“Whether or not God has kissed your brow, you still have to work. Without learning and preparation, you won’t know how to harness the power of that kiss.”

Twyla Tharp

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Carpet Bag

When I told my daughter I was making a carpet bag she asked if I would be able to pull a coat rack out of it. Alas, Mary Poppins, I am not, but I do like my new bag! I wanted to make up the pattern for work to show off both the pattern and fabric that is in the shop. The pattern is from Favorite Things and is simply called, The Carpet Bag. I made it out of quilt fabric, interfacing the lining with fusible fleece and the outer bag with a very light weight woven interfacing. I decided to embroider my initials on the bag which I did on the machine, hooped with tear away stabilizer.

I've wanted to work with suede for a while now and had sent away for a couple of pieces when Fabric Mart had one of their many wonderful 50% off sales. I loved working with the suede and used it for the handles, tabs for the shoulder straps, and a tab at the zipper end. I also made a change in how the handles were constructed. The pattern called for using a very thick cording and wrapping fabric around it and sewing with a zipper foot. Instead, I folded the handles over and sewed them and then inserted flexi-tube. If anyone wants more info on the flexi-tube, just let me know. Loved doing it that way!

For the buttons on the straps, I used vintage buttons I had in stock. For the tab that folds over, I used two buttons, a small vintage button sewn over a larger plastic button.

The bag has a zipper, an inside pocket, wooden dowels, and a shoulder strap in addition to the handles. And, it has lots and lots of room inside. Even though it didn't call for it, I did insert plastic canvas in the bottom to help hold its shape.

As you can see, the shoulder strap is attached with one end on the front and one on the back, with D rings. Although it looks cool, having one strap end on each side makes the bag sag a bit I thought. If I make it again, I would attach one on each side where the bag opens up. I think it will look more balanced that way.

All in all, it was fun to sew and I can't wait to use it!

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