This post is part of Purse Palooza 2013.
For full schedule of guest post pattern reviews and prizes, click here!
Teresa of Crinkle Dreams is an amazing sewist and quilter, and the thing I love about her the most is that she is tireless in her efforts for sewing for (and visiting!) the orphans of Tam Ky!
First I'd like to thank Sara for inviting me to be a part of Purse Palooza 2013. I love seeing all the different bag patterns that people choose and how they make them their own.
For this project I chose a bag that I had tried to make once before when the magazine first came out, but didn't really love how it had turned out. This issue of Stitch came out in Fall 2011 and soon after I whipped up the bag, but used a soft upholstery fabric without any interfacing and the bag ended up having no real body. I wasn't happy with the hardware choices I had, either. So, even though it looked fine, I never used it much. But I loved the style and didn't want to give up on it!
This time I made the Drop Top Messenger bag, designed by Steffani K. Burton, using a heavy denim from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I loved the body it got from the heavy weight fabric! I used Classic Threads (another Robert Kaufman fabric) for the lining and a bunch of scraps for the side patchwork.
The pattern is well written and seemed accurate for a long as I followed it, but as I usually do, I wandered off the path and started doing things my own way.
Instead of doing patchwork on both sides, I chose to just do one side.
* I added an interior pocket with an elastic casing to keep it from getting unwieldy.
* I did not sew it up the side, but rather left the top open and easier to get into.
* I did not do the shoulder strap, making it more of a Drop Top Ovesized Clutch.
I love the hole in the side of the bag and if I'd planned better, could have played up some fussy cutting! It's great, because you can feed your arm into it and still carry it over the shoulder. Or hold it tucked under your arm.
I really love the unique look of this bag and definitely recommend it, especially if you want to strike out and try your own patchwork designs. I should have interfaced the cotton pieces in my patchwork. It would have made a big difference in the finished bag, I believe. When you finally make it (hint, hint), go for heavier interfacing that will give the bag shape.
I'd also suggest that you practice stitching bias tape around a curve to get a nice smooth look (one trick is stretching it as you go). It makes a world of difference.
If you will always use it as a messenger bag, you could make it sans hardware, but I do like the way Steffani designed it with an adjustable strap (even though I didn't do it that way this time). It's a great looking bag and super roomy!