Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Seeing things in black and white

I heart this bag tons. But it had its frustrations with it, that's for sure. I was asked to make this as a gift for a friend's mother. I had made her this bag last year, and she wanted an exact replica. The problem with that ended up being that I had used two different patterns and made some changes and didn't note a single thing. So I took my time and did some careful cutting and tracing. Things were going along so swimmingly that I knew something would go wrong. I hate to be a pessimist like that, but my sewing experiences lead me in this direction--when I haven't touched my seam ripper once it's gonna be a doozy of a problem.

Here's the problem--you see this zipper on this bag? See how it's kind of a boxy top zipper?

I got so lucky putting this in that the prospect of doing another this way struck fear into my heart (no lie). I tried to find alternate instructions, but no such luck. After procrastinating as much as I could, I finally had at it. And then again. And again. And one more time. I was afraid if I tried it once more the fabric would be in shreds and I'd have bigger problems. So I went with a trusty old suspension bridge type of zipper that has never failed me.

And now? Well, I almost wanted to tell her that my dog ate it so I could keep it for myself:

I used u-handbag's Highbrow Hobo pattern for most of it, and a Kwik Sew pattern for the gusset and the zipper directions that failed me. I shaped the gusset a bit more this time and it definitely has a nicer look than a straight gusset (which I think gave the bag a barrel-like look):

I had the lining fabric in my stash from a failed bag from last year. I reallllly wanted to use it so when she told me she wanted a black and white bag I knew I would get to use it. You can't look directly at it though or your head will feel swimmy, haha.

I used a turquoise zipper on the inside pocket, just for a splash of fun. After my initial zipper disaster I had to make some adjustments and the inside pockets ended up being a smidgen higher than I had originally planned, but they'll work fine.

If I had just trusted my zipper instincts from the outset this bag would not have taken much time to sew at all. But because I spent hours trying to get that zipper in it took about twice as long. So, note to self: trust thyself. I know my skills and what I'm comfortable doing, and I think at this point I know enough about making bags that I can tell what will work and what won't work. I just reallly hate being defeated by a stupid zipper. Rivets or something? Fine. But a zipper! Pshaw! (And yes. It is 2011 and I just wrote pshaw).

Have a good Wednesday! It's all uphill from here :)

I'm going to link it here:

The Girl CreativeSumo Sweet Stuff
Running with Glitter
Anything Related
Fantabulous Friday!
Iron Violet DesignsJoin  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!

Designer Garden


  1. Bethany this is so cute!!! I love the black and white fabric. psawhhhh. haha :) Thanks for linking up girl!!

  2. PS how long have you had that bee blog button?? just noticed it and made me bust out laugh. love it

  3. It turned out awesome! I can see why you want to keep it.

    And Rebecca's right, that button is hilarious.

  4. What an awesome bag! I LOVE it? Wanna make me one...LOL! Love the "splash of color" btw!

  5. I can see this bag isn't easy to make esp with top zipper and side gusset. I have this obsession with figuring out different ways to insert zipper. I can't say it's easy even tho' I've made many zippered bags. Zippers will always be a challenge, darn it.

  6. Hi Bethany! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm enjoying looking at yours. I love the bags. I'm wondering which quilt you decided to go with. I've looked at your shop. Cute stuff! I'm a follower. Have a great week!

  7. Love this bag! And the turquoise zipper is such a fun little surprise.

  8. You did a great job on this bag. I understand the part about wanting to reproduce something without taking notes. Take lots of photos for your blog then you will have a record of the process.

  9. LOOVE IT!! Thanks for coming and linking it up :) I hope you have a happy weekend.

  10. Stopping by from Creation Corner and the Friday Link Party.

    I love the fabrics you chose for this tote!! Absolutely beautiful!

    All my best,

  11. Oh that is beautiful. I have been wanting a new bag for a while and I should really just make my own. This is right up my alley! I would love to have you share this at my VIP party this weekend =) http://designergarden.blogspot.com/2011/04/vip-party-10.html

  12. I love this bag - you did a great job. I hear you about being a little pessimistic about sewing. I do the same thing: thinking that it is going to perfect so something will have to go wrong soon! Thanks for sharing this at Fantastic Friday.

  13. It came out really nice! Featuring this Saturday!

  14. Oh my1 I wish I could have that bag so you could go on and say your dog ate it, lol ^^) thanks for sharing this beauty!

  15. This is wonderful, love your choice of fabric....so talented. Wow!



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