One of my recent patterns is this fabulous bag pattern I called BAGLADY! I am very definitely a 'baglady'... love bags, some of my favorite all time bags are from Orla Kiely, Kate Spade and fabulous tote and canvas casuals from Hable Construction.... Anyhoo.... apparently bag patterns are a hot these days.... and I am so very pleased I have this one. I am designing more for you other bag fanatics out there.
The crazy thing is I have been designing and making my own bags (and hats) for a very long time. My very favorite I called a 'YaYa bag' I created out of a deep wine velvet... it truly was a little vintage inspired Granny bag... thus the 'YaYa' label (Greek for Grandmother). I was also into ribbon embroidery at the time so I embellished the opening with loads of narrow silk ribbon 'french-knots'... Oh I am so off on another story here... oh well.
The Baglady Tutorial
To be used along with the hard copy of the sewing pattern BAGLADY by Tina Givens # TG-A5029.
So the 'Baglady' Tutorial.... I love this bag because it's large, casual and fabulous. You need this bag for everyday fun. I mean I am off to the studio with my portable harddrive, camera, various cables, a few files I keep on me including work, but personal files too, kids stuff, etc. The phone of course, the wallet, little makeup pouch for touch ups, a few tissues, business cards, daily mail, oh let's not forget the watercolor tubes, paint brushes, tiny sketchpad, journal and pencils. A pen, check book, miscellaneous items like a few toys, gum, oh my gawsh.... ok you get the picture...
Baglady measures a wopping 18.5 " wide x 13" in height plus another 9" for handles, x 5" deep.For the tutorial I selected one of the new fabrics from Treetop Fancy collections, actually called TREETOP (TG48) in Pink Papaya.... lined in Gossip Tree TG51 (pink papaya). Now if you don't have the infamous Baglady sewing pattern... purchase it at one of these fine locations: FIND IT HERE! This blog post may make no sense without.
Ok, so let's start. Once all of your pattern pieces are cut out, fuse the pieces as the pattern instructs, then we begin with the handles. They're easy enough. When designing the pattern I made the handles long enough so shoulder carrying can be an option.
Next is top-stitching the side panels for the bag, which I love because not only does it add flavor and secures the fleece (which I can never get to completely adhere - does anyone else have issues with this?), but it also adds a professional touch. We can't look too hand-made right?
Once this is done, we add the handles to the side panels. I do this in two steps. Once pinned in place as the pattern indicates, I sew the handle tops in place at the 2" mark (note pattern); then I pin the handles back upward, pin and again stitch. This all makes for a strong handle. Remember, we carry all but the kitchen sink in there right? So now our handles are in place.
Easy! And on to the zipper panels. The pattern makes it all easy. Just follow those instructions, you will use the technique again and again.
Now the bottom panel. Simply a long rectangular piece, pinned along the bottom edge of one side panel, and upward on each side.
Stitched in place. The image here shows that bottom panel pinned in place. We add the top zipper panel, here. And then topstitch the bottom panel to the top panels on each side, you can see the 3 rows of stitching here.
Then onto the other side of the bag, which is easily sewn onto the combination 'half-a'bag' you just put together. Now, inside out it should look something like this!
From here, we move to the lining, which is done identical to the exterior pieces but for the zipper, the handles and an inside pocket. The pocket is very important for those tiny things and that very vital phone... it should look something like this! My birds I used for the pocket are indeed side-ways but I am really only the one who gets to see it (instead of wasting fabric).
And that's all there is to it. Cutting out the pieces takes about half-an-hour to an hour, depending how many children are talking to you while you are doing it. And the actual sewing to completion takes about 3 hours... that is it. Not bad I'd say. So let me know if this was helpful to you... Get the pattern if you don't have it already, and let me know what you found difficult or easy!
Note: The above tutorial is to be used along with the actual hard copy of the BagLady Sewing Pattern by Tina Givens #TG-A5029 as shown above.