During the 2014 Quilt Carolina shop hop, I picked up a kit to make a Sew Trendy bag. The kit included the zippers, fabric, and pattern for the bag. All I provided was thread, interfacing, and felt for the needle landing. All the kits had the same exterior fabric, the only choices were in the binding and zipper colors. At first I didn’t really like the fabric, but thought this would be a good practice run for making the bag later in fabric of my choosing. It has really grown on me though, so I will probably stick with this one.
Making this bag provided a lot of good learning opportunities. It was definitely the most complicated thing I have made so far! For a relative beginner, I think it came out pretty well. The only things I am unhappy with are the stitching around the binding, the top stitching around the zippers, and the stitches securing the outer zipper to the bag.
The black-thread top stitching along the interior zippers is very uneven, and since I didn’t have any thread to match the orange fabric it is very obvious when you look in the pockets. So, lesson learned there. Make sure I have the right thread colors if I am going to screw up my stitches.
After that I got the idea to use a different color thread in my bobbin for stitching other bits, like the binding on the edges. When I top stitched the binding down using a light color thread on the orange fabric, the light thread was starkly visible on the black exterior. So I swapped black thread into my bobbin to disguise it a bit. That works well, but on closer inspection you can clearly see the black thread on some of the lighter areas of the exterior fabric. Ugly!
While it would be difficult to go back and fix the zipper topstitching, I can fix the ugly side binding by going back and hand stitching it like I did the binding along the outer zipper. By hand stitching I can hide the stitching under the edge of the binding, which would eliminate the problem and make it look a lot better.
The other thing I am unhappy with is the way the top zipper is stitched to the outside of the bag. I was having trouble stitching it down in a non-ugly way, so I just whip-stitched it to the edge of the binding. I don’t like this either, but wasn’t sure what else to do and I was just ready to be done with the bag at that point. Going back and switching this to a snap may be an option.
I will have to spiffy it up soon if I am going to do it. My next sewing class is in a couple weeks and I am looking forward to using it! People will want to check it out if I take it, so if I want it to make a good impression I will have to fix it up. This bag is going to be so awesome for carrying all my crap to class. Normally I have all my things (pins, seam ripper, rotary cutter, pens, scissors, bobbins, etc, etc) stuffed in the little pockets inside my travel sewing machine bag. That works, but it takes time to pull it all out, and again to put it back at the end of class. With this bag I will be able to pull all my things out at once, and just sit the bag on the table. Then, to clean up, just zip it back up and I am done!