Friday, 14 November 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #7: The Daphne Bag

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

It feels to me like the Perfect Pattern Parcels have come thick and fast this year, but this is the final one of 2014 (umm, where did this year go?!). If you don't know what the PPP's are, let the organisers themselves explain:
How Pattern Parcel Works: Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel. We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Its our goal to raise over $20,000 for Donors Choose this year.
The patterns in this parcel are:

BONUS PATTERN: Daphne Bag by Clover & Violet 

When I was invited to take part in the promo tour of Parcel #7, I was really excited when I saw that it consisted solely of bag patterns. In terms of the ratio of 'sewing-time : amount-worn', bags have got to be up there with jackets and coats when it comes to useful things to spend your time making. And yet I've only made one bag from a purchased sewing pattern (RIP, vintage curtain bag), having previously only used self-drafted patterns. When I see bag sewing patterns though, I must admit I usually get a bit turned off by the fabric choice. I tend to wonder what the bag would look like if it wasn't made from Amy Butler quilting cotton (no offence, Amy Butler or her fans, it's just not my aesthetic), but instead in something, oh I don't know, nautical perhaps? Time to find out...

The Pattern:
I chose to make the Daphne Bag by Clover & Violet which is the bonus bag if you choose to pay at least $32 for the parcel. It looked casual enough to suit my everyday style and it had a zip closure which I wanted for security because I travel round London a lot. Plus, the pattern looked like it might have a couple of features that I haven't tried before. I feel my sewing has got in a bit of a rut in recent years, so I wanted to try out some new-to-me techniques, as well as use some bag-making notions and hard wear like plastic canvas stuff for the bottom and sliders (?) and rectangle rings (?). 

The Daphne bag isn't a pattern as such, it's a list of cutting instructions (it's all rectangles) and constructions steps with clear photographs. It was very easy to follow, which is handy coz my brain is in a bit of a fog these days. I made a couple of changes: I omitted the little pleats on the bag body because I wasn't a fan of them, and I didn't bother making the internal zip pocket. I did bother making the 'slip pocket' inside so I can easily access my phone, but this bag isn't exactly cavernous so I didn't think I'd need both the pockets.

The Fabric:

The checked nautical fabric I used was a scrap left over from a curtain my mum bought. She'd picked the curtain up in a charity shop to make cushion covers for my dad's boat and gave me the rest. There was just enough to make this bag (as long as I made a join in the strap section). Seriously, there's virtually just dust left, so I feel this fabric and pattern combination were meant to be. The base section is made from some navy blue faux-suede I've had lurking in my stash for a while. I'd been hoping to use it for a bag somehow, and there's still a lot left for more projects. The lining is some tomato-red and white polka dot poly-cotton that I've had in my stash since before the dawn of time which, quite frankly, I'm pleased to get out of there.

Techniques/notions/hard wear:

This project did provide me, as I'd hoped, with some learning opportunities. It was interesting to see how the zip closure was dealt with, for example. I really enjoyed using the plastic canvas stuff. It gives a fabulous stiff-but-flexible base and I'll definitely use that stuff again. I bought it, along with the slider and rectangle rings from U-handbag.

Now you may well be thinking, 'Zoe, where are the sliders and rectangle rings then?'. Well, I ordered them, they arrived, and then I promptly lost them. I spent (wasted) a whole damn evening trying to find them, to no avail. Ordering another set and waiting for them to arrive would have meant missing the deadline for my scheduled blog post slot. I was really looking forward to using them and I think they would have taken this bag up a notch, but it didn't pan out that way so I just chose a fixed strap length and went with that.

Further notions dramas ensued... The pattern calls for a 14" metal tooth zip for the main closure. I ordered one from eBay that had swanky gold teeth and red tape for contrast, but when it arrived I realised I'd ordered a 14 cm one instead! DUH. Back on eBay, I couldn't find a comparable one the correct length, but found this chunky nautical plastic one instead. Eventual-WIN.


I really enjoyed making something different to my usual projects and am very grateful to the PPP organisers for providing me with the push to do it. If you could use a new bag, then this parcel would give you a lot of great options. Plus with Christmas just round the corner, you could use them to make some very special presents.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win


Sara Curtis said...

Nice job! I prefer more simple, classic fabrics as well. Bag sewing is great for learning new techniques and experimenting with alterations. Everyone has different ideas about what pockets and closures they want, but they are pretty easy to change if you have a little bit of sewing experience. I love that you made it work for you1

JustSewJenna said...

This is so you, it's perfect!

tors grantham said...

Oooh, pretty! It's very you, and it looks fantastic!

Maria said...

I love the nautical look.

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