Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Companion Carpet Bag

This is January's bag pattern and while I love the other versions I have seen - mine, not so much. I did finish it in the same month I received that pattern, so there is that.

The fabric was a fairly easy choice, I narrowed it down to 3 finalists from my stash.  Then DD was given the chance to vote and that was the one I went with.

The pattern itself is great, very well drafted, all pieces fit together very well.  I only had one problem with the instructions when trying to attach the handles.  I was instructed to sew them 1 1/4" from the top of the bag - the top of the channel I just sewed? no that didn't look right, it wouldn't give me enough room when attaching the lining. Or the top of the seam where the channel was attached?? no that looked too low.  So I went back to look at the testers bags and pictures of others that I could find and I guessed.  Still not convinced they are in the right place. And considering how sore my fingers were after attaching the handles and tab, I'm not convinced I will be using those again.

I made several changes in the way of pocket additions.  I loved the welt pocket on the City Slicker pattern, so I pulled it out and added it to this bag. 

I used the front pocket pattern to add 3 slip pockets to the lining.  And I moved the lining slip pocket that was included with the pattern to the other side in front of the zipper pocket.  I tried to get some pictures of the interior in progress but I'm not sure they show the detail any better -

Added rick-rack to the front pocket.  Saw it on one the testers bags and liked it, no I coveted it. Must have the rick-rack, also used it as the welt in the back pocket. I also added piping between the gusset and the sides. My piping insertion needs some work.

I used some waxed canvas from a previous project on the bottom of the gusset.  Since I was using a directional print and going to have to cut in two pieces, might as well add a darker, sturdier bottom.  I used the same dimensions as given for the bag base plus seam allowances.  I think I should have made it a little longer.

My real issues came from the hardware, the frame is not easy to install.  Sliding it through the channels was a little tough, but not a major issue.  The real issue is those tiny little screws that attach the legs of the frame to the elbow joint.  Lining up everything so that the screws will fit back in takes 4 hands.  I ended up losing one, because it kept falling out. Two words here - gorilla glue. At this point I am thoroughly convinced that all the comments about how easy this was to use was just to drag encourage more of us into the insanity. That opinion (and it is just my opinion) may change with a little distance.

The other hardware fail that I had was with the script "Handmade" bag bling that I decided I must have on this fabric.  Once I received, I went back and re-read the instructions so I could follow exactly, got out my equipment and proceeded to attach to my bag.  I carefully tapped the rivet on one side twice as instructed and it appeared to be OK. Until I repositioned the fabric to attach the other side, then the rivet popped off. One more careful whack, that stayed until I moved the bag and tried to attach the other side.  One careful whack on the other side broke both the "e" and the peg AND popped the 1st rivet.  Sigh, so disappointed.  And now I'm left wondering, if it is so delicate to attach, how well will it hold up in use on a bag or wallet? I probably will try this again, because I have 4 more, but still I'm wondering.....  So then I used the slim "Handmade" tag to cover the holes left from the previous installation attempt and now the frame is making it look crooked. Another sigh...

Right now, even though I have another frame for the smaller version, I will probably not make this one again, at least not anytime soon. So do bags improve after being put in time-out?? I'm getting ready to find out.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

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