Finally, a blog post! Last week of term activities and then the beginning of holidays have filled my days and evenings, with little time left for blogging. As you know, that happens sometimes! But finally I am back again, raring to show you the bag that I completed at Nicole Mallalieu‘s Bag in a Day class a little over a week ago.
I did have a slight advantage over my other class buddies in that I have made many of Nikki’s bag patterns up before. But never in a class! I have always relied on just following the instructions (and referring back to the general information and skills that I have picked up over the years). But I have to say, despite my comprehensive instruction following abilities, it was still SO worth it to take a class. Seeing, hearing and doing rather than just reading really allowed me to pick up some terrific tips and tricks to really take my bag-making to a higher level.
I chose to have a structured base on my bag. I’ve done these before, but Nikki was able to give me the little tips that really fixed up the little mistakes that I’ve made in the past. Actually, I made the same old mistake when I was constructing this one, but having Nikki there in person to realise and point it out and how I could have fixed it was an excellent example of “learning through one’s mistakes”. I won’t muck it up next time!
Rather than a magnetic snap closure, I chose to use a zippered gusset. Once again, Nikki had some great suggestions for interfacings that would make it that little bit simpler next time I make it. She’s a font of knowledge!
I had a little trouble finding coordinating fabric in the stash to use for the lining. This one is okay, but not perfect. But because the bag is usually zipped up, no-one notices. Only for me! I used a zippered interior pocket on one side, and a compartment pocket on the other. I like my pockets!
So I did manage to finish this bag during the class. I probably rushed a few bits, and made a few mistakes, but I learned so much while doing so. I also learned handy tips and tricks such as using sticky tape to keep things in place for hole-punching or sewing, why you need to shop at Bunnings, Officeworks and the supermarket when collecting bag-making tools, and the importance of reducing strap bulk while retaining strap strength. Many of Nikki‘s tips are in her book and are generously shared on her website and blog, but I really did enjoy hearing and seeing them demonstrated in real life.
The pattern for this one is the Day Bag, with bamboo handles, a structured external base, zippered gusset closure, and interior pockets. There are so many variations that you can make! The fabric is barkcloth that I bought from GJs Discount Fabrics some time ago. It was terrific seeing the different bags that my sewing buddies were constructing too. Changing the fabric, strap type and width, contrasts, closures etc makes the same pattern look completely different! I also started a bag using the Large Tote and Satchel pattern – back with that one later on (in the meantime, check out Karen’s wonderful version here).