However, I still wanted to make bags, and I picked this pattern 'A Day in the Park/Backpack Tote' (which is out of print. Edited 7th Sept - see comments for a link to the digital version). Though I was sewing within a budget, I chose this pattern as I have it in my stash, and I have used the pattern before. There are quite a few Simplicity bag patterns on the Abakhan Fabrics site, including the Lisette one that I like the look of, but I had my heart set on making the Backpack Tote. I made this bag about two years ago - that time I made a lot of changes to ensure schoolbooks would fit.
This time I made it exactly from the pattern.
I chose curtain fabric from Abakhan, and also other notions
- Silver Fabric 1m @ £3.85
- Turquoise flower and black fabric 1m @ £2.99
- Lining (similar fabric to this) 1m @ £4.69
- Interfacing 1m @ £0.89
- O-rings 4 @ £1.60
- Zip 1 @ £0.50
- Elastic 1m @ £0.16
- Thread and extra interfacing - from my May project
There are a lot of steps to this pattern especially in preparing the pockets in the lining and the straps. Though it's not particularly difficult, there is plenty sewing around curves which is made even more awkward by the layers of thick fabric. (I omitted the canvas layer because the curtain fabric heavy enough)
My only sewing tips would be in relation to sewing the side/base parts to the front and back of the bag:
- keep the front/back nearest the feed-dogs, and
- start sewing the seam half way along (centre of the base) then
- go back and sew the rest of the seam starting at the base again.
- Repeat 1 to 3 for front/back of lining
The black and silver fabric (in the picture above) has more of a drape, and even with interfacing, made a soft bag.
The fabric with the turquoise flowers is more like a denim fabric and made for a firmer bag. I haven't added buttons to the front of the bags yet because I forgot to include them in my order. The elastic for the buttons was recycled from a jacket.
This picture of both bags gives a slightly better idea of the bag handles and how it can be carried as a tote.
I enjoyed sewing the bags, and the fact I could make them for just over £7 each was very, very motivating.
(The fabric and notions for these bags were chosen by me and supplied by Abakhan Fabrics, free, as part of their challenge to sew on a budget)
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