This week, I’ve been mostly bag-makin’. With, I’d fairly say, mixed success. The idea of making a new bag has been hovering around my to-sew list for a while. While I’m totally not a bag-obsessive type of person (I own exactly one everyday bag at a time and wear it into the ground) it’s such a pain to find one I like when the time to replace it comes that the idea to sew my own seemed kind of obvious. I’ve been slowly beavering away inspiration and pattern and fabric options. Here’s some of that pinspiration (click through to the post to see the pins below if you’re in a reader):
In the end I chose the Noodlehead 241 tote pattern in grey faux leather. It’s the second Noodlehead bag pattern I’ve made – my mum is still toting her Poolside everywhere. The pattern is called 241 because you can either include the zipped front pockets, or leave them off for a more straightforward sew. I liked the look of them so chose the harder route, but soon began to wish I hadn’t.
My faux leather, while nice quality (it’s this imitation napa from My Fabrics) and easy to cut and sew, was a tricky one when it came to any step requiring pressing, such as making the strap or zip pocket openings. It melted at the mere sight of an iron, so I simply couldn’t get a crisp and neat press. In the end I shot it with steam from the lining side and clamped some heavy books on it for a while to help the shape ‘set’. You also can’t use pins because they’ll leave a permanent mark, so a lot of sticky tape was deployed. Hence those front zips look decidedly amateur with the lining poking out, unpicking marks left around one of them, and the zip tape openings showing at each end. Yucks.
Maybe I’ll just wear it backwards with the plain side facing out all the time, ha ha, because otherwise I am fairly happy with it. I printed the pattern at 110% size to make it just a little larger, and I like that the base has darts which add some 3D roominess. It’s not included in the pattern, but I used this tutorial to make the strap adjustable in length. The rectangular brass rings and sliders are from Bobbin Girl.
Construction was quite simple, zips and fabric issues aside. It’s bagged out like any normal lined bag – I used a Cotton and Steel print inside. It closes with a magnetic snap at the top.
Here’s how it looks in use. To be honest even though I’m not 100% happy with the construction I will probably use it anyway since my previous bag is really tatty by now. I wouldn’t discount making the pattern again, but maybe in a friendlier fabric with more attention to detail on the zip insertion. I’m off to sew something way more fun now…