Monday, September 25, 2017

3 Large Retreat Bags with Handles & Pockets

I made 3 Retreat bags that I added handles to and exterior slip pockets between the handles, and a zippered pocket inside of each bag too. None of those pockets or handles were part of the instructions. This is a free pattern from Emmaline Bags, and includes instructions for both a small retreat bag and a large bag. These are the large bags that I made. Small ones are on my to-do list.

I ordered 5 large internal frames that are used inside the bags, from Emmaline Bags. Janelle of Emmaline Bags is located in Canada, so it took a few weeks to arrive and the shipping wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, but I did order 5 sets of frames, so maybe the cost to mail one might have cost as much as all 5?

Anyhow, I really love this pattern and the bags too!!! Easy to make and I love the looks with the handles better than without handles as per the instructions. It looks more like a Dopp Bag without handles. With handles it makes a great purse or project bag too as it opens up so nice and wide!

I made this one for me to use as a purse. I love it! I accented the exterior with purple. Batik exterior fabrics. I used a foam stabilizer instead of the fusible fleece the pattern called for (I think foam wasn't as available when Janelle wrote this pattern a few years ago). I also quilted it. The foam makes the bag stand up, whereas the fleece would flop more unless you had the bag full of stuff!

Side view, you can see there is some depth to this bag.

Another change was that instead of fabric zipper ends, I appliqued felt flowers onto another piece of felt and hand sewed the zipper ends in place. I had seen something similar on Pinterest and thought what a great idea! I really love this look better too. Another way to use up some of my felt scraps too, lol!

Bright lime green lining!!! Unzipped and opened up this bag is quite large and boxy. The internal frame keeps it open wide. The pattern calls for a slip pocket, which I made, but divided it in half with a pen pocket in the middle.

I added a zippered pocket inside, which wasn't in the instructions. Instead the instructions called for another slip pocket.

All my crap, um I mean essential stuff fits easily inside.

Side view of bag opened to show how wide it is.
 Onto the second Retreat Bag:
I love this fabric print with medium blue, orange, coral, purple and dark blue colors. So I accented it with orange and coral.

Again I made zipper ends out of felt.

My signature beaded zipper pull with a charm and the felt zipper end.

Coral fabric for the lining with an accent of a purple zipper.

Retreat Bag #3:

I wanted to show how this bag would look without the internal metal frame. So I took a photo before adding the frame. It gives the bag a different look. Still a nice looking bag and so you could make this bag without the internal frame. In fact, that is the last thing you add is the frame, so you could try making one and then if you wanted to add a frame later, you could.

The bag will still open up nice and wide without the frame too. Oh and in case you are wondering why I have strips of the exterior fabric on the sides  of the bag, well my goof! I cut the lining a bit too small and didn't have enough lining fabric left, so had to sew a little extra fabric to the sides. It gives it character, right?

Here she is with the internal frame added. Which do you prefer? With the frame or without?

Zipper pull and felt zipper end.

Here she is opened wide with the internal frame inside.
I have 2 more frames, so I will be making 2 more of these bags another time.

I am participating in Elm Street Quilts Bag it 2017 and entered one of these retreat bags.

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  1. All the bags are beautiful, Daryl!

  2. That bag is perfect for projects on the go. I like all of the fabrics you selected but my favorite is the blue one you are using for a purse. I also love all the small changes you make and embellishments you use on your bags.

  3. OMG your bags are so awesome, Daryl - I want to steal your fabric stash and run away with it! I've made several Retreat bags (the large ones, I think - I used the pattern that came out first) but you took them to a new level - I didn't even put pockets in mine (too lazy!) :D I have more frames to use up - I love that the frame is added only at the end - for my bags after the first 3 or 4, I didn't use frames, and I liked those bags almost as much as the framed ones. I like that you added straps and *useful* pockets - I'll have to have a relook at the tutorial with an eye to maybe not being so lazy ;)

  4. Fabulous Big Mouth Bags Dear. These look perfect for carrying everything including big heavy pumpkins this time of year. These remind me of old style Doctor's bags. Excellent wiith your added pockets and improvements. <3

  5. Love all of your customizations, Daryl! Over the past year or so, I've also been looking at freebie patterns with the idea of giving them some added value, and I must say you've scored an A++ on this effort. The frame does give the bag a structured look, so I prefer it with rather than without. And what can I say about your fabrics that I have't said before... by themselves they must inspire you to create!

  6. All adorable bags. 'Love those zipper ends and pulls also :)

    1. Danice thank you. You are a no-reply, so I couldn't email you.

  7. These are really great bags and I love the fact that they open up. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts Bag It event!

  8. They are all gorgeous! That's on my list to do, just need to order the frames.

    1. Thank you! You are a no-reply so I couldn't email you directly. But I appreciate your sweet comment!

  9. All of your bags are simply beautiful, Daryl. I prefer the look of the bag with the frame. Love the quilting and the handles you made!

  10. I love the bags!!! Of course, I am partial to batiks... Never made one with a frame - I think I prefer it with the frame. Is it difficult to add it?

  11. Wow, they are really gorgeous! Thanks for the link to the pattern, I'll be checking it out for sure!

  12. Absolutely beautiful bags. I've been wanting to buy these handles to make this. You've definitely inspired me now.



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