So I'm up to my EYEBALLS in projects. Sunbonnet Sue. Australian Quilter's Companion Quilt. My own ideas. A couple gifts that need done. A quilt from last freakin' year. So today MOm decides I need a new project....to make a reusab;e shopping bag from a pattern she got off of AllPeopleQuilt.com.
The bag I made...also, this site is fab!
Cute bag. Cute project. Pattern leaves something to be desired. It's an open domain pattern (meaning free to the public and not under copyright in MOST cases), and while open domain patterns are awesome ...sometimes they can have a few kinks in them, moreso than published and copyrighted patterns. But I'll get to that.
This bag is not at all meant to go over the shoulder...definitely a bag you'd want to just carry. The size (~16" wide) would be absolutely perfect for a trip to a farmer's market, but it IS reversable so it can be used as a plain ol' purse too. So here's what I learned while making this bag:
1. Read, look at pictures, re-read and re-examine pictures before cutting a thing.
2. Do NOT cut your fabric down to 16"x 42". If you are even an eight of an inch innaccurate in your cutting, you'll be hard pressed to get your template to fit your fabric. Cuyt the half yard from your fabric of choice, fold as per the instructions and just cut your template from the half yard. Yes, it does create a little waste, but it's better than finding yourself short fabric in your seam allowances.
3. The pattern doesn't call for any kind of interfacing (like, Pellon, Timtex, fusible fleece, etc). If you intended to carry anything with some heft to it (like cans), you will probably want to add some kind of interfacing to it. For my first bag, I used fusible fleece and a lightweight Pellon interfacing. This will stand up to some abuse for sure, but next time I think I'll just opt for the lightweight interfacing on both pieces, since the fusible fleece made it bulky and difficult to turn right sides out. But remember, if you use interfacing on your outer piece, you'll want to use it on your lining if you choose to use this as a reusable grocery bag. The handles are a little awkward to be used as a purse, but if you wanted to use it as a purse, then using interfacing on the lining isn't 100% necessary.
4. I found that top-stitching the curved handles BEFORE assembling the rest of the bag helped them lay flatter, and it's just a nice little touch. Be sure to have your top thread complement your outer fabric, and ytour bobbin thread complement the lining, because your stitches WILL be visible even if you don't use the reverse.
So that's it for now. I neglected to square up the bottom, and I didn't want to tearout my stitches AGAIN (ugh) so I left it just plain bag-style. The next one I'll use the thinner interfacing on both sies, then you know, follow the pattern better. lol. C'est la Vie. This will be in the shop soon so next time you're in...you'll see it somewhere :-)