After making the Conference Tote Bag, I thought I’d like to make more bags. I’ve read a few books, bought a book, reviewed a book, am planning on buying a new book coming out, and took a few Craftsy classes – all on bag-making. I thought it was time to try another bag.
Let me tell you, it’s a lot more of a workout to make a bag than it is to make a bra! I can’t think of a anything that you fight with as much on a bra. The only thing that would come close is stretching the elastic along the band, but that’s nothing. Now, having said that, there are no fitting issues with bags at all.
Before I go on about the fight I had making the bag, let me show you what I made.
This is Ethel, a free pattern from Swoon. I love the shape of this bag – that’s what drew me to it in the first place. It’s just a bit different for a tote bag with its tear-drop shape. DS2 came home the day I’d made it and said it was beautiful and what he really liked was the shape too. So, it’s a winning shape.
It doesn’t show up really well in the photos, but there is an outer divided pocket on the front of the bag. That’s something great for phones or keys or lipstick that you don’t want lost in the bag.
I used the same quilting cotton for the lining on this bag as I did on my Conference Tote Bag.
Here’s the outside of Ethel with just a bit of lining showing. I love how these go together.
You can see that front pocket I mentioned a little better in the above photo.
And here’s the back of the bag.
Oh, I love that shape. I’d like to make this again and include a few of the lovely details from the Conference tote – like an inside pocket with zipper, and a zipper closure.
Speaking of detail, here’s a close-up of the floral detail:
I love the gold on there, and the contrast between the dark brown and white.
Now, let me tell you about the fight we had. Well, the bag has interfacing and/or foam on all the pieces to give it structure. I did fight a little bit with the Conference Tote Bag – I’d decided boxed corners and I were not going to be friends. On this bag there are no boxed corners. However, the whole time I was sewing the seams, the foam seemed to want to push against something and I felt like I was fighting to keep my seam allowances straight. Tell me, any other bag-makers out there, is that normal? It felt like an arm workout that lasted too long.
The second fight is leaving that little six-inch gap in the lining to pull the whole bag through! I’ve read different comments where bag-makers have referred to that as birthing the bag. To me, it seemed more like I was trying to rip apart what I’d just fought to sew! Again, it was an arm work out too. Once the bag is turned though, well, that’s when you can see how it’s going to look when it’s finished. There’s just a little bit more sewing and some pressing to do, but the finished look is there. It’s a great moment.
In the end, I’m very pleased with it. This will be making its way to my Mum for Christmas this year. I had a lot of hints and questions after the first bag I made – I knew my Mum would love one too.