Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Time For a Change

If someone gave you two mini-skirts.....

..... and a strap.....

..... what would you make?

A bag, of course! And here's my bag. It's the handbag/toddler size Time for a Change bag, from the pattern by Erin (Erickson) Gilbey of Dog Under My Desk. (Have I ever mentioned her on this blog before???)

Of course no one handed me two mini-skirts and a strap. I'm just being silly. I made them myself, but seeing the outer bag and the lining just made me think of little mini-skirts. :)

The fabric (as well as the fabric I used in the Roundabout Hobo) was a gift from Jess (not her designs) for Christmas several years ago. I loved it, and I was just waiting for the right bag to put it on, because I knew it should be a big one to show off the lovely print. This bag fit the bill!

Below is the other side. Believe it or not, I fussy-cut every single piece except the strap and zipper tab! I wanted the birds to be in good positions, but I didn't want them to 'look' fussy-cut. Make sense? I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I LOVE this bag! The pattern was written with Erin's usual perfection and was great to sew. The only challenge I had was with those curves at the zipper ends. It wasn't that they were so hard, but just that I'm a bit of a perfectionist myself, and I wanted them 'just right'. Erin's instructions were ever-so-helpful, and I'm pleased with the result.

It's a big bag, even though it's the smaller of the two included in the pattern. The bigger one is intended to be a diaper bag, but could be used for anything you need a BIG bag for. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with mine. It's bigger than I use for my "everyday" purse. I guess I'll just have to find something big to put in it. Or hang it as a decoration in my sewing room because I love looking at it. :)

The lining fabric is something I bought a few years ago, mainly because of its name! Jess at some point had started calling me Mumsy, and that's the name of the fabric. So being blue, it's actually "Mumsy in blue" (my favorite color). My intention for it was to make a housecoat (and be Mumsy in blue), but upon seeing it in person, I thought maybe it was a bit too crazy, so I opted for this fabric instead.

I was super pleased to find a zipper in my stash that matched one of the colors so well.....

..... and I used Erin's method from the Roundabout Hobo pattern to add a totally finished welt zipper pocket inside the bag. I had started this bag several weeks ago, but when Erin said she was writing her method into that pattern, I put this bag on hold until I could use it. I'm glad I waited, because it just makes for such a lovely finish!

The outer pockets are lined with a solid blue to match the zippers. I thought it'd be a little too crazy seeing those two prints together on the outside of the bag.

I also used the solid blue on the bottom, since I thought the white parts of the other fabric could get dirty and look awful pretty fast. I added purse feet to help keep the bottom clean, too.

Here's me-the-model again (my photo assistant, Miss Courtney, didn't come yesterday), to show you the size of the bag.

So there you have it - two completed bags in less than a week! Woohoo!

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Roundabout Hobo

I was privileged to be able to test the newest Dog Under My Desk pattern by Erin (Erickson) Gilbey. I had no qualms about testing this pattern, because I know that her patterns are always done with very detailed instructions, lots of photos demonstrating how to do what she's talking about, and little tips along the way for making your sewing experience as easy as possible. Whenever I sew with one of her patterns, it's kind of like "coming home" - a comfortable place to be, y'know? I love them, and as I've said in the past, they are definitely my favorites. I never have to worry about pattern pieces that don't line up right or instructions that are confusing or diagrams that are hard to figure out... or any of those things I've been challenged by with some other patterns. Simply put, Erin's patterns are the BEST!

This new pattern was no exception. It was beautifully done! Testers look for anything that's amiss, and all I found was one minor typo and one teensy seam issue, both of which Erin corrected, so the pattern is perfect!

Here's my Roundabout Hobo.....

..... and a goofy photo of me, just for size reference.

It has such a cute shape, and little easy-to-make pleats help to give it its roundness.

There's no gusset or bottom piece to fiddle with, and not even a separate strap. In fact, there are only four pattern pieces and no extra stabilizers, so it's also quick to cut out.

It has an inner patch pocket....

..... a top zipper closure.....

..... fun contrasting lining fabric that peeks out of the handle.....

..... and an inner (or you could put it on the outside if you preferred) zipper pocket.

Actually, that zipper pocket is the reason I volunteered to test the pattern in the first place. Erin had mentioned in her Facebook group that she had a new technique for adding a facing inside the pocket so that even the zipper tape was finished off. Although I've done a lot of zippered welt pockets, I couldn't imagine how it was done... but I knew that I wanted to find out! Here's how it turned out. Isn't it just lovely?

(This pink is the actual color of the lining, not as red-ish as the pics above.)

As I was first following the instructions for that zipper and facing, I at first thought, "Is it really worth the bother? Who ever looks at the inside of a pocket at the zipper tape, anyway?" But once I had it finished and realized how slick it went, and that there really wasn't much more to it than what I had been doing before, I've decided it's now my go-to method for that type of pocket. I love it! I'd have paid the full price of the pattern just to get it.

Speaking of the pattern price... if you're interested in buying the pattern, it and all the patterns in the DUMD Pattern Shop are discounted 20% through Valentine's Day, so hurry up and get yours! The discount will automatically be applied when you check out - no code needed.

I've already used that pocket technique in another bag that I had partially finished but put on hold until I knew how to do the zipper facing. I can't wait to finish the rest of it and show you... it's soooo pretty! You shouldn't have to wait too long to see it, because I have a bunch more projects in the queue already and need to get at them!