My first ‘from scratch’ project

A friend and I decided to start a sewing afternoon, where we hung out and made things together.  Thinking that it would be a good idea to start simple… I decided to design a shoulder bag – up until now none of the bags I’ve had cut it.

I basically wanted a messenger bag that was big enough for an exercise book, but smaller than a standard messenger bag.  It needed two compartments and a small pocket.

The pattern was relatively easy – just involving a lot of maths to get the lengths correct.  The lining needed to be ~1.5x the length of the outer to create the internal compartments.

Sewing the bits together was another story altogether.  I went with square corners (rather than rounded) for the exterior sides, because I thought they would be easier. They were not.  I also initially tried using ribbon trim to create a sort of contrast effect on the side seams, but bits of it kept slipping out of the stitching, and the seams were weaker than I wanted, so that idea went out the window – top stitching is my enemy.

I also wanted to have a buckle to close the bag.  I found a cool wee thing from spotlight – but it was pleather, and I didn’t have the equipment to sew pleather, so it is still kicking around the bottom of my sewing bag – and the shoulder bag does not have a clasp or anything to close it.  But honestly, I don’t really mind.  The flip over top works fine and I haven’t lost anything out of the bag (that I know of).

Otherwise, I think that it went relatively well.  I’ve now been using the bag for over 6 months, and it hasn’t fallen apart yet – which has to be a good sign!

It’s also good to stick badges onto – something that I’ve never been able to do with my other bags.


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