Mabel bag – free pattern from Swoon

Whilst I am still undecided about which dressmaking project to undertake next, I have made another bag. This time inspired by Sian of Kittenish Behaviour, I tried out the Mabel bag which is a free pattern from Swoon.

To make the bag I used a Fat Quarter of linen-look that I bought at Festival of Quilts for £1 plus another fat quarter of cotton print from my stash for the lining. The outer flap is made with some Cerise Pink needlecord that I had ‘knocking around’ in the sewing room! The magnetic snap and wadding came from my stash so this bag has not cost me a great deal in materials.

However, I am not ‘over-the-moon’ about the bag. It is all my own fault as I should have read the instructions and made a note of the requirements – Shapeflex and Peltex, neither of which do I have in my stash of bag-making materials. Instead I used headliner* and thus the bag is not nearly as structured as it should be. I also failed to take into consideration the ½ inch seam allowance that reduce the already quite small bag down to a much smaller bag, not large enough for my day-to-day requirements! The finished size of my bag comes out as 9″ wide x 5½ ” high x 3″ depth.

However, I continued with the construction taking note of the split in the wadding that happens within the flap and had I used the correct stiffening, would have made a much better job of forming the fold over the bag. The flap fastens with a magnetic snap.  The little (looks like a caterpillar!) handle was a new construction technique for me and looks quite cute.

I have added pockets (why make a bag without pockets?) in the form of a slip pocket on one side and a letterbox zip pocket on the other side of the lining panels. I also added a loop onto which you can attach a key ring that will stop the keys disappearing to the bottom of the bag.

Again I have learned a few more details about bag construction (such as reducing the top width of the gusset and cutting back the headliner at the top of the bag) which if I ever make this bag again, I will incorporate into the next iteration.

Meantime, this particular model is destined to be filled with small items of cosmetics etc., and parcelled up as a gift for my sister.

* a substitute for Bosal foam wadding.