Sunday, January 12, 2014

Big City Bags SAL, Fireside Bowling Bag Complete!

The Big City Bags Sew-a-long.  A bag a month for 12 months.

It is not too late to join us!

Hmmmm….after Bag #1 it seems possible!

Albeit, not many bags have been sewn around here; I just don’t “feel” like a person that sews bags. What does that mean? I’m not even sure myself.

I can easily list the bags sewn in the last couple of years. It is a short list. A few easy totes, a bucket type bag a while back and recently, a test bag pattern for Deby at SSE and the Colette Cooper Bag. I wasn’t really sure how this bag making endeavor would go. However, motivated by the design of the first bag which I have adored since last January, I plunged in. My goals were to get some general experience making bags, learn how to sew bag details, the use of different weights of interfacing, work with purse hardware and to end up with some nice gifts for some sweet people in my life. After the first bag of 12, it seems pretty likely it can be done! All 12 I mean.

Very pleased with the end result!

A list of the good:

This bag sewed up easily and quickly once all the prep work was done.

I made a mistake and ended up with two layers of stiff stuff.
A layer of soft and stable AND a layer of fusible fleece.
The bag design had some sweet details that were simple but really added to the finished product such as the accent trim and the bit of piping between the main and accent panels.

Love the shape of the bag and sweet touches
such as the accent panels and clippy dodads!

I really LOVE it when metal clippy things and D rings and the such are added to a bag. Instant glam.

The interior of this bag is large. Love that. As soon as my daughter saw the finished product she listed all the reasons why she needed the bag for herself. J

A list of the bad:

I make copies of the supply list and check them as I get them done. 

There is a LOT of prep work. It takes a loooooooong time to cut all the pieces.
At least it takes me a long time. Confession: I find the cutting part of bag making to be very tedious. Is it just me? I really have to break out the “get ‘er done” attitude to get it finished.

I think I may have done something wrong because the lining part did not compute. Mine just sorta hangs there. I actually plan on tacking it in the corners after this post. It is too floppy.  The next time I make this bag I will be adding ½ inch seams to the pieces and using French seams to finish. I also am going to layer and cut my lining and main fabric pieces all at the same time.

I ended up with extra bag and interfaced pieces. Wonder where they went? Haven’t a clue.

Some of the directions seemed to be lacking in details and I think I found a couple of omissions or mistakes but, again, this is probably just me. I found myself ignoring the directions a few times in order to get something done.

All in all, the bag was a success and I am quite happy with the end results! Thanks Angela for hosting this SAL! I am looking forward to the February bag.


  1. I think it looks great Judy. And its actually really similar to a bag pattern I'm working on right now too. This size and shape is so useful for so many things.

  2. I agree with you on a couple of things and the French seams idea sounds intriguing. I went back and undid my stitches on one side so I could shorten the interior fabric I did a good 3/4" seam, and then I did tack it to the sides so it wouldn't hang, not sure what other people do. Also if I had not made other bags the direction would have been very confusing, not sure if stuff was missing but I am a real picture person and just look at pictures and sew, I read and re-read everything but it's kind of like it goes in to one eye and out the other (you know in one ear out the other :) Your bag turned out great.

    1. Hi Mara,

      Thank you for for your comment. I thought I must be really bad at bag sewing or something. Glad I am not the only one but sorry to hear you had problems as well. I peeked ahead at the next bad and the cutting out part doesn't seem as daunting as this last one. Thank goodness.

  3. Having purchased patterns from Sara's shop and sewn them I can say,that that there was something lost/lacking in the book. There were a couple of spots were I had to just figure it out from the picture,never had that problem in the pdf patterns purchased. For the first time,my lining turned out almost perfect! Not sure how I managed that?

    I love the fabric you used for your version,it looks great in spite of the problems!

  4. Glad you ended up liking the finished product. My lining seems to be okay but then again, I intentionally used fusible fleece on the lining along with the batting on the exterior to give it some extra stability :). I had a bit of difficulty with the instructions as well but I was chalking up to me being tired while sewing. After hearing others had issues as well I may have to rethink that idea. I do hope you'll be joining us for all of the other months though! And don't forget that the Flickr group is a great place to post questions or concerns you may have about the pattern/directions and get feedback from others!