Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Honolulu Bag

I posted about this bag on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I'd expand on it here.  I was looking for a bag pattern to expand on my skills and definitely got more than I bargained for with this one.  The main concept of the bag is based on the Wasp Bag pattern from machen/machen.  I am not new to bag-making.  I can whip out a lined tote in no time flat.  This pattern had a couple of extras thrown in to give me a bit of a challenge- magnetic snaps and darts and pleats, oh my!  I started by scaling down the pattern a bit with my printer as I wanted it to be more of a shoulder bag than a tote.  I ended up with something in between, which was perfect for my intended use as a carry-on bag to hold my iPad and Kindle for a plane trip (to Honolulu, of course!). 

For the most part the pattern was easy to follow.  My main departure from the given directions came with strap construction.  The pattern pieces themselves were not clear on how to attach the pieces of the strap pattern together, so I had to improvise with strap length.  The method described for sewing the straps just seemed too difficult.  I opted to put wrong sides together, sew the edges, turn right-side-out, and then continue on with attaching and topstitching.  Much less room for error on the edges!  I tried leaving the button color choice up to my kids and offered the options of turquoise and orange.  They suggested a different color on each side of the bag (!) so I settled on the orange, which brings out the centers of the flowers perfectly. I really love the effect that using the print fabric on the backside of the straps gives. On my totes I use canvas for both sides of the straps, but I think I'll try using the lining fabric on the back next time.

On the bag interior, I designed my own interfaced slip pockets and sized them to hold my iPhone securely.  I also decided to finally learn how to insert an inner zip pocket using this tutorial.  The only issue I had with the inside came from the pleats on the lining intersecting with the pockets, which called for some careful placement.

I love the end result, and the bag has served me well so far and held up great through plane trips, beach excursions, and toy toting.

The main body of this bag is constructed of brown medium-weight canvas, and the outer and inner prints are cottons from Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2 collection.  My new labels from GutenTAGs made their debut as well.

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