Purse Palooza :: Pattern Review: Pat Bravo Capri Bag

This post is part of Purse Palooza 2012.
For full schedule of guest post pattern reviews and prizes, click here!

Hello everyone!! I am so excited that today is the kick-off of Purse Palooza 2012! Please visit the link for contest rules and prizes! Today through July 11th, you may begin linking up your completed purses in the Flickr Group to be counted as entries!

I am excited to bring you a purse pattern review that I personally made! This is the Pat Bravo Capri Bag!

My bag was made using fabric from one of the Purse Palooza 2012 sponsors, Spoonflower! If you didn’t already know, Spoonflower is an online site where you can design and print your own fabric (or fabric designed by others!). They are also part of our 2nd Prize!

I was extremely excited when my Spoonflower fabric came in the mail. I chose Mix Tapes (80s), designed by pennycandy. It was carefully wrapped, and I also got a swatchcard available with all of the fabric weights available to print on Spoonflower, such as Kona cotton and voile.

Can I quickly tell you the back story of why I chose the particular fabrics for my bag? I usually just pick them because they’re pretty. 😉 The other main fabric (a subway map print from Timeless Treasures) also relates to my cassette tapes fabric. When I was in high school (I’m 30, if that helps you calculate), I used to to to these emo/punk/whatever shows at this ex-bowling alley in Chicago called the Fireside Bowl. I mean, this place was tiny, it was maybe 10 or so rundown lanes, and the ceiling was pretty low and sort of falling in in some places. There was a tiny little bar in the front, and the stage was set up at one end, with the bowling lanes roped off. During this time, I made mix tapes on my dad’s stereo. There’s something rhythmic and soothing about making a tape of songs from cd’s or records; I had to play and listen to each song as I went, unlike today where you drag and drop songs on your computer without even having to hear them. So I’d make tapes, and I’d go to shows at the Fireside Bowl with my little camcorder. Sometimes to get there, I’d take the train in from the suburbs (in Chicago it’s called the ‘el’, or elevated train), which was crazy thinking back because this place wasn’t in such a good neighborhood, and the shows were late at night (usually getting out around 10 or 11, but the lastest was around 1am). Sometimes I went with my friend Gabe, who is one of those incredibly important people you have in one particular part of your life, but one who I don’t keep up with anymore; but a lot of the time I went by myself, which was also super crazy because I’m a tiny girl and I can’t believe I didn’t get mugged. Anyway, so this bag brings back all those fond, fond memories of riding the ‘el’ and mix tapes. 🙂

Fabric – The Capri Bag pattern requires 3/4 yard of fabric for 2 different prints. I also used a separate fabric for the ties of the bag (which in my case is a black text print). The pattern instructions called for batting, but I substitued for Pellon #TP971F Thermolam (fusible), which is a needled fleece. Pretty much the same density as batting, except I was able to fuse it to my fabric instead of baste it, in the case of the batting.

Pattern Pieces – There were several pattern pieces to cut, which are printed on large format paper. There are pieces for the exterior as well as several pieces for the handles and for the pocket. I thought it was really interesting because they are full-pieces (and not ‘cut-on-the-fold’ type pieces).

Illustrations/Instructions – This pattern comes with the instructions on a cd in the form of a pdf file (which comes in a slick dvd-sized case), which I have never seen before (a cd, in combination with paper pattern pieces). In all honesty, I have never seen a more beautifully put together pattern instruction. Because it is a pdf, Pat Bravo was able to use an unlimited amount of pages for the file, so you have a full page heading for each portion of the pattern (i.e. making the straps, making the ties, etc. etc.). There are beautiful graphics, and each step is illustrated with a professional-looking computer drawn illustration. This makes the pattern very easy to understand. I had no doubt what I was supposed to be doing next. This pattern receives a standing ovation for how beautiful the instructions are, as well as ease of the pattern!

Besides using fusible Thermolam and throwing a snap on the inside, I didn’t make any other changes to the pattern. Honestly I’m not sure why I put in a snap, because it’s fine without it. I just get a little wild sometimes.

There is a drawstring tie through the top of the bag, and the straps are also separate pieces that you knot together.

Conclusion – With the ease and clarity of the pattern instructions, I would say that a confident beginner should be able to complete this bag. It does take a bit of time assembling, but that’s no problem. This is a great summer bag for a trip to the beach or out sight-seeing!
Check back later this afternoon for the first of around 20+ giveaways this month, and also for the 2nd purse pattern review of the day!

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