December 1, 2013

I have my sewing mojo back! Introducing the Cavernous Carpet Bag

Last weekend I finished the Cavernous Carpet Bag designed by Lisa Lam of U-handbag.
I love Lisa's designs and I have made a few of her bags, the last one was the Grace Kelly bag and looking back, it was more than 12 months ago!

I am happy with how this bag has turned out and especially now that it is done, I am quietly excited because this is a present for a very dear friend who is having a milestone birthday this week.

To ensure that I have all the components, I purchased the kit from U-handbag online and it includes everything except the fabrics which has worked perfectly because I had a very specific picture of how I wanted the bag to look. I bought the fabrics from an Etsy store called BeeYourselfFabrics, very speedy delivery, definitely shopping with her again! The exterior fabric is called Marqueterie Ginger from Indie Collection by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics and the lining fabric is Fiesta Stonehill - Green / Teal Polka Dots by Donna Wilder for Fabric Traditions.

As usual the pattern is extremely thorough, all the details are there, just need to pay attention (the most important ingredient in this recipe) - ahmm… the kit came some weeks ago but I procrastinated because hardwares and I don't mix well. I read the pattern twice before measuring and cutting and even with this level of preparation, I was still a little nervous… Yep, I felt like I had lost that sewing feeling…

I couldn't help thinking that this isn't a draft, I only have one set of the tubular bag frame, one set of the leather handles. This is going to be something for a friend. So deep breath and off I went.

I had trouble with the plastic bag bottom. Not anything to do with the pattern, full instructions are there, I just couldn't seem to top stitch properly, even with the walking foot.

I broke the needle! There were a few thick layers, the needle got stuck, I tucked thinking I could push through, I slipped and stepped on the presser foot… well the result is one broken needle and some crooked stitches! Grrrr… Well, good thing I wear glasses - that's all I can say. At this point, I just stepped away from the machine, cleared my work surface and packed up for the night.

The next day, I examined the top stitches, took a deep breath, still unhappy that they weren't straight but I kept chanting "there are worse things in life" and hopefully apart from her dog, no one will look up to see that often. I just hand stitched the plastic bag bottom to the inside of the external bag all the time being careful not to stitch through to the outside - VICTORY! All secured inside and nothing outside!


I then stitched my label onto one of the inside pocket pieces. In hindsight I should have made another pocket with a zipper too.

The rest of the bag was mishaps free - YAY!

Check out these neat corners - so chuffed!

The leather handles give the bag a classy look but one must be prepared for numbed fingers afterwards. I am just thankful that they were even - by naked eyes anyway :)

I forgot to take pictures of how I inserted the tubular frame but it wasn't as scary as I thought and so happy that the joints matched up nice!

The bag is very roomy, as the name suggested. I made the large size which has the finished size 48cm by 23cm by 12.5cm. Yes, my finished bag has the same measurements as the pattern intended.


An iPad 2 fits comfortably, laying down!  

I do have some extra lining fabric but I have learned that there are worse things in life….  

All in all, I am proud of this bag. I think I have my sewing mojo back!

Stitch on!!!

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