Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cosmo Bag

I mentioned in a previous post I was sewing a-long to Amy Butler's Style Stitches Book. The first bag to make is the Cosmo Bag. It is finally completed. My intention was to follow the instructions as closely as possible and not end up making the bag my way.

But I discovered I don't read so good. In my defence,  the instructions are very wordy. It's a lot to read and absorb. Lines after lines of instructions.

The first mistake I made was totally no excuse - just plain ole carelessness. I used the lining template to cut both the exterior and lining fabric! Ok, I saw what the Cosmo Bag should look like. I looked at the lining template thinking this template doesn't look right for pleating. Still I went ahead and snip, snip, snip.
The bag on the cover of the book is the Cosmo Bag. It has pleats around the band. Yep, horrors. When I discovered my error, I had already used up most of my 1 metre Ikea black and white butterfly print fabric. My first instinct was to go get more fabric which I did but it was completely sold out. My second instinct was to cry.

I decided to salvage what I had already cut because it is A LOT of fabric. The only question was: Do I still use the band? I had told Bree who's hosting this Sew-a-long my booboo and she suggested doing without the band and the pleats as well. The thing is, I didn't want to waste the band so I decided I to just hammer the bands on. With that out of the way, I proceeded to do the handles which look like a real pain to do.
What you see here is just 1 out of 8 pieces of the handles I have to sew on the main panel. I don't like to sew convex to concave curves. It's just against the Law Of Stretchiness. Amy Butler's instructions for this super-human task are "easing the band around the curve". Ok, you can't ease the band around the curve. You FORCE it. As for me, I sewed a stay stitch and clipped like crazy. But I didn't want to do it for 7 other handles! So I gave the fabric no choice. I held it at gunpoint. It worked!
But the handles did not match the main panel as exact as I wanted. So I had to snip, snip, snip. At this point, I decided I would sew the bag my way should it differ from the instructions. This bag was starting to get on my nerves. Oh Amy!
The side gusset really made the bag ginormous. I mean, the main panel is huge enough. You could fit a young child inside.

This is the inside. I used the opportunity to use up my fabric remnants.
For the exterior, I ditched the pocket at the side panel but I put a little patch pocket on the front panel. Plus, I don't like button closure so that went too.

Finally, the most frustrating part to sew - the inner and outer circles of the handles. I read the instructions and decided I would do it my way. Umm, you know how a scrunchie is sewed?

I absolutely regret the choice of fabric. It's too stiff for a bag with this amount of curves. As a result the finishing is a little off.

Some sewers are saying in blogland this bag is easy to make. They must be way ahead of me in terms of sewing because I just found it frustrating. My recommendation? Try other bags in the book first before making the Cosmo Bag if you're not a regular sewer.


by night said...

I really have a hard time believing how many difficulties you encountered for making this... you, the queen of bag making! I hope it will get better with other ones from the book.
But I actually think this one turn out nice. yes it is huge but it could become a super chic grocery bag or a suitcase for the weekend, couldn't it?

Anonymous said...

Your the second blog I read that said the instructions were a little challenging. Either way I like how your bag turned out. I really like the fabric you selected.

Bethany said...

I have yet to dive into my copy of the book. There are a LOT of instructions in small print that doesn't look easy to read (and I'm not old enough to say things like that yet, haha).
I think you did a great job, though!!!

SCLover said...

Hi jane...Your bag turn superb !!wanna try to do s/thing like this... like butterfly too...

Little Blue Mouse said...

I think it turned out great, but like you say it is ginormous isn't it?

3punkmom said...

Love it! The bag fabric is great...did you use home dec or just regular quilting fabric?
AND....I totally love the bag without pleats!! I think when I make it again, I will just do it that way!

antmee said...

So sad it didn't turn out just the way you wanted! The fabric is just to die for so I am glad you persevered! But to be totally honest.......I LOVE YOUR BAG! If I tried to make it and it turned out even just a little bit as nice looking as yours, I would be happy! Even if I just had that fabric I would be happy!

jane p said...

Everyone, thanks for all your sweet comments. If I ever make the bag again, I wouldn't do the pleats either as they are just embellishment for this design.
@3punkmom The fabric is home dec. My mom says I used the right fabric for the bag.

Chris H said...

Even though you made a boo boo... the bag looks fabulous.

Kat @ KaydeeBunz said...

Im working on this bag right now and its SO frustrating!!! GAH! Ive made a couple of her bags and while they are cute, they are also super complicated with many pieces (and I really like sewing purses/bags). I think next time around I to will do things differently....I hope I finish it with my brain still intact! HA :)

Gretchen said...

I did the same goddang thing with this bag. The pattern pieces should be listed at the beginning of the instructions so you don't miss one. Luckily I had enough fabric to make new main panels with pleats. I'm just now trying to attach the band though and it makes me wanna cry. I'm not completely new to sewing, but I'm not a pro either. This bag makes me feel like a sewing dunce. I like your blog. Sew on.

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