A while back, my mom asked me if I would make a purse/bag for her to include in a gift basket for a raffle at her golf club. I happily agreed. Mom said the theme of her basket was "Fifty Shades of Pink and Grey." She had great ideas of what she wanted to go in the basket, and she said she'd like the bag to be pink and grey. When I was in Florida for Christmas, we went fabric shopping together. We went to Three Crafty Ladies, and as soon as we got in there, I saw they had Tula Pink's new Salt Water line. I ran over and showed it to my mom, telling her how much I loved it. She loved it, too! I have such a hip mom. :-)
We found this awesome peachy pink and gray fabric in that line that we both just loved. We also found a great coordinating fabric for the lining. In preparation for fabric shopping, I had hunted down a pattern for the project. I came across Erin Erickson's (of Dog Under My Desk) Daytripper bag pattern. Mom really liked it, too. So, both the bag and the fabric were decided. I went home and immediately got cutting and sewing. The photo above is the project already in progress.
And here's the finished bag! I had some photos from back here in Michigan, but they were blurry, becuase the wind was always blowing when I tried to take them outside where there was a little light, and there was all this snow in the background. It just didn't seem to fit with the whole concept of the bag. So, I asked Mom to take some photos when she got the bag in the mail from me. I think the bag turned out just great. I love it. And I made a matching key fob to go with it. I put a cardboard key on it so the recipient would know it's a key fob. This is one side of the bag, which has two open pockets on the back.
I can't remember what tutorial I used for the key fob, but it might have been this one from the Ribbon Retreat.
I am really proud of myself on this bag. I think it looks really professional. I fussy cut the pockets and fabric behind the pockets so they line up really well. You almost can't even see the edge of the pocket.
Here is the other side, which has a nice zipper pocket on it as well. This pocket is big enough for an iPad to fit in it. I also made an earbud case using Erin's tutorial for those. I made this one larger, however, so that golf tees would fit in it nicely. I used zippers from Zipit, and I used some of their zipper pulls on the bag, too. I didn't realize there was such a thing as "purse zippers" when I made this, and I used a typical zipper. Purse zippers have bigger pulls on them that are easier to grasp. Since these pulls were smaller, they were more difficult to grasp. Adding the zipper pull took care of that problem.
I also fussy cut this side of the purse so that the fabric would match on both sides of the purse. It was a fun task to figure out how to work that all out.
The strap is adjustable. It has one of these kinds of slides on it. I had a hard time finding these locally. Erin was really helpful. I emailed her and asked her where I could get them. She directed me to a wonderful Etsy shop called Tantalizing Stitches. They sell lots of purse hardware, and the prices are just great. Way better than the prices in my local shops here. I really appreciated Erin's responsiveness to my quesiton.
(In this photo, perhaps you can see what I meant in yesterday's post about things being too grey, dismal, and dark to get decent photos here lately!) There is also hardware holding the strap to the purse. You can also get these at Tantalizing Stitches for a good price.
I asked one of my sweet, cute little undergrads to model the bag for you so you could get a better sense of its scale. She very kindly obliged. We went down into the atrium of our building in an effort to get some decent light. While I was taking her photo, another gal was studying at a table nearby. She said, "Oh, my gosh. I love that bag! Where did you get it?!" She couldn't believe I made it! I think the size of this bag is really nice. You can get a lot in there. And the strap is nice and wide, so it's comfortable on your shoulder. (See my good fussy cutting on that pocket? Sorry. I am really proud of myself on that!)
Here is how mom's basket turned out...There is the bag I made, the key fob, the golf tee bag, a bottle of Grey Goose vodka, pink cosmo mix, pink and grey golf balls, pink golf tees, and the soundtrack of music for Fifty Shades of Grey.
I asked mom how it sold...she said it was one of those raffles where you buy your tickets and then go put them in the bag by each raffle item. She said during the raffle, she went and checked her bag and it was chock-o-block full of tickets! This basket by far had the most tickets in it. Way to go, Mom!!! And one of her friends won it. Yay! That's even more fun.
When Mom and I were shopping for the fabric, I said I was going to get more of the fabric so I could make myself a bag, too. Mom said she wanted one, too. Haha! So, we (well, I use "we" loosely....Mom bought all the fabric! Thanks, Mom!) bought enough fabric for about 4 bags! haha! I think we bought 8 or 9 yards of fabric that day. I already have two more cut out (almost). I need to get sewing. This would make a fun summer/spring bag. I can't wait to have one for myself!
As far as a pattern review, I want to tell you this is an awesome pattern! It is a PDF download, and it is about 50 pages long. It is full of photos, showing you how to do things, as well as tips and tricks. If you aren't an experienced bag maker, this pattern is so helpful. I have made plenty of bags, but this one is one of the best patterns I've worked with because of all the detail.
I also feel the bag turns out really well. It has such a professional finish. This is because there is a fair amount of interfacing and some batting inside each of the pieces. I think this gives the bag stability, sturdiness, and body. I like Erin's attention to those details. She also gives you lots of details about how to topstitch (i.e., by suggesting stitch length) so that things look really professional. She also gives tons of photos and tips for sewing around all the curves and corners. All of this is what helped me to achieve such great outcomes on this project.
Erin explicitly states in the pattern that one should use purse zippers. I just missed that. So, that was my fault, not hers. I have ordered purse zippers for the next few bags I make. ;-)
Another thing I will mention is that in her pattern shop, Erin includes all of the supplies necessary to make her projects. This was helpful, because I didn't have the pattern with me when we were shopping, but I could get on my smartphone, go to her shop, and see how many yards of fabric we needed. So helpful! Good thinking, Erin!
All in all, I love this pattern....enough so that I'm going to make this purse at least 2 more times...maybe 3! I would say the project is probably at least an intermediate bag project, due to all the interfacing, linings, etc. But don't let that scare you off. None of the steps in this project are super difficult. There are just a lot of them. For example, it took me a good day to cut out all the fabric, interfacing, and batting pieces for the project. I actually think the sewing took less time than the cutting (but remember, I was fussy cutting a lot on this). I give this pattern two enthusastic thumbs up! I will definitely buy more patterns from Erin.
Hardware: Tantalizing Stitches
Zippers and zipper pulls: Zipit
I still haven't read the book, Fifty Shades of Grey, yet. Have you? I hear it's pretty steamy!
Thanks for buying all the fabric, putting a deadline on me so I got it sewn, and for taking great photos for me, Mom!
Until next time,