Friday, February 24, 2017

The Absolute Bag

A good friend of mine gave me a bag pattern, batik sunflower fabric and Soft and Stable already cut to size to make the Absolute Bag. The pattern was designed by Marilyn Forestell, who is the owner of QuiltWorks, a quilt shop located in Bend, Oregon. This bag is a large bucket-style tote bag which holds a lot. Marilyn says you can wear it as a backpack and shows a photo on the back of the pattern worn like this, but I would be afraid small items would tend to fall out of the bag if worn that way, so I would just carry it by the handles or on my shoulder. It's a fun and easy to sew bag.
The Absolute bag, with changes I made to the bag.
This is the Absolute Bag photo on the cover of the pattern. See the handles sewn to the top of the bag? Then look at how I changed this and sewed the handles to my bag differently.  

I like to make changes in bags that I make to suit my taste and needs. The only thing about the Absolute Bag that I didn't care for was sewing the straps to the top edge of the bag. If you are carrying something heavy that would put a lot of stress on the bag straps. I prefer tote style bags to have straps that are sewn the full height of the bag because it reduces the stress on the bag and it also gives you the perfect place to add a pocket in between the straps and having extra pockets is always a plus in my book! So that's one of the changes that I made was I lengthened my straps and added a pocket in between each strap.

I have small hands and grabbing a strap that is too wide will crunch the strap in my hand, so I also folded the strap in the center and sewed it, making the strap narrower in the center and easier to hold and also by doubling it over adds more cushioning.
Interior of bag with slip pocket. You can see the lining is a bit saggy on the right side.

This bag pattern did not call for interfacing, but knowing that I do add interfacing to all my other bags that I make, I did fuse Pellon SF 101 interfacing to both the exterior and lining fabrics and the pockets and straps too. I also quilted the exterior and bottom of the bag. If I were to make this bag again, I think I might quilt the lining and exterior fabrics together to avoid having a saggy lining and then add the pockets and straps.

The bottom of the bag I quilted to hold the layers together better. This is the lining view.

You can see the handles at the center top where I folded over and stitched to give me a smaller and more cushioned place to grab and hold.

You can see here how the bag is a round bucket shape.
All in all I am pleased with how this bag looks and it was an easy sew too.
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  1. Your tote came out really nice! I'm always suspect of bag patterns that don't include interfacing, haha!

  2. You are the Master of Tote Bag sewing and this bag with your adaptations is quite the shopping bag for market. You spend a lot of time making certain instructions are clear and we average sewers are very appreciative. Happy Sewing Dear...

  3. I appreciate the way you assess a pattern, you really are an excellent reviewer. So often one or two word changes can make all the difference. You have a good eye for changing a pattern to make it easier as well which I love. Your version is great, I love the fabric choices and I find the "bucket style" to be so helpful for carrying a variety of things.


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