Sunday, May 22, 2016

Art Student Tote: Mustang Edition

 Thank you for all of the amazing response to my Weekender bag.  I think that project may be my best-loved project to date in the social media world.  I really appreciate everyone's generous comments and encouragement!

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 bought extra of the "accent fabric" (Playful print by Melody Miller- with the letters) and nearly doubled the width dimensions for the 8 side straps instead of inverting thing fabric tubes- a process that would have taken ages!)
  • 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.


Unknown said...

I have been reading your blog for some time but this is the first occasion I have felt compelled to leave a comment. I was so grateful and relieved to read that someone who clearly does a LOT of sewing, can screw up and make silly mistakes as much as I do sometimes. If your head is somewhere else, or you are constantly being interrupted, mistakes happen! I have learned to accept in myself that I have to build in time on all of my projects extra time to fix my inevitable mistakes. Now that I have accepted it in myself, it is less distressing when it happens and I just roll with it. I consider it "part of the process". Beautiful bag, by the way. You are lucky you had that gold polka dot for the outside pocket :)

Gwen said...

Thanks for the tips on making the Art Student Tote! I received the
pattern as a gift and have it on my summer sewing list. Your
bag is a fun way to use the Mustang fabric!