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


  1. GORGEOUS fabric choices, Judith.....Your bag came together really nicely despite not having your favorite materials to work with! I too love SF101 and rarely use anything else these days because I have yet to find anything as good! :) Now you have tackled the Advanced City Slicker you might like to try Abigail! LOL It's my most advanced pattern and definitely time consuming AND a challenge! LOL

    1. Thanks for your kind comments. It really helped to have your very clear directions! I will have to look at the Abigail and probably add it to my wish list of patterns. Will probably not be able to get to anything "just for me" until after the holidays.

  2. Your bag looks gorgeous Judith. I love the autumn colours. I haven't made this one yet but will have to make it soon. If you make the Abigail bag you'll love all the pockets and how well organized it is. I tested the Abigail bag and thought the design was genius.

  3. Thanks! I have the Abigail on my wish list. Just got the NCW and need to try it. Also sewing a variety of zipper pouches for the next couple weeks to take to a craft fair.

  4. Great looking City Slicker. This is one of my favorite bags. I tested this bag and I love how wide it opens and the pockets. I hope to get the time to make another City Slicker too.

  5. Gorgeous bag Judith, lovely colours !!! This bag is great I love it, very roomy, nice shape

    1. Thanks, it was a great bag to make. I will make another one when I can get some soft and stable and may try a lightweight home deco fabric.

  6. Lovely! I have made this pattern and I use it all the time.

    1. Well, I had planned to use it, but someone really wanted ot as a gift for their elderly mother, so I sold it.