Monday, September 3, 2012

The Bella Bag by LiEr

Hey, it's Labor Day! I hope most of you are able to enjoy a day OFF from laboring today. I know LiEr has been laboring very hard to get her pattern for the Bella Bag finished for you, and she's finally done it! So I hope she gets to relax at least a little today! (Is picking raspberries "relaxing"?)

I promised you in this post that I'd show you more pictures of my Bella Bag and do a pattern review when it was ready to go up for sale. And now it's time! LiEr has the Bella Bag pattern listed for sale and immediate download on her blog in the "Patterns For Sale" tab just below the blog banner... and on her left sidebar... and from a link in her blog post about the pattern details. 

Here is my Bella Bag:

The print fabric is "Fireworks", from Jessica Jones's Amusement Park Collection.

A closer look at the front:

And the back, which has a hidden zipper pocket below that flap at the bottom of the elastic (click on any photo if you want to see a larger view of the details):

It has a generous pocket on each side:

So you can really load it up!

It also has a zipper pocket on the inside:

Even the bottom is pretty, and it has a plastic liner in it for stability. This pic shows you how wide it is... lots of room in there:

And what would a bag be without my favorite little model to show it off for you? Here she is, looking like she's all ready to head for the beach! Yep, it's a pretty big bag!

Many of you have been waiting patiently for this pattern... since LiEr introduced her first bag and asked if anybody was interested in a pattern. It's a long process to write one, especially if you're going to do it well! LiEr wrote a post here describing the process. It's now at Step 30 - hurray!

I can tell you that this is an extremely well-written pattern! It is very detailed and has photos and/or diagrams to illustrate every step. LiEr and I agree that it is not a pattern for beginners. It would be best to have some bag-making experience under your belt before undertaking it. I myself would not want this to be my first-ever bag. Though each step is not that hard, there are many steps, which make it seem complicated, and knowing something about how bags are constructed is helpful in completing the steps.

The pattern has only a few pieces to print, but there are also measurements given for numerous rectangular pieces. Even the cutting out of the pieces can seem complicated, because there are many. I advise making some kind of a list of all the pieces you need, like mine that I showed you in this post, to keep things straight, especially if you're using several different fabrics.

I love that there are so many options for this bag. You can use as many or as few color combinations as you want, and you'll still end up with a beautiful bag! I enjoyed sewing mine, and choosing the fabrics was fun (even though it was the hardest part because I kept changing my mind - ha!). There are also two options for the strap placement, either on the gusset or on the elasticized sides. LiEr and I both decided we like them best on the gusset, but there are photos with them both ways, so you can choose which look you like best for yourself.

LiEr spent a long time working on this pattern to get it 'just right', and it shows. Every detail is covered, and the steps are clear and easy to understand. I highly recommend it, if you're into making bags! Or if you're a brave soul who hasn't made a bag before but likes to dig in and try a new challenge... I bet you could still do it with patience and a lot of careful following of instructions... and you'd learn some new skills in the process!

Thanks, LiEr, for letting me be your bag tester! What's next?! ;)

(For those of you who aren't bag-makers but would like one of these bags, the ones LiEr made, plus my bag, will be available in her Etsy shop in the next few days. She'll let you know when they're ready!)

Linking up to Amylouwho's Sew & Tell:


LiEr said...

Hey Grandma G! It looks like everyone else is on vacation since we're the only ones talking to each other in our comments! Yes, what fun we had doing this bag! What's next, indeed. I am rooting for Legolas and Haldir but it might just end up being Halloween costumes or -worse - school clothes for the kids. Thankfully, you don't need to pattern-test for those, huh?

Abbie said...

I was just on her site and thought I'd pop over. You picked such lovely colorful fabrics for this tote. And thank you for all the encouragement you put together for this post. I was feeling a bit intimidated about trying out the pattern, but from what you describe, it sounds like with my zipper-installation and sewing curves skills I'll do just fine.

The Luedtke Family said...

An absolutely stunning bag. Personally, I love bags, especially those with pockets. I am not sure I would love to make all those pockets!

Can't wait to see what is next!

Live a Colorful Life said...

This is a lot bigger than I thought. Now I'm regretting not buying it right away! Remember the orange bag you made for me? I take it EVERYWHERE. In fact, it would be weird to leave town for whatever reason and NOT have it with me! I think Bella would be the same way. Hmmm...maybe I should buy the pattern! What do ya think about that?

La Alicia said...

what a beautiful bag!

Lissa said...

It looks so pretty! I think I really might dive in and buy this one! Perhaps make myself a Christmas present?

annie dee said...

Terrific bag! Love love love Jessica's fabric and I love the choice of fabrics you choose for this. In a word: wowza!

Grandma G said...

Thank you, everyone! (Annie Dee, where have you been?! I've missed you!) :)

LiEr... I wouldn't mind testing ANY pattern for you! :)

Abbie... you can do it! If you have questions or need help, feel free to email.

Cindy... glad you're getting so much use out of that bag!! You could still buy my bag from LiEr's Etsy shop when she's got it ready. Or buy the pattern if you want.

Lissa... I think that'd be a great Christmas present for yourself! :)

maria said...

Gorgeous bag. I love the fabrics you've used.

Dayna said...

This is super-duper adorable!!

Grandma G said...

Thank you!