Apparently I’ve become someone who makes bags. This one is the Date Night purse pattern from Dog Under My Desk. Outer fabric is Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Wallflower Ledger Multi and lining is Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Wall Flower Tiled Green.
As usual, I made some modifications: I turned both pockets into zipper pockets! I just feel that zippers are so much more secure. (I thought about just putting a flap with a magnetic closure over the outer pocket, but it seemed like adding a zipper would be just as easy, so why not?)
For the interior, I used the existing interior pocket pattern piece and cut it with the long end on the fold, then followed the instructions from the Dottie Vintage Bag pattern. That worked perfectly.
Then I did something completely different for the outer pocket–put a zipper going up one of the front side seams. This involved cutting out three of the middle front piece (2 lining, 1 outer), narrowing the outer piece and one lining piece, and inserting the zipper there to fill out the width again. That was done basically by treating it as though I were installing one side of a zipper pouch, if that makes sense. Then I basted that to the other lining piece (linings together) and treated the whole thing as one unit to finish constructing the front.
This process wasn’t that difficult…except that I kept calculating how much to remove from the side incorrectly. Argh! At least these are all fairly small pieces, so I had plenty of fabric to cut more.
I also lengthened the strap a bit, based on another shoulder bag I have–but now I don’t think that was necessary. I wish I’d gone with the other modification I was also considering: just installing D-rings and then making two adjustable straps with swivel clips (one short for shoulder wear, one long for cross-body).
The good: The pattern itself was great–very thorough instructions with lots of clear photos and illustrations. I rarely had to puzzle over something for long to figure it out. I like the clean, structured shape and the fact that the main compartment is fully closed with the zipper. The size is just about perfect for me (now that I’m no longer usually carting around paper books).
The not-so-good: My machine HATED sewing through all the layers! I broke one needle and bent two more before I was done (yes, I was using the recommended needle size!). To sew up the main zipper ends, I had to literally hand crank my machine–it refused to sew through all of that, with the result that the ends turned out a bit wonky, but there was no way I was going to redo them. I also didn’t find it nearly as speedy a make as the reviews said, though maybe that was because my expectations had been raised by those reviews. 🙂