Three Birds with One Bag!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

If you've been around here for long, you know 3-D sewing makes me all squirmy and uncomfortable. But somehow, I found myself with THREE different 3-D sewing challenges on my to-do list that all needed done before the end of the year!

1. The November Aurifil Artisan challenge was to make a Sallie Tomato bag (the deadline was extended into December!)
2. The December Island Batik Ambassador challenge was 3-D sewing
3. As a Kraft-Tex Ambassador, I needed to make two projects before the end of the year (see the first one here)

Although it seems obvious in hindsight, it was just about a week ago when I realized all three of these challenges could be met with the same bag!

Holly bag by Sallie Tomato using Island Batik fabric, Aurifil thread, and Kraft-Tex


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I chose the Holly bag by Sallie Tomato specifically because the description says it was designed for "beginning bag makers and sewists." Surely that means it was designed for me! (You can find the pattern and hardware on the Sallie Tomato website as well as from many quilt shops. It's also on Etsy!)

I looked through my Island Batik stash to see what fabrics would coordinate with the Kraft-Tex I had on hand (I have black, turquoise, and natural). I picked a dark navy blue from the Batik Foundations Basics line to go with the natural Kraft-Tex, and a cream colored batik neutral for the interior. For thread, I chose three colors of Aurifil 50wt from my stash: #4060 Silver Moon Variegated, #2340 Cafe au Lait, and #2783 Medium Delft Blue.

Holly bag by Sallie Tomato using Island Batik fabric, Aurifil thread, and Kraft-Tex


After procrastinating as long as possible, I finally began cutting the pieces. The Kraft-Tex is really easy to cut with both the rotary cutter and with scissors.

Natural pre washed Kraft-Tex


The pattern calls for fusible fleece. I didn't have any on hand, so I used Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 and Thermore batting by Hobbs to give a little extra weight to the exterior navy fabric. It worked great!

Holly bag by Sallie Tomato using Island Batik fabric, Aurifil thread, and Kraft-Tex


My best quilty friend, Heather of Purple Pineapple Pizzazz, makes bags way more often than me, so she sent me the bag hardware I needed!

For some reason, my brain really has trouble understanding the concept of how bags are made. The steps and processes are not intuitive for me at all. So I cling to the pattern at every step. I read, and re-read, and read again, every step before very slowly doing the step. And I often stop and read the directions again just to be sure I'm still doing it right!

Sewing with Kraft-Tex


I did have a bit of an epiphany when sewing this bag though!

I recently solved a tiny 2x2 Rubik's cube. I learned that solving the Rubik's cube is just a series of steps that you memorize. And I know I don't like that. I prefer understanding how something works and then figuring out the solution. So I discovered that bag making is a bit like the Rubik's cube for me. It's a series of steps to follow, and there are steps I do not understand. Which is okay. So when I began to get frustrated when making the bag because I didn't understand the process, I would say, "Laura, don't seek to understand. Just do." 

Making a Holly bag with Kraft-Tex


And you know what? I began to enjoy the process!! 

Zipper pocket


And I was able to celebrate small victories! Like that zipper pocket!

Sewing the Holly bag


And when the directions simply said, "Turn the bag right side out through the zipper pocket," (which really meant, "put that giant gorilla into a soda can"), I *knew* it was possible (otherwise the pattern would have had a bigger pocket!), so I just was patient and worked at it little by little until IT WORKED!

Holly bag by Sallie Tomato


Another thing I've learned from the few bags I've made, is that when you're not very confident that you're capable of doing something, you're pretty darn proud when you do it! There's probably a life lesson in that...

Holly bag by Sallie Tomato using Island Batik fabric, Aurifil thread, and Kraft-Tex


I'm a huge proponent of trying new things, and this definitely fit that bill for me!

Holly bag by Sallie Tomato using Island Batik fabric, Aurifil thread, and Kraft-Tex

Zipper pockets and gussets and rectangle rings and a slider buckle and A PURSE! ALL new to me!! 

Holly bag by Sallie Tomato using Island Batik fabric, Aurifil thread, and Kraft-Tex


I'm so stoked with how it turned out!

Holly bag by Sallie Tomato using Island Batik fabric, Aurifil thread, and Kraft-Tex


I'm not sure I want to jump right in to sew another purse, but I'm hopeful that I will be more confident when I start the next one!

Holly bag by Sallie Tomato using Island Batik fabric, Aurifil thread, and Kraft-Tex


What project have you been putting off because it scares you a bit?

Holly bag by Sallie Tomato using Island Batik fabric, Aurifil thread, and Kraft-Tex


GO DO IT!!! Fight through the nervousness and just do it! You'll learn something new! And that will make it worth it!


Holly bag by Sallie Tomato using Island Batik fabric, Aurifil thread, and Kraft-Tex


Three challenges. One bag. That's a win, win, WIN! 



12 comments:

  1. You nailed it!! The stitching around that pocket looks absolutely perfect :) And you know how much I love the blue, lol. Definitely a win, win, win!

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  2. It looks fantastic, Laura. I'm so glad you gave it a try!!

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  3. You did an amazing job! I'm so with you on the need to understand. It's SO hard to just trust and do when I can't wrap my head around something. It sounds like it got a lot easier once you let go of that, though. Thanks for sharing your process so I could learn from it, too. :)

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  4. Such a beautiful bag. Love the royal blue batik. This is about as 3D as you can get. I too find I have to reread the instructions many times until I develop a visual in my head that lets me understand what I'm really supposed to do. So hard to put 3D instructions on a 2D medium...paper.

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  5. Your bag is amazing!! You chose the perfect combo of fabric and Kraft-Tex! I have made some totes and bags, but I have never made one from a pattern. I've made clothing (pretty much everything I wore in high school) and now quilts. Bag patterns are totally counter-intuitive to me as well!! You totally rocked this challenge!!!

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  6. That is one gorgeous bag! I would never have thought about turning a bag through the pocket, that's pretty wild, but so effective. Well done!

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  7. Looks great Laura, it is one very useful bag.

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  8. You made a gorgeous bag, Laura!

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  9. I also really struggle with 3D sewing, especially bags. I feel like I follow the directions but they never look right. Yours is absolutely gorgeous!!!!! Fantastic job!

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  10. That is a super duper purse! You did a great job. I can do 3D but some patterns are better than others. Just believing is a good thing; you certainly made this work for 3 challenges!

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  11. It looks great. Well done. I have a couple of bag patterns I want to make. Guess I just need to jump in and make them.

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