Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Gatherer

It's been about 18 months since I made my Brookfield Bag. The pattern by bag designer Sara/Sew Sweetness, had been offered free on Sew Mama Sew, and boy did I enjoy using that bag every day since. Can't say I've ever gotten so many compliments on a bag as on that one. So I'm sad to retire it, but the sweet thing's getting raw around the edges.


So what's a girl to do but make a new bag? I've had my eye on Anna/Noodlehead's Gatherer Crossbody Bag on the Robert Kaufman website, and didn't need any persuasion to give it a go.


I knew from the start I wanted to use Carolyn Friedlander's Carkai and finally settled on the pairing you see below. With only three pattern pieces, the bag was pretty easy to prep. The one major substitution I made was to use byAnnie's Soft and Stable instead of fusible fleece. It needed to be basted in, but that was easily done.


This was a really straight-forward sew, the pattern so easy to follow. I made my own piping using Noodlehead's tutorial, though mine is slightly smaller than what was suggested as I used cording I had on hand. Since the last time I made piping, I'd purchased a piping foot for my machine, and boy did that make installation a snap.


When it comes to making bags or other projects using hardware, I am always thrilled when online sources are listed, as I hate shopping around town for stuff like that. Thankfully, Anna included that info, so it was easy to procure the button stud closure and the optional swivel/lobster clasps. I forget where I heard about them, but I purchased leather scrap remnants from BuffaloLeatherCo for the bag closure. There weren't very many large pieces in the pack, but I think I'll be able to make good use of the scraps in various pouches, and thankfully I found just the piece needed for this bag. Which makes it in my opinion. And by the way, I sewed the leather on with a jeans needle and 50wt thread, and it seems secure enough.



As hinted above, rather than finishing my bag with tied straps, I went for the swivel clasps. If there's anything I would do different next time, it would be to make the straps a bit wider. Half-inch are pretty skinny for me, and I think I would have been happier with one-inch straps. And I did goof up on one thing, making a rookie mistake and installing the stud closure through both the front pocket and main bag front. Oops. I really don't think it'll be a big deal as it partially divides that pocket, but still. Oh well. Other than that, I'm super pleased.


The Gatherer measures 10″ wide x 9″ tall x 2 1/2″ deep, basically perfect for me! I've been using it for three days now, it's comfortable to wear with easy access, and I'll admit I feel a little snazzy with that leather closure. 


And the fact that this bag was on my Q1 Finish-A-Long list? Perfect.