Honestly, it was no big deal. I wouldn’t recommend a new sewer try it—sew some easy-peasy totes first. But if you know your way around your machine and have a walking foot, you can do this. For some context, I’d say that it’s more complicated that the pouches and totes that I’ve blogged about thus far; it’s not even close to the complexity of the Amy Butler Cosmo Bag I made.
Still not convinced? Here are my responses to your best excuses not to try this pattern. : )
The pattern looks difficult!
No, the pattern isn’t difficult—but I sew my best with lots of visuals, and this pattern has few pictures or illustrations. Go to Quilt Barn’s Sew Together Bag sew-along for more step-by-step pics. It’s a sanity saver.
There are four zippers!
Based on advice from other sewists, I used thin strips (⅛” wide) of Pellon’s 805 Wonder-Under on the lining panels of the bag (B1, B2, B3, and B4) to adhere each panel to its corresponding zipper(s). (There are other comparable products that would work just as well; I happened to have Wonder-Under on hand.) Then I pinned the pocket lining on top of the lining panel and zipper. I thought everything stayed together well as I sewed.
There is so much fabric!
Yes, you have to sew through some bulky chunks to construct a Sew Together Bag. I used my walking foot throughout the process. (I did not use my zipper foot at all; I couldn’t get everything through my machine without my walking foot.) I also used size 14 or 16 needles. (I started with a 14 and moved to the 16 when I had to attach the side panels.) And I trimmed the interfacing on the lining panels (B1, B2, B3, and B4) smaller (8¾” x 9¼” instead of 8¾” x 9¾”), based on this advice, so that there would be one fewer layer in the side seams. I’m not sure whether it really helped, but I would do a second bag the same way.
My final take
The funny thing about the Sew Together Bag is people never make one. I think I know why. It goes together more easily than you think it will. And once you have a first under your belt, a second isn’t intimidating at all. Plus, there’s the novelty factor. It doesn’t look like other bags or pouches out there, and it makes a great gift. After all, what says “I love you” more than four zippers?!
A postscript on the fabrics: The exterior fabric is DS Quilts; the binding is Quilter’s Linen in garnet; the interior fabrics are Denyse Schmidt, Marcus Brothers, and Aunt Grace, some of which have been in my stash for longer than I care to admit.
Linking up to Let’s Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, Finish It Up Friday, and TGIFF ...