Thanks so much to Sara for having me do one of her reviews for Purse Palooza! My review is of The Organised Office Bag from Lisa Lam’s “The Bag Making Bible”. This is essentially a messenger bag, and is a really great project.
This pattern is part of a great book, which is full of all sorts of techniques and tips for making bags. There are a number of technical sections, and also a number of full bag patterns.
Materials & Interfacing
The pattern calls for home dec weight cotton, but as I was making this bag for the For the Love of Solids swap, I used quilting weight cotton for it, and I had no major problems with it. Mine was not intended as a laptop bag however, and I think if it was to be used for this purpose the heavier fabric would be necessary to give it the strength required.
I used all solid fabrics to make the bag. The background was Kona Ash, and the colour splashes were a variety of Kona colours. The interior was a Klona lime green solid.
The pattern also called for different types of interfacing, including medium weight woven fusible, fusible fleece and some ultra firm fusible for the bag flap and front main body reinforcement. I used the interfacing recommended with the exception of 1 piece of the ultra firm in the main body. I found the interfacing gave the bag great structure.
There were also a number of other notions required including metal rectangular rings, D rings, slider, zip etc. These were easily available from Lisa Lam’s U-handbag.com website, where I also was able to source the correct interfacing really easily (all Vilene brand).
The only small complication I had was in cutting the ultra firm interfacing (using part of the pattern pieces), which I got a bit mixed up on originally, but I soon figured it out.
One of the great things about this book is the fab, illustrated instructions. They are very comprehensive, and the fact that there are lots of different techniques shown for various components of bags means you can mix and match to get the look you want.
My fave bit was making the slider strap which was totally clear and way easier than I expected. The finish looked really professional, thanks to the great instructions.
Thirdly, I added metal snap buttons instead of the ones on the pattern – mainly because I was quilting the exterior bag flap and didn’t want to break the look of the straight line quilting. This pattern was easy to change up.
I would put this bag at confident beginner level, although I think a beginner would manage most of it.
I certainly would make this bag again, it is a great, versatile design and really useful too! I really had fun making it and it was a very satisfying project to work on.