Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mama's Got Another New Bag

After last week's high-maintenance sewing schedule, I decided to take a slight break and tend to some more pressing issues. May Fair was well worth the hard work and late hours of sewing -- and the invaluable help from my "staff" of offspring -- but it was time to give back a little this week and evaluate some of their school work as we approach the end of our homeschool year. Still, sewing is a part of learning, and I can't bear to sit so near my machine without giving it some attention, too.

As I perused all of last week's finishes from the other Sew & Tell participants, I was very much inspired by Lauren to try yet another bag project. I ended up combining two separate tutorials and adding a bit of flair from one of my newer sewing books, and I'm rather pleased with the end result.

First, following Lauren's link, I began with the instructions here for a reversible bag. Immediately, before even reading through the instructions, I knew that I'd finally want to put this tutorial for an internal zipper into use with this bag. Finally, since I chose a rather bland neutral fabric for the reverse side, I wanted to spice it up just a tad; so in a moment of impulse, I consulted my Zakka Sewing book, as I recalled the cute pear applique from a bag I made a couple of months ago. (Sidebar note for my homeschool veteran friends out there: Did this paragraph not sound like Shurley English?)

I didn't realize at the time that I was stretching the bag out of shape. Sorry. And the morning sun in these parts can be blinding!

The reverse side

I was apprehensive about using a brown zipper, but my style-conscious eighteen-year-old daughter, Caelyn, encouraged me to go with it. I'm in Africa, so I have to use what I have on-hand. I mean, I can get zippers, but not on a whim -- and I definitely made this bag on a whim.

I really expected this to be more difficult than it was. It ended up being a very fun project. I'm hoping to make another one soon.

I thoroughly enjoyed this project, but I remembered Lauren's words about having to use the seam ripper at one point when I made a terrible mistake. I became so ambitious about progress that I began to just follow my heart instead of the instructions. So, the seam ripper and I had a little one-on-one time. We're actually rather closely acquainted.

One word of caution if you attempt to follow my rabbit trail in making this bag: I didn't take into account the darts in the original bag tutorial before placing my applique on the lining fabric. I had to improvise, but it worked out fine in the end. My seams are a bit shabby, but this entire project was a first for me. So, I won't allow a detail like that to begrudge me a little pat on the back. I'll know better next time. (See, like I said, sewing is a part of learning.)

This is the bag I made a couple of months ago from Zakka Sewing. It's now in the hands of a friend's friend at the Swedish embassy.


  1. cute bag! you are brave to merge together multiple tutorials. i have very close relationship with my seam ripper to!
    ~kristie (visiting from sew and tell)

  2. Love the Amy Butler print, and have it in a couple of other colorway. Love the pear applique'! Great job, and it looks too cute on your shoulder!!



  3. This turned out great despite the blips in the process. I liked Lauren's bag, too. I might have to bite the bullet and give it a try. Thanks for sharing your entire process!

  4. Great job on the bag! I especially like the pear applique and the inner zipper detail.

  5. Great looking bags. I love the pear. I'll check the link out! Thanks for sharing.

  6. What a cute bag! You did a great job combining patterns. Definitely some design talent there! Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed visiting your blog. :o)

  7. Dayna your bag has turned out so cute. Putting that zipper in is definitely something I'm going to try one day soon. Love the pear you've added too!

  8. It sound like you had a but of fun time making your bag. It's wonderful when we get inspired by others. The zipper in brown adds to the bag. Great choice! Thank you for sharing! :o)