Tuesday, October 19, 2010

All's well that ends better

Hot Patterns 1080

A number of you asked about the ending of the last post and I did elaborate in comments, but if you missed the end of the story, it went like this: I told the woman my name, watched her face fall as she joined the dots and smirked to myself as she made a hasty exit. Obviously the episode unnerved me, but not overly, because actually her actions set in motion a series of events that lead me to the man I eventually married. So all is well that ends better.

Which is what can also be said of this bag. It's taken me forever to make it. If you'll forgive the pun, the instructions on this Hot Pattern left me real cold. I nearly ditched it half way through it was not coming together in a way I was liking, but I was using more of the leather from Nick's and I'd hate for Skippy to have died in vain. (There is something about sewing leather that brings you so much closer to its origins than say, just buying a leather handbag; it also makes it impossible to throw a bad project out.)

In fact, the perfectionist in me sat down and wrote 2 pages of edits to send to the designer, but all I'll probably end up doing is sending them an email that says, "did you ever get anyone to trial these instructions?"

At any rate, I totally love the bag, as I am huge fan of Vivienne Westwood.

The original:

The Hot Patterns' hommage:

Shall we now have a good look at what they did right? I love the internal pockets, the shape and style of the bag, and its size. It's handy it can be hand carried or over the shoulder. I love that they used the cool parts of the original bag - the shaped handle pieces, and the corner protectors.

Really useful internal pockets:

On the other hand, the handles are awkward and would be much better rotated on D-rings. This construction technique doesn't work so well on such a light bag where the cording is not well supported, and the handles are so big.

The weight of these handles really pulls the front out and they sit awkwardly when the bag is put down:

Also they have you bind the inside with bias tape rather than attach a separate lining. Much harder, much messier. Avoid if possible. Those are my big gripes, but I have lots of smaller ones too - cough cough 2 pages worth, to be precise.

For those of you who have sewed the Amy Butler Weekender bag, it is a much harder bag to sew than that, and frankly it needn't have been. That's the sad part, I could be making more Hot Patterns stylish bags, but I'm too scared to, if this bag is anything to go by.

This bag is my first foray into Spring/Summer sewing, gingham and beige say warmer weather to me. They also say "boring" so I have to find a way to spice this bag up a little. When I first showed this to my husband, he said, "oh it's lovely, it's about time you got yourself your own toilet bag."


  1. Glad you persevered. The story about the woman in the park was hysterically funny. Strange the way quirks of fate can lead our lives in totally different directions.

  2. Ah go on with you, send the edits... it will make me feel better anyway! I'm impressed that you persevered, people who do that in my classes get A+s. Nice wee hexie brooch ;-)

  3. ah yes Miss Flossy isn't it a great wee brooch - thought you might recognise it... it does make its way out on a few things actually, and you'll be pleased to know the coffee bag gets out and about every week too.

    The brooch gives this bag a MUCH needed lift. Otherwise someone will stop me on the street asking to borrow my deodorant or something.

  4. Your husband's comments at the end made me laugh. It's the sort of thing I would expect my husband to come out with!

    I've never tried bag sewing beyond shopping sacks. It just looks too daunting. I once sewed a friend a rucksack with some very heavy and stiff interfacing. I kept getting stabbed by the sewing machine needle! So, my hat is off to you!

  5. Husbands - what's that saying - can't love with them... without something...

  6. I LOVE it!! Totally spring and fun. Not at all a toilet bag. What a man thing to say! With Sue, I always say, Can't live with them, can't leave them out on the street corner...

  7. Nice bag. Bags are becoming the new coats for you, I see. Always one on the go or waiting in the wings.

    Now gingham and beige may say to you "summer" but to me they say "scientist work clothes". That's because one day I went to work in my beige trousers and my blue gingham shirt and found that my 60-year-old male boss was also wearing....beige trousers and a blue gingham shirt. It was very funny and slightly galling.

  8. Aw man... I have this one out on the table because I'm desperate for a new purse and I love the looks of this one. Hmmph. Now I'm VERY nervous about it. Maybe you could -ahem- post your edits so -ahem- others don't have to suffer.

    It would be, y'know, an act of charity. 'Cause that's one cute finished bag.

  9. Wow, glad you struggled through on that bag, because it really turned out to be a great spring bag. Too bad about the instructions. I still really like the results, though!

  10. That bag is totally rockin'. Looks like some very professional sewing there. Now that you have sorted out the problems with the construciton, you'll be able to whip up a few more in different fabrics for a totally different lool. You could even make a toilet bag out of oilcloth!

    Now I'm not getting the "rocket girl" references...you'll have to fill me in.

  11. Hi Beangirl, I've posted a review on Pattern Review - and it has all my suggestions in it. Thought I may as well post it somewhere where someone would want to read it. It makes very dull reading. I will be watching your blog with anticipation to see what you make of the pattern. You'll probably find it easy. Sigh.

  12. Hilarious! That is something my DH would say. I still can't bring myself to use the fabric DH said looks like a shower curtain. I think it may sit in the stash forever. Cute bag! very fresh =)

  13. I love your bag. I find informative (and maybe not so exciting) pattern reviews much more useful when actually making a project than the light, frivolous and completely useless ones that are, admittedly, entertaining. Entertaining is terrific on the blog. I am laughing at your husband. It took me 15 years to use up some fabulous, expensive twill that my husband named Haemotology fabric when it was displayed to him. No toiletry bag vibes were noticed in the reading of this post.

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