Hello Sew Sweetness readers! I’m so excited to be a part of Purse Palooza this year. And I’m a little extra excited because Sara said I could choose a pattern from our new sewing book that will hit the shelves in just a week and a half! My friend Caroline from SewCanShe and I wrote a blogger compilation book full of pretty projects you’ll want to sew for yourself. It’s called Just For You: Selfish Sewing From Your Favorite SewCanShe Bloggers. It’s full of handbag, clothing, and accessory patterns that we’re sure you’ll love.
The pattern I chose to review from the book today is a new pattern from Sara Lawson herself. It’s called the Crafty Satchel. I was lucky enough to sew up this pattern a bunch of times for the book and was happy to be able to sew it up again just for me!
This pattern, in true satchel form, is just the right size to carry around notebooks, manuscripts, and supplies for a day at work. It’s finished size is 14″ wide X 9 1/2″ tall X 3 1/4″deep. It’s a cute, crafty alternative to a messenger bag. The pattern calls for a set of 28″ leather handles with pre-punched tabs, which give it a very professional look. It also uses 2 stabilizers, Soft and Stable byAnnie and Shapeflex, which make for a little extra cutting time but the end result is worth it. The bag just holds it’s shape so nicely…even with notebooks inside.
I used a few small variations in supplies for my version. First of all I opted to make my own handles and sew them on instead of hand stitching. It took a ton of extra time to make my own and I think sewing on the leather handles on the bag for the book was infinitely easier.
I ended up substituting Inn-control Plus for the Soft and Stable because it’s what I had on hand. The Inn-control Plus is just like Soft and Stable except it is fusible on both sides which comes with it’s own set of benefits and challenges. Though it’s tough to tell from the photos, I don’t like the way the fusible surface makes the bag look crinkly so my advice is to stick with the non-fusible Soft and Stable alternative.
I also opted to mix quilting cotton with a home decorator weight woven fabric. I love squeezing in a little home dec fabric when I can. Sometimes it just wears a little longer than plain old quilting cotton.
I think the trickiest part of the making process was sewing this side panel on with the curved bottom. The Soft and Stable is a little bulky and tricky to make turn corners. Sara makes it easier by suggesting you sew from the middle of the bottom up to the top. It really works out so nicely.
The interior is quite roomy despite it’s streamlined exterior. It would be easy to add a few more pockets and customize them as you wish.
Over all I’d say that if you have ever made a bag before you could sew this one. I think you’d really be happy with the results!