I like to make a new bag for each season, and for each fabric line, and for each event I attend. Actually I’ll use pretty much any excuse to make a new bag, so when Sara asked me if I’d like to join into the Purse Palooza fun, of course I was game!
I made the Sweet Pea Totes “pocket purse” partly because I liked the shape, and partly because it was a downloadable pattern. I live in a very small town that is cut off from civilization by a ferry, so running out to a nice shop to pick up a pattern isn’t really an option.
The pattern itself was well laid out with a picture for each step. It’s definitely a good pattern for a beginner. If you can sew a seam, you can make this bag! As the pattern is written you don’t need any special supplies that you don’t have already.
I made a couple of slight changes in making this bag. The pattern called for fusible fleece, which I couldn’t find locally, so I just used regular quilt batting. I also decided to quilt the outer fabric and batting, to give the bag a little extra something. The pattern called for a light to medium weight interfacing, but I like a more structured bag so I used Pellon 809 Decor Bond, a firm iron on backing. To give the outer pocket some body I used Pellon 931TD, a fusible midweight interfacing.
I also made up my own way to attach the handle to the bag. I couldn’t find any bag hardware locally and I didn’t think the way the pattern was written would really suit the style of fabric I’d used. I tried a couple of different ideas before settling on simple fabric tabs.
I also decided, perhaps unwisely, to add a zipper pocket inside the bag, rather than the simple patch pocket the pattern specified. I used Lisa Lam’s tutorial, which I have to say was great. Unfortunately after I had the zipper in, I cut out my pattern piece wrong and well, here is the result. Not only was my pocket not centered on the pattern piece, it was upside-down! So I ended up cutting most of my pocket off…….*ahem* moving on…..