Friday, August 13, 2010

Something for me...

I love my new bag. I don't know what I love the most about it - the Lizzy House Red Letter Day Fabric (ducks in a row), the stripey lining and handles, the internal zippered pocket (first one I've sewn!), or the amazingly endless bottomless pit that will fit everything I need inside.
I needed a bag to throw everything into for the days that I casual teach, and for the outings with the kids that require food, extra nappies, etc. I thought this pattern was perfect. It's the Left Bank Granny Bag from the book Carry Me, by Yuka Koshizen.
The book's a bit intimidating - it's translated from Japanese and most of the instructions are in diagrams, with only minimal words. There were no full-size pattern pieces for this bag, only schematics to measure and cut out each rectangular piece. But having good maths skills I thought I'd give it a try.

I made a few modifications and had to improvise a couple of times where the pattern seemed a bit lost in translation. I'll try to describe them here for anyone planning to use this pattern:
  • My bag is an inch or two shorter - this way I could squeeze it out of my one yard of ducks in a row fabric. Basically, I cut the width as per the pattern for the entire length of my piece of fabric and squared it off.
  • I cut my outer piece in half and pieced it so the ducks were right-side-up on both sides :)
  • The straps were cut from my lining fabric as I wanted to use the stripes. But if you only have 1 yard of each fabric I think you need to use the lining fabric anyway (unless you piece the outer fabric to get the right length).
  • The pattern has you cut interfacing out for the pocket, but never tells you where to use it. I fused it to the wrong side of the lining fabric, where the pocket gets sewn on.
  • For the gathers and pleats at the top, the pattern instructs you to randomly sew pintucks. I couldn't see any pintucks in the photo, so I'm not sure if that's what she meant. This is what I did: I 'basted' 7 large tucks (about 1 cm wide), evenly spaced across the top, using my maximum stitch length. I finger pressed them toward the outside of the bag. Then I sewed my gathering stitches and gathered to match the top panel width. Once I completed the bag I ripped out the stitches holding the tucks as well as the gathering stitches. If I did this bag again I'd sew some more tucks (about 1 inch apart instead of 2) before gathering.
  • After top-stitching the top panel, I slip-stitched the inside seam to add strength and neaten the edge.
 I grin whenever I see this bag and look forward to using it all the time! I would definitely make another one.


  1. Jill you are so crafty! I love this bag for all kinds of reasons!!! seems really perfect for what you have in mind...and how wonderful to use a favorite fabric for the job! AWESOME

  2. Wow, I love this! The shape of it reminds me a little bit of the April bag on Oh Fransson - have you seen that one? I'm a big fan of the ducks in a row too.

  3. PS Have just had a bit more of a look around your blog - it is almost like looking at my own fabric stash (Wonderland in particular is also a big feature!!) And I have the Helena cardi ready to go for my little girl. Not to mention the Icecream dress. Not enough time in the day! Please come and look at my blog! Danielle

  4. CUTE! I love the fabric unexpected and totally cute.

  5. Love your new bag and it's especially nice because it's something for yourself !

  6. Love the bag, would be a great project bag with the easy access to everything :D

    Super cute fabric ! :)

  7. That duck fabric is fabulous, isn't it? So graphic.


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