My Adventures in Quilting
Often, you find a pattern you like, buy it, pick out fabric, and get all set to make this wonderful thing. But as you get into the pattern, you find that the instructions aren’t clear, the sizes are wrong, our you have the wrong type of fabric. You wasted all that time and money. Pattern reviews are a great way to find out ahead of time just how good the pattern really is. Accuracy, clarity. All helpful and sometimes missing from bought patterns.
A while ago I purchased this book because I love some of the purses and bags pictured. And I feel comfortable saying that the afore mentioned problems are not the case with this book. I have made a few of the items in this book, and with a few minor, workable things, it is really what it seems. There is also very little to no hand stitching. The only hand work you may chose to do would be when sewing the lining closed at the end. I usually machine sew it closed with a 1/8″ seam. It’s on the inside so no one but you is going to know.
Like most people, I generally read most of the instructions and wing part of it thinking “oh, I got this”. My recommendation on these patterns, read and follow them all (I’ll tell you the two things I would change). The author has an interesting way of doing a few things like making pleats and installing liners.
I decided to make the Large Wristlet Zipper Purse (the pattern does have instructions for making a small one). I found some really cute fabrics on sale and went to work.
I always try to cut out all of my fabrics before I start to sew. If I mess something up or don’t have enough, I would really like to know before I get too far committed. On this pattern, I do recommend (and so did the author) using some sort of stabilizer if you’re using all quilter’s cotton. I used Pellon medium-weight fusible interfacing. The book comes with a tear out section with all of the templates you need. Since they overlap to save paper, I recommend using tracing paper and cutting that out.
I started sewing, and in no time at all, it started looking like the finished product. I do love that. There have been times where I was halfway through the pattern and still wasn’t sure if I was doing it right.
There are 2 things that I would do differently if I were to make this bag again. First, I would baste down both the top and bottom pleats at the same time. The instructions have you do the top at the beginning and then the bottom later on. The main reason I would do this is because you are already in “pleat fold mode” when you are doing the top and you want to make sure that the bottom get folded the same way. Just a mental thing. The second thing I would do differently is that I wouldn’t attach the strap so early on. I would probably wait until after the zipper is attached. I don’t think it would be any more difficult at that stage, but I kept getting frustrated at the strap always being in the way, tugging at the fabric, and generally being a nuisance. I might also make the strap 2-3″ shorter. But that’s just a personal preference.
The way that the author has you attach the zipper is clever. Read your instructions carefully. I didn’t at first and found myself ripping out topstitching a couple of times. Once I did it the way she said to, I was like “Ahh, I get it”.
When all was said and done, it came out really cute. It is a great size for holding your phone, keys, and a small wallet. I know that in the spring/summer, I like a small purse and I think this one will be great.
I do recommend this book to anyone. It is good for beginners as well as more seasoned sewists. It has great pictures and clear instructions. Just make sure you read them all.
One other thing. Whenever I am making something out of a book like this, I don’t like to cut out the templates from the ones they provided. What if I want to give the book to someone later and then they’ll need the templates. As I mentioned before, I use tracing paper and cut my templates out of that. When I’m finished with them, I put them in an envelope, label it, and keep it with the book. The benefits of this are twofold. I get to keep the book nice and tidy, AND if I ever decide to make the pattern again, I already have templates made up and ready to go.