I have finally started dressmaking again. This time yet another sleeveless shirt dress using ‘Anaconda’ printed cotton lawn. But before I post details of that dress, I want to tell you about my latest bag construction – the Companion Carpet Bag by Mrs H patterns.
The pattern was demonstrated on Sewing Quarter on 3rd October and I purchased the pdf pattern direct from Mrs H’s website. Details of the pattern are as follows:-
The Companion Carpet Bag comes in two sizes, small and large to fit frames 8.5”and 12”. The finished sizes are 12” x 8” x 6” (30.5cm x 20cm x15cm) for the small and 16” x 10” x 6” (41cm x 25cm x15cm) for the large.
The Companion Carpet Bag features a full width front pocket, which you can trim with piping or lace, bag feet, leather handles and optional leather snap tab. Inside there’s a zipped pocket and a slip pocket. The pattern uses an internal tubular frame, either 8.5″ or 12″. You don’t need the top snap tab as the frame holds everything closed nicely, but it’s a great accent feature!
The Companion Carpet Bag pattern is suitable for pretty much any woven fabrics, from quilting cottons to upholstery chenille. All of the versions made by me have been sewn on my (really rather weak) domestic sewing machine, so you will not need any special machines to make this carpet bag.
I have been absolutely delighted with the bag which I feel represents the culmination of all my bag-making learning rolled into one beautiful project.
The outer fabric was some gifted linen that had originally been destined for landfill, the lining is a Lemon/White pinstripe cotton donated from a neighbour’s de-stashing last year.
The zip was from my stash acquired when my father worked at the Opti-lon zip factory over 50 years ago. The handles were in my stash and still marked up with a price of £5.50 so must have been lurking for a considerable length of time as I note current price is around £14 for a similar set of handles. The magnetic snaps were in my bag-making stash and cost about 50p per set. The 8½ inch bag frame which cost £7.10 and the headliner* foam wadding bought for about £2.75 were the only new purchases – both from eBay.
The bag was not a quick make as I completed the construction over 3 sewing sessions of about 2 hours each session. It would have been a lot quicker if I had not changed my mind about the accent fabrics AFTER they had been cut out, interfaced and basted to the headliner fabric! So I had to cut new pieces to be interfaced and applied to the headliner wadding. That all takes time!
The outer pocket is trimmed with some Cream satin piping that I bought about 15 years ago at a Doll Fair. It was only when taking photographs that I noticed it is on the slant.
However, I quite like the look as it exposes a little more of the floral print on the side panel of the bag, a happy accident.
I did make one addition to the bag and that was my signature clip hook just inside the top of the bag. Attaching my keys to this clasp prevents the inevitable scrabble around the bottom of the bag in search of those pesky keys!
The fold over tab which I made to my own pattern has been ‘fussy cut’ to feature the floral print.
However, underneath is hidden an error on my part. I did not put the corresponding magnetic snap in the correct place. So now there are two but fortunately the original incorrect placement is hidden by the tab. Phew!
The bag frame slots into the hinge and has some teeny, tiny screws which were a challenge to deal with but luckily my husband had just the right-sized screwdriver. Feeding the frame through the channels was also a tight fit but finally it does look good.
Although I prepared a nylon mesh bag base panel this was not used as I did not have any brass-coloured bag feet to hand. Still the bag base is set aside for the next iteration so will not go to waste.
Flushed with the success of this small-sized Companion Carpet Bag, I have now ordered the larger bag frame – watch this space for iteration #2!
* headliner is a substitute foam for the In R Form Bosal Bag & General Foam Batting.