Friday, August 10, 2012

Pleated Messenger Bag

 You guys I think I might have a problem. I know you're thinking "didn't she just make THREE new totes?!" and yes, yes I did. But only ONE was for me. So let me walk you through this: first I found these awesome bag patterns from Jen Giddens at The Fancy Tiger (completely new to me, not even sure how that's possible) and then Kelly (of Kelby Sews) basically gave away this wonderful bag on Instagram that she'd made using this same AMH Clipping fabric and I was a little jealous (ok, a LOT) and so then I decided I needed to make myself a bag with the same fabric. Whew. Sorry for the run-on there. So yup, made myself another bag. I'm not saying I'm a bag junkie but...

I'm thinking about changing my blog name to "the bag lady" or maybe "bag obsession" or maybe not. You get the idea though. This bag makes me so ridiculously happy. Big enough for all my things (which honestly kind of hang out a little lonely at the bottom) PLUS a change of clothes for Harper, a water bottle, teddy bear, get the idea. Plus I love the cross body style bag. So it's fabric love and design love and well, I love it. Teehee.
So the exterior is Clippings from Loulouthi (I think you can still find a little on etsy). The contrast is Hello Luscious By Basic Grey for Moda and the interior is Essex linen in natural.

The pattern calls for lining with duck cloth and I like how that feels but my machine hates to sew through all those thicknesses so I used shapeflex on all the interior and exterior pieces and it's a good compromise. Enough weight to feel substantial enough but my machine still sewed it all easily.

I ended up making the top bands about an inch longer than the pattern called for when my first ones were too short. This is probably something I did with the pleats BUT I will cut the tops bands at least an inch longer from now on and then cut them to fit once the bag body is assembled.

The strap starts out at 44" long and the direction is to adjust it to the length you like - I made this one 35" and it still fit easily over my head and I can reach the bottom of the bag while wearing it.

Jen Giddens has several other patterns I'm planning on trying now - they seem well written and designed. She does not allow ANY sales of bags made from her patterns which surprised me a bit, it seems many designers will let you sell a small number that are handmade but not in this case. Bit of a bummer. Other than that I'm excited about these patterns! Would love to hear if you try any of them.
UPDATE: Jen just changed her shop policy and IS ALLOWING individuals to sell bags made from her patterns - yay! She also has a new zippered messenger bag pattern coming out which looks awesome - keep an eye out for it  in her etsy shop!

LOADS of things on my sewing to-do list: new quilt for Blend Fabrics for quilt market (wait until you see this ridiculously cute fabric!), I'm suddenly obsessed with Malka's supersize shoo-fly quilt again, would love to use the beautiful Indie collection to make a KING sized quilt for our bed (am I crazy? maybe) oh and some back-to-school clothes for the doodlebug. So enough to keep busy :-) Oh and...a washi dress. Teehee!

I ending with a question today: have you ever used voile for backing a quilt? Did you like it? How did it wear? Thinking about trying it for the bed quilt and would love any info/opinions if you're tried it already!


  1. So sorry, I've never used voile nor the patterns you mention, but I do like your bag very very much! It looks awesome with the fabric you chose!

  2. This is gorgeous, I LOVE your fabric combinations! Makes my pattern look really good ;)

    I wanted to let you know that I just revised my policies... so, I'm now allowing finished bags made using my patterns to be sold! Just thought you might be interested in hearing about that. I just blogged about it if you'd like to read the details:

    I would love to repost your pleated messenger bag photos on my blog with a link to your blog, would that be okay with you?



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