Monday, June 27, 2016

The Plan B, C, and D Bag

I've been wanting to make myself a new bag, and a few weeks ago the vision popped into my head while I was proof-reading something fairly technical at work. I wanted it to be a ticking stripe, in a faded denim and white pattern, with brown leather handles. Simple enough. Except that I had zero luck finding the fabric. Everything was too blue or too gray or too bright or too dark and just simply too not right. BUT. I did see something in a similar color combination that I liked even more (Plan B). I ordered up some leather handles (I actually found them on Amazon of all places I'd never think to look but for some reason did, so I guess I did think to look) and waited until I was finished hemming five rooms worth of curtains (sewing job for a friend) to buckle down. 

I've made this bag several times before, and I love it. It's roomy but not heavy and fits just right under my arm without being bulky and heavy. It's quite a comfy bag.

The pattern is the 'For Pleats Sake' bag by u-handbag. I had the bag together by Saturday afternoon. It would normally have gone quicker, but it's been so long since I made a proper handbag (not a wee clutch or crossbody) that I had to actually think about what I was doing (I literally talked myself through the steps of inserting the inside zipper pocket). 

I should have thought instead of talked. I placed the zipper a bit too high because I forgot to check the handle tab length, so some creative stitchery had to happen to keep the zipper functional and the straps secure (Plan C). My stitching wasn't marvelous and the thread contrasted dreadfully, so I used some lining scraps to make some little tabs to cover up the stitching (Plan D). It blends in enough that they're not obvious, and I like not having  the dark thread showing with the stitches exposed for wear and tear.

I used jeans top-stitching thread for this, doubled-up. My fingertips are still numb, but those suckers are on there good. I hope. It feels like they are.

There's a zipper pocket and a slip pocket, that I don't love. I underestimated the real estate my cell phone takes up, so I didn't make it as tall as I'd have liked. As I was taking the photos it hit me that I could have tried a welt pocket in the lining that wouldn't pull so much but would be accessible. Maybe next time. 

I'm overly in love with those v-seams. I always stitch that seam in one swoop, all the way around. This time I did it in two parts, and ended up with a bulk-less seam that didn't need trimming and coaxing. I announced this to my brother-in-law Matt and A-train, and they stopped what they were doing to give me a standing ovation in the dining room. True story.

I sprayed this with Scotchgard to hopefully keep it from getting too dingy looking. I guess it's not a terrible thing when Plan A doesn't pan out. What have you been making lately?


  1. I saw this tutorial for doing a zippered pocket. I am going to try it.
    Meanwhile, your bag looks very summery, almost, dare I say, beachy.

  2. I absolutely love this bag!! It's awesome! I always struggle with these types of handles, I never can sew them on quite well. The fabric is awesome. All you need now is one of those denim shirt dresses, so espadrilles and OTT sunglasses and you're all set :-)

  3. Such a pretty bag Bethany. You sound like me with all those plans when things don't work out, and I didn't think it completely through first. But you managed to make it work and that's what really matters. Enjoy your new pretty bag.

  4. I really like those handles! And the lining fabric! I need to make myself a new purse, but I like mine really complicated so I've been putting it off. ;-)

  5. I love the fabric you ended up choosing! I think I'll try this bag for summer, it looks like fun! I've never done that type of handle, what length did you use? Thanks for linking us to the pattern!



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