Saturday, April 2, 2016

Patchwork Carry All Tote Kit from Craftsy

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.

 Paisleys overall.

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

There were directions for adding an outside pocket, but I misunderstood the placement. There is a picture on the website, but I was working without wifi at the time. I didn't understand the written directions. Mine was placed on the side, but I think would function better if I moved it to the end as it was meant. It's an easy fix!

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.


Crafty Ashley B said...

Great review and thanks for the honest opinion!

linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stitchin At Home said...

Cute bag Julie! I always twirl seams as you say it helps keep the bulk out of the seams.

Angie in SoCal said...

Good review, Julie. I like to read reviews that tell it like it was while constructing. Good size bag too.

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Thanks for the review. It looks like a great bag.

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

Yay! You finished it! It looks great, and now you have a cool bag to carry around. Thanks for the review and for sharing your post on MCM!

Cath said...

lovely finish and I love the quilting design you used.

eva said...

great review - thanks,
and wonderful bag...
i understand the part about not having the buttons at the bottom sides, because of the risk of catching them on things.....but i do like the LOOK of them how to solve that puzzle......