One of those days…

I finished a lovely bag today (or at least, I think it’s lovely!), and can I get a decent pic of it? I am so used to taking tiny close up pictures of the small stuff I make and sell, that I have totally lost the knack of taking anything just a little bit further away. And the light was a bit rubbish, AND taking pics of anything red is always so tricky…  So frustrating to spend a couple of hours trying to get something decent. This is the best I can do:

Mouthy stitches bag - just a try out..

It’s my first go at the pattern that we’re using for the Mouthy Stitches Totes [Amazeballs] Swap. I thought I would check out the potential for tweaking the pattern, and use up the myriad narrow scraps of Liberty I have from cutting charm squares for Very Berry Fabrics. So I’ve quilted it within an inch of its life, added the patchwork panel, put some piping in the top seam (my first go at piping – it was so fun to do, expect lots of piping on Very Berry makes for a while) and there’s a zip pocket on the inside.

Some tips for my fellow swappers, if you’re reading….

1) Don’t do as the pattern suggests and leave a gap in the top seam for turning – it makes the finishing stitching on the top edge so horrid to do, and it can look a bit clumsy. Leave a turning gap in the side seam of the lining instead and hand stitch it closed when you are finished. It’s so much more discreet, and about 10 times easier.

2) I used posh cotton batting to line the outer and medium weight woven iron-on interfacing to line the inner fabric – this combination makes for a VERY sturdy bag that stands up on its own . I like it because it looks good with the quilting, but for my swap make I will probably use low loft fusible fleece for the outer (unless I get the feeling my partner will like sturdy!). Personally I think you should always interface the lining, it gives a bag structure and means there’s no threat of the lining looking a bit flimsy and getting all creased. Yes I am a bag-nazi.

3) Having learned from a fair bit of experience of bag making, I trimmed the lining pieces so they were about 1/8″ shorter than the outer fabric. It means that the lining sits really nicely inside the bag when you turn it right side out and stops the bottom of the bag getting a bit bunchy (bunchy bottoms to be avoided at all costs….).

ETA: A couple of people have pointed out what I failed to notice – the original pattern is for a reversible bag – so, unless we receive dispensation from our swap mamas you are going to have to ignore point 3. Baggy bottoms it is!  It also means that some thought will have to be given to the whole question of lining, so number 2 might be irrelevant too.. But tip number 1 is still very helpful..  😉

Looking forward to finding out who my partner is!


As promised, the winner of The Sewing Boutique giveaway:

sewing boutique winner

Comment number 64 was left by Deborah – congratulations to her! If you weren’t lucky this time, then don’t despair, I’m hoping to have another giveaway before the end of the month, so watch this space…

22 thoughts on “One of those days…

  1. Shows how much attention I paid, I made the bag up and didn’t notice it is to be reversible eithe, really I skimmed the instructions and wrote down the dimensions. I totally agree with changing the turning place as the top is not the most ideal place for it . I didn’t use any batting but did use some lightweight interfacing behind my pieced panel , it is a soft bag but my DD wasn’t wanting a stiff one!

  2. I love your bag, but if you’ve made the ‘ lining’ smaller, it’s not going to work very well when you try to reverse it.

  3. Good tips thank you – I made a buttercup bag (without interfacing!) and was so disappointed – it’s virtually useless 😦 But I think I may trymaking a bag using your tips.

  4. I’ll have to go and look at the pattern again. I thought the bag was supposed to be reversible which means they’d deliberately be looking at constructing it in such a way there was no specific lining? Love your bag by the way!

  5. If I can do anything to eliminate my baggy bottom, then I will be one very happy swapper ;0)
    Great post and fab tips.
    Lucky for me, this is the pattern I always start with when I want to make a tote and I agree with you about not leaving the opening in the top. Its so much better inside.
    Loving those Liberty fabrics.
    Thanks for blogging this.

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