This packet of patterns gives you a few choices of bags to make, but I specifically bought it for the backpack.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, if you read the pattern carefully. I am very new to sewing (less than three months) and self-taught (or internet taught would be more accurate) so there were some good learnings in it for me (like piping, my first time).
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I hated that the pattern for option D (the backpack) kept making you refer to other bags. I understand they do this to save space but it became confusing at times.
I really liked the recommendations for notions. This has a positive and a negative aspect to it: they recommend their own brand of notions which are EXPENSIVE. And I had to order them online because I am in Australia so they were even more expensive. But I don't mind so much paying for something if it works well, and these Nancy Zieman things did work perfectly and made the bag look great so I was happy in the end.
I used laminated cotton.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The bag in the pattern is one colour but I used four and I think it looks fab (if i do say so myself) so this could be good for using up scraps.
I used a thick puffy sew-in facing. Next time i would try to find something less puffy and more solid. Even the recommended brand bag bottom stuff that I bought could be OK for parts of the walls of the bag as it's rather floppy and therefore has a tendency to hang horizontally on your back and things could fall out.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I am definitely going to do another one. I would recommend it to others but I would draw the analogy with this bag of making good Chinese food. The secret to success is in the preparation: it took me AGES to cut everything out and fuse all the piping and straps etc.. The sewing time is not terribly onerous or skill intensive: it's mostly straight lines, but I think if you didn't put in the prep time there's potential for it to not look so good.
Some say you need a walking foot and I borrowed one from a friend but I didn't really need it and only used it for part of the time. I think having the right needle is very important as there are a lot of layers to sew through in some places: I used Jeans needles.
I have had tons of compliments on this bag and there's plenty of capacity to use all sorts of combinations of fabric and really make something unique. If I can make it on a basic basic machine with three months of experience anyone can do it!
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