bag weekend

Over on Stitcher’s Guild, there is a sewing event this weekend wherein we will make bags and share along the way: SG Bag Event. I’ll be updating this post as I progress, and hope that subscribers to my blog won’t get beeped every time I update. If you do, I am sorry and promise I won’t make a habit of this kind of post!

I’ve tried making bags in the past, mostly from big 4 patterns, and haven’t succeeded in making anything I would actually use except for a grocery tote or two. About a month ago, I solicited suggestions from the SG membership for bags that had really good instructions because I need to be told everything about every single step and every piece of material. A decent garment sewer does not necessarily equal a decent bag or home dec sewer.

One of the suggestions was for this bag: the Two-Zip Hipster.

This is just the type of bag I had in mind.

My fabric will be some Marimekko purchased a few years ago. I wanted to make a bag back then, too! Lining fabric is leftover from a recent pair of pants.

bag1Pattern printed out (my first print and tape PDF pattern), zippers, and hardware. The pattern calls for a rectangle & slider. All I could find was a pack of two sliders, but I think that should work.

bag2At this point, I have cut out my pieces and fused the interfacing. Thank goodness for my steam press, or I might have given up already. Fusing just is not fun. I used Pam Erny’s craft-weight fusible for the outside pieces and a lightweight knit fusible for the lining pieces that get interfaced. Rocketeer is all threaded up and ready to go.

Update 1: It is a little after noon and the front, including 1 zipper, is finished. A very nice thing about this pattern is that the designer Erin has indicated in the instructions how to handle directional prints, that is, which side should go up when joining pieces. That doesn’t matter much to me with this bag, since I’ve got the printed design going every which way, but nice to know for possible future iterations.

status at high noon: the front is all together.
status at high noon: the front is all together.

Time for a break!

Update 2: The second sewing session finished the bag, so this is the only other update. This went together quickly and I’m really pleased with the result. My failures with past bag-like projects gave me really low expectations.


Finished bag!

Thoughts and observations about the pattern – There are some steps where you are sewing through a lot of layers, so a machine with enough power to penetrate is a must. My Rocketeer did a good job and had enough space under the foot to ride over the thickest parts. No hammering of seams was needed. I did take care to replace my skinny shirtmaking needle with a good stout one before beginning.

Another reason the Rocketeer was a good choice, rather than one of my straight-stitch machines: sewing in the zips and doing the edge stitching was easier because the Rocketeer lets you adjust the needle position to the right or left.

There are a few tight corners that might be easier to sew if the bag was just a little bit larger. I was after something that wouldn’t be a drag on my shoulder, and this absolutely fits the bill. Just a teeeny bit larger would be nice, though. If I make it again, I’ll scale it up a few % and reprint the pattern.

Now for some detail pictures. First, the various pockets. There is a zipper pocket on the front, and an open pocket behind that. I like having options for storing stuff on the front of my bag so I don’t have to open it up and rummage around. Inside there is another pocket that you can subdivide as you like. I made one section so that it fits my cellphone, and the other section will hold a little low-tech paper notebook and pen.


I thought about making some little bead pulls for the zippers, but didn’t like the little trial version. Unembellished zips it is.


And here it is, modelled, for scale. The strap is long enough that you can wear this as a cross-body bag, which is a feature I was looking for. You can see from the position of the slider that the strap is still not as long as it could be.


And this shows the strap in its shortest position, the way I will usually carry it. I like my bag snugged up under my arm most of the time.bag7

I’m glad that ejvc, over on Stitcher’s Guild, had the idea to stage this weekend sewalong. I’d been wanting to make a bag, and had even solicited advice about it, but probably wouldn’t have actually given it a try without the motivation of the sewalong. Now to check out everyone else’s progress!


8 thoughts on “bag weekend

  1. I hope this comment goes to the “Bag Weekend” post. I don’t see a way to do that. Looks like it’s going to end up on “A Cute Angle” Ok. I love your bag. The fabric is awesome. I wanted to go to the Stitchers Guild link, but it went to “Edisproduction” …a really cute Dog & Cat video that I posted on FB. But I can still find my way to SG the long way ’round. 🙂 Anyway This is a great pattern, and you chose a wonderful fabric for it!

    • Karla, thanks for letting me know about my boo-boo! I had been sharing that dog video. 🙂
      The link is fixed now, so you can check out the Stitcher’s Guild thread if you’d like.

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