June 29, 2009

[Not this] weekend sewing

Everything tote
Another not-quite-as-easy-as-I-expected project from Weekend Sewing that I actually finished and photographed a few weeks ago. Thinking that one can't have too many bags, I decided to try the Everything Tote using some home dec weight Amy Butler fabric and a fun print from Heather's Mendocino collection for the lining. I had heard that there was an error with the pattern and checked the errata page before I got started so I knew how how much fabric I was really going to need, which was a good start.

Everything tote - lining
I had a minor OCD moment when I realized that neither the pattern or the errata mention that if you are using a directional print (like the orange I used for the lining) that following the pattern as written will result in the print being upside down on one side of the bag. This is because the bottom of the bag is placed on the fabric fold. I fixed this by cutting two pieces for the lining instead of cutting it on the fold so the octopi ended up all swimming in the same direction and all was right with my world. One other thing to note about the materials: you need about 1/2 yard extra for the lining fabric in order to be able to cut out the handle and binding pieces. Also, to give the bag some stability, I lined the binding and handles with a layer of flannel a la Bend the Rules.

Unfortunately, the pattern is just not quite right, although it's pretty easy to figure out what you need to do to make it work. For example, to create the gathering between the handles, the pattern says to gather the material until the two markings (where the handles join) are 12" apart. Well, they start out 12" apart, so you need to gather the material until it looks right to you. Because of this adjustment, the binding pieces end up being a couple of inches too long and you have to trim them flush with the raw edges before you add the handles. Also, the instructions for applying the binding and handles make no sense whatsoever. Fortunately, you can easily find better instructions for making a bag with bias tape binding and handles, there are a lot out there.

All that said, I quite like the way this bag turned out and would probably make another.

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