Monday, October 27, 2014

Advanced City Slicker Bag by ChrisW Designs

A couple of months ago, I won a free pattern from ChrisW Designs and chose her Advanced City Slicker because I loved all the pockets it has and I like a challenge (she also has a simpler-to-sew version called the City Slicker). I finally got a chance to get one made:

It really turned out nicely, and I learned some new tricks and tips. If you want to order your own City Slicker or Advanced City Slicker pattern, just click on the Chris W Designs link on the right side of my blog.

This bag is listed as one for advanced sewers and I agree with the designation. It was a bit of a challenge, but a lot of fun to make. It is a great size, finishing to 15.75" x 10" x 4" (and has a large pouch pocket on the front, a wonderful welt pocket on the back. This was my first-ever welt pocket in a bag (years ago I done welt pockets in a jacket for my husband) and ChrisW's directions were very clear and resulted in a beautifully finished pocket. 

I did make a couple of judgement errors and had to redo my side gussets (that were originally going to be the same mauve fabric as the side straps). The funny thing was that as I was originally cutting everything out, I had accidentally cut the two side gussets out of the leaf print and then had to recut in the mauve.  The first error was choosing that mauve fabric, a linen-look cotton, that kept looking wrinkly despite interfacing and lots of pressing. The second error resulted because I was out of the Soft and Stable interfacing that the pattern suggested, so I tried Peltex and it was way too stiff. It  made my bag look and feel like a board. I was able to remove the Peltex from the exterior fabrics, but then also decided to use the lovely leaf fabric for the gussets as well as the front and back and not use the mauve.

I then used fusible fleece (Thermolam) and it worked fine. I also was out of my preferred Pellon SF 101 (that I like to add to the back of all my fabrics before adding fleece or Soft and Stable because the SF 101 helps prevent bubbles and wrinkles and stretching). So used some Pellon Decor Bond and Pellon Craft Fuse. Both worked okay, but I am not as happy with the results as I am with SF 101. 

This bag is full of pockets inside, something that I really love, since I dislike playing dig and feel to find things in my bags. There is a zipper pocket with two slip pockets on one inside and double set of slip pockets on the other inside.

Check out the photos below:

Zipper pocket and 2 slip pockets
Double set of slip pockets that create one pleated pocket, two pen pockets and four more slip pockets.

Close up showing large pouch pocket on the front of the bag.
Back of bag showing welt pocket. 
  All in all, this was a fine experience. ChrisW's patterns are exceptionally complete. She includes a list of supplies needed, a cutting list, pattern pieces, an exceptionally well-illustrated set of directions and a set of text directions. I printed the pattern pieces, the text directions, and the cutting list. My laptop sits to the side of my sewing machine, so I just pulled up the illustrated directions on the screen and referred to them as I went along.

The thing that took the longest and delayed my finishing the bag for almost two weeks was a septic issue in our old home in a rural location. All is well now!

May God be with you and happy sewing until next time!


"Trust in the Lord  with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, October 6, 2014

My New Kentucky Bag....

The Kentucky Bag

I was privileged to test the Kentucky bag for Sarah Goodall of Numb-Skull Patterns, but had to wait to share until the pattern was released. You can go to her site to get your own down-loadable pattern by clicking on the link above.

First, I needed to select the fabrics. The light-colored flowered print is a lovely 1950's-1960's vintage piece that came from my Mother's stash. Since I lost my Mother several years ago, whenever I find a use for one of her old fabrics, it is like using a special treasure. The main print, is a Robert Kaufman screen print that has a nice body to it. The turquoise and black is a scrap that I had in my stash from years ago and is also a quilting cotton.

This bag has a lot of style as you can see from the shape and the decorative band on the front of the flap shown in the photo below. The same coordinating fabric can also be seen at the bottom edge of the bag in the 1st photo below, at the top edge of the front of the bag with the flap open in the 2nd photo below.

There  are four zipper pockets; one on the front under the flap, one on the back exterior and two inside. These make for great storage. Also notice the cool twist lock (although a snap can be used is place of the twist lock). It was my first twist-lock installation and I love the way it looks and works.

Front of Kentucky with flap closed.
Flap open showing front zipper pocket.

Flap open, showing inside one of the zipper pockets.
 Doesn't the vintage fabric really showoff the inside and coordinated nicely with the exterior and coordinating fabrics?

The bag is quite firm with just a firm fusible interfacing applied to all the exterior pieces, but one could also use a fleece and quilt it for different look.

Back of Kentucky bag showing zipper pocket. 
As always, Sarah's patterns have clearly written, easy-to-follow directions that make it easy to get a professional look.  The pattern is not difficult and was a lot of fun to sew.

Again, to make your own Kentucky, go to Numb-Skull Patterns to purchase your own pattern.

Happy sewing and may God be with you!

"I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."  Psalm 91, NIV