Sunday, October 31, 2010

Smarty Girl

This weekend's project brought to you amongst the sounds of the neighbor's pain-in-the-arse dog barking incessantly and me trying to drown it out with the music of Antje Duvekot, whose song "Long Way" is the current focus of my guitar lessons. I love this song, even though it is rather long and I can't remember many of the lyrics.

The project: a little bag for my youngest niece. A few weeks ago, I made my niece J. a bag, and her sister G. was not to be left out. (I was reminded of this not-so-very-subtly last weekend.) At my local fabric store I found this cute Heather Bailey pattern - "Smarty Girl Book Bag". I used fabric leftover from a baby quilt experiment (mostly from the Anna Maria Horner Good Folks line). G.'s favorite color is hot pink, so this worked out nicely for her.

The pattern is pretty easy-peasy for someone with a modicum of sewing experience. However, it took me three times to figure out that the ruffles get sewn to the LINING, not the outside of the bag. I was insistent that the pattern was wrong, but couldn't find any pattern errata online, so I finally had to conclude it must be me....and indeed it was. *sigh* Still, even with that hiccup, it didn't take much more than two hours to cut & sew.

For the top "flap" I used part of a leftover patchwork block, cut to the size of the flap, so if you are familiar with the pattern that's why it is pieced rather than a solid fabric. Also, I used one fabric for the top ruffles, rather than two different ones, just because I was using up scraps.

The one thing I would do differently on this project is use interfacing. It is optional in the pattern instructions, but I think it would give the bag a little bit more structure. G. is 8 and I guarantee she'll use it three times before it disappears in her closet, so I'm not too fussed about this one, but were I to make it again I'd definitely add the interfacing. I might also try to see if there's a way to sew the straps between the lining and outside, rather than tacking them on, just so there's no visible sewing line on the side of the bag.

Now, I've got to go pick up before the trick-or-treaters show up and see my completely fabric-strewn living room...Happy Halloween!

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