Welcome back everyone! I've been slowly decompressing and processing my Quilt Con experience this week. It was amazing - look for a post next week about that. So I'm diving back in with a bag pattern I tested right before I left for Quilt Con, the March bag for the Sew Sweetness Bag-of-the-month Club, the Campfire Messenger Bag by Anna Graham.
If you haven't joined the Bag-of-the-Month club and you like to sew bags, you should. It's a collection of top notch designers and a great value. This bag will be released by Anna as an individual pattern after the club session ends (look for it July or later). I'm thinking about doing a sew-along for it after it releases separately – let me know in the comments if you'd be interested.
So first, let me say I love how this bag turned out – cute, great size, lots of pockets and cross-body which is my favorite style of bag.
Having said that I can tell you that the process of getting to the finish line was a long one for me. This bag isn't complicated but it does have lots of individuals steps that you need to pay attention to. I blame my pre-travel distraction but let me give you the advice I needed:
- GO SLOW
- Pay attention
- Read ALL the directions, twice
- Label all your pieces as you go and make notes if you need to (or highlight) measurements and placements on the pattern if you need to
Anna is an excellent pattern writer and it shows in the final construction of this bag, but I managed to make more than my share of mistakes as I worked. I'm sharing them here to help anyone who feels intimidated to show that everyone makes mistakes, and you CAN make this bag. I worked through it with another pattern tester friend on IG which helped tremendously - she caught my mistakes and I ooh'ed and aah'ed over her cute (seemingly mistake free) bag ;-)
So here goes:
- I made the straps the wrong width and had to re-do them
- I put the inset zipper in sideways instead of across the top of the front panel. Do-over.
- I sewed my back interior panel in upside down (making the pockets USELESS) and didn't realize it until the bag was assembled. Took apart and fixed.
- Realized I made two straps instead of the ONE long one the patterns calls for. Re-did strap. AGAIN.
- Crossed the finished line and proudly snapped my bag shut, admired it and promptly broke off the snaps the first time I opened them. Another do-over. The FINAL do-over.
Are you laughing? Shaking your head? Questioning my true bag making abilities? I was too. But all I can say is that I kept going and am happy with the end product. In fact I feel like a bag-making hero for making this awesome bag. I climbed Everest and now I know I can again!
Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you're interested in a sew-along with this bag during the summer!