It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 27. Summer Fling.

Author: Jacqueline

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course!

It’s an innocent fling. I’m not having an affair. I am loyal and trustworthy. It’s just a bag. I just needed a break. A break from the love and devotion towards the two giant quilts I’m currently working on. One is cut out and part way through assembly, the other, a sexy pile of fabric, staring longingly for attention, much like my cats at dinner time.

As you know from last week, I decided to work on a Frenchy bag, by Amy Butler. I’m working towards a specific (top secret) project so for now, it’s practice bags, for myself. I’ve diverged a bit from the pattern, made some discoveries and decisions in new directions, but generally am going with the original design.

First off, more pockets. My current purse is an endless pit. I rarely catch my phone before the last ring and I always have open pens floating in the bottom. Needless to say, open pens and fine Echino fabrics are not an ideal match.

I attached the newly created pockets on the ‘pocket panels’. Once in place, these pockets are really centre dividers, rather than ‘pockets’ as they are full width. While the pockets turned out to be the perfect size, their location left something to be desired. The bag is rather floppy, the pockets have no structure. The phone and pens are still hard to find. Next time, the secondary pockets will attach directly to the side panels for structure and stability. Lucky for me, I’m making more bags. Yes, I am aware the pattern calls for a variety of great interfacings. I used decor weight fabric and consciously made a soft and floppy summer bag.

I used several different prints for the interior pockets. If you’ve seen my quilt backs, you’ll know that I don’t believe in one side being more important than the other, so my lining has as much energy as the exterior. 

I also extended the shoulder strap length. It is really important to dry run shoulder straps before making any bag.  I am tall, so I typically need a few extra inches. It is also important to take seasonality into consideration.  In the summer, I wear lighter, more form fitting clothes; the straps have more room to move. In the winter, over a sweater and coat, I need longer straps.

I finished my first bag the Saturday after I bought my fabrics and I have to say, I am in love. I’ve been using it all week. It’s lighter in colour than I usually make for bags (who tend to live on the floor). All the fabrics were prewashed with Soak, so the bag is safe for machine washing when it starts to show signs of love, dirt and probably pen stains. I’m going to keep working on a couple of more bags, experimenting with interfacings, surface detailing and adding some piecework to the patterns. 

I’m sure my affair with Frenchy will be short lived. I’ll come back to her in the fall for some wintery bags. For now, it’s just summer fun. Fear not little quilts, I’ve got a full week’s holiday booked in August for quilting at the cottage and before you know it the days will be short and full of quilting again.


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