I needed a little bag to carry around some dental stuff at work. I have braces and feel like I brush my teeth about 50 times a day (or something like that). I wanted something nondescript, as my old carry case was this obnoxious pencil case with a "robot mom" on it and pseudo 50's style. Cute...but a little too loud for where I work now.
Here are the finished project pics.
with flap up
I looked through the stash and I had this pattern that had a little 4" by 4.5" "camera case" and figured I'd give it as shot. I used stash materials...Black wool for the outer layer (originally used for a coat) and some gorgeous stretch charmeuse for the lining (originally used to line a suit). A few months ago, I went to goodwill and bought several purses with good hardware, so I used one of the scavenged D rings and swivel clips.
Overall, it's the perfect size. I was originally unhappy with the flap. The flap has a long piece of velcro and the pattern only called for a small piece to be sewn at the top of the bag. Since my items are fairly small, I added a 2nd piece of velcro further down this bag. This was an after the fact modification, so I did it the quick and easy way just sewed it on top of the lining and bag fabric, rather than just the bag fabric like the original piece.
I also used a little wristlet strap from a Mccalls pattern that I had in the stash. The piece turned out to be 1 1/4 in wide by 12.5 in long. You folded in a quarter in on each long side, ironed, folded in half and then sewed down lengthwise. Simple. I made a similar little loop for the D ring.
I skipped interfacing and also skipped a pocket. You were to make a pocket and sew it below the piece of velcro on the front of the purse, or maybe it went on the back. I don't know...I didn't need it but it is an option and if this WERE a camera bag, it would be a great place to carry around a spare SD card.
Overall, I'm tickled pink by this bag. I'm glad I sew because I probably wouldn't have been able to find a bag in the stores as perfect as this one for my purposes.
Pattern Description: "Tech Gear - Totes, Bags and Accessories", There's all sorts of bags/covers in this one; 2 different sizes of laptop bags, cell phone cover, ipod cover, plus others.
My sister is starting college next week, so this laptop bag is for her.
Pattern Sizing: I went with View A, the bag for a 10X14 inch computer bag.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes! I did choose to make my velcro on the inside of the flap a little longer just to make sure the flap would latch with a computer in the bag. This was at the suggestion of previous reviewers.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes! They were easy. I would recommend this pattern for pure beginners, it was that good. The only thing I wish they would have spelled out was that seam allowances were 1/2 inch. I think this might be pretty standard on bags, but I don't really sew alot of them, so I had to figure it out. Well, really, I just made a decision and decided that 1/2 inch was what I was going to use. It worked out fine.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved the ease of use, and the polish of the finished bag! People would look at this and not guess that it was homemade. That's the mark of a good item (at least one of mine.)
Fabric Used: I used some polka dot outdoor fabric that I bought last year for something. To line the bag, I used a corduroy that I had in my stash. For the interfacing/padding, I used fleece from my stash. It also took some "canvas" to interface the flap. I bought a little bit of duckcloth from the remnant bin at Joanns, and it was fine. I could have even used another layer of the polka dot fabric if I had really thought of it. This was a fun project because I had most of the fabric already in my stash. For the stuff that makes the bag sturdy, I bought the thickest, stiffest interfacing they had. It was a fusible, but you don't really fuse it to anything. It gets wrapped in the fleece, stitched down the middle, and then inserted into the bag, and then the lining gets shoved down in that.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made the strap out of the fabric. Since I didn't want to cipher through how to make my own strap, I found this Tutorial It worked like a charm. Also, I made the larger sized bag, but my sister's computer is really 10x11. I sewed a separator, Click Here. I hope that she'll be able to store the power cord on the other side of the separator. If it won't fit, she can just take out the separator, and put the cord in beside the laptop. The only other change I had to make was in the slider. I couldn't find one of those at joanns, but I found this type of strap adjuster. I figured it would work since it was basically a slider with a little extra. I just weaved the strap through like I would have with just a slider and it was fine. I looked at a bag I already had to see how to put the strap through.
Important Info: If you're going to make this, and especially if you're going to use even moderately thick fabric, do yourself a favor and go out and buy some leather needles. I was have serious trouble doing this part, but once I got the leather needle (at the recommendation of the one Joann clerk), it was easy. Well, maybe not easy because you're still dealing with really thick bunches of fabric, but at least my thread wasn't breaking.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes. I want to make one for me now! But not in polka dots.
Conclusion: This bag was far simpler than I thought it would be to make, and I was finished in just a couple of hours, even with a quick trip to Joanns in the middle. Really, I highly recommend this one.