Monday, June 21, 2010

Daughter's Got a Brand New Bag!

I'm heading up to New York City this weekend with my daughter Diana. When we were planning our trip, she said she needed to look for a new shoulder bag, as the one she bought on our last trip was just a bit too big and too floppy to suit her needs. Of course, I offered to design and sew a bag for her. Who can resist a challenge?

Rather than design a bag completely from scratch, she and I spent some time looking at the big floppy bag. She told me what she liked and disliked about the bag, and what she wanted to carry in it, and we made notes on sizes and shapes and pockets. We went shopping for fabric and she chose a khaki cotton heavy duck cloth, and a quilting cotton for the lining. Then I went to work.

First of all, she wanted a cute embroidery on the flap of the bag. A friend had recently introduced me to Urban Threads, and my daughter chose one of their designs, which I embroidered with my trusty Designer 1. I sketched out a few simple pattern pieces on Pellon Tru-Grid (rather than going to the trouble of drafting a real pattern with Pattern Editor), then just started making it up as I went along. I did use one of the pocket patterns from the Rogue River Vest I just made, but I'm going to change the pocket configuration for the next iteration of the purse (which will be for me).

So here is the view of the outside of the bag:
You can see the adjustable part of the clip that keeps the top flap closed; this part is sewn into the bottom front seam of the purse. The fixed part of the clip is sewn to the back of the front flap.

The view under the main flap:
I used the same separating zipper technique for this bag as I use on the Professional Tote. Diana wanted it to lay flat when the bag was unzipped.

The front pocket flap has a lined, zippered pocket in it, and the flap is held closed by two magnetic catches.
With the flap raised:
Inside the bag there is a central divider, with pockets in the back section.
I'm going to spend some time refining the pattern; it may be available as a download some time in the near future. In the meantime, this bag will get its "field test" in the Big Apple in just a few days!

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