Sunday, April 26, 2020

Pelican Tote

This is the Pelican Tote by Bagstock Designs. It can be made using foam or fleece so it stands up, or without either so it can fold up into a folding bag instead. I used foam and woven interfacing to make this Pelican Tote.

The Pelican Tote is a fun bag to make and it's a free pdf too!

I had some Tim Holtz fabric that I used for the center print of the bag, and then chose an orange/red and gray for the accent fabrics.

I like the zippered pocket on the outside of the bag.

The back of the bag.

I added my magnetic snaps directly to the interior of the bag and didn't add them on to tabs as the pattern instructed to do, although her way is perfectly fine to add tabs.

I divided a pen pocket onto the slip pocket and left the rest of the pocket large and added a Kam snap to close it, if needed.

A zipper pocket inside too.

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Sunday, April 19, 2020

Ugly Naked Guy Hobo Bag

I made this (small size) Ugly Naked Guy Hobo (Sincerely Jen Pattern) bag last month. You might be wondering about the odd name of this bag, well Jen the designer likes to name her bags after names or phrases from the sitcom Friends.  So if you were a Friends fan, then you might understand. Other bags she sells have names such as, Central Perk Cross Body, Phoebe Mini Backpack, How You Doin' Bowler Bag, and more.

Anyhow, I made the small version of the bag here. I will make the large version another day. I noticed there was only woven interfacing and not fleece or foam for the bag, so I asked in her Facebook group if anyone had used fleece or foam and some did use fleece, but the idea of the bag is to have a bit of a slouch to it, even though the photos I had seen didn't look slouchy. So I decided to add fusible fleece also to the bag. It had 2 layers of fusible woven interfacing already, so adding fleece on top of that really made a nice feeling bag. In fact, if I didn't have foam and wanted a bag to be able to stand up on it's own, I would use 2 layers of interfacing and a layer of fleece. So happy surprise there resulted in another option for my bag making.

I am sure the 2 layers of interfacing alone would have looked very nice, but looking at this style of bag, I just couldn't see it being slouchy for some reason. I really love the look of the bag and it went together fine. While this bag is a pretty good size, I think the large one would work better for me; because while I don't carry a lot of things, what I do carry are large items.

I really love this fabric combination and was disappointed that my stuff didn't fit into the bag as I wanted it to. So a large UNGH (Ugly Naked Guy Hobo) will be made sometime. But since I did love this exterior fabric combination, I am making another bag in the same fabrics, just a different style and different designer, so stay tuned for that to be finished.

The bag features a front zip pocket and a zippered closure.

I added purse feet to the bottom.

Back of the bag. I think I will add a pocket to the large size bag that I make next time.

Zipper closure.

Inside the front zip pocket.

A zippered pocket and a slip pocket inside.

After dividing for a pen pocket on the left, I left the rest of the pocket larger and added a Kam snap too.
For sale in my PayHip Shop.
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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Ferris Waist Bags

I saw a photo of the Ferris waist bag online and thought it was really a nice looking bag, so I bought the pdf pattern. It comes in 3 sizes, small-medium-large. I made the medium and large sizes. The small size is more for a child or someone who carries very little.

The bags look really nice and can be worn as a fanny/waist bag or as a sling/cross body bag. The bag features a zippered main closure and a zippered front pocket. I also added a zippered back pocket. I feel the back pocket is a good place for storing your money and/or credit cards as it would be against you body however you chose to wear the bag.

I did run into some instruction/pattern issues with this bag. There were some pieces that didn't line up properly after they were sewn, so I had to adjust the sewing in that area to make it work. At first I wondered if I did something wrong, but when it happened on the second bag I made too, I knew there was something wrong with the pattern. Also the instructions (and some of the words used) were confusing in some parts as well. I know this bag had been tested, but how no tester found these things is a bit disturbing to me as I only buy patterns that have been tested to avoid having any issues with patterns. I did email the designer, and it took her a long time to respond back to me, but she really only gave me the line of being so busy lately and never addressed any of my concerns. I had told her I was only trying to be helpful to make her pattern better and not being harsh. I also said that it was my first experience using one of her patterns, so I doubt I would purchase another of her patterns if her other patterns might also have issues with them.

Most people will never contact the designer with what is wrong and they also will never buy from them again. As a tester for other designers, I like to give designers that I buy from a heads up if I find something that could be improved with their pattern. How else are they going to know or improve on the next one if they don't think anything is wrong? The testers she has obviously didn't bring up the issues I found.* I would rather have an honest and blunt tester than one who just gives me compliments and says nothing bad about the instructions. For instance, on some pattern pieces the word reflected  is used. As in cut one reflected. That seemed such an odd use of the word, when a better word should have been reversed or mirror image. The designer is from the USA, not another country where I could understand that things could get lost in translation if she were from another country.

*Update: I did find out from a couple of her testers that they did point out issues with this pattern and the designer chose to not change anything, so that certainly doesn't give me confidence in buying any more of her patterns. I buy patterns so I don't have to write my own because I assume since they are tested that any of the problems have been resolved. But if I have to do the changes in order to make the bag design work, then I certainly shouldn't be paying someone else top dollar for me to rework the pattern myself in order to make the bag and possibly ruining my fabric in the process.

Okay, I was just pointing out a few things I had issues with, but like I said earlier, I do like the look of the Ferris bags and I will redo my own personal pattern to make it work for me when I sew any more of these bags. This first bag I made is the medium size. I do have this one for sale in my PayHip Shop .  

The finished size of the medium is 15" wide and 7" high. The finished size of the large is 19" wide, 9" high.

Front zippered pocket and zipper closure.
I used those plastic snap thingees (don't know the technical name, lol) and a plastic adjustable slider instead of the metal hooks and rings that the pattern called for. I thought the metal would get burning hot in the summer months with having more skin exposed in the summer could be a potential burn on the skin! But then the zipper pulls are metal and I did add some rivets, so hmmm, maybe it wouldn't be much different? 

On the back of the bag I added another zippered pocket, which wasn't in the instructions.

Inside the main compartment.



Inside the back zippered pocket.

Both zippers opened.
Large Ferris bag. I also used the plastic snap and slider on the large as well.

Same as the medium bag, there is a front zippered pocket and main zippered closure.

I also added another zippered pocket on the back of the bag.

Bright green lining in the pocket.
For comparison the large on the left and the medium on the right. The large bag will fit most people of medium to large build. The strap might be too large for thin people if you wear it around your waist or hips, but if worn as a sling it is perfect.

The finished size of the medium is 15" wide and 7" high. The finished size of the large is 19" wide, 9" high.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Sunshine Bag Enlarged in Browns

This is the Sunshine (Cross Body) Bag that I enlarged (125%) and made with 2 straps instead of making it into a cross body bag. It's a Bagstock Design and the pdf is free for the regular size bag. I made other changes too as I will note on each photo.

The pattern calls for both the zippered pocket and the main zipper closure to be placed on the left side of the bag as you face it, but since I am right handed (as most people are), I prefer the zipper pulls on the right side as you face the bag; so that when worn on the right shoulder (or across the body on the right hip for the cross body version)the zipper pull is at the front of the bag and not behind me, making it easier to access what's inside.

I added 2 straps and 4 strap tabs that I riveted to the bag.

For a bit of bling, I sewed some gimp braid to the sides of the bag in a gold color that perfectly picks up the gold in the print.

I also added purse feet (not in the pdf instructions) in bronze color to match the rivet color. I added a stiff interfacing to the bottom also.

The back of the bag I added a slip pocket that I added a Kam snap so that it can be snapped closed. The top of the pocket is narrower than the bottom and it wouldn't work to divide this pocket as you wouldn't be able to put your hand into a divided pocket. That's why I used a snap so you can snap it closed.

See the Kam snap in the center of the pocket top?

Inside I also added a divided slip pocket, including a pen pocket.

There is also a zippered pocket inside.
I had been busy sewing cloth face masks for family, friends and neighbors the past couple of weeks, so now I want to get back to stitching my applique and bags for a while.

Stay healthy and safe my friends!
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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Quatro Bag in Paris Print

I found the pattern to the Quatro Bag at a thrift shop and bought it. I had seen this bag online before and thought it was a cute style. It's a Studio Kat Design.

When I started to sew this bag, there was a lot of confusing parts. First the pattern was printed in such a tiny size font and in a light brown color, that it was hard for me to even read it. I literally had to scan the pages into my computer and enlarge the size in order to read it clearly. This is my number one reason for loving and preferring pdf patterns versus paper patterns, is that I can read them and enlarge if need be on my screen.

Next the text and diagrams were crammed onto the page too, making it hard to follow and know what went with what. Some of the instructions were very good and some questionable. Some things had no explanation whatsoever, such as the pocket that is open on both sides. What in the world is that pocket used for? Nothing mentioned in the bag description, nothing mentioned in the instructions. I am still baffled as to what you would use it for exactly.

I had to make some changes such as adding interfacing to the interior pieces and outer pieces, and adding a firm interfacing to the bottom, as well as adding a zipper pocket to the interior.

Overall this bag did really turn out cute and I am pleased with it. Would I make it again? Probably not. This took a lot of time to make and had too many pieces to sew, with hard to read instructions.

On the front here is a pocket thingee that is open along both ling sides. See the topstitching? You can put a magazine, newspaper and closed small umbrella or? through this slide through pocket, but no mention on the pattern anywhere what this is supposed to be used for. Maybe you take off your cardigan when it's hot and slide it through the opening? Would you lose it stuck in there? Things could fall out or be pulled out by someone else. So unless you know what you would use that for, it seems rather useless and a waste of material and time to sew it to the bag. I should have put something in there so you could see it better. I couldn't even find one photo online of this pocket being used either.

And on the sides, there is only one pocket and what looks like a pocket but isn't. You can see the gap between the red and aqua fabric, that is the pocket. But where the aqua and Paris print fabric meet, no pocket. 
The bag has a recessed zipper

The back of the bag has a zippered pocket.

I added a zipper pocket inside as there weren't any pockets for the inside of the bag.

I sewed the lining with a larger seam allowance to try and make the lining fit snugger, but it still is a bit loose. The directions had you use the same seam allowance as the exterior, which would make for an even baggier lining.

A pretty button on the zipper end.
I didn't show the bottom of the bag because it is an oval that is sewn to the bag and you are told to ease in the larger bag to the oval shape and make pleats evenly around. I didn't care for that. I think the bag would have looked better if the oval fit the bottom (making the bag taper at the base perhaps) or there were designated places around the bottom to make a pleat so that it fit better. No one really sees the bottom of this bag, but the person using it, but it bothered me it wasn't a better fit. I did add a thick interfacing to make it a bit more sturdy at least.

The pattern for this bag is rather pricey and I would never have purchased it if I hadn't found it at a thrift shop for cheap. I really do not like how in most paper patterns that they cram so much into as much space as they can and that makes it hard to read and hard to follow and some things seem to be missing or confusing. For a bag like this that is quite involved to make, it should have been a pdf and had photos, lots of them to help you understand clearly each step and written in black and a larger font so it could be easier to read.

I also prefer each step to be on one page and not have to scroll down and then back up (like newspaper columns), before moving on to the next page and then repeating the scrolling. That is a pain to do the scrolling and makes it easy to skip something. There are even pdf instructions for bags that have this format and I don't understand why they use that format? Most people I know do not like that format. Those designers who sell both pdf and printed patterns, I guess they want to use less paper? There are those people who print out the entire directions too, (why I will never understand) and not just the template pieces, but all of it. Some pdf instructions can be 50-70 pages long, so why would you print all that out, especially without knowing yet if you even want to make that pattern again? Talk about being an expensive pattern! Even the free patterns would cost a lot of $ if you printed every word.
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