The Sunburst Sling is done! I was like a woman possessed yesterday - caring about nothing else but focusing on making this bag. It helped a lot that I had cut my pieces on Thursday and my husband had the day off and took the kids to the Museum of Science yesterday. Still, I am surprised that I actually got this done - I was intimidated by my own plans to give this bag SUPER structure and I was afraid of installing the zipper. Installing the zipper turned out to be one of the easiest parts!
I used my most favorite fabrics of all time (I know I might say this a lot about all sorts of different fabrics but this is for real!): Bloomsbury Gardens by Liberty Lifestyle (the more affordable Liberty quilting cotton). I also used some Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in Black. Both were purchased at Pink Castle Fabrics.
One of the most unique fabrics I used was some pieces of a Lilly Pulitzer quilt for the lining. I bought two already cut up pieces at a yard sale this summer for $1. I don't know why that lady cut up the quilt but I've used pre-quilted material in purse linings before and it really saves on time with not having to use interfacing. Using this pretty floral quilted whole cloth quilt adds a special touch to the bag, it's definitely much prettier than the quilted solids that Joann's carries.
I bought and installed a "sports" zipper for the bag. I really wanted something durable and luckily they had a decent color and the right length at the store. I put zipper tabs on both ends of the zipper: the pattern only called for one but I think two works well. I am psyched to have a zippered handmade bag finally - no risk of stuff falling out now!
I added two big pockets to each side of the lining and sewed a few dividing lines in each of them.
I made the strap 30" long instead of 23". I put a long strip of peltex as well as a strip of batting to give the strap more strength and comfort.
This bag is as solid as a rock. The front and back panels are layered with fusible fleece, peltex, and a piece of canvas. The gusset is also very sturdy, I skipped the fleece. I found that it worked well to sandwich the peltex between the bag pieces and some coordinating canvas and sew it all around the edge. Relying on the fusible properties of the fleece and peltex proved futile. Sewing the bag and lining together was quite challenging and there was no way I could do the top stitching around the top once everything was turned right side out - but I think it looks fine.
One of the most time consuming parts of this project was getting the curved top part sewed together with the patchwork panel and piping detail. I ended up improvising a little and had a fair amount of seam ripping. Instead of sewing the piping to the curved top piece - I sewed it to the patchwork panel and then top stitched it down, then I sewed the top curved piece onto the piping and patchwork.
Hopefully this post may help someone making the Sunburst Sling someday. I searched all over the internet for tips but could hardly find anyone making this bag. It deserves to be more popular- it's an adorable and functional design. I think the pattern was well written and easy to follow. I liked that the PDF wasn't 1,000 pages long too- it's important for me to be able to print out my PDF patterns without wasting tons of ink and paper.
Linking up at Sew Sweetness Purse-A-Palooza 2013: