I’m so excited to be a part of Purse Paloosa this year! Thank you, Sara for inviting me to play along. I am Susan from SB Stitching. I am on Facebook and have a small little shop on Etsy. I’ve been sewing for about 6 years now. I sew for my family and anyone who will let me.
About the Pattern
I chose to review The 3-in-1 Convertible Backpack. It is from Lisa Lam’s book A Bag for All Reasons. It has spiral binding, which helps when reading while you assemble. All non-specific techniques instructions, such as top zip installation, open end straps and bound edges, will be found in the front of the book under Techniques. Pattern pieces are in the back of the book on large sheets of paper. All sizes listed for cutting are in metric and inches (which I am very thankful for). The construction steps are numbered and referenced with color photos of each step.
(Photo is from Lisa’s website U-handbag)
The patterns are not rated by difficulty or experience, but I wouldn’t recommend this specific bag for a beginner. There is a ton of hardware, including grommets, on this bag.
This is my first time sewing up one of Lisa’s patterns. I was excited to start on this backpack as I have been wanting to make if for a couple years now, (new bag pattern releases have kept me from starting it ). It took me a couple hours to cut out all pieces and interfacing. She suggests sew in fleece and fusible woven interfacing for the exterior. I’m not of fan of “sew in” so I used fusible fleece on the exterior and fusible woven on the lining. The exterior and interior are made with quilting weight cotton fabric. I also used masking tape, (one of my most important sewing tools!) to help me keep track of all the pieces that were close in size.
The construction of the bag went by pretty quickly for the most part. The pattern calls for 1 ½” hardware. I only had 1 ¼” on hand so I had to make the adjustments on cutting the straps and D-ring tabs. (She explains the math in the front of the book under Techniques.) I did notice that there are two steps missing to complete the bag. The first step missing should be between step 23 and 24. There is no explanation on how to add the top D-rings to the bag back loop and flap reinforcement (BBLRF). I looked for it on Lisa’s website under “Bag and Pattern Errata” and did not find an explanation. So I put together a small tutorial on how I think it should be assembled. I put the D-rings about 2 inches in from the short sides on the right sides of the BBLRF. Stitch with 1/8” seam allowance to hold in place. Then fold in half, right sides together. Stitch all three sides together leaving an opening between the D-ring tabs. (in the picture below, the space between the red clips.) Then turn right side out and press.
The second missing step of the bag can be found on Lisa’s website under “Books and Patterns Errata”. It states “The 3-in-1 Convertible Backpack (page 122) : After step 26: the bblfr needs to be stitched centrally over the bag flap (on the bag back exterior). The top edge of the bblfr needs to be placed 1cm above the bottom edge of the bag flap (so the bottom edge of the bag flap this covered by the bblfr). The top edge of the bblfr will have the d-rings and grab handle pointing upwards.” However she does add a picture so I am adding one to make it easier to visualize.
In conclusion, despite the missing steps, I found the instructions for this bag to be explained with great detail. She provides several pictures in the Technique section as well as in the specific bag sections. I am super excited with how the backpack turned out and I will definitely be making another one. I am also inclined to try more of her patterns.
Thank you for reading my review and I hope it will be helpful to you in the future.