This post is part of Purse Palooza 2013.
For full schedule of guest post pattern reviews and prizes, click here!
Amy Barickman, founder and owner of Indygo Junction and Amy Barickman LLC, is a creative leader in the sewing and needle arts industry. In 1990, Amy founded Indygo Junction to publish and market sewing patterns and books to showcase the work of leading fabric and needle arts designers.
Amy’s ability as a collaborative entrepreneur and creative architect has allowed her to design and market an impressive list of 1000 pattern titles, 80 book releases and 16 fabric collections. Indygo Junction’s newest releases include Indygo Junction’s Stitched Style: 20 projects and 65 embroidery designs to trace or transfer, the Crossroads Denim fabric line, the coordinating Crossroads pattern line and the SoHo Bandana fabric line.
Hello! We are so excited to be a part of Purse Palooza again this year! As soon as we were invited by Sara to participate we knew that we wanted to share with you our three newest purse patterns. The reason we are so excited about these patterns is that they were inspired by our new fabric line Crossroads Denim.
We have made a lot of purses in our time, and although we love using the fun patterns of quilting cotton, we were always looking for something fun that is a little sturdier. Do you have the same problem? Even using a heavy interfacing didn’t give us the purse the body we were looking for. So, last year Amy decided to face the problem head on and designed our Crossroads Denim line, which is available in 14 colors and is heavy enough to give a purse body, but supple enough to manipulate easily.This fabric totally inspired our three new Crossroads bag patterns: The Brooklyn Bag, The Fold & Go Wristlet and The Creative Crossbody Bag.
The Brooklyn Bag is the bag that I’ve carried for 6 months now. I keep thinking about changing bags, but the size is just perfect! It’s a nice big tote, but not overwhelmingly large.
Although the bag is a classic tote, it has some features that I really liked. Instead of a flat, square bottom, the tote is gathered, giving the bag body a round shape. Speaking of body, the bag uses both fleece in it’s construction and a stiffener for the bottom. This is great because while it’s soft, it’s not just a floppy mess. The purse features the two large pockets on the outside and multiple smaller pockets on the inside. The construction feature I found most interesting is the finishing of the top. Instead of a classic lining closing, the Brooklyn Bag uses a encased thick cord at the bag opening. It looks really nice, and is a technique I will be using in other projects.
My favorite part of this tote is the different ways you can change the designs. The pockets give you a great opportunity for switching up fabric, adding contrasting piping, or stitching a statement quilted design. I have made this bag using all Crossroads Denim, mixing it with quilting cottons or using a variety of quilting cottons. It has worked in every form, and shows just how much flexibility there is in the design.
The Fold & Go Wristlet is designed for those folks who don’t want to carry their lives with them in a big tote (like I do!) This is such a smart design, it is a simple rectangle with a diagonal shaped top that folds down to become a clutch. The pattern comes with two sizes and even the large takes very little fabric to make, only ½ yd for the body and ½ for the lining. This bag uses a variety of different notions, such as a zipper or velcro closure, a magnetic snap to hold down the folded top, and a snap or button to attach the wristlet loop. If you haven’t used any of these notions before, this would be a good beginning project for you.
The Fold n’ Go also has the option of using an interfacing in the purse body, or letting it loose. This is where the heavier denim is good to use because you can have some purse body without having to deal with interfacing. I’ve made it both ways, and I like a little bit of stiffness to the wristlet, but that is a personal preference.
Here is the super clever part… you can either make a matching bracelet as a carrier or you can use your own bracelets, and change them out! How cool is that? It’s jewelry and a bag all in one! To make the optional bracelet you definitely have to use a heavy duty interfacing as well as fusible web. It is a simple process however and I had fun finishing the bracelet with crazy quilting stitches. The bracelet attachment closes with either a snap or button, which is how you change out the bracelet if you want.
The Creative Crossbody bag also offers many options to personalize the design. The bag itself is 11” x 12” x 2” which is a nice everyday size, and I love the freedom of a crossbody strap--you don’t have to worry about it always slipping off your shoulder. However, if you aren’t a fan of a crossbody, there is an option for a smaller strap. The bag uses a zipper closure, but that is the extent of any extra notions you will need.
There are two options for finishing the bag. One is to sew on a bias binding around the entirety of the bag and handle, the other option is to serge the edge, which, if you are lucky enough to have a serger, is a great way to finish the bag. So easy! The outside of the bag features either a patch or diagonal pocket, and they offer applique options as well. Again, there are a lot of ways to customize the bag, which is handy.
The pattern also offers an option to make the bag out of recycled denim. There is a layout for cutting the bag out of a pair of old jeans. Since we all have a pair of old jeans lying around, this is a great way to upcycle them!
As you can see, we have been really inspired by Crossroads Denim to design a variety of bags, as well as garments and home decor patterns! If you want to learn more about Crossroads Denim, check out our video below or ask for it by name at your local fabric store!