Monday, July 13, 2015

The Campfire Messenger Bag by Anna Graham

Front of bag
I got way behind and wound up doing the March Bag of the Month last. It is the Campfire Messenger Bag designed by Anna Graham and you can order your pattern here.

It is a messenger bag with with a flap, two large pleated pockets and a zipper pocket on the front under the flap, a slip pocket on the back, two slip pockets inside and an adjustable strap. The flap is closed with two snaps for security and a professional appearance. It finishes 9.5" wide x 11.5" high and 2.5" deep, so is a nice sized bag to carry. There is an option for a top zipper closure that I chose not to do. It would also be very easy to add additional slip and zipper pockets inside.

I chose to use a printed denim fabric for part of the exterior, a solid twill or trigger cloth (I am not sure which, it is a vintage fabric from my stash) for the rest of the exterior and a cotton blend for the interior. I also had a premade double-fold bias binding that was the perfect color, so did not make any bias binding for this project. All three fabrics and the bias binding worked well for me. Anna's pattern and directions were very clear and easy to follow with excellent diagrams for each step. The bag is very straight-forward and went together rather quickly. I would say that advanced beginners-intermediate sewers or above would have no trouble assembling this bag.

Back of bag showing bound slip pocket
Closeup of bag front with the flap open showing the roomy pleated pockets and the zipper pocket

More distant photo of front with flap open and tucked behind adjustable strap
Inside of bag showing slip pockets and nicely bound top

This bag also offers potential for use as a school bag, a bag for your favorite man (done in faux leather, leather, camo or other manly fabrics). The flap could easily be embellished with embroidery or quilting. I found it a lot of fun to make. Again, you can order your own pattern here.

It is the first Anna Graham (noodlehead) pattern I have sewn, but it will not be the last.

Until next time, may you sew with joy, stay healthy and be filled with God's awesome blessings!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Penny Inn by ChrisW Designs

Exterior Front of The Penny Inn by ChrisW Designs
The final pattern in the 2015 Bag-of-the-Month Club was The Penny Inn by ChrisW Designs. It is an amazing clutch wallet that closes with a lovely flip lock. The flip lock upens to reveal a section with eight card slots, with an optional slip pocket, two large slip pockets, a phone slip pocket and two zippered pockets. The second section inside is secured with a snap tab and opens to reveal an I.D. window, 12 card pockets, a slip pocket and a zipper pocket. 

I would recommend this wallets for the intermediate/advanced sewer. Although, it wasn't really difficult, there are a lot of pieces to keep organized. You can get your own pattern by clicking on the ChrisW Designs link on the right side of this page.

Interior showing the first section

Interior showing the second section
The wallet also has directions for a wrist strap and a cross-body strap. I made both for my wallet and you can see the wrist strap attached in the next photo.

Rear exterior showing wrist strap attached
As with all of ChrisW's patterns, the directions are clear and well illustrated. I usually only print the pattern pieces and the text only directions, leaving the longer set of illustrated directions on my laptop. I simply keep the file ope as I sew and whenever something seems a bit tricky, I look at the directions on the screen. 

The pattern pieces are extremely accurate (one must cut everything carefully). I have decided that Chris is really a pattern engineer, because her patterns come together unlike any others I have ever seen. I have sewn enough of her patterns to trust that if I simply follow her directions step-by-step the magic will happen at the end and it was especially true of this pattern. I need to make a few more of these great wallets. 
A slightly different view of the inside with the cross-body strap tucked into one of the large slip pockets
I learned how to do the lovely flip locks and the metal protective corner pieces with this wallet. Both add a elegant touch in addition to being practical. 

Again, to order your own pattern, simply click the ChrisW link on the right side of this page.

Until next time, may you sew with joy, stay healthy and be filled with God's awesome blessings!