In the last year, I garnered quite a collection of patterns and supplies for just the occasion when I am unbound by promises. Although, like many crafters, I am not exactly beginning at the beginning... because... well... I don't remember that far back into my personal project queue, heh. I am starting somewhere near the end, but not so new enough that I feel too guilty about starting with recent acquisitions.
Back in April, the shop I work at received a shipment of Nightmare Before Christmas fabric. Naturally I purchased 6 yards of it for my stash. I didn't know what I was going to use it for, at first... but who really does with their impulse purchases?
One thing's for sure, I knew I wanted to make an accessory rather than an article of clothing first from it...
A little earlier in the year I discovered Swoon Patterns. Just by looking at their front page, I knew I needed to try them out one day, and they offer just the opportunity in their free pattern page. The Ethel Tote appealed to me instantly.
My introduction with Swoon had me on cloud 9.
My first bag came out so damn cute; I made it from Batgirl fabric and had given it to a good friend of mine. I wanted to make one for myself, but my purse needs require either backpack straps or cross body straps, and some closures-- nothing else.
Well, that meant modifying the original pattern to include all the extras I wanted. Instead of adding the straps to the front and back main panels, I added D-rings to the side panels and just made one long strap.
I cut a strip for a little closure over the top opening, because it gaped way too much for my liking.
I added a magnetic snap because I have never used one before and I thought it might be neat to make the closure a little more decorative using an embroidery lace bat pattern I bought from Urban Threads last year.
On my first purse, the thing that had slowed me down was the inside zippered pocket. As beautiful as it ended up, I felt like it needed just a tiny bit more explaining or even suggestions/tips on that part of the instructions.
|Wrong side view. |
Can't even tell there is something behind it, let alone the small square piece.
It basically asks you to guess the location of the zippered pocket piece that is laying on the front, while you're stitching on the lines from the wrong side.. but tells you to make sure there's at least half an inch on either side and top. So what I did my second go around, and to ultimately take out the guess work, was pin at the important points of the strip, so when I turned it over I now had my feeler edges.
I was then able to tell where the boundaries of the drawn rectangle were on the right side and align it all together with much more accuracy.
Other design details I have chosen to add was piping to the front pocket, along with fussy cutting it so that the design of the fabric remained a little intact. I used three types of fabric in total for this piece, which I am particularly proud of; opening up a pocket reveals a different fabric.
I am so very happy with this bag pattern, it's a very spacious and easy bag to put together; even to customize like I did. I completed my second bag within a viewing of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, heh-- that's how all crafters gauge speed of completion, amirite? The instructions were pleasantly easy to read and follow-- it gives me so much hope for the time when I'm ready to purchase their other luscious bag patterns.
I have my eye on that blanche barrel bag...