Pattern: Simplicity 2274
- 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)
- 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).
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!