Here is something else that I made recently. A medium teal blue hobo. Material used was linen. It is lined, but has no pockets internally. It is constructed with batting to add firmness to the bag. I have yet to make the removable stabilizer for the bottom which prevents the bag from sagging. I will have to make one at some point.
I used a pattern from this book – Handbag Designer 101 by Emily Blumenthal. It contains a whole slew of modern looking designs which you can personalize and adapt. Simply enlarge the pattern provided with a photocopier to 200 or 300% and follow the sewing instructions. Its completely doable with A3 size paper and transparent tape to fit the pieces together. A little bit fiddly but not too complicated.
Sounds easy right? Yes in theory. From the way the book was written, it was not intended for an absolute beginner. Bags are designed for stiffer materials, like canvas, upholstery fabric, faux suede or leather. There is no information on making bags with batting. The instructions for this particular bag was not the best. I read it before commencing on the bag, but realised I could put the bag together (the zipper and top of the bag where the zipper is) in a less complicated way than how the instructions prescribed. I like this book regardless, its a great resource for ideas and basic patterns, what I really liked was how the lining of was simplified to follow the the shape of the bag with fewer pieces that need to be sewn together.
I am very glad that I had a few private classes with Bridgette from Quilts and Friends, which filled in the gaps of knowledge for bag making and dealing with batting. Now I can piece together a bag without worrying too much about whether the instructions are really reliable and how to deal with batting.
On a separate note, a man I had dinner with commented that this blue bag looked old and that I should carry a better quality black leather bag! I could not resist, I told him I made this bag last month just to let him know he had put his foot into his mouth. Maybe he doesn’t realise being tactless and providing “man guidance” is a real turn off! The bag isn’t perfect, the handles could have been done better. I wasn’t seeking validation, critique or approval. I just merely said I wasn’t into designer bags. But he took this as an opportunity to tell me what kind of handbag I should have, he’s a man what does he know about handbags? He’s a handbag designer? Maybe he’s got a secret stash of handbags because he’s a closet fan of Priscilla Queen of the Dessert!! Never mind about him, I will be watching Priscilla Queen of the Dessert at the end of the month.