When I saw the pattern I decided to cut out fabric for two different bags. This is a smaller bag pattern, with only one zippered pocket installed in the lining. For the first bag I chose to use my Art Theory panel by Alison Glass and Glitter Mirror Canvas vinyl in Gunmetal from MiKri World Supplies for the exterior, and Chainmail in Plum from Elizabeth by Tula Pink as the lining. I figured I would bust through one bag in a day, easy! And I would have, too, if I had not been distracted binge watching the final season of Downton Abbey. Also from feeling overconfident in my bag making abilities, but we will pretend it was all Downton Abbey’s fault. (Did you cry? I totally cried at the end of the series!)
My first issue was when I sewed the bottom of the piping (where the seam is) to the top of the bag. Front and center! Out came my trusty seam ripper. My second issue was when I went to sew the zipper and attached bottom piece to the side ovals. For some reason I had at least a half an inch gap! Hello again, my friendly seam ripper. I had to rip out the top stitching, and the seams that connect the top zipper piece to the bottom piece, cut off a quarter of an inch from each side, and sew it all back together. I still had some gapping, but figured I could ease it in. I did, too, along with a lovely set of tucks right on top of the bag! Argh!
This bag has a drop in lining, so instead of attaching the edge of the lining by sewing over the top stitching on the zipper, I decided I would do a second row of top stitching. Double top-stitching lines always look great, right? And I AM a bag maker so I totally know what I’m doing, right? Um. Yeah. Did not turn out as expected. My stitching was so far back that I didn’t catch the zipper panel seam allowance at all, so it pushed the lining out and then it all just looked completely ridiculous.
Since the pattern instructions mentioned that you could hand sew the lining down, guess what I did? I hand sewed the lining down. It looks so much better, and I could have saved a lot of time and wrestling the bag under the foot of the sewing machine had I done it that way to begin with. Oh, and to top it all off, I attached the handle with rivets and, after checking at least three times, still ended up twisting the handle! I called the Mister to the rescue before I got to the point of throwing the whole thing in the trash. This bag maker is now humbled after being schooled by that bag.
The fabrics I selected for the second bag were Mindblown Skull Engines from Alexander Henry and orange Glitter Mirror Canvas vinyl by MiKri. I don’t really like orange very much, but the flames on the print and the sparkles on that vinyl work perfectly together. I kept with the orange theme for the interior of the bag and used Textured Basics by Patty Young for Michael Miller.
Having learned several lessons with the first bag, I started the second bag after having finished watching Downton Abbey. I cut off 3/4″ from the bottom piece and it fit my bag perfectly when assembling. I still ended up with a tuck (darn it all!), but it’s on the bottom of the bag so I’m okay with that.
I really loved the motifs on this fabric, so I chose two different ones to showcase a different skull engine on each side of the bag. I opted to use the script “handmade” tag by Emmaline Bags since that seemed to fit the bag best.
I did opt to machine stitch down my drop in lining again, but THIS time I tried a different method. I top stitched the zipper panel down a scant 1/4″ away from the edge (and caught about 95% of the zipper panel seam allowance…whew). When I set the lining in, I made sure to use my wonder clips and aligned it so that when I top stitched about 1/16″ away from the edge of the zipper panel it caught the lining as well. And it worked! My lining looks great and I didn’t have to hand stitch it down.
The second bag was a breeze to make compared to the first one. Other than the one tuck on the bottom of the bag, my only other error was to forget to switch my thread back to the top stitching color when attaching the lining panel. So the two top stitching lines by the zipper are dark orange (which blends), and light orange (which doesn’t blend so well). That’s okay, I’m calling it a planned design element. A little humility and no distractions are good for the ‘getting-to-big-for-her-britches’ bag maker.