This post is part of Purse Palooza 2012.
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Ali from a squared w has some beautiful work – she made lots of the sewn items in Melody Miller’s booth at Quilt Market last month! She has lots of patterns and tutorials on her site; my favorite is the Quilted Cross Stitch!
I’ve made the Pretty Pleats bag 10 times. It’s is the perfect size for everyday use or travel and sold really well at the craft show that I just did. This pattern includes 4 variations and there are so many more ways that you can personalize the bag.
1. What materials are needed to make the bag? What type of interfacing did you use?
Each version has a different fabric requirement. I would stick to a quilting cotton weight or lightweight linen/cotton blend. You can use canvas, but you’ll have to clip the curves more.
You will also need lightweight fusible interfacing (shape-flex). You interface the interior and exterior.
* I used the Riley Blake Chevron fabrics for a few of my bags (of course I forgot to take pictures before I sold them!!), but I would have needed over a yard per bag because of the direction of the print. Instead, I used 20″ of fabric and pieced in coordinating fabrics to make the straps long enough.
2. What fabrics did you use to make yours?
I’ve made this bag from linen and cotton fabrics.
2. Pattern Pieces (how many required, was it easy cutting everything out?)
There are 5 pattern pieces that you mix and match for the 4 styles. You will need to assemble pattern pieces (I have tips for that on my blog). There are only a few curves to cut out, so I used the rotary cutter and ruler in all places that I could, then cut the 2 curves last with scissors.
3. Illustrations/Instructions (were the instructions easy to understand? Were there step-by-step photos or graphics? Was anything unclear?)
The graphics are excellent! There are pictures for each step that answer any questions that you may have. The only place where you may get confused is sewing the handles together, so make sure you pay attention to the photo for that step.
4. Modifications (what changes did you make to the pattern and why?)
– I always add a simple pocket to my bags. I use two 6.5″ x 7″ rectangles of fabric, sew RST leaving a couple inches for turning, turn, top stitch onto bag. Simple.
– Patchwork center stripe for view B with a pocket. Why? Because it looks cute and I can never have enough pockets
– I like to turn the handles first, then turn the bag. I found this way was a little bit quicker for me, but it’s probably six of one, half dozen of the other on doing it that way versus how the pattern says to do it. I like to change things on patterns for no reason.
5. Difficulty Level (beginner, confident beginner, intermediate, advanced)
There are curves and pleats, so I’d say confident beginner.
6. Conclusion (any final thoughts about the pattern…did you enjoy it? Would you make it again?)
I’ve made 10, so clearly I love the pattern! Clipping the curves isn’t my favorite thing, but they make the bag so cute and give it a great shape. I also like that the handles are part of the bag, so I don’t have to make those separately.