Some years ago I purchased two lengths of faux leather from Sew Hot at a very reduced price probably due to the colours of the faux leather – a Bright Turquoise and a Very Lime Green. Those that know me will also know that I am not afraid of bold colours! I set the fabric to one side until I could locate a co-ordinating cotton print as I had set my heart on a two-tone ‘saddle’ bag.
I eventually found just the right print but in the meantime – lost the original pattern which was a cut-out from a magazine, Love Sewing I think.
After a thorough search of the sewing room and a browse on the internet I came across two patterns. One was the Poppy bag from BoutiqueUniqueDesigns and the other was the Mollie Mini Cross body Bag. By this time I realised that I had been hoarding the faux leather for such a long time it was more than overdue to be made up. The pattern for the Poppy bag was printed off and passed to my very good friend along with the fabrics, headliner fabric wadding and hardware with a plea for her to make up the bag.
Trial bag on the Left, my new bag on the Right
Within 4 days I received a photograph of the completed bag – along with the initial ‘trial’ bag! Wow – they look absolutely great.
Now, where was I with regard to the saddlebag?
The Mollie Mini cross body bag – this is a free pattern from the Swoon website and is described thus:-
“A compact cross body with style, this small bag features an exterior slip pocket, fold over flap with magnetic snap closure and long adjustable strap.”
SIZING / FINISHED MEASUREMENTS:
- 6” wide 6” tall 2.75” deep
The Swoon pattern looked ideal apart from just one thing – it was much too small. Full of confidence I decided to grade up from the 6inch size to something nearer 10 inches. But, I hesitate to use my lovely faux leather on something so untested. I know, I will make a trial bag using some gifted linen. I have cut out most of the pieces but once again, anxiety stepped in. I have never made this type of bag before – I was unsure of the construction techniques. I would make up the bag to the original pattern – just to test out the various techniques and get a ‘handle’ on how the bag is put together.
Fabric requirement for the Mollie Mini are very small, a fat quarter of main fabric, a fat quarter of contrast and a fat quarter for the lining plus foam wadding, interfacing and hardware.
I had bought a short length of a charming linen print at the Festival of Quilts and this coordinated well with some Terracotta linen from the stash of gifted fabrics.
Although the pattern calls for ¾ inch hardware, I used 1 inch as that was the smallest size that I had. Being in a rush to get on with the project I ignored the instructions for fusible wadding and instead used some leftover pieces of headliner wadding which in hindsight was far too thick for the size of the bag – will I never learn?
Placing the contrast shape onto the front of the bag went well, also applying the magnetic snap to the front panel and the shaped tab. Next was preparation of the magnetic snap tab. I carefully stitched right sides together only to discover that due to the thickness of the headliner fabric, it was impossible to turn right side out. I cut off the stitching and ended up running a satin stitch around the outer edges 3 times to seal them. The end result is just about OK.
When it came to assemble the bag I simply could not make head nor tail of the instructions. It was only after I browsed the finished makes on the Swoon website that the light bulb finally switched on as to how to layer up the various parts!
Now it was relatively plain sailing until I had stitched the gusset to the lining front and back panels only to realise that I should have left a gap for turning. Instead, I put the lining inside the bag with wrong sides facing and applied a binding to the top of the bag. I quite like how that looks which is just as well as by now I was feeling pretty fed up with the whole project.
Final analysis. This is definitely the style of bag that I am after but I think I will leave it a while before I attempt the larger size in the linen and even longer before I make the Faux leather version.