This is (sort of) a tutorial for the pattern found in Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. I took a lot of pictures, because when I had some trouble spots the only shared ones I could find were just pictures of the finished product. While they were all cute, that didn’t help me much in trying to figure out the last step, attaching the zipper panel to the body of the bag. Other than that, this pattern is (pretty) simple.
[Click “More” for the mostly step-by-step pictures!]
I used green canvas I got on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and a busy print cotton I found in the remnant bin. I didn’t want the outside to be too plain, so I decided to try embroidering. It didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned, but I think it adds to the bag.
I also attempted to make the lining pocket as instructed, with elastic thread. However, I’ve never worked with elastic thread and I found it to be a pain in the butt. I freestyled my own pocket, partly because I wanted a small skinny one to stick bobby pins in. It turned out alright, but I would definitely make it deeper next time. They’re too shallow for much more than bobby pins to stand upright inside.
Let’s discuss where I went wrong. I realized I had to shorten the end tabs on my zipper a little- the zipper called for by the pattern is 16″, but the panel pieces are about 2 inches longer than that. I trimmed some of the fabric part underneath the side panel tabs to get this to fit properly. Then I worked from one end of the zipper to the other, pinning it, getting to the end and realizing I still had too much slack or too little.
The reason it was not matching up correctly is because I was going about it the wrong way. Instead of working from one end of the zipper to the other, pin the top of the bag first (the part above the leaf, for reference), then pin the opposite side. If these two sides are even, the rest of it will come out fairly matched up.
I actually finished most of this project last weekend, but was so annoyed trying to finish the last part after having pinned and re-pinned several times, I decided I needed a short sabbatical.
So, let’s try this again.
Overall, this project came out alright. I’m not sure if I will use the pattern again or try something else that’s similar.
If I do make this again, I would change how I did the pockets, and take the time (and patience) to figure out the elastic threading, so things don’t fall out. Putting all the pieces together wasn’t particularly difficult. For me, the hardest part was joining the zipper panel and body cleanly. I’m not sure how I feel about the seaming on the inside, so I may look for a pattern that eliminates that (or modify this one somehow). I think I would also try adding a small strap of some kind, maybe on the side- it would be pretty easy to add one inside the side panel, and then sew it closed.
The book I used, Weekend Sewing, has other cute patterns, but be warned that while the drawings are helpful, the written instructions are somewhat lacking. It does have a pair of gardening gloves that I might try to make, in the right fabric maybe they would help protect my fingers when doing wire projects.