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.

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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.

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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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