Saturday, September 27, 2014

Selfish Sewing :: Guilty

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:
  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
The other is that rather than a shoulder bag, I usually prefer a cross-body bag. To give me the flexibility for both, I just made an extension piece about 8" long finished, using the same directions and hardware as the main strap. Perfect.
Essentially, making the Brookfield Bag was a delight and I'm more than pleased with it and have already put it into daily use. Quite the successful selfish sewing interlude, for sure.


Stop by imagine gnats for the complete lists of featured stitchers and indie pattern designers, and you can see all the linked up projects over at co-sponsor Kollabora!

23 comments:

  1. What a brilliant finish Debbie! It is such a professional looking bag with beautiful detail in every step! Well done!

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  2. So cute! I also prefer cross-body bags so I appreciate your tip for modification. Lovely job.

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  3. What a cool bag! I love the placement of the deer on the back. He looks like he's standing on a large boulder.

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  4. Beautiful job! Yeah, isn't that Soft and Stable great to work with, though? I haven't tried a swivel lock yet... now I know who to turn to for advice if I ever do! ;)

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  5. It's a beautiful bag, and your fabric choices are perfect! I have some soft and stable on its way for the guitar bag I am making, I'm glad to know it is easy to use.

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  6. Love how the bag turned out. I have been watching your progress on Instagram and couldn't wait to see the finished product

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  7. gorgeous, Debbie!! thanks for selfish sewing along :) xo

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  8. Your bag is so lovely Debbie - I find using some of the hardware is the trickier parts of making bags too.

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  9. Debbie your bag turned out so beautiful! I love your taste in fabrics :o) Gosh are you tempting me to make one of these...but I am going to be strong...I promise I am...and continue with the "To Do" list I've already made myself...darn.

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  10. I adore this bag!! And that handle extension is brilliant. I'm a convert! Now I'm gonna have to make one, too :)

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  11. This is an extremely cute bag. Great fabric choices.

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  12. Wow, really love this bag and the fabrics you chose. So beautifully finished too. One for my list :-)

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  13. Debbie! It's just perfect. You did a great job. I have yet to make a bag.....

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  14. Lovely bag :o) Not all twist locks have screws BTW, you might want to look for ones with legs like magnetic snaps if you make another one of these

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  15. This is great! And congrats for being a part of the blog hop! I love the bag!

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  16. it looks great! I love your choice of fabrics and, pain as it might have been, the twist lock makes it look really professional.

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  17. I'll bet people will stop you to ask where you bought your bag! It turned out beautifully. Also, I agree that Soft and Stable is a superior product. It was recommended by a friend who swears by it and since using it, I've see the light!

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  18. It turned out fabulous, looks so professional and I just love your strap extension!

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  19. I'm impressed Debbie. I'm not much of a bag maker either although I do have a couple I'd like to do sometime.

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  20. I saw this up on Flickr and had to come and find your post. I LOVE this--I thought I'd seen all the bags out there, but this one -- in the cool fabrics you chose -- really knocks my socks off. I really like your trick for an extender strap: a good way to make the bag really versatile.

    Fabuloso!
    Elizabeth

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  21. Absolutely beautiful! Very nice job, and your piping looks impeccable. And I must say, thank you for saying what the fabric was. I've noticed some ladies guard fabric names like a man guards his favorite fishing hole. So it is appreciated that you wrote that. :)

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