My finish this week is a birthday gift for a good friend of mine. She L-O-V-E-S bags so I knew just what to make for her! It was fun talking with her about features she wanted and styles she likes and having her go through my stash to pick the perfect fabric. She asked for a bag with one strap, preferably more wide than tall, with exterior pockets. Here's what I came up with -
I started with the Mabel Messenger Bag pattern and made several modifications to meet my friend's needs. First I added two exterior pockets on the front and a "fancy" (ha ha) faux leather bottom. The bottom was totally inspired by this awesome bag. I found the faux leather at a local shop that sells home decorator fabrics and it was surprisingly easy to sew with. The only major difference is that you can't pin it, but I sewed using my regular 1/4" foot as well as my walking foot and it worked just fine. Oh, and I did use a size 16 needle for this bag since some parts of it where really thick. I love that the faux leather bottom will help this bag stand up to everyday wear and tear!
I'm not a huge fan of traditional metal snaps. I have tons of the 18mm variety, but the magnet is so strong that I often find it difficult to unsnap them. They can also be a bit unsightly sometimes. Enter the hidden sew-in magnetic snap closure. LOVE it! Although it was a little tricky working with the magnet sewn into the bag since it wants to stick to EVERYTHING - my scissors, my iron, the metal plate and feed dogs on my sewing machine. It wasn't a huge pain, but it was amusing!
My next addition was a metal swivel clasp just inside the bag so that my friend can just clip in her keys and not lose them in the bottom of her bag. The fabric I used for the interior is from Kate Spain's Verna collection.
Then I added metal rectangle rings, just because. These were really great during the construction of the bag since I didn't have to sew on the straps until the very end. It was nice to not have to deal with the strap being awkwardly stuffed between the exterior and interior while I was sewing them together. Also I should note that I deviated from the pattern here and made a fixed strap instead of the adjustable shoulder-to-messenger-bag strap the instructions called for.
And for my next trick . . . an interior zipper pocket! This was my very first one, and wasn't hard AT ALL! The pattern includes directions for this zip pocket, and I'm thrilled to have finally learned how to do it.
The fabric I used for this bag is from Amy Butler's Nigella home dec weight collection. It's so pretty, and luckily I have just enough left over to make myself a new ironing board cover. I sure wouldn't mind looking at this fabric every time I have to iron, and it sure beats the ugly cover I have now!
Well, this bag is off to meet her new owner tomorrow. I hope she likes it!!!