Bag practice….

You may recall from a few weeks ago that I joined a bag swap called the Goodie Bag Swap. The idea for this swap is that you make a bag for your partner and within it you include a bag of scraps…who can resist scraps!!

I made a practice bag last week using some mod kitchen fabrics. The idea was to make a tote bag with pockets that you could use to bring home a good bag full of purchases. I wasn’t following a pattern but I tried to use some of the things I have learned  from other bag making projects:

  1. Strengthen the bag with lining and plenty of overstitching around the seams.
  2. Incorporate outer and inner pockets to stash away smaller items.
  3. Incorporate a few different fabrics to make the bag attractive.
  4. Don’t use pale coloured fabric on the handles as it soon gets dirty.

I used some fabrics from the Mod Kitchen range for the bag – five different prints in total. I incorporated one large outer pocket held in by some coordinating fabric strips and lined the bag with some compressed wadding.

I also used some of the striped fabric and more coordinating fabric strips to hold the bottom of the pocket in place. You can also see some of the over stitching which adds some detail but more importantly adds some strength to the seams.

I gave the bottom some width with a good right-angled corner (ignore the not so perfect lining up of the strips…you cant have everything I suppose!).

The inside of the bag was lined with more coordinating striped fabric. I incorporated a strip of three pockets sized to fit in keys, purses, coupons etc. Again for strength the pocket strip was incorporated into the side seam of the bag. I also added a strip of fabric across the bottom of the pocket, again with plenty of overstitching, to add even more strength as I have found in previous bags that the inside pockets can get a bit flappy.

I’m really pleased with how it came out. I do need to work on how to strengthen the handles…I always find them a bit of a pain to get exactly right. I have an Amy Butler bag pattern that I’ve made before that has some really strong handles so I may dig the pattern out so I can remind myself how I made them.

Now I need to decide whether to use this bag for the swap or make another one for my partner. I will probably make another bag in fabrics that are more to my partners taste and I’ll try to make further improvements to the design following the lessons learn from this practice.

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