Dadgum Bag(s)

I have a tendency to prattle on, and this post might be one of those.  I don’t mind if you skip to the pictures.


Two quick facts about me.  One- I have never really loved making any kind of bag.  I get a wild hair from time to time and make one- only to remember why I don’t make bags.  Two- I try really hard not to cuss.  It is a point of self discipline to me, for several reasons that we can explore on another day.  My friends know this about me, and they think it is funny when I get aggitated and use words like “dadgum”.  Which I use a lot when I am making bags.

With this in mind, it makes total sense that I agreed to lead a sew-in for different types of zipper pouches for the Plantaion Quilter’s guild, right?  There was a call for zipper pouches to fill with toiletries for a local women’s shelter, and of course, I had the brilliant idea that we should get together to make them.  I was taught not to make suggestions unless you are prepared to lead the way, so I didn’t have much choice.  I also wanted hours for my #520in2015 project, so I practiced some bags and packed up my stuff to go sew with the girls.

IMG_8863In my research, I found a handful of tutorials online that I really liked for making zipper pouches, and I was surprised that with a little practice, they were totally doable.  In fact, I learned enough in my practice run that when the girls chose a pattern that I hadn’t actually made yet, I was able to lead it with only a couple of hiccups.

So, here’s a short list of links for zipper pouches, most of which are already pretty prevelant on the Internet.  I learned something from each tutorial, sometimes by doing it wrong the first time.  I learned which way I like best to box the corners, and when it is best to have hidden seams on the inside of the bag.  Of course it isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a good place to start.

Open Wide Zippered Pouch by Noodlehead
Fully Lined Zippered Box Pouch by It’s a Pretty Modern Life
Boxy Bag Tutorial by Kelbysews
Let’s Make Dumplings! by Michelle Patterns

With this success, I quickly moved forward, confident in my newfound bag-making skills.  With QuiltCon on the horizon, along with apparent social expectation to swap and wear button pins, I thought perhaps I could make a crossbody  sling bag to sport said pins.  I found what looked like the perfect pattern- simple, not even a zipper in sight.  It was a free download, something I could easily share with my friends.  I even waited until the day before I was to leave for QuiltCon 2015 to make it, because surely with all of my skills it would be a quick and easy project.

Ahem.  It was neither quick nor easy, and I am contemplating returning to my “I don’t do bags” state of mind.  In fact, it was such a bad experience that I am not going to share the link with you.  Not that it would matter, the only part of the pattern I ended up being able to use was the actual paper pattern for the shape of the bag.  I would share the gory details, but I don’t want to waste time or energy on complaining about a free bag pattern, no matter how reputable the designer or the publication.

I did finally end up with an acceptable sling bag, and I actually love it. As long as I don’t think about my ripped off thumb nail while trying to turn it right side out through the 2″x 20″ handle, or how many ways I had to modify the directions, or that I wasted a yard of fabric and interfacing, or… oh, nevermind.  The point is that in the end, it is mostly the bag I wanted.  I love the Echino fabric it is made of, and so glad that Intown Quilters has a pretty awesome collection of it to choose from.  I would have liked to buy it all.  But not to make bags.


So, if you see me and my bag at QuiltCon 2015 in Austin, TX, please stop me and say something nice about my bag. Maybe even help me come up with a better name than Dadgum Bag.  I need the positive reinforcement.

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