Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Epiphany from Chris W Designs

Today Christine from Chris W Designs has released her latest bag pattern: The Epiphany. I was honored to be among the testers. Here's my version:

I really love this bag's design. It has a very sleek look. It looks like is small but because of a wide gusset is a very roomy bag. This makes it a great bag for petites since it doesn't look overwhelmingly big. It has two pockets on the exterior: a slip pocket on front and a zipper pocket on the back. The main compartment closes with a recessed zipper.

 Inside there's a great combination of pockets which come from a slip pocket that divides in three sections: one regular slip, one pen compartment and a pleated pocket. Plus there's another slip pocket over that one. I hope you can see it well on the picture.

The bottom of the bag is very sturdy as some Pellon Peltex (sturdy interfacing) is inside. The two top parts of the exterior (shown on print on my version) also has some Peltex. This makes the bag keep it's beautiful square shape.

I used some solid gray twill and a canvas print with some gray, yellow and black for the exterior. For the lining I used a gray quilting fabric. The instructions give you an option of using a combination with the exterior fabric for the interior pocket assembly that makes it look very nice. I didn't use it because I ran out of exterior fabric.

The instructions on the pattern are easy to follow and there are plenty of pictures to help you understand. There are very thorough. Installing the sides and making the zipper are probably a bit tricky for beginners but are very well explained if you want to improve your level of expertise on making bags. It's been classified as an Intermediate Level pattern.

My version will be available for purchase soon on my Etsy shop here.  If you want to get the pattern you can find it here.

Note: I wanted to include separate photos of the different views of the bag but Blogger is acting up and giving me some problem. Sorry.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Another Design of Mine

Maybe I should stop apologizing every time I neglect this blog. The truth is I got sick and then got caught sewing for the time I missed. My husband came home from work one day with fever and body pain. It seem it was the chikungunya virus ( it's pronounced very funny) which spreads by mosquito bites. So I cover myself with mosquito repellent. The thing is it seems I was already bitten and got sick anyway. My husband was sick for three days but I was for about eight days. Nasty Virus! Just plain body pain, fever, inflammation of the joints and lack of energy. I was miserable! There were (and still are) many cases in the west of the island. So if you plan to visit the Caribbean be sure to use mosquito repellent.

So let's talk bag sewing. I wanted to put different techniques together and create a large bag that will close with a zipper. I also wanted two pockets outside, one slip and one zippered. Every time I make a new bag I try to see each feature as something that can be used separately. So this kind of combination of zippered pocket with slip pocket behind is used on two different patterns I have: The Serendipity Hip Bag by Chris W Designs and the Two Zip Hipster by Dog Under my Desk. I made it the size I wanted which was a bit bigger than the patterns I have. Actually after making the first test (the gray in the photos) I ended up making it higher for the second (the black with skeleton keys); and I like that height better. Those were all straight lines so it was easy to draw. But I wanted some curvy sides on the overall shape. I used this curvy ruler that includes 3 different radius of corners to draw the curve on the side pieces.

I added some darts for dimension on the curves. Then I included a top zipper technique I learned from another pattern: The Zippered Hobo with Knots from Napkitten on Etsy. For the back piece I just made the front piece first and then used it to make the back.

And that's how this design was born. I plan to make more of these. Is a relaxed bag. The only interfacing I use is Pellon SF101. Although the fabrics were thick. Maybe it can be done adding Soft and Stable, Pellon Foam (the new one) or Thermolam Plus to achieve a more structured result. Or using quilting cotton and a thicker interfacing, foam or fleece. But for now I want a relaxed hobo with outside pockets and zippered closure and that is what I got.

 Inside it has a zippered pocket and a slip pocket on the other side.

The gray version was made with a thick upholstery fabric. The fabric has some thin colorful lines that form some squares. This one sold on my shop soon after I listed it. The black one is made with a black twill and a quilting print that has some skeleton keys on it. This one is still available on my shop here.

I made this design just before The Hydrangea Bag from Blue Calla came out, which I love. You can see my first one here. The top closure was very similar, except that for The Hydrangea the straps connection corner is covered with some extra pieces. I did modified that part on the two Hydrangea bags I've made to have a slicker look. The front pocket on the Hydrangea is lovely as the bottom gusset. So they are still two different styles. Here's my second Hydrangea:

 You can get the pattern from Blue Calla here.

I have a couple more bags that I made with tester patterns that I'll share later.

For now keep yourself healthy and keep sewing!!!