Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Quilted purse

I wanted to make myself a new everyday bag. I love the Helios pattern by Anna Maria Horner that I used on the Cargo Duffle by Noodlehead (The Cargo Duffle pattern can be found here). Sadly the Cargo Duffle is way too big as an everyday bag. It would be nice to have this new bag match it though for trips, so I wanted the Helios print to be base color. I didn't want to make a smaller version of the same bag, so I set about creating my own pattern to use.

The Cargo Duffle (left) and the new bag. The new one is shorter and taller than the Cargo Duffle.
I went to Thread Bear Fabrics while I was in Georgia and had fun searching for some matching prints. Thread Bear is a wonderful, family run, quilt shop that has an amazing selection of fabrics at very good prices. They frequently run sales, so be sure to sign up for their email newsletter.

My wonderful husband helped me pick out some fabrics to use. He was the one who found the beautiful plum with gold fleck fabric. It was in the Christmas section, so I had gone right by it!

We then had to match a print for the front and back pocket to Helios, the plum, and my canvas color of black. This proved to be more difficult since I wanted a print I could fussy cut. Eventually I found a print called Fortuna by Tina Givens in her Chole's Imagination collection. This is an older collection, so not many prints were left, but I fell in love with yellow star flower. I also have a new love for Tina Givens, so expect to see more of her fabrics in my work!

The parts of the bag prior to assembly. Top-down:
outside of the bag, inside of the bag, zipper and ends
With my fabrics picked I set to designing the pattern. This bag was really made to accommodate the star flower on the front and back, so I based my dimensions around this.

I knew I wanted my straps to come down the front of the bag and I wanted to hide my pocket ends under these straps. I liked the accent base color technique (plum with gold fabric) so I used that to hide my raw edges for the pocket and straps in.

I took advantage of these straps to hide the extra seams created for the inside pockets. I love pockets in my bags, and by my standard, this bag actually doesn't have that many. I plan on making an extra zipper pouch or two for organization.

I debated for a while how I wanted to do the sides of my bag. I thought about attaching the zipper directly to the front and back panels and doing a triangular shaped side. I decided against that for now, but I may do that later. I went with a continuous zipper to base panel and I rounded out the top of my bag to minimize points. It took some math to get the dimensions right, but it turned out great in the end!

I also decided to use a metal zipper again on this bag, but I fixed the ends so they open from the center and act like act purse zipper. While I don't like metal zippers at first, once they wear in a bit, they are much better.

TIP: a fast way to break in a metal zipper is to draw on the teeth with a regular pencil. The graphite will help lubricate the zipper. They sell liquid graphite for this purpose, but it can be more expensive and may stain (when we had our house re-keyed, the guy at the hardware store used the liquid graphite to loose up the new stiff lock).

Designed and made March 2016

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