This bag pattern came from the delightful Lisa Lam's (from u-handbag) book The Bag Making Bible. I have not (until now) made a specific pattern from this book, but I have used the instructions countless times to check, double-check, and try new techniques. If you'd like to make your own bags this book is a great resource (it's honestly the only bag reference book I use). OK, plug over. The fabric came from Joann's (and is from a line called 'Reflection'). I walked by it a few times, touched it, thought about it, and left it. But it was one of those fabrics you have to go back and get because you know you won't be able to do without.
I whipped up this bag in one night. It's supposed to be a reversible tote bag, but I made some modifications to it and it's a regular old one-way handbag now.
For once I can say this picture is NOT blurry, the fabric just has that look to it. Almost as though you're gazing at it through water. I'd almost dare to say it looks like fleece in actuality, and I would have thought such if it wasn't sitting there in the quilting cotton section.
See? Watercolory. I couldn't decide if I wanted the pinky-red or the tealy-turquoise for the straps, but the teal seemed just right as there were already a lot of pinky-red flowers in this print. It's a really nice size--not too large, and certainly not too small.
These colors are so refreshing, and springy, no? I'm hoping to also make myself a summery bag (I'm thinking something orange) but if I don't get to it I'm thinking this one could see me through to the fall. You can see the modifications I made too - I added a zip pocket and a slip pocket. Here's the closure:
I have people who order bags from me who are decidedly zipper people. They wouldn't dream of something less secure closing their bag. I decided I am a mag snap girl. I like having my bag on my shoulder and still being able to root around inside easily without fussing with a zip. I once had a snap come out of a bag I had made for someone (and this horrified me beyond belief to hear), so now I add some extra top-stitching around it to hopefully secure it a bit more. I also pad each side of the prongs with a piece of fleece to keep it from wearing through. I'm not sure if either of these do a thing towards their intended end, but I'm hoping so.
The only thing I'm a little uncertain of is the straps on this one. As you can see there are three rows of stitching, so it's pretty secure, but they're also cut on the bias, so I'm very curious how this bit of stretch will play out. I usually pad my straps with fleece (and these had nothing indicated in the pattern), so to maintain the flow here I added a tiny bit of fleece to the part of the strap that will sit on my shoulder. It seems perfectly fine, but whenever I try a new technique I tend to obsess about it a little bit. Or a lot.
Not long after the book was published Sew Mama Sew and Lisa Lam offered up this very pattern as a freebie download (and it still is - you can find it here). If you're looking to make your own bags, or would just like to give one a whirl, this one is quite simple and quite satisfying. The materials list isn't cumbersome at all, and you can showcase a few favorite fabrics if you make the original reversible version.
I've got a lovely scrappy project coming your way next, so make sure you stop back! I hope you have a lovely week, lovelies!
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