So have you been participating in Selfish Sewing Week? When Rachael/imagine gnats asked me to be one of the featured stitchers, I knew right off what I wanted to make - the Brookfield Bag! The pattern, by prolific bag designer Sara/Sew Sweetness, was offered free on Sew Mama Sew a while back, and I was smitten at first sight.
Now in general, I'm not known as a bag-maker, though I did once survive making a Weekender, and count that as one of my major sewing accomplishments. But anyway, the Brookfield Bag looked doable to a quilter like me, and I began gathering supplies.
I'll tell you right off, the prep was half the work. You know, cutting all the fabrics, fusing them with interfacing, etc. etc. And of course it took me a while to even decide on my fabrics. In the end, I selected 2 Indelible prints by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics (Doiland Gloss Plum for the exterior and Threaded Shreds Dim for the interior), accented with Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Black. And I can't say I regret those choices one bit!
Purse hardware isn't my forte, but I was thrilled with what I found at Emmaline and for the Soft and Stable I went straight to byAnnie. I was stocked up on Pellon SF-101 Shape Flex and the other bits I needed, so that part was easy.
The pattern itself was clear as day, and I just followed it step by step with no problem. Sara gives plenty of "Helpful Hints" along the way (marked in red even!), so I found it all quite straightforward. Two "ah-ha" moments were:
- The Soft and Stable - wow. I had never used this product before but I'm a believer. It sews like a dream, and gives just the right sturdiness to the bag.
- The metal twist lock was my one piece of frustration. (As I said on Instagram, "That hardware took 30 minutes, 4 hands, several random notions & tools, but thankfully only 1 episode on hands & knees looking for a teensy little screw.") The trouble was getting that tiny screw on the back-plate secured in the right place, and I'm thinking next time I need to hunt down my grommet tool and use the small punch to make a clean hole. So I'll be researching that further, so there's less frustration next time, but the result of said frustration is one I'm pretty pleased with.
Another detail I'm quite proud of is the piping. Following Sara's instructions, it came out as neat as can be.
I made a couple of little tweaks to my bag, just due to personal preference. One was sewing in 1 pair of pockets, where the pattern calls for 2.