I'm so excited to introduce you to my new sponsor, Chris W Designs. Christine, the owner of this company, writes and designs bag PDF patterns. As you probably know, bag patterns are near and dear to my heart. :-)
All of the patterns on the site include step-by-step instructions complete with many photos, as well as a text-only version, so that you can save a little bit of ink! All this with the instant gratification of an instant-download (so you still have time to make those last-minute Christmas gifts!).
Two of my lovely friends offered to make and review a Chris W Designs sewing pattern, and I would like to share their finished bags and reviews here!
First up is Tiffany Fischer, who I met at Sewing Summit. Tiffany is just pretty awesome. :-) Here is what Tiffany had to say about the Evelyn Bag: I had the opportunity to review a pattern from Chris W Designs. There were a few I wanted to try and thankfully she had a difficulty rating on each pattern which helped me make a decision.
I went with a level 3 (4 being the highest) and chose the Evelyn bag.
Fabric & Interfacing Choices:
I chose quilting weight cotton for this project. Both the exterior and lining are from Michael Miller’s “Grand Bazaar”. I found the pattern fabric requirements to be pretty accurate, although I was able to get by with only ½ a yard of lining fabric by using leftovers from the exterior fabric for 1 pocket lining.
The pattern called for mid-weight interfacing and fusible fleece. I had lightweight on hand so that is what I used instead of mid-weight and while I love the finished product, next time I would definitely use mid-weight to make it a bit sturdier.
Some of the features on this bag were a bit out of my comfort zone but the pattern was very detailed in the instructions and illustrations. By being split into sections, such as making the handles, creating the elastic gathered side pouches, etc., this complicated bag seemed very manageable and not as overwhelming as I first expected. The various sections were all logically organized and each one was a great stopping place if needed which was helpful because I didn’t have time to sit down and get through the whole thing at once.
While I found this pattern to be very well constructed, I did run into a few difficulties where measurements were not completely accurate or illustrations were either not provided or did not show exactly what was being described. The information I received from Christine by email was helpful, but in general I think a pattern should be able to stand on its own without additional assistance from the author. I think for someone who has some critical thinking skills and previous bag making experience, you can find workarounds as I did, but for someone who needs 100% guidance, this pattern could be a little tricky. Overall I was pleased with my experience and would most certainly make this pattern again.
Next up doing a bag pattern review is Kim from Kim's Krafts! Here is what she had to say about the Savannah Bag: I would rate this bag pattern as something for a sewer with more experience to work on. It would definitely be tough for a beginner. My biggest suggestion is to STAY ORGANIZED! There are a lot of pieces and it is very easy to misplace them.....as I might have done a couple of times! Also, I did what the author said and printed off the picture-less directions and kept the file open on my computer to reference too. Definitely use the pictures. I couldn't wrap my head around a couple of the directions but once I looked at the picture I was able to understand it better. This is a pretty cool bag with all the pockets and the padded pocket inside. Would be an awesome gift to make for the student in your life!!!
Thank you ladies!!!
Here are a few more of the bags that are available from Chris W Designs!! There are 12 patterns in all!
And don't forget to follow Chris W Designs on Facebook for updates and future patterns! So, how about that discount code?? Save 20% off on all patterns at Chris W Designs using coupon code sewsweetsave ! Such a bargain! Code is good through January 3rd!