Thursday, December 3, 2015

Abby's Alley Tote Bag

Christine, of ChrisW Designs, has come out with a new line of patterns called Easy Street where the patterns are fast and easy to sew. If you sell bags or just need some gifts to make, then you will love that these patterns are much faster to sew than some of her other patterns that take a bit longer to create. As with all of Christine's patterns, the patterns are well written with lots of photos too. Christine plans to create a few more for her Easy Street line and was going to release them all at once, but she decided to release the first 2 now, in case you want make these for gifts. Oh yes and these Easy Street patterns cost a few dollars less too.

The first is called Abby's Alley and it's a tote bag. I will post the second one, Brandt's Blvd. (wallet) in a separate posting.

I tested the Abby's Alley and since I wanted to use some faux leather I had for a long time, and thought since this was an easy to make bag, I would try it here. Well it was a big mistake (for me anyway) to use faux leather! It sewed just fine while it was flat, but it was a pain in the you-know-what to sew the seams with so much thickness and since you cannot press the faux leather, it made matters worse. Another bag tester, Liz, uses leather and faux leather beautifully in her bags. But for me I will stick with quilting cottons from now on, and leave the leathers to Liz! So please go and see the other testers to see how pretty this bag can be in better fabrics. Using faux leather is not a good choice to show for a fast and easy bag to make, so stick with cotton fabrics if you are new to bag making. Please look at the design of the bag and not the fact that I used faux leather here.
I even quilted fleece to the faux leather, making it even thicker!!!  
I braided yarn in the colors I used in the bag for the handles and knotted in on the inside, rather than the outside of the bag.
Three extra large skeins of yarn fit easily in the center of the bag.
Lots of inside pockets. I sewed my pockets straight across here. The pattern instruction have you sew them with the curve like the front, but I felt it was even easier to sew them straight for the lining.
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  1. This bag looks great, Daryl! None of your frustrations show the least little bit. There are always special considerations for special textiles. But you ruled on this one despite your struggles.

  2. Daryl I always appreciate your honesty for this keeps it real. I too would not like sewing really thick or difficult fabrics such as faux leather. Your bag looks wonderful in spite of your said struggles. One can never have too many tote bags!

  3. you were brave to try the faux leather. I looked at the website to see the other bags that people made as well. I like a lot of their color choices an the bag itself looks like a nice design. The only thing that bothered me is that some people made a beautiful bag and then when they added the handle they used some sort of rope that tied to the outside and frayed horribly which made the beautiful bag look a little tacky. I prefer how you did it by tying the knots on the inside, it makes for a more finished look on the outside.


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