I had been wanting to have a go at a sewing project for a while. I hadn’t sewn for a long, long time and I wanted to see if I was still able to follow a pattern and end up with something that not only would I like, but that I would be able to use. I follow a very talented lady on twitter who lives in America and designs patterns for a whole host of useful objects. She is known as @dogundermydesk in the wonderful world of twitter, but also goes by the name of Erin Erickson.
We travel quite a bit and as we always take our loyal retriever with us, it is difficult to find a bag that will hold what I need and be comfortable at the same time. I mention the dog only to explain the fact that I needed a bag that would leave my arms free and that would not keep slipping off my shoulders, because Jasper is always at the end of one arm or the other.
Unbelievably as I started looking around for a pattern, Erin had just released a pattern on her website. The ‘bigger on the inside drawstring backpack’, was just the sort of bag I had been looking for! So without giving myself the time to think about it and therefore tell myself I couldn’t possibly make it, I ordered it from her website. So easy, add to basket, hit the pay button and within minutes a PDF pattern and instructions is delivered to your inbox.
I had some fabric in my stash, both for the outer and the lining and unbelievably a zip too. After printing the pattern off I carefully pinned to the fabric and started cutting. Sounds stupid, but I was so excited, I decided I would take it slowly and read and re-read the instructions as Erin had suggested.
I was putting the zip in and all was going well until it came to stitching the ‘tabs’ over either end of the zip, no matter how I fiddled and re fiddled I just couldn’t get them to the size required. Panicking, I sent a quick question, via email to Erin. She had promised she would help if any were needed. Then the lightbulb moment arrived and I realised I was trying to use the fabric I had cut out for the tabs for the straps, which holds them to the bottom of the bag.
The straps were a doddle as long as I remembered to stitch slowly, so I could keep a straight stitch line.
With the instructions being so clear and precise, things were going well and the bag soon came together, even using interfacing to give the bag structure was working well. I broke off to have a practice run with a buttonhole as I would need these for threading the straps through the top of the bag.
Sounds daft but I even took to showing my hubby as I had finished each stage.
As you can see I did finish it and even though I say it myself, it looks good doesn’t it? It holds loads, has an inside pocket and a pocket that runs the width of the bag with the zip on the outside. Most importantly it is very comfortable to carry and doesn’t slip off the shoulders. So if like me, you are worried about taking the first step back into the world of sewing, go for it!
It has given me the confidence to make other things, even a skirt. Will let you see how that went another time.