Thursday, November 30, 2017

That Notion~Gadget Bag with Zippered Pockets

Okay I am purposely not naming this particular bag(s) or the designer(s) because I have seen 4 different, yet similar bag patterns out there and not one got a decent review! These bag patterns cost $10-$12-$13 (2 were the same cost). Each one is a little different, but come on, can't one of these designers write a good pattern with decent diagrams? I am not about to fork over that kind of money for a poorly written pattern! That is the very reason I became a bag pattern tester several years ago because I was darn tired of paying top dollar for a poorly written pattern and then have to re-write the instructions myself! Even the top designers who I test for do not charge as much as these designers are charging for their patterns. Why do they not update the patterns and make their current customers happy? Why don't they update their patterns to get future customers to buy from them? Well I for one will never buy a pattern that has been poorly reviewed and I will never buy from a designer who will not make her pattern better. If these are being tested, then the designers are not listening to the testers or the testers are not giving the designers good enough feed back. Something just isn't right there.

I was all ready to buy one of these patterns too that is until I saw the reviews!
One review I read said to pay for the pattern and then go to such and such tutorial to learn how to make the bag. What? Is the tutorial author getting a cut of the bag profits? If not she should! That is a crazy review to tell you that, but apparently once you have purchased one of these patterns then you must seek out some kind of help elsewhere or throw away your pattern, fabric and time.

So with my bag making background and skills, I decided I would make one of these bags myself and perfect it for myself. I did not need to write an excellent pattern that looks like one of their patterns and then try to sell my own version of this bag (even though that's what they did and other designers do design bags that are very similar to another designer's bag all the time). For my first attempt, I went with 4 zippered pockets, thinking it would be nice to have more pockets, but then the other 4 bags I made I went with 3 zippered pockets as it was easier to do. I played around with the measurements and then on the 2nd attempt got it down better.

They came out great and I gave one to a friend for her birthday. I made 2 for myself, one for my sewing notions and tools and one for my knitting tools.  So here they are:

This is the bag I gave to my friend Tara for her birthday in November. She likes llamas and alpacas. This fabric has the mint background.


I added the zipper tabs on the zippered pockets and of course my zipper pulls that I make. I used a larger #5 zipper for the outside of the bag.


It's fun to use a lot of colors inside the bag. Might be helpful to remember what you put inside each pocket by remembering the pocket color?

Tara likes egg cups, so I found an egg cup and dry needle felted her an egg-shaped pincushion. It fits inside the bag on it's side.

This was my first attempt at trying to make this bag. I made 4 zippered pockets on this one. My measurements were a little different too.

I think it was easier to make 3 zippered pockets, rather than 4. Plus less work and materials too!


I made 2 more llama print bags. These have the pink background (Tara's had the mint). I kept the one with the aqua zipper and binding. The pink zipper and binding one is for sale for $60 + shipping.

My sewing tools fit inside this bag nicely.

The aqua zipper had a large pull already, so I just added a charm. The pink one is made with a #3 zipper and I added the cactus charm on it. 
Inside the bag with the pink binding is mostly pinks and green fabrics.





Side one of the aqua binding bag.

Side two of the aqua binding bag.

Aqua binding bag empty.

Inside the pockets.

This one I made for my knitting tools. I used foam stabilizer on this bag and the others I used fleece that I also quilted, but I didn't quilt this one. I wanted to see the difference. I like them both and they both work well. This foam one just feels a bit squishier.


I chose gray, pink, red fabrics for the inside.


Again with the pull already large, I just added a charm to the pull.


I will only make more of these bags if someone wants one custom made. They are great bags for holding sewing supplies, knitting tools, embroidery floss and tools; and they would be great for a first aid kit, school supply bag to hold pencils and pens and small rulers, paint brushes (dry ones), artist pencils and pens, etc...

Linking to Elm Street Quilts Bag It 2017
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11 comments:

  1. You brave girl, figuring that out! It looks daunting, and I know a rot pattern for something like this would fill me with rage. One of my biggest pet peeves is poorly written instructions. I love when the pattern says (after you've cut out pieces, mind you) that you have to play around with such and such a piece to make it fit. Isn't that what I just paid for, so I don't have to figure that out?

    But anyway, your bags came out great!! I love your fabric choices.

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  2. I haven't made mine yet ( and I won't name names either) . I bought mine on a craftsy sale and got caught up in the world of pattern pissing contests. !?$&!? Haven't made it yet cuz it requires more sewing time than I can create plus I was a little put off by having to refer to blog posts and youtubes to figure it all out.
    I will make it soon. Glad you figured it out. I've figured out several 'patterns' that way just because of my sewing knowledge. ( and, I'm too frugal to budget money on something I can figure out) .
    Four? You were rolling!

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  3. It's scary writing patterns because what sounds reasonable to me might not make sense to someone else. I'm always welcome to advice on changing something. How crazy to charge so much for a pattern and then have to go watch a YouTube to figure it out. Your bags look amazing!

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  4. Thanks for the heads up on the quality of the patterns. It does pay to read reviews. Can't remember where I saw these pouches, but at the time I thought I'd like to make one. I didn't end up buying one, though. Yours look great, Daryl. Not surprised, that with your skill, you worked out how to make one without a pattern. Well done!

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  5. Very nicely done Daryl. I have bought one of these patterns after reading how someone made one on a blog. However, I have not got around to making it yet! I am sure I will although I am not sure about all those zips - not putting them in but constantly opening and closing them to look for things!

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  6. I LOVE my bag, it is so versatile. I used it for an embroidery project. It was great because I could keep a scissors in one pocket, my floss in another and my needles in the third. plus I had room to put things between the pockets. The zipper for opening it is genius because it helps the bag open up really wide. What I love about Daryl tweaking patterns is that she makes them so user friendly. Who couldn't love a minty green llama bag? Having bought numerous patterns and free patterns that were not written well and ended up wasting my time I appreciate when people take the time to write them correctly.
    thanks Daryl

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  7. I've made 6 of the 3-pocket bags in the past year. I used the pattern I bought, and it was a little tricky to understand the first time through the instructions. But not too bad. I did adjust a couple of measurements.

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  8. Good to finally see your creations; they look fantastic! Unfortunately, the bad reviews of the pattern that we're all not naming has scared off a lot of folks from making it, but - generally speaking - the basic design is really not a difficult thing to figure out and sew. I highly recommend to those who have already spent the money in purchasing it to look online for help in figuring it out. (Not necessarily from those who have "joined the cult" - LOL - but from other people have posted info on figuring out this design.) Major kudos, Daryl!

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  9. I made one. One! I went to a site with blow by blow instruction. Sat between my computer, sewing machine and printed pattern. It took me a weekend. A friend asked me to make her one. I told her she could by a Couch purse for less money than I'd have to charge her.

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  10. WOW. Just WOW. You did an awesome job on those bags! Quite frankly, that pink llama print is the cutest fabric ever :D One of my sewy friends has one of the patterns you're referring to - we've been meaning to get together to try it out, but it is INTIMIDATING. I know there's a sewalong for one of the bags (I'm pretty sure it's the one for the pattern my friend has) - that really is a sign that the pattern is going to be a challenge. I bookmarked all the pages for the tutorial so we can refer to them when and if we sit down and try the bag!

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