Adventures in Sewing
Pattern: I used a pattern I found on sew4home’s website. Here’s the link: http://www.sew4home.com/projects/storage-solutions/re-imagine-renovate-laminated-toiletry-travel-bag.
Main Fabric: Retro Dot cotton (1/3 yd) from Hobby Lobby. Since I’m making a set of coordinated bags, I was able to use leftover fabric.
Accent Fabric: Black Lattice cotton (1/4 yd) from Hobby Lobby. Again, I used leftover fabric.
Lining: white PUL (polyurethane laminate) (1/3 yd) from JoAnn’s – you can find this with all the baby craft items. I was able to easily cut both the lining for this makeup bag and the lining for the smaller makeup pouch from the same 1/3 yd cut of PUL.
Batting: Lightweight, not fusible (1/3 yd). You really only need a a 12″ x 16″ piece, so I just used some leftover I had around the house.
Notions: 12″ zipper in Dark Rose
Summary: This is the second bag in the Drama Bag set – a boxy makeup bag about 8″ long x 4″ wide x 3-1/2″ high. It looks a lot like a girly shaving kit! The lining is made from PUL (a laminated material also used for diaper covers) that is easy to wipe out if the pouch gets messy from spills of makeup, sunscreen, or even hairspray.
Glitch 1: Inserting the zipper into a tube shape was not the easiest thing I’ve done. I found that I could not follow the instructions very well and just had to fiddle around with it to figure out what it should look like. Let me say that when I was putting in the zipper I was using instructions dated July 18, 2011 for the same bag pattern. The instructions have since been revised (May 3, 2012) to clarify the problem steps that many people were having – including inserting the zipper. The link I provided at the top of the post is for the revised instructions. Also, there is a paragraph at the beginning of the instructions stating that this is an intermediate project because of the twisting, turning, and “futzing” required to insert the zipper. I wonder how it is I skipped over that warning when I first looked at the project?? The revised instructions are much clearer when describing the zipper insertion, but you will still need to do plenty of twisting and turning!
Glitch 2: Making the corners of the bag! Again, I was working from the original instructions when trying to sew the corners of the bag. I absolutely could not figure out the wording describing how to sew the corners, so I just decided to figure it out. I tried one way which I thought was intuitive, but couldn’t even straighten out the corners. I removed all that stitching and tried a second way. Again, could not straighten out the corners. I took that stitching out, too. By this time, an hour had passed, and I was very worried that I was not going to figure this out or would ruin the PUL in the process. At the last minute, it occurred to me to look on sew4home’s website to see if anyone else having the same problem had posted a comment. Yep! I was not alone. In reading through the comments, I found the notice about the revised instructions which had such good pictures. With a little studying of these new pictures, I had the bag finished in no time.
Glitch 3: The handle is supposed to be placed on the lower half of the end of the bag (so the handle fabric wil contrast with the main fabric). For some reason, even after using the revised instructions, my handle came out on the top half of the end of the bag and matches the upper fabric instead of contrasting the lower fabric. Since my seam ripper and I had been good friends on this project already, I decided to leave the handle where it was.
Note 1: The instructions direct you to cut 2″ off of the handle piece to make a tab to put at the bottom of the zipper. I thought this tab length was a little too short to easily grab. Next time I think I would cut off 3″ for the tab – that would still leave plenty for the handle, I think.
Fabric Notes: Pins leave holes in PUL, so be sure to pin in the seam allowances. When you sew the final corner of the lining, try not to use pins at all!
Final Thoughts: Once I found the updated instructions, this bag was a lot of fun to make. The bag size easily holds a lot of makeup or larger bottles and tubes of hair products. Here are the two bags I’ve made so far as part of the Drama Bag set. Cute, don’t you think?