Purse Palooza :: Pattern Review : Green Bee Vera Bag

This post is part of Purse Palooza 2013.
For full schedule of guest post pattern reviews and prizes, click here!
 This post is from Brenda of Pink Castle Fabrics, which is one of my very favorite fabric shops. There’s always cool new fabrics coming in that are just my style, and fabulous daily deals and other special offers. I’m a member of the No Prints Allowed monthly subscription club, and I’m also teaching at Camp Stitchalot in March!

Hello everyone!  Today I’m happy to take over for Sara and tell you all about my experience with the Vera Bag by Green Bee Patterns.  Unlike some of the other amazing bloggers who are doing pattern reviews for Purse Palooza, I am not an advanced bag maker.  I would definitely add myself into the Intermediate Bag Maker category.  I love bags but I sew about 1-2 a year.

I chose the Vera Bag to test for you for two reasons:

1 – It looked easy.  No zippers or anything scary like that.
2 – It’s super cute.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Green Bee Patterns, they are created by the super cute and ultra talented Alexia Abegg.  You might have seen one of your favorite bloggers making her amazing Marcelle Medallion quilt from her book Liberty Love.  There are over 1000 photos on Instagram tagged with #marcellemedallion.  The Vera bag is a little less daunting…
The Vera Bag can be made with quilting weight cotton or a cotton/linen canvas.  Because I love the cover bag, I chose to also use a heavier linen/cotton blend by Echino.  Because the outside of the bag shows a lot of the fabric, I chose a beautiful focus print and cut the pattern to show it off.  I have been hoarding saving this fabric for just the right project and I love the way it turned out.
I like a sturdier bag and even though this is interfaced, I recommend a heavier fabric.  The pattern recommends using Pellon 809 Decor Bond.  I ended up using Pellon 808 Craft Fuse (which is similar) because I already had some in my sewing room.  This was my first time using an interfacing this heavy in a bag.  I wanted to make sure I was using it properly and I found this adorable video tutorial by our very own Sara Lawson!
So, what did I think of this pattern?  All in all, I think it’s an excellent pattern!  First of all, look how cute my bag turned out.  From start to finish, this bag took me about 6 hours to make.  I like the size, it’s big enough to fit everything I need to carry around and I like the length of the straps.


The interfacing wasn’t too bad.  I like the way my bag keeps its shape and it wasn’t too difficult to sew with.  There were a few times where I was sewing through several layers of linen and interfacing where it got a little hairy but there was minimal seam ripping and “fussing”.  I would recommend also using the heavier weight fabrics for the “upper section” to help the bag keep shape.  I used the same fabric as the outer bag for these pieces.  There is a little “bubbling” on the bag from the interfacing but it’s not horrible.  That may have been from a user error since this is my first time using it.  Next time I will press the interfacing a little longer.
The magnetic closure and inside pocket were easy to install, I have done both of these things in bags before.   The diagrams for the pattern are really nice.  There was one spot where there directions weren’t clear to me but I was able to follow the diagram.  Other than using Pellon 808 instead of 809, I didn’t make any other modifications to the pattern. I would definitely make this bag again.  I might also try the Quilt as You Go Panels from Oh, Fransson! instead of interfaced fabric for the outside of the bag.
Here are all the main points to take away:
– good pattern for an Advanced Beginner (made a few bags, comfortable with interfacing)
– takes about 6 hours to make – good quick pattern for gifting
– great to show off your favorite “focus fabric” because of size and lack of outside decoration
– nice medium size hand bag
– you should totally make this bag
Thanks Sara for having me as a guest blogger!
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