May 28, 2012

Bag Sewing Disaster

I have a friend who likes sewing, just like me. Unlike me, she doesn't sew garments, instead she makes bags and cushions. I have to say that I never felt very motivated to sew any bags or decorating stuff. I wanted to make a bag about three months ago, and I cut out the fabric and then forgot about it. It is still lying around somewhere, unsewn. But seeing all the nice things my friend made, and with a beautiful fabric I found this week in my Bernina shop, I wanted to try again to make a bag. So I prepared for it, took my new fabric and bought the recommended bag sewing book.

I knew it would be a lot of work, but I also thought it would be easy. Stupid me. It wasn't.
Obviously there is a difference between sewing garments and sewing bags that I cannot explain. I just had difficulties in understanding the instructions, and I also found it technically not that easy to sew those seams. I felt like when I started sewing garments about six years ago, where I struggled to get those pieces together without really knowing what I was doing.

This is the result of an afternoon of painstaking work (please don't look at it too closely, it looks a lot better from far!):

The bag is huge! I didn't expect it to be that big when I saw the photo in the book, and I still wasn't suspicious when I copied the pattern, but it is about twice the size I expected (and wanted) it to be!

I lined the whole bag in pink cotton poplin, and added an inner pocket to it to use up the fabric scraps. Nice idea, but for some unknown reason I put it much too deep into the bag, so the inner pocket now ends where the bottom of the bag is. Although I had to put it in two times, because the first time I forgot to close the bottom of the pocket, so that everything would have fallen out.

I gave up the moment I had sewn the straps together and wanted to turn them over. After I had finally turned over the first centimeters, it was obvious that I didn't want to spend the whole night and tomorrow just for turning over the shoulder straps.

So I cut them again but wider and shorter, which went a lot better.
At the end, I didn't get the bag I had in my mind, but at least a complete bag. Maybe I can take it to the lake with some lemonade and a good book in it in summer!
And now I'm off to sew only garments again, phew!


  1. I keep thinking about sewing bags too, but it just seems fiddly! One trick I do find useful for turning tubes is to sew a string at one end BEFORE I sew up the tube. As you sew the tube closed, make sure the string is running inside the tube and not being caught by the seam. Then, when the long seam is finished, you just pull on the string and the whole thing turns! (On the other hand, I forget to do it at least half the time!)

    i think your finished bag looks great!

    1. Thank you! To be honest, I know that trick, but I was too lazy and I thought it might work without string, as I thought the straps would be wide enough... I think part of the problem was also the too sturdy interfacing I had used, which shows me again that sewing bags is more different to sewing clothes than one would think!


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