Sunday, May 27, 2012

Phlipphlap Bag: the Good & the Bad...

This is the front of the Philipphlap Bag I made this weekend. I chose all batiks because I love the bright colors. My favorites are the multi-color circle print on the black background and the turquoise print which is the long flap. I like the look of this bag.

The instructions say you can wear this bag as in the 1st photo, or flip the back flap to the front which I did in this photo. However, one of several problems with this pattern was they only had one photo of this bag and it was like the 1st photo in different fabrics of course. Since I did not really know how this bag would turn out looking, as this pattern did not provide adequate photos, I would have chosen another fabric for the back flap as shown this way it covers up my favorite colorful circle fabric.

This is back of the bag with the back flap and large turquoise pocket.

This is the back of the bag again, this time the back flap has been flipped to the front, so this is how it would look on the back of the bag without the back flap.

The purple front pocket is the optional cell phone pocket and this is the larger cell phone pocket. There is a choice of 2 sizes.

This is the inside of one of the bag sections. I chose a yellow lining and that is a pocket inside. The correct pocket placed in the correct place.

This is the inside of the other bag section. See that pocket on the bottom of the bag? This is where the instructions were incorrect. The instructions tell you to measure so many inches from the fabric edge and they warn you to make sure the opening of the pocket is placed correctly and show a diagram too. I made sure I placed this pocket and the other pocket too as instructed. I double and even tripled checked this placement. This bag starts out flat and then later it is folded up accordion style and sewn. So even after the instructions tell me to place the pockets like I did, this pocket came out in the middle of the bottom of the bag and the opening is upside down! Totally useless pocket and I can only rip it out as it cannot be fixed now. So much for their warnings because they were wrong.
 Like I mentioned above, I like the look of this bag, but I only placed my wallet, sunglasses in it's case, and a fabric pocket of tissues inside and it felt too heavy. It seems to wear better with the back flap to the front, but it hides my favorite fabric that way. It doesn't appear to hang well. The straps I made narrower because the instructions had you cut 3" wide straps to fit into narrow casing you make and no way would wide straps fit into such a narrow casing. The narrower straps I made still barely fit through the casing. I think one problem with this bag is that there is too much weight on the straps and placing anything in the bag adds to the weight. There is also a dowel in the casing to help stabilize the bag. This is the smaller version too. The larger version is supposed to hold a laptop. I cannot imagine it being sturdy enough to hold something that heavy, when this smaller bag doesn't seem to be properly balanced. Looks great when it's empty.
I wish I would have been able to see more photos before making this bag. So in case someone sees this posting and is going to make this bag, I hope this helps you. I also would like to add that the person who wrote this pattern should take note and include more photos of the finished product as well as correct the mistakes in this pattern. I looked up the company online, but there was no contact email information on their site. So I couldn't tell them about their mistakes in the instructions or give them my suggestions.
Desert Willow flowers. I took photos of the bags above in my desert willow and these are the flowers. This is a burgundy desert willow. We also have a pink desert willow too.

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  1. Love your fabrics but what a shame about the pattern. Seems they could do with some pattern testers.

  2. It's so aggravating when a pattern designer doesn't take the time to have someone test their patterns. Well, it's one thing if they're free - you get what you pay for. Ha! - but it's totally another if you've paid for it. I'm a pattern writer and it galls me when I find mistakes. Most often I let the designer know.

  3. It is a cute tote! I have had patterns like that before and it is so frustrating! I bet if you make another will be beautiful and perfect!

  4. Love all the wonderful colors Daryl on this fabulous bag!!

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  7. Very interesting! I was just pondering looking for my copy of this pattern to finally get around to making one up, and I'm really glad I found your thoughts. I will be much more careful about my fabric selections and how I read the instructions.
    I wonder if some interfacing would help make the bag more sturdy. I know that the pattern allows for anything from upholstery fabric to quilting cottons. The lighter weight fabrics would probably do better with something to sort of beef them up. I always worry about purse patterns anyway, wondering if the handles will pull out or some other thing.
    Thanks very much for taking the time to write up your experience.


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