I finished one bag this week. For using only three pattern pieces, there was a lot of cutting to do. The strap and tabs were all cut by measurements, and then there was a lot of interfacing and fusible fleece. I counted around 32 pieces by the time I got all done!
Soon after I started sewing, I discovered a problem. The pieces didn't fit together correctly. This piece was off by 1/4" at each end! Not good when the seam allowances are only 3/8". It wasn't obvious before sewing that it wasn't going to fit because it was sewn on a curve. Fortunately, I was able to just trim off the excess and go on.
Checking out the pattern pieces, I discovered that there were a number of discrepancies. The outer pieces (one option was a solid panel, the other was pieced) were not the same size, and only the pieced panel fit with the top band.
Then there was the lining piece. It wasn't the same size as either piece, and besides that, it turned out to be 1/4" too tall, which meant the lining ended up being 1/2" too wide. It simply was too big for the bag.
I wasn't pleased with how the corners turned out, but that was mostly my own fault. I should've used the lining fabric instead of the barkcloth on the zipper tabs, because it was thinner, and since some of the lining peeked out, it would've been less obvious. I should've also used dark thread for the ends there - I didn't realize the stitches would show like this.
This pattern used a technique I'd heard of but never tried before, and that was turning the bag through the inside zippered pocket at the end. It was kind of a necessity, otherwise there would have had to be a turning hole in the gusset, and that wouldn't have looked as nice. This method worked okay, but it did make it much harder (impossible?) to look inside and see if things were looking okay (like my corner mismatch up above).
Also, next time I'll use Erin (Erickson) Gilbey's method for making nicer corners. ;)
I get so frustrated when patterns are 'off'. Don't they get tested before they're released? Do the testers not notice errors or gloss over them, afraid to criticize? Do they report problems but the author does nothing about them? I don't know, but I've sure found a lot of not-up-to-par patterns recently. I think the authors may be in too much of a hurry.
Still, this bag ended up pretty cute. Here's kind of a crummy pic I took quickly to send to Jess to show her the cute plumpness of the bag. It has pleats on each side, which give it the extra fullness.
Despite all, it's not a bad bag!
As I mentioned, it has a zippered pocket inside.
Even though it's small, it should hold plenty of stuff!
Jess also wanted pics of the bag with me wearing it, for a size reference, so I might as well include them here, too, so you'll get a better idea of the size of the bag.
And we think it's cute, so knowing what I know now, I'm going to make another one. I already have my pattern pieces adjusted and am ready to cut. Hopefully this one will go more smoothly and turn out much nicer than the first one!
On a side note, I bought myself a new sewing aid a few weeks ago. It's an LED light with a flexible neck and a magnetic base (which I was surprised did not stick to my 'heavy metal' sewing machine, but my solution for that is a story for another time). It's very useful, especially for sewing on dark stuff at night in my basement sewing room.
I got it from Amazon. There is also strip LED lighting available, but I decided to get this because I thought the flexibility might be better... plus it was cheaper. :)
On another side note, I finally took a pic of bra #3, so hopefully I'll get a post written about that before too long. Just don't hold your breath, okay? I don't want anybody turning blue waiting! ;)