Today I am reviewing Dog Under My Desk’s Arm Candy bag pattern for Purse-a-palooza. Thanks Sara for having me!
Arm Candy has a second name in DUMD-land. It’s also known as The Quickie. (I do wonder if Quickie means the same in American English as it does in Australian slang but I’m too scared to ask).
I recently had a rage about badly written patterns. The day after I swore I would never buy another pattern, I put up my hand to pattern test Arm Candy. What can I say? I’m fickle…
But I fell in love. Erin restored my faith in pattern writers. There are pattern writers out there, like Erin and Sara, who care for your sanity and have their work extensively tested and proof-read. I’m a super fusspot when it comes to proofing things. And I didn’t have to provide any feedback… Apart from one little Americanism that threw me which Erin sorted out in round two, there wasn’t an error to be found.
So I don’t gush too much, I will limit myself to three things I love about this pattern.
Three things I love about this pattern
One: I learnt things. I learnt what block fusing was (and why didn’t I think of this before?!). Basically, you fuse your fabric to your interfacing before you do your cutting. Presto – one lot of cutting, no trying to match up tricky edges and getting glue on your iron/board/pressing cloth…
Two: the inset zip. You can’t see it that well here but trust me, it’s awesome. And the instructions make it easy. It nearly caused a riot at quilt club. Trust me.
Three: The third thing I love about this pattern is the sheer clarity of the instructions. There are pretty much freeze-frames of what you should be doing throughout the pattern, beautifully annotated, like this:
Erin’s photoshop skills and instructions convinced me I had a long way to go – as a sewer and a pattern writer. But she made it seem so effortless, so I kept going …
So here was my first piece of Arm Candy. Tula Pink and shot cotton. Just a beautiful combination.
Two things I did differently
I’ll fess up. I did make a few modifications. That strap isn’t the original one specified in the pattern. I added the parrot clips and D-rings so I could have it as an across the body strap or use a wristlet strap. I made both straps so I can change them at will.
I also found that the opening of this bag is quite small. I carry a larger wallet. I had to swap my things into a smaller wallet to use Arm Candy. And the internal open pocket kept being the thing I tried to shove everything into so I removed it. I’m just a little unco like that.
Arm Candy on steroids
I was that in love with Arm Candy and the squirrels that I decided to make a second Tula/shot cotton Arm Candy bag. But I wanted to make it bigger. Modify it for my own little bag-toting quirks. Which meant an internal zipper pocket and super-sizing it. I was curious to see whether my idea for growing Arm Candy it would work…. I cut the pattern body piece in half lengthwise and added a section. Then in half heightwise and added a section. And I redrafted the top to make a cool ‘across the body’ shape strap… It totally worked.
Requirements and recommendations
Besides a zip and fabric (3 FQs or half a yard of exterior and half a yard of interior fabric for the original Arm Candy), the pattern recommends the use of Soft and Stable. So do I. It wouldn’t have nearly as much body or shape without it. And it just gives such a nice finish. Plus there is one super smart magic trick included in the pattern that you can only do with Soft and Stable. So just get some and go for it. It’s within reach of even the most zip challenged among us.
If you’d like to win a copy of Arm Candy, come and visit me and ask very very nicely here…