Friday, August 7, 2009

Pattern Review Plus


I wanted to sew myself a shopper, a shopping bag that is. Something like the re-usable bags you can find at the grocery stores but far less...um well, ugly. I put it off for a bit because I just hadn't got around to figuring out and drawing up a pattern. Then I started seeing Alicia Paulson's pattern for her Jane Market Bag popping up on blogs and I thought, what a lovely bag.
Sometimes, someone comes along and has done all the work for you, how nice. Alicia is an immensely talented and creative woman. Her book, Stitched In Time, is stunning and full of great things to stitch. She has the most lovely blog, full of her gorgeous photographs and wonderful writing. She happens to live in my city and I love how she portrays this beautiful place in images and words. If you are not familiar with her, I suggest you spend some time poking around her sites.

So, I purchased and downloaded the pattern. Then it sat around for a while. Finally, I picked out some fabric and decided to have a go. Here is the result.


The instructions were very clear with good pictures to guide you along the way. Everything came together just right. A simple yet creative pattern that ends up in a very satisfying result.
The only tip I have for you on this pattern is this: The pattern calls for pin tucks at the corners to give it that wonderful boxy shape. To achieve this, I used a quilting ruler. I slid the ruler inside the bag, aligning it with the corner and bottom seams. This helped keep the lining smooth and my measurements accurate. I then pinched the tucks, carefully slid the ruler out and pressed the fold. Easy peasy.
Oh wait, one more tip - but this applies to all my sewing projects: Take the time to press carefully and thoroughly as you go. It always ends in a better finished product.

When I was finished, I just had to run out to the grocery store to try it out. As the bagger was placing my items in the bag he said, "This is gorgeous, I don't know whether to fill it with your groceries or take it home and sleep with it!" It was bursting with heavy items and performed like a champ, sturdy as could be. And I have to admit, shopping was just a wee more fun with my pretty shopper. These will make great gifts and I plan to make a lot more of these. You should too!
Thanks Alicia!

In other news...
I have had the honor of being interviewed for SewingBusiness.com. If you feel like getting to know me a little better, go on over and read. Thanks to Sarah and SewingBusiness.com for including me on this interesting site.

Lastly...
I am working up a new pattern here at the Lola Nova cottage and I need your input. If you knit or crochet, I would love to hear what you would want in the perfect knitting/crochet bag. Let her fly, all ideas are welcome. Claire and Mare, I especially want to hear from you.

Until next time my dears, keep well and have a lovely weekend.

9 comments:

Alicia P. said...

You are so kind. Thank you, Alex, and I am so glad you (and the bag boy -- awesome!) are pleased with the bag! xo

d/iowa said...

as usual SO CUTE!

ETSY ETSY ETSY ETSY!!!!

Nicki C K said...

Very well done! I am completely in love with the fabric you used for your version. WHAT IS IT? If you don't mind sharing. Thanks!

Lola Nova said...

Nicki,
The green w/pink is 'Dogwood Festival' by Freespirit and the polka dot is a Michael Miller called 'Ta Dot'.
They are older fabrics but, you might be able to find them online somewhere.

Claire said...

Woo hoo! Way to go! I can't believe all the news I've been missing out on on your blog. I've been terrible at keeping up lately. Summer has been busy and challenging for various reasons and I just never seem to get my act together. I love, love, love the animals you made for Diane. Adorable! And the interview is great - good for you!

Knitting/crochet bag thoughts...well, for me, it must NOT involve a zipper. Ever. The reason for this is that yarn gets stuck in zippers, and if you're dealing with lightweight yarn and it gets stuck in the zipper, you are up a creek without a paddle. Even velcro closures are questionable, because yarn can get stuck on velcro. Yarn ends have a habit of sneaking out of knitting bags. I am using a KIP bag from a Phat Fiber box right now and I like it,but it's a drawstring, and my yarn end made it out of the drawstring and got into the zipper of my purse. ARGH. Bad, bad, bad. Also, the drawstring itself can get stuck in the zipper of my purse. Sigh. I think different sizes are good. Some people want one for a small project, like me. I keep mine in my purse, which is not a big purse. Others want a bag for an afghan or sweater. BIG bag. I don't want that. I think it should have separate compartments (close-able) for needles/hooks and other things like buttons or stitch markers or notions like buttons that might be needed on a project. A strong fabric (maybe 2 layer) that is resistant to being poked with needle ends is a must. I almost prefer a "pouch" to a "bag" in the sense that it could be perhaps rolled into a cylinder or be fairly flat, and does not have to be a bulky bag. It could even have a needle case that rolls up inside it. Such bags would also be helpful for spindlers who spindle on the go. Those are some initial thoughts....I shall try to keep thinking up on it.

Anonymous said...

OK OK OK what will it take, if anything, I will buy all the materials and pay a well above average wage for Lil' Hank to have a Porter Waggoner suit,, oh my kingdom for a porter suit! Diane and I just watched the Porter show on RFD tv and the fire is burnuing again! Cant wait for the snow touk by the way.

b/d

Mom L said...

I'm back - and I'm here in Iowa! I enjoyed your interview, and I love the bear and elephant made from my Mom's blanket! Fantastic!

Since I just got connected to the internet yesterday, I have a lot to catch up on.

Nancy, now in Iowa

Lola Nova said...

Welcome back Mom L! So nice to see your comment today! Hope the move went well.

Mare said...

Hi Lola Nova! I am sorry to take so long to get over here to put in a word or two on your beautiful bags...I agree with Claire for the most part. Strong, thick material, washable too! Zippers aren't very compatible with yarn, but i would think that would be a good thing as i see zippers as a hard thing to sew into projects? Anyway, i find velcro bad too, as i got a nearly finished baby hat stuck on the picky half and it pulled my yarn. Not fun...I am the total opposite of Claire in the bag size tho..The big bags are awesome! I am always working on a few projects at a time, so i like room for the yarn, patterns and equiptment i need for all. I often carry my round looms with me too(i work on the looms when my hands and wrists get tired from the repetitive work with needles and hooks) Compartments and pockets would be wonderful! I usually carry a tool pouch or small bag with me with the needles, hooks, scissors, whatever i need, and i always have to fish them out from the bottom of the bag... I am also a shoulderbag woman, as i usually have a handbag, Bill's stuff, grandchildren, dogs on leashes, etc with me. So an adjustable strap for hand or shoulder would make this bag a craftwoman's dream come true! I'm sure i will think of more to add to the list too! hahaha I LOVE that bag you made already...just gorgeous!