Thursday, 14 April 2016

Bags are like buses - two come along at once

Something rather unusual for me has happened – I’ve found a pattern I enjoyed sewing so much, that after finishing making one, I just had to make a second. The pattern in question is the Bionic Gear Bag by Sally Thompson (aka RipStitcher) and it is available from Craftsy. After buying the pattern, I joined the "Sew Much Nicer" Facebook Group for inspiration and tips, and watched the excellent video tutorials from Birdcage and Thread. Then it was a matter of picking fabrics and zips from stash and getting some super-duper needles (Microtex 90) to cope with all the layers.

I’m usually quite happy following a printed pattern, but on this occasion the videos made the whole process much clearer. My first bag was finished during a weekend of leisurely sewing, including an unscheduled trip to the shops for a couple of zips when I discovered that the zips in my stash were an inch too short, and the usual stops for hanging out the washing, cooking tea and letting the neighbour’s cat sit on my knee – all the things that get in the way of uninterrupted sewing time.

After making that bag and seeing just how much it could hold, I realised I would quickly forget what was in it, and started planning something a little different for a second bag. Some adjustment of the pattern was required in order to use lace zips which were an inch shorter than required and to remove the smaller front pocket. To check the re-sizing, I stitched a test version in paper and made some final alterations before cutting out the fabric.

The other major change was to use clear vinyl for the pockets so I can see what's in them. I also added some machine embroidery to the binding, though if I were to do this again, I would embroider the binding before stitching it to the bag!
It was only as I was stitching the zip tabs to the binding, that I realised my outer zip goes in the opposite direction to the inner zips. Oh well, better get planning my third Bionic Gear Bag, though I might be tempted to try the Baby Bionic Gear Bag first.