Monday, 17 March 2014

Holiday Bag

I've seen a lot of folded clutch bags in stores recently, and whilst I like the look of them I wanted something a bit more practical for my holiday -nobody wants to have to carry a clutch bag sightseeing!

It had to be small and light but roomy enough for the essentials (keys / phone / purse / camera / sunglasses etc plus perhaps a cardigan in case the weather turns!).

Another requirement was making it secure for the hustle and bustle of Rome, which is why I chose a cross-body design rather than a shoulder bag which is my go-to. There are no external pockets, plus the fold and lobster clasp on top of the zip fastening should have me covered.

So on to construction! It's put together in essentially the same way as the colour blocked tote bag in my tutorial, only with a zip and fully lined.

If you want a full breakdown of the zip / lining technique for something similar then Ali over at 'Very Berry Handmade' has a great tutorial for a 'Flat Bottom / Straight side Zippy Pouch'I suppose this one's sort of a tote bag / zipped pouch hybrid.

The first things I tackled were the straps. For the record -turning one inch tubes of waxed cotton is not straightforward! Hence the long body strap was folded and topstitched instead. I also cut the ends for this one on an angle as the were stitched into the side seams (above).

I made both straps adjustable using sliders so that the lobster clasp fastening could be lengthened depending on how full the bag is. The hardware is from UK based U-handbag which I thoroughly recommend. I was after some bits and pieces for a 'Cooper' Rucksack as well and after trawling Ebay for what seemed like forever I decided to just buy it all from there!

I think these bits and pieces are what make a handmade bag feel that little more polished.

I cut the outer in three pieces and interfaced the print. I quilted the waxed cotton with a layer of interlining to give it body. I'm really glad that I didn't skip the quilting (I was feeling lazy!) as it's turned out to be one of my favourite features.

With all of the straps etc attached I put in the zip and closed up the side seams (ending up with a  big sausage -above centre) leaving a nice big turning hole in the lining, then pinned and stitched the corners.

The lining was cut in one piece. I added a couple of deep internal pockets (somewhat pointless in a bag of this size but everyone loves a pocket!). You can probably see in the picture above that I've added a little box pleat where it's attached in the middle so that the pocket openings aren't flush with the lining. This way I can fit my hand in to rummage around.

Super pleased with this one, it really turned out just how I'd imagined. Now all that's left is to decide which to submit ...shorts? ...or bag? Decisions, decisions! I have until the end of the month so I'll take some 'in use' pictures and perhaps put it to a vote!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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