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.

2 comments:

Christine M.M. 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!