Zakka Style Sew Along Week 9 :: Stem Messenger Bag

The giveaway is now closed. The winners were #10 Peggy, #23 Tracey at the Peony Teacup, #72 B Greene,  #7 Alison C, and #26 Kristy @cottonaddiction. Congratulations!

Welcome to stop #9 of the Zakka Style Sew Along! If you’re not familiar, Rashida Coleman-Hale was the author of ‘Zakka Style’, a really cool sewing book with lots of small projects that have a ton of creativity. The sew along takes one project per week (24 projects!) and gives you inspiration (as well as prizes!). Check this out to find more information!!

I felt just okay about this book when I first saw it, but it has far surpassed expectations and I’m really digging a lot of projects in the book! I made this Mermaid Zip Organizer from the book a couple of weeks ago, and I’m really in love with it (and also I’ve gotten a ton of great feedback about it too!). I really love it, and I use it as a wallet. I’m looking forward to making more projects from the book now!

Anyway, my project for the sew along was the Stem Messenger bag. The bag features lots of different-sized compartments, and the leaves and the stem are applique. The main fabric is by Sweetwater, and the rest are Kona solids. I decided to change my leaves up a little bit and make them paper pieced. To do that, I just copied the pattern piece (I cut in half), and drew some randomly-sized segments, at an angle. I also added the 1/4″ seam allowance down the center. Really easy to do, and gives a nice effect to the leaves, I think.

For the interfacing of the bag, I used Pellon #TP971F fusible Thermolam interfacing (which is a needled fleece interfacing, similar to Pellon or Warm and Natural batting) for the exterior of the bag, and Pellon SF-101 Shape Flex woven fusible interfacing for the interior of the bag. There’s also Thermolam in the handles, to make them a bit padded. The Thermolam gives the bag extra body, which I like.

There is only one thing about the pattern instructions that is important to note. When you are making the gussets, instead of sewing the gusset off 3″ from the bottom corner of the bag, you need to sew 1″. It’s really important that you don’t sew 3″ because otherwise you’ll end up with a tiny-looking bag and huge giant flap!

The bag is great to sew for a confident beginner or an intermediate seamstress. There are no pattern pieces to cut out, just a curved edge for the rounded corners of the flap.

This bag was made for my friend, Kim’s, beautiful daughter Katy. She was kind enough to send me a photo of Katy with the bag. Isn’t she lovely? Katy’s favorite color is blue, so I tried to tone down the girly colors.

The Zakka Style sew along started Monday April 2nd with the first project in the book and will continue through Monday September 10th with a new project  introduced each Monday.
Each blogger will sew a different project and will be sharing their finished project and inspiration with you.

So…if you’ve read down this far, how about a little prize for your efforts? I have a great prize pack, courtesy of Aurifil Thread! Aurifil thread is available at your local quilt shop, or you can find it online at several great shops! You have until Friday, June 1st at 7pm CT to enter! Be sure to click the link below to take you to the entry page!

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