Saturday, November 24, 2012

...Crafty Tote

When Nicole announce the Bag Project of the Month, and specifically her project, I loved it. And waited quite impatiently for the June issue (Volume 13.6) to be published so I could make it. Then I waited pretty impatiently again for the Mama Said Sew fabric to arrive in stores because by that time I knew I wanted to use it for the lining.

Finally, a couple of weekends ago I got around to making it. I use some fabric from a Melbourne screen printing company, Yardage Design, in a sale earlier. This fabric was labelled as an imperfect second but it looks pretty great to me!

For the feature panels on the top I used some basecloth I bought from the same supplier and screen printed some panels of my own with some word art. I used Wordle to create the art and then played around with the size on screen and paper to make them fit roughly inside the pattern piece.

A change from the published pattern - I used two different fabrics for the lining. the red script from Mama Said Sew and the black Newsprint from the same collection by Sweetwater. 

As I have come to expect from Nicole's patterns the instructions included a lot of pictures and information on  techniques to assist in construction and I am sure that is no small part of the quality I was able to achieve with the finished product.

I did find some parts of the pattern difficult to follow and there appeared be a number of errors in the cutting directions and the construction (based on the pictures). For example, extra interfacing needed to be cut for several of the pieces. I am assuming Nicole has noted these as well as she had re-released the pattern under her own brand.

I also made a couple of changes, I dramatically shortened the handle and would shorten it more if I made it again. And the extra fabrics for the pockets. I think they make them easier to see. I used rectangular links for the handle instead of the round ones and use them again but alter the handle size next time to fit it more snugly.

I'm really really happy with it. It fits a huge amount of stuff in it while still having them easy to find. I learned a few new tricks and the virtues of stiffer interfacing. And if you make I can't recommend a walking foot highly enough!

Edited to add: These are the changes I made due to pattern omissions or confusions. 
It isn't to say that the pattern won't work without these changes, careful reading and some prior knowledge should serve you well but knowing what to watch out for can be helpful. The fabric/interfacing/fusible batting requirements as listed in the magazine will be enough for the additional pieces. 

I've emailed Nikki to let her know what I noted and confirm the changes I made were what was intended - I'll update these again based on her responses if needs be. 

1. This one was included on the Homespun website - a template had an incorrect label (there were two Lid Side Panels and one should have read Lid Center Panel) but was the correct size and shape. I actually didn't find this errata until later and it is pretty obvious to pick.
2. You will need 2 x lid and base wall interfacing (the directions only ask you to cut 1)
3. You will need to cut lid and base wall batting (As shown fused in the Step 39 picture on page 48)
4. I also cut a piece of batting for the back-wall hinge (it doesn't ask you to cut any)
5. I also cut an additional batting in the base/lid shape so there was batting in the lid and base.
6. While not technically and error I had huge trouble finding the dimensions of the wall pocket, lid & base wall and the back wall hinge (there are no pattern pieces for these, just dimensions given as they are rectangular). You can find them in Step 15 on page 46.

And my tip - use a walking foot for all steps of the construction!


Sew Shells said...

Ooooh, that is lovely. You are so clever, I love it. And I saw that Nicole had released that pattern again. I must stop buying magazines and stick to books for patterns too, as they are often incomplete. Or the editor changes them. Grrr.

Kristy said...

So true.

I have stopped reading them for quilts and just work it out myself (templates excepted). At least then I know any mistake is mine.

Nikki said...

Love it! And yes - the magazine editors re-write pattern instructions in the magazine's own style, and there is no control over the images they use or don't use. I can assure you that the revised pattern is absolutely crystal clear!

Thanks for sharing. xx

Kristy said...

Thanks Nikki - and it must be frustrating for you for your work not to be presented in the way you intended.

It is a great tote though - and I got a lot from the photos included and the tips on block fusing the interfacing and cutting the pattern pieces from card.

Can't wait for the Amy Butler design this month!

Camilla said...

This looks great! I saw this on Flickr in your photostream, then I couldn't believe I wasn't following your blog, esp. since we're in the Cherish Bee together so I've added you to Feedly now!