Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Did I say choices…..

Do you remember this post??? And after all that you would think (most reasonable people would)  that I should be satisfied with the 2 bags I made, but the more and more I started reading about what my partner was responding to on the Flickr group, I started thinking, maybe, just maybe, she would like something besides grey- I like grey but then it's not for everyone. So, I posted this photo on the Goodie Bag Flickr page and wouldn't ya know it, she liked that combination better than the one I originally posted. The upside- I got to try another bag pattern- not entirely of my own design, but with enough modifications to the original pattern that I think it's unique enough and perfect for my partner.

So, want to know what my partner is getting???

The Oversized Fashionista Bag
from The Bag Making Bible, by Lisa Lam
19 x 13.5 x 3"
plum/eggplant linen body, plum/mustard cotton print flap
mustard linen lining
antique bronze hardwear
2 straps one long , one shorter, both removable

So, putting the AB Sweet Harmony Bag and the Original Design Cross body bag aside- for now, I found a pattern (The Oversized Fashionista Bag) in The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam

Inspiration bag
and modified it to my partners likes and wishes. I used the plum-eggplant/mustard/ print combo as the bags main colors. The plum-eggplant linen for the bag base, the print for the flap and antiqued gold/bronze hardware for all the moving parts. The bag is lined in the mustard linen.
For the modifications to the original pattern:
Pattern pieces used in the construction of the Fashionista Bag. I folded the main body piece to make the interior pockets. The zipper was placed further down on the bag from the original design.

1. I quilted the outer top flap panel and instead of constructing it RST, turning it right sides out and topstitching the curves, I placed outside and inside pieces (and all their interfacings, wrong sides together and I bound the raw edges in the plum-eggplant linen. I REALLY like how that turned out.
bound edges; it really accentuates the curved scalloped edge

2. I made the handles 2 different colors, heck I made the bag 3 different colors!!! The longer handle can tuck right into the bag when not in use and is long enough for cross body or over-the-shoulder wear. The smaller handle also fits over your shoulder and can also be removed for a different look. It's constructed in a way to make it comfortable to hold- even if your bag is packed to the max.
The short handle is double folded with fusible fleece. It's very comfortable to hold, but very difficult to sew. IIt's removable and long enough to fit over your shoulder.

Side view of the longer shoulder strap. This is also padded and has hardwear that allows it to be removed if desired.  The fabric loop tabs end right at the top of the bag allowing the shoulder strap to be tucked into the bag without it's removal as well.

Bag interior with longer handle inside. Interior pockets were constructed with the cotton print fabric and are also gussetted to fit to the bags interior.
short handle- padded and long enough to be worn over the shoulder

long handle- worn cross body

long handle worn over the shoulder

3. I added a back outside, almost full length zippered pocket with the method found in the book. This pocket is big enough for a ipad, or just keys and a cellphone. (I even found the zipper to match the mustard linen)

4. I added 2 inside pockets
The pockets (2) are made from the same print used in the exterior top flap. Having them in a different fabric  makes the interior of the bag less monochromatic. Even with the additin of the 2 pockets the interior is very spacious.
Things I learned in the process:
1. That although these are not "my" colors, I LOVED how they all came together in this bag and I'm SOOOO happy my partner chose this color combination.
The top mustard linen was used in the lining. I didn't use the silver hardwear in the final bag.

2. Just because all the hardwear for your bag hangs together on a lovely display rack doesn't mean that the clasps used in the handles actually fit through the "matching" grommets. This was my OMG moment of the bag. The bag is completely sewn, the grommets are added almost as the very last step. The holes are cut in the bag, as in I can see my cutting mat through these holes…..the grommets (these screw on and they were VERY difficult to install through multiple layers of fabric, 2 layers of fusible fleece and 2 layers of interfacing). I was proud of myself to finally match up those tiny screws into those tiny holes (if you have ever used these you will know exactly what I'm talking about)- I go to attach the handles, the thickness of the fabric combined with the grommet itself wouldn't allow the metal handle clasp hardwear to go around and through the grommet. I almost cried. I did say a few very bad words- wondered how I was going to solve this dilemma and eventually settled on using some standard grommets (gold) and antiquing them a wee bit with some black. They are not exactly the same, but I might be the only one who notices….
I can tell the grommets are different. I hope my partner won't mind. The metal hardwear on the shorter handle allows for handle removal if desired.

3. I love bags with versatility. I thought at first this bag might be too trendy and not practical enough for my partner, but with the handle modifications, (both are padded so you can really put things in this bag), the outer large zip pocket, the additional interior pockets, I think it's both practical and lovely.

4. I used way more thread than I thought, going through 2 spools of mustard yellow and plum. I think the additional quilting and the handle/bag modifications may have made the difference. (lots of additional stitching)

4. I like it enough that I'm considering making one for myself- just in different colors!!!

5. I don't think I need to make a 4th bag. I really think I finally got this one just right!

It's on it's way to you partner, in the mail yesterday.  If the mail gods are smiling on us, this might actually get to you for Thanksgiving. I hope you're home so you can receive it.


  1. Wow!! You did a spectacular job on that bag! the color choices, the style...everything is just beautiful! Very, very nicely done!

  2. Oh so pretty! Sure your partner will love it

  3. This bag is stunning. I have never heard of that book and I am going to Amazon right now to check it out.

  4. Oh my goodness this bag is FABULOUS! Congrats girl, you did an awesome job!

  5. I LOVE your bags ... so creative and colorful!


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