Floral Overnight Bag

 

 

Pattern: Simplicity 2274

Supplies:

  • Floral fabric (cotton 97%/spandex 3% floral fabric from my local fabric store — spandex wasn’t ideal for this but it was leftover fabric and I really couldn’t care less, I loved this pattern for my new gym bag)
  • Reddish/orange fabric for the straps (linen I found at a thrift store, and I ran out of my leftover stash so I had to resort to cutting up a shirt I made that I rarely wore)
  • White (top thread for sewing the zipper)
  • Pink thread (bobbin thread to match the pink lining)
  • Reddish/orange thread (topstitching the handles)
  • Pale blue thread (for quilting the bag)

Modifications:

  • Handles: Instead of using itchy jute webbing (which was hard to get in such a small quantity), I simply made my own straps out of linen fabric.  I cut 4 pieces that were 4 inches wide and 62 inches long.  I then fused fusible fleece to two of the pieces and then paired each with a non-interfaced strap sewing the pieces right sides together at a 1/4 inch of a seam allowance.  Turned it inside out, pressed it and presto–new straps that aren’t itchy!
  • Tabs: I interfaced the bag tags
  • Bag Main Piece/Side: I used fusible fleece instead of batting, I used cotton instead of muslin as suggested and I also interfaced this cotton fabric.  I’d recommend extra firm craft interfacing to the main bag / side since it gives the bag a bit of structure.  I ran out of this craft interfacing so I decided to fuse them to the bag sides (which is why the sides have much more structure).

Difficulties:

The biggest challenge for me was to sew the sides to the main bag piece.  I had a bit of trouble with that since it seems things weren’t lining up, but after a tea break and tons of basting, I managed to make it look ok.

What I found helpful:

  • An edgestitch foot was incredibly helpful in topstitching the handles
  • A walking foot at a slow setting was very helpful in getting a nice consistent stitch for quilting the bag

Mini Sewing Victory:

  • Actually making use of awkward sized leftover fabric.  I didn’t have enough fabric to make one continuous bag piece, so I had to cut two slightly longer pieces (to account for the seam allowance) and sewed them together.  I also cut up a shirt I made that I didn’t like along with scraps and mitred about 20 those  pieces just so I can use that reddish/orange fabric for the straps.  I like the contrast and the pop they bring to the fabric, so I knew I just had to do it.
  • I made an overnight back for the first time!
  • My topstitching has improved (still not perfect) mostly due to the edgestitch foot and walking foot!

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