Gift Post #3: Sew Together Bag

Watercolor Box Sew Together Bag
Watercolor Box Sew Together Bag

I made this Sew Together Bag for my mom. I like the way it turned out, but had some issues making it.

This is a challenging pattern. The combination of the zippers and the layers which need to be sewn together combine to make this project a challenge.

The first problem I had was with the directions. Because cutting is a good activity when I am away from my workroom, I decided to cut out the bag when I went to Reno to visit Kathleen. First, I read through the directions. The first page talks about “embellishments.” When I think of embellishments, I think of beads, buttons, charms, stitching. I think these things are included in what the directions are getting at, but I think the designer really meant special piecing and quilting.

I wanted to quilt this piece a little to give the outside some heft, but the directions were very unclear on whether I was supposed to quilt the exterior and the batting or add a backing/lining piece and quilt through the three layers as I would a quilt. I ended up making a two layer sandwich (no backing) and quilting that. The piece ended up too small and I am not sure whether I quilted too much or whether I cut the piece too small. I’ll have to check and see if I cut it wrong when I made the next one.

Pocket Panel with attached Side Panels
Pocket Panel with attached Side Panels

I thought I would be defeated by this pattern when I got to the pocket panel. I had no idea what the designer was trying to say when she said to put the four pocket pieces together. The section isn’t difficult to actually do, but explaining how to do it is difficult and I could not understand the pattern. I looked at the Sew-a-Long blog post describing this step and that helped a lot. This is the hardest step IMO.

After doing the pocket panel, the thickness began to kick in and wreak havoc with my attempts to make the piece look professional. I think someone with a Juki or other pseudo-industrial machine may have an easier time.

Matching Colors, Ordering Thread
Matching Colors, Ordering Thread

I was stymied for a bit because I didn’t have the correct colored thread. I wanted the thread for the binding to match the binding. I ordered from Red Rock Threads and had the thread in a few days. Hooray for great customer service and fast shipping.

Once I had the thread, I was able to finish the bag. It was slow going, but I did it.

Wonderclips holding it all together
Wonderclips holding it all together

WonderClips are not mentioned on the supply list, but I found them to be invaluable when holding the piece together to sew on the binding.

Matching Thread
Matching Thread

I really could not have gotten through this pattern without the archived sew-a-long directions and all of the photos showed in the Quilt Barn blog. Click on the link, print the blog posts and keep them with your pattern.

Mom and her STB
Mom and her STB

Mom really liked the bag, for which I was very grateful.

She opened it on Christmas and filled it up with her small gifts and stocking stuffers to transport home.

Filled STB
Filled STB

I did struggle with the construction, but felt confident enough to make a second bag, which I have started and am a step plus some thread weaving in from finishing. I just bought zippers to make two more.

 

Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

10 thoughts on “Gift Post #3: Sew Together Bag”

  1. Congratulations on getting through that. I’m glad Mary liked it.

    I’ll be curious to see the pattern when I am down next month. I’d like to see if it would be possible to modify it to have a shorter zipper that didn’t extend into a handle.

  2. My STB is in another state, but those longer zipper handles allow the bag to open out properly. Shortening them might not be desirable, not allowing maximum accessibility.

  3. Wow, it was on my list to make for last year, but I found something easier and never got to making it. My friend also recommended the quilt barn blog post, and it’s a great idea to print it and keep it with the directions.
    I buy a lot of my quilting thread from Red Rock Threads, and I love their service. So glad to see others buying from them.
    Your bag is really pretty, and it’s nice to see ahe liked it!

    1. I hope you make the bag once. It is a challenge, but I think it is useful. I have often bought thread form Red Rock. I have a few spools of Aurifil and haven’t needed any new spools recently. It is a great source.

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