Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Hold On.....to my Simplicity 2205 Bag

Simplicity 2205 - bag with cute pleating details on front and back

aahhh! A week off after that challenging Butterick 4443 creation, catching up with my sister and her beautiful family down in BrisVegas and my sewing mojo has been reset and ready to go again.

And what perfect way to get back into the swing of it but with a simple bag pattern.  A friend recently celebrated a birthday and I realised that this was a perfect opportunity to offer up a 'homemade' gift option.  Yes it was a multiple choice gift option - cushion covers (yes she was aware of my battles with actually making the cushion square), a dress for her gorgeous toddler (yes I was being fabric stingy not offering her an adult size dress but come on...the toddler dresses I've done for Audrey have been way cute) or the mystery box (or bag in this case).  I too was surprised at her selection of the unknown bag: her only question 'what type of bag?', my highly descriptive response 'you know one of those handbag...thingys'.

So tasked with the challenge of creating a bag I set forth with my pattern.  Simplicity 2205 or the 'sweet pea tote's'.  Pattern cover looked cute so it must be a winner....wait a minute....lets check the reviews first on pattern review.  A lone single review but it was a good one and the bag result actually looked like the pattern so I had the thumbs up to proceed.  I decided on view A which has the shorter strap length to make it a shoulder bag.

Fabric choice was easy.  My compulsive fabric buying has meant my stash of 1 yard fabrics has grown at an exponential rate (I am sure I could do some regression analysis on the relationship between months sewing and the size of your fabric stash and come up with a nifty but completely irrelevant formula.........).  I ended up using two contrasting fabrics from the Gypsy Bandana range from Michael Miller from my favourite aussie online store wrappedinfabric.com.au

Constructing this pattern was a joy.  There was no worries about the fit - there was no need for a sway back adjustment or a weird torso configuration manipulation required.  The pieces all went together logically.  I even got to use fusible fleece and insert a magnetic clasp. 

Admittedly I ran into a slight technical issue with the magnetic clasp.  The wonderfully detailed pattern instructions said to 'insert magnetic clasp as per manufacturers directions'.  Well my magnetic clasp came with a barcode, the words 'made in china' and a picture of a happy girl on the cardboard tag.......sooooo.....off to do some Internet searching.    Found a great blog by Gone to Earth and I was ready to go.  If only I could separate the two pieces of the magnetic clasp......really......I couldn't get them apart and there was only one in the packet I'd bought.  My actions over the next hour typify the disadvantages of not having a male (correction: male with opposable thumbs...sorry Loki) in the household...suffice to say I eventually gave up  and went to Lincraft and got a new packet of magnetic clasps (already pre separated!).   
Normal strength magnetic clasps.

I made a minor change to the pattern - I used the contrasting fabric on the underside of the bag flap so it matched the lining better.  I changed one of the pockets to a smaller size pocket so it could hold a mobile phone and I did this pocket in the main bag fabric as a contrast to the lining.   I love the end result.  My only wish is that there was some medium strength interfacing available in a 200km radius around Gladstone as my only options were to go with either a fairly light interfacing or an industrial strength interfacing.  I went with the lighter and the bag is just a smidgen too floppy.   
Inside lining with small mobile phone pocket at back and larger pocket at front.

One 'sewn with love by Sammy' iron on sticker later and the bag is ready to be gifted and possibly regifted to my friends kids as a dress-up bag if it is not her cup of tea.  Either way this is a fun pattern to try and, as is the way with fabric, the options are infinite.

So in summary
Pattern:           Simplicity 2205 Sweet Pea Totes
Fabric:             Main:  Gypsy Bandana Flower Red
                         Lining:  Gypsy Bandana Firefly yellow
                         Fusible lightweight interfacing - pretended it was medium weight
                         Fusible fleece
Instructions:    Bag construction is simple so instructions are straightforward - just
                        recommend you reorder them to be more efficient.  I did all my interfacing at the
                       beginning rather than at each sewing step.
                       Watch out for the line drawings showing the seam allowance.  Don't get confused with
                       the indicated seam allowance and which sides you need to sew.......as I did.....which
                        Ripley the unpicker had to fix. 
                       They don't have you fuse the fusible fleece which begs the question why they make
                      you buy fusible fleece in the first place.  Since I payed good money for fusible fleece, I
                      went forth and fused....which was suprisingly really easy.  Don't think it makes a
                       difference either  way but at least I feel I got good value for money.
                       Beware the size of your magnetic clasp as I had some trouble with topstitching the
                        flap due to the proximity of the clasp to the edge and couldn't use my normal foot.
Modifications: Fused the fleece. 
                        I changed around the main and the lining fabric options to suit.   
                        Reduced the size of one of the pockets to make it better fit a mobile phone.                 
Total Cost:     Its a gift, so shhhhh, can't say!
Happy dance on completion:   Certainly a more relaxed happy dance then last creation.  Making bags is definitely fun.

Blog title reference:  'Sara' by Stevie Nicks


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  2. Alright having demonstrated my technical incompetence I am now able to post comments.

    No need to wory about me regifting Sammy - I love the bag! Theft however is a very real possibilty. One dodgy 2 year old is volunteering to carry my bag everywhere for me. While I have no issues with sharing the load I am quietly waiting to find the bag contents dumped on the floor somewhere having been replaced by a couple of favourite toys.

    1. thanks Tash!! Its not an overly large bag so your lovely daughter is just looking out for you to make sure you are only carrying the absolute essentials in it. Though I am surprised that she is able to open the extra industrial grade strength magnetic clasp.

  3. I am making this bag for a Christmas present. How did you get the bottom corners to come together squarely. The directions for this part are very confusing!

    1. Merry Xmas Katie. Has been a while since I made this bag but I do remember feeling a little perplexed at the time over the instructions for the bottom corner. Sew your side and bottom seams separately - do not sew the seams of the funny cut out bits at the bottom corners. Then you need to try and line up the side seam with the bottom seam. Both the top edge and side edge of the cutout should open up and line up together to form a straight edge - from recollection, you need to line them up really well to get a square edge to sew your seam. Mine were not completely straight (think it also depends on how precisely you cut the pattern out) and it did not seem to matter too much to the end result.

      Unfortunately I am xmas with the folks so can't post any piccies today. Might try and put one up later in the week.

      I recently did a different bag pattern for a xmas present. I am thinking that their method is a little less confusing them this pattern. They just had the pattern as a rectangle (no cut out bits at the bottom) - sew the side and bottom seams up. Then for the bottom corners - on one end just line up the side and bottom seam together (should form a triangle) - then measure up the seam line to get the desired bag base width and then draw a perpendicular line to the seam line at this point to be your corner seam line. Sew this seam line, reinforce as necessary and then trim off the triangle bit. Repeat for other end.

  4. Thank you so much for corner help...I had sewn corners and could not figure it out..thanks again:)