Purse Palooza :: Pattern Review

pursepalooza2014

This post is part of Purse Palooza. For contest rules, full details, and schedule, please click here! Today’s post is from Lisa of Six Munchkin Stitching and Donna of Eat. Sleep.Create.

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I chose to make the Sadie Reversible Tote by Clover and Violet. I pattern tested this bag and I loved it so much that I made another one. The bag is a great pattern for beginners as it isn’t too thick to work around and the steps, though many, are easy to follow. It’s a roomy bag, and I love how you get two for one. For me, it took roughly an hour to sew together, after all the prep work, which I think was about an hour or so. 

-Lisa

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Hi Purse Paloozaers!!  I am Donna from Eat.Sleep.Create and I’m so excited to participate in the 3rd Annual Purse Palooza!  I have been participating each year mostly because I am slightly addicted to making bags and purses. But this year I am very honored to have been asked by Sara to review a pattern with you – the Jet Pack by Betz White.  I was first introduced to a Betz White pattern during Sew Sweetness’ Bag of the month club which ran this year from Jan-June, where the Midtown Messenger Bag snagged me a win, which I was so thrilled about!!

Exterior front view  - Jet Pack pattern

The Pattern
“The Jet Pack bag will get you where you need to be with style for miles. It’s got a vertical format with plenty of room for papers, magazines, a camera, you name it. There’s a front pleated pocket with a twist lock closure, a zippered main compartment, and a double duty strap. Clip the strap to the top for a shoulder bag, or convert it to a backpack by attaching the same strap in a different configuration.”  the bag is labeled as ‘eager intermediate’, so that means if you’ve taken a sewing class or have sewed at least a few bags, you should be able to complete this with no problems.  However, if you prefer photos to accompany your written directions, you should know in this pattern there are diagrams instead, but they are not difficult to comprehend.  One thing I do appreciate with Betz’ patterns is that she includes a glossary & tips section and things to know before you sew and she is very detailed in her instructions.  If you decide to purchase any of her patterns, please join her facebook group to share your creations, ask questions or chat with other Betz White pattern fans!!

Finished Measurements

12” W x 14” H x 3” D

Supplies: 

  • 1 yard medium weight fabric for the main bag
  • 1 yard medium weight fabric for the accent
  • 1 yard lining fabric
  • 1 yard woven cotton fusible interfacing
  • 1 yard fusible fleece
  • 16” zipper
  • 1 slider buckle, 1¼” wide
  • 5 D-rings, 1¼” wide
  • 2 snaphooks, 1¼” wide
  • Twist lock closure
  • Thread
  • Marking pen and measuring tape
  • Fabric shears large and small
  • Heavy duty sewing machine needle
  • Pinking shears (optional)

ADDED: Freezer paper (optional – see notes*)

I followed the pattern and didn’t make any modifications, but I believe if I make another, I would opt to use décor weight fabric (or duck cloth) for the exterior and quilting cotton for the lining to give it a little more stability.  I used quilting cotton for the exterior and interior.  I also would put a magnetic snap or velcro on the exterior back pocket, something to keep it closed.

*Note – whenever I tackle a bag pattern, once I print the pattern pieces, I transfer them with pencil onto freezer paper so I can re-use the pattern.  What I love about using freezer paper is that you can transfer your pattern to the paper side, cut out your pattern, and then iron the shiny side directly to your fabric, which allows for accurate cutting and the pattern can be re-used again and again.

transferring pattern to freezer paper
Tape printed pattern pieces on a window or light surface and place your freezer paper over to pencil trace your pattern.

ironing freezer paper to the fabric before cutting
After cutting out your freezer paper template, iron to your fabric until it sticks and cut out.

One aspect I like about this pattern is that there is no turning of the pattern, so you handsew your lining into the bag with a ladder stitch (which Betz reviews in the glossary).  However for those of you do not like to handsew, this may be a deal breaker.  In all honesty, it’s not that bad or difficult to do.  After using this bag for a quick travel weekend, I discovered to my dismay that my handsewing needs to be a little better because it came undone in one spot, so I would recommend smaller closer stitches.  I think I had too much space in between my stitches.

Interior view lining  - Jet Pack pattern
Interior view of handsewn lining and pockets

Another tip for you – instead of labeling your pieces or constantly referring back to your pattern, use your cut out pieces and clip them to your cut fabric pieces.  This is extremely helpful especially if you’re like me and you don’t tend to do all of your bag making in one day and spread it out (like over the course of a week!).  This way, when I was ready to pick up at the next step, I knew what pieces to corresponded to my next step:

labeled pieces - Jet Pack pattern

Lastly, I have one more tip that I am SO glad I started doing making my bags!  I purchased some Dritz wash away tape from Hancock fabrics and it works like a dream to sew your zippers in your bags without pinning or basting!  All you do is place it (it’s double sided) onto your fabric, peel away the tape and place your zipper down and it stays in place when you sew.  No gumming of your needle and it washes away when you wash your bag.  Highly recommend this product for your zipper installations!

wonder tape zipper

Place wondertape onto your fabric, then lay your zipper over it before sewing.

Exterior top view - Jet Pack pattern Extrerior back view - Jet Pack pattern

Thank you Sara for inviting me to review the Jet Pack Pattern by Betz White

 in this year’s Purse Palooza!! 

I hope I have shared some valuable info to help in your

future bag-making adventures!!  Happy Bag Making to you!!!

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