Since I turned in my book’s manuscript on Friday, I decided to do a little bit of selfish sewing. Annie Unrein of By Annie’s Soft and Stable has a wonderful Craftsy instructional video that came out in July called Sew Sturdy Travel Organizers. The class contains instructions to make two bags, the Sew Sturdy Organizer and the Hanging Cosmetics Bag. Annie sells finishing kits for both bags on her site (the finishing kits contain the hardware, mesh, vinyl, zippers, and strapping needed to make the respective bag). I opted for getting both kits, as I am lazy, and the kits were packaged quite beautifully, it turns out.
I get to see Annie a couple of times a year at Quilt Market. She is just amazing, and I also love Kaitlyn, one of her employees that is always with her. They are some of the nicest people ever, and I think that kindness translates in the Craftsy video. Annie walks you through all of the steps for both bags in a calm, friendly nature. When you sign up for the class, in addition to the instruction video, you also get two print-outs, one for each pattern. The print-out is a text-only version of the pattern, which includes check boxes for each step, and a page at the back with drafted square labels so that you can label all of your cut-out pattern pieces. Both features are just great. I thought I was going to be a big show-off and assemble the pattern off the text instructions, but I ended up watching pretty much the whole video as a) I’m not as smart as I look and b) it’s really very pleasant to sew along with Annie’s instruction as she works at a slow but not too slow pace (plus, you can pause and re-watch any parts that you need to in the video).
I think the Hanging Cosmetics Bag would be great for an intermediate-level sewist. The bag is quilted, and with the addition of several features like the zippered mesh and zippered vinyl pockets, and the 3-dimensional pocket at the bottom of the bag, I think would be challenging for a beginner. Although, this is an instructional video, so maybe any level would be possible.
The first step to the bag was to make a quilt sandwich with the exterior, Soft and Stable, and lining. I quilted mine in a lattice design using 40wt Aurifil thread. It’s important to quilt the bag because the interior pockets will be attached later, and that stitching shows. The quilting makes that all blend in, plus it looks really pretty.
I’m really happy with the finished bag. I used Indelible fabrics by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics and a coordinating gray solid. I was sick over the weekend, so the bag came together on two separate days.
Instead of interfacing, the strap fabrics are strengthened with strapping (nylon webbing). The strap fabrics are sewn right sides together along the long edge, turned, pressed, and the strapping is pulled through. I do think that it does make the straps very sturdy.
I just love that mesh pocket. I’ve never sewn with mesh before, but it gives the bag a beautifully-finished pocket and it is very easy to install with the zipper.
Here’s a look at the bag opened all the way up. As you can see, it has one mesh pocket, two vinyl pockets, and the large 3-dimensional pocket at the bottom. For some reason, I cut my vinyl pockets a smidge too short length-wise, but I got them centered and hoped and prayed, and yes the binding covered the edges of the vinyl at the end. Whew!
It started snowing as I was taking these shots, so pardon the white stuff.
All-in-all, a very fun project and I learned something new, which is always a plus! If you liked my bag, check out Sew Sturdy Travel Organizers. I’m looking forward to making the second bag sometime soon!