Friday, August 30, 2013

Patchwork, Please! :: Piece-of-Cake Shopping Bag

I'm one of those people that, when walking into the grocery store for just a few items, doesn't take a cart or even one of those wobbly-handled baskets. I only need a handful of things, right? But invariably, by the time I get to the check-out counter, my arms are full, and I may even have dropped something along the way, just because I picked up stuff I'd remembered we needed or decided we couldn't live with out.
So when I heard comments of 'too big' regarding this week's Patchwork, Please shopping bag, I certainly hoped those claims were right. And yes, this bag IS big, but a perfect size for my kind of shopping.

That said, this was one of those "good news/bad news" projects. This was taken when things were still feeling quite under control . . .

Here's the good, bad, and the ugly:
Good: The fabric I used is lovely and I like it alot: Essex Linen in Flax with Lush Uptown by Erin Michael for the pocket, lining, and drawstring cover.
Bad: There's not much structure to the bag, so it is very floppy, especially unfilled. Filling it up helps!


Good: I tried a new product! Erin from Pellon had told me about their 100R Vinyl Fuse, and I was anxious to try it to make the interior of my bag water-resistant. I'll continue with the good news to say that it worked just as advertised and was a cinch to adhere.
Bad: I was so used to adhering iron-on products to the wrong side of fabrics that I instinctively did the same here! Which makes my bag overall water resistant, but not in the way I'd intended. Totally user-error!

Good: I followed Krista's advice about decreasing the height of the bag lining and that worked like a charm.
Bad: I think there's a typo on page 106, step 14 - I'm pretty sure at this step the rectangles mentioned should be right-side together.

Good: Surprisingly, even with my normal quilting needle, the webbing went on really easily and nicely.  (Hint: I did use a fabric glue-stick to 'place' the straps prior to sewing.) I stitched an 'X' where each strap met the bag exterior.
Bad: Unfortunately my thread matched too well and you can hardly see my extra detailing. Also, the top edge of the bag was super floppy once the bag was finished, so . . .
Good: I stitched another 'X' closer to the bag top for a stronger finish.
Bad: You can barely see that either. But it definitely improved the overall look, which was totally worth it.

Honestly, I'm anxious to put this bag to real-life use and see how it holds up. Even though it looks saggy and baggy when unfilled, it's sturdy and feels like it's going to work just fine for those spontaneous market visits. And yeah, it's kinda weird with its ill-placed vinyl, but I learned a lesson I won't soon forget. Let's go shopping!

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday.

28 comments:

Vera said...

What a great fabric choice. I agree with all you said. Sorry about the vinyl, lesson learned.

Paula said...

I really love how your bag turned out and it's great to read about the ups and downs of sewing it. I'm well stocked with shopping bags but a couple of these would make a brilliant swimming bags for myself and the kids. I've been following the sew along am loving all the projects, I really need to get the book and get sewing.

Patchwork and Play said...

It is a great big bag, isn't it!? I hope you can lift all your 'loot' and not do yourself an injury! :-))

RaspberrySunshine said...

LOL! I love your good-bad's :) I have never tried the vinyl fuse, but may have to play around with it. Your bag is adorable! Cindy

Lesley said...

What a great project and a great post! Sounds like you learned a lot and will have a bag worthy of the trips to the store!

tink's mom said...

Love your presentation of the creation of this wonderful bag. Looks like a great size bag to own, the only down side I see to it is that potential to overload it and then injure yourself. Please be careful in test shopping.

Leanne said...

I guess it might fold up smaller for bringing to the store? I appreciate all the details about your making of the bag, and I am guessing that it will work well.

Debbie said...

Great post Deb! Cracked me up! Please-tell us how it performs on it's maiden voyage to the store.

Carla said...

I love it Debbie. Looks like my kind of bag. Whenever I go out for just a few things its usually $100

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

It looks great..a very "work horse" kind of bag. Being less structured, it will be easier to carry when not in use...and ready for all the goodies you find in your travels !

Heidi Staples said...

I have that problem when I shop too -- way more stuff ends up in the bag than I'd planned. It's great to hear both sides of the sewing story in this post. All said and done, the bag still looks great!

Heather D. said...

Your bag looks great Debbie. I think I'd not like the floppiness but if you think about it, it's better to have a floppy bag for storing it when not in use. A story....last time I was in Fabricland (which annoys me most of the time anyways so this didn't help!) I saw a sign that said that you must NOT put items in your reusable shopping bag until after you pay for them. What?????

Celeste said...

Great bag! Thanks for all the helpful hints.

Holli said...

So glad you wrote this up, with the good and the bad (which wasn't really bad at all). I think its a great bag, and appreciate the reminder about which side to fuse the vinyl! I can see the "x's" in the webbing better than you describe, and think they give it a crisp finish. I also think the floppiness is a plus because it would be more difficult to schlep around a shopping bag with heavy structure.

Melissa at My Fabric Relish said...

I love the lush! I hope you get lots of use out of it when you go to the store. Mine is sitting in my car with my other shopping bags ready to get tested!

Katy Cameron said...

I'm giggling about the vinyl. I have some of that stuff, but have never actually got round to using it because I was afraid of it!

As for the size, I totally believe in the less bags I have to haul into the house, the better!

Cille said...

It looks great, Debbie. Great fabric! Never mind it being a bit floppy. That's the best excuse to go shopping big for delicious, special groceries for next Tuesday at the table :)

mathea said...

That looks like a very useful bag, and hey: with the vinyl on the inside you know that any spills inside the bag won't stain your clothes(and that was what you intended, really, wasn't it?) ;-)

BlueDog said...

I am glad someone else mentioned the "error" on p. 106. I have read several people's comments about the construction of the bag, and no one mentioned it. It was driving me crazy. Now I know that I am not the only one who was confused by it. I am thinking I'll use mine as a laundry basket. I could always use one more of those with six kids running around...

Laurie

quirky granola girl said...

I think you taught us all many lessons with this post. Thank you for sharing your do's and don'ts of sewing :)

Kirsten said...

This is a wonderful bag - love the fabrics you have used!

trudys_person said...

Great looking bag, and excellent pattern review! Thanks!

feelincrafty said...

I love this! I saw it on IG, but I didn't see the top closure part and I really love the top part! Looks great!

Poppyprint said...

Way to go Deb, it's a great bag! I loved your Good/Bads and I can see your stitching details for sure!

Margaret said...

Hi! Debbie, can you tell me where I would find the pattern for this bag? I am always looking for bag patterns and am working really hard at always taking my own bags when shopping. This looks perfect for farmers market and the thrift stores.

Katherine said...

Looks great, Deb! Thanks for the good/bads. My own experience has been a bit similar. I love the look of this bag design, but have mixed feelings on the practicality of it.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

such a great bag - I really like the colors you chose and it looks fairly simple to make too.

Naum Franpos said...

Women like to have a handbag they are using it when they are traveling or attending to a party etc. Their handbag is prone to a snachers, holdapers, Theif. They are investing for handbag insurance for the important things that is in the bag