Saturday, September 19, 2015

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: Mabel by Swoon.

I told myself I wouldn't make another bag, but I am constantly lying to myself about these things.
Not when there's so much out there to sew.

Like indie pattern companies-- like Swoon.
I am in no way affiliated with them... I just love to gawk at their bag patterns and trying out the engine through their free pattern section. A test ride, if you will. I'll make a legitimate purchase... I will! I just have weird issues committing myself to doing it.

It really is weird.

I am trying to find myself the perfect body for a bag that will ultimately become my go-to bag. Something not huge, not tiny, but has lots of character... and it must be a cross-body.

I put the Mabel in my queue after I had finished the Ethel, but for whatever reason I kept pushing it back.

When I joined the closed swap, it gave me a fine reason to take it for a spin, and see how I liked constructing it, the way it looked and felt-- and of course to make someone happy in the process too!

Cathartic cat pincushion approves.

What I liked best about this pattern was its stellar use of what is essentially scraps. I made this using an equivalent to four fat quarters (two of each print) and some black scraps from my heap, and it is very surprisingly roomy and big!

So now I don't think I'll feel so guilty buying a tiny bit of fabric that I like but probably would never wear as a garment. A little bit of how I felt with this particular fabric-- I mean it's insanely cute, but I just haven't found the right garment pattern for it. Perhaps an underbust... hmm...

As I tend to do with most patterns that fall into my hands, I made a couple small changes-- turning it into a cross-body purse from a little handbag. I also chose to make the side gussets contrasting in black, and the lining in a orange and black polka dot; I'm all about that contrast.

The pattern uses the method of applying iron on interfacing to stabilizer thats been adhered to the fabric using basting spray, something I am still not that sure is the most efficient way to add body to any bag. I've heard of the method before, and even after this bag, I am still tentative about it. Kinda made my room stink once that basting spray heated up under the iron. Basting spray is also super messy, and stinky of itself when you're spraying it on-- I don't really use it much, I must confess.

It got the job done, but again, I don't think it's the best method, though perhaps the most readily available/economic to people. I have a few ideas, but I'd have to take it to the creative laboratory for testing, heh.

As with the Ethel tote, the instructions are also delightfully easy to understand, though take that with a grain of salt, as I am speaking with heaps and heaps of bias on my back having spent many hours acquainting myself with sewing jargon. On the whole though... I think it'd make a great intermediate bag project, just like the Ethel; I'd consider making this one before the Ethel, though, some aspects of the Ethel are just slightly teetering towards difficult.

There is one thing I wanted to illustrate through images that I didn't when I completed the Ethel and Mabel, but I forgot to take photos of the entire process again; it'll make the description more than a little difficult to understand, but here goes...

It has to do with the magnetic closure the two bags have, basically ignore what the package tells you on how to apply it. There is a washer with two vertical holes flanking a central hole-- instead of using the prods to dent the fabric to mark it as the instructions suggest, simply align the central hole on the washer to your marking on the fabric, and then use the vertical holes to mark where the prods will go and how long the cut needs to be. Perfect application every time, and I only realized it after I had messed up with the flap portion of the bag, puckering it a bit.

Well, I'm glad I gave the pattern a whirl because it just might've gave me that last push I really needed to buy myself a Swoon Pattern subscription package, heh


  1. I was wondering how the bag closes until you mentioned the magnetic clasp! The bag looks cute and the use of fat quarters is good - quilting fabrics are hella expensive but do have the best Halloween patterns! I use spray adhesive for corsets and hats, but I'll have to admit that I rarely sew bags. I never ironed over it, so I can't say if mine also starts stinking...

  2. So cute! It's so well constructed. :)

  3. You are so talented! I am glad to hear you enjoyed yourself making things for the swap, and I know the recipients loved it.


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