22 October 2012

library bag

My nephew C. wants a library card (he's 6).  But to get a library card, he needs a library bag with a pocket.   Enter Oliver + S 'messenger bag' from 'little things to sew'.   It's ranked at 3 out of 4 scissors for difficulty (uh, bias tape!  lots of layers!  curves, lots of layers, and bias tape!)  But even with that, it went together pretty quickly.

Here's the front.  Can you tell that C choose the fabric? 

And the back.  (Don't look too close at the bias tape.  I'm getting better - but I still need more practice.)

The inside is lined with orange Kona cotton.  Yup, C picked that too.  The front expandable pockets have velcro on them.  Perfect for a library card.  There are also pockets on each side.

I changed a few things on this pattern.  There were two sizes for the pattern - kid size and  adult size.  I wanted the bag deep enough to put a few books in, so I used the adult size for the side pieces (3 1/2 inches versus 2 3/4 inches) and adjusted the length.   The back and front flap are all one piece, so I cut it in half  because of the directional fabric.  (It would not be good to have Star Wars characters upside down.)  I also lengthened the front flap with the hope that it would stay down since there isn't a fastener. I think it works perfectly.

The bag final dimensions are approximately 7 1/2" tall  x 10 " wide  x 3 1/2" deep. 

Since both of the fabrics are 'quilting cotton' weight, I lined them with decor bond.  It works great.  I also lined the bag with 'Duck Cloth' as recommended by the pattern.  It really helps to give the bag body and shape.  The only place I wish I had cut it down was on the strap.  By the time you fold the strap in, it was 4 layers of fabric and 4 layers of duck cloth.  That's do-able.  But the 8 layers of fabric and 8 layers of duck cloth where the strap pieces are folded in half was not fun.  Broken needle and hand cranking the sewing machine.  Ugh.  I'm hoping that I got enough stitching in them that they will stay put.  If I did it again, I'd cut the duck cloth for the straps at 1/2 of the width, resulting in 2 layers once it's folded.

And here's a shot of what it was like to sew around the bag.  I've got to remember to buy some 'binder clips' to use instead of pins for situations like this.  I bent most of the pins and ended up throwing them away.

The pattern consists of 9 pieces and two additional rectangles to cut out.  Plan to spend a couple hours cutting - outside, inside, duck cloth lining, interfacing for outside and inside.

It also requires a strap adjuster and rectangle slide.  I ordered mine off of Etsy.  The first order came quickly and then I realized that 2" hardware was not the right size.  I then ordered 1 1/2" wide hardware  - waiting very impatiently until it arrived and I could finish sewing.

C is delighted with his bag and he is now the proud owner of a library card.  It was definitely worth it.  I might even try the larger size next time.

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