Which one would you pick?
Patchwork Carry All Tote Kit
Skill level: Advanced Beginner
Time to complete: One Weekend
On Sale NOW for just $21.78!
Occasionally a company will ask an affiliate blogger to make a product, and review the pattern and process. I've agreed to do this bag for Craftsy, but I will share with you, dear Reader, my honest opinion.
This package arrived in February, and I've been looking forward to making it for a spring boost. The Anna Marie Horner fabrics (one of my favorite designers!) were included in the package, and the pattern was printed out from my home computer. In addition, I needed to purchase D-rings. Fusible fleece and interfacing were also called for, but always available in my stash.
There were 9 different fabrics in the bundle, and most were cut in a traditional WOF 1/4 yard. The directions for cutting were very simple and clear. I realized I would have quite a bit of left over fabric when I was done cutting, too. (In other words, if I made a cutting mistake I was still covered!)
Twirl those center seams!
The instructions say this bag will take 'a weekend' to make. I know that's a typical way to list patterns for companies, but I wanted to know more specifically. I started my timer.
It was about 1 hour to cut everything out including interfacing and fleece, and a little dawdling on Instagram, too. Another hour was spent sewing the body, pressing, trimming, and applying the fusible fleece and interfacing. It was a perfect stopping point, and I was off to make dinner.
First Two Tips and Tricks
One: I'm used to cutting interfacing with shears, and trying to get an exact edge is tricky. I used my rotary cutter and ruler, and it was a snap. Precise and pretty!
Two: In a picture up above, I showed a twirled seam. It's easier than it looks, and worth the effort to make.
How to: There will be places where pressing will create bulky intersections. Simply remove 1-2 stitches carefully toward the outer most edge of the seam, and with your finger twirl and flatten the seam. Yes, you may have to fiddle with it a bit, but it is worth the effort to have a flattened intersection. It's the same as the center of any four patch you'll make, and is a valuable technique to have in your 'tool box.' There are many tutorials out there for 'Twirled Center Seams' if you need more help.
Early the next day, I was back at it. This was a simple piece to load onto my longarm, and took about 20 minutes to quilt. I decided on the gold thread from above, and think it added a little glamour to the stitching.
The bronze D-rings arrived just in time for me to finish up the project. It went together smoothly, and rather quickly from that point on.
Things I Did Differently
Also, the pattern calls for adding a button to secure the strap. I'm very conscious of keeping my bags closed while carrying them, especially if I have my wallet inside. For the sake of speed, I added a jumbo snap instead.
Each end is meant to have a button stitched on to embellish it. I chose not to add any as I could see myself catching them on everything--such as a shopping cart, etc.
Overall opinion: It's a cute, stylish bag, and a good value as a kit. I would not suggest it as the first bag for someone to make without a more experienced sewist to ask questions. The instructions are quite clear, but previous construction experience would be helpful. I would say it's appropriately labelled for skill level as an Advanced Beginner project. Overall time commitment was approximately 5 hours, so a long afternoon or a weekend was a good estimate.
Would I recommend it?
Will I be using it?
I already am!
Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's get back to sewing.