sewing Again

I finally got a purse cut out to try out the pattern and see if it looks like the messenger bags I like.  After looking through all the purse patterns to find a purse with a front flap, McCalls 6176 seemed like a good bet:

Fullscreen capture 8132013 55624 PMIt really looks a lot like the bags I showed in the last post.

Fullscreen capture 8132013 55658 PMI’ll make the first one just like the pattern except for that little handle on the flap, but next time I want to make the strap adjustable.  I’m using some denim I got at the thrift store for this version.  Right now I’m trying to decide what kind of pockets I want on the inside.

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