I am definitely on a serious bag making kick. This week I learned of a friend going through a very difficult time. I had already grabbed a yard of this Melody Miller fabric in canvas off of the #thegreatfabricdestash with her in mind because she loves horses. (It turned out I needed more than one yard- which was a pain but I was able to get more at an LQS). I already had the Anna Maria Horner Art Student Tote pattern on hand too and I got to work.
This pattern's difficulty level is much more easy than a lot of bags I have made but I still managed to have some issues, thanks to user error.
See those pretty front pockets? I originally cut the horse fabric for those pockets and got it all sewed together but changed my mind because it's such a novelty fabric and it bugged me that my pieces didn't perfectly center a galloping horse. I didn't like having horse butts being the only pieces of the horse that you could see in some places. Luckily I had two fat quarters of this minty gold metallic fabric to use instead.
I also had major issues with the strap- it should NOT have been so difficult! The strap is supposed to be a 128" loop and somehow I managed to make it 92"- a full yard's worth too short! That was not fun to fix. After I fixed that, I later realized that I had resewn the strap twisted! So I had to unpick some of it again!
Anyway, the pattern is really straightforward and well written. I did a few of my own modifications:
- I didn't use the templates as instructed. I measured the pieces and cut my fabric with a rotary cutter. This was quicker and I think I did it in a way that resulted in less waste.
- I skipped installing a magnetic snap- those little things would not be very helpful, in my opinion, in keeping this HUGE bag closed.
- I added an interior zipper pocket on one side of the lining.
- I didn't even try to sew on top of the metal zipper teeth in one small section- that is a recipe for a broken needle (or worse!). There was no avoiding this and I am not sure why the pattern didn't address this.
- I changed the way I sewed the large interior pocket panels to avoid having a raw seam edge poking up inside every pocket- I simply folded and ironed one edge of the panel 1/2" in, sewed the other side per directions, and sewed the folded edge onto that seam line: encasing the raw seams.
Here's a picture of the back:
I love the look of this bag! I hope I can find the time to make myself one this summer. It's a very unique look compared to the other bags I've sewn before.
Thanks for reading!
Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday and Crazy Mom Quilts at Finish it up Friday.