I am addicted to sewing lately! Not that I don’t normally enjoy it, but I’ve been super productive lately. I attribute this to a few factors: K is working so I have more hours at home when he’s not around to be available to do stuff with, I have a few trips coming up for which I’d love to have choices for The Perfect Bag(s), and lastly, we are in the final stages of buying our next home and I have a lot of extraneous anticipatory energy that I am channeling into sewing as opposed to fretting/obsessive planning. (Not that I’m not still planning like a fiend.)
I’m also in the market for a new everyday bag/purse. I would love to downsize a bit – I am accustomed to carrying a rather huge bag containing every possible thing I might need or want – BUT I also want to be able to take my laptop with me when I need to (which is fairly often) and I don’t know that I want to be carrying two bags on those days (SO, if I have a larger laptop-accommodating bag that I only use when needed, then I need my everyday purse to fit inside it, while still containing all the stuff I want with me all the time). (I only want my bags to be everything or all situations!) I am so far from the woman who refused to carry anything more than a duct tape wallet! But how can I live without room for sunglasses, wallet, keys, phone, emergency nuts, gum, mints, reading glasses, small notebook, pen and emergency backup pen, checkbook (I could live without this, for all I use it these days), and whatever else I’m forgetting at the moment?
Anyway. It does seem like I might be able to survive quick jaunts around town with slightly less baggage, so I made the Date Night bag (pattern by Dog Under My Desk – the best patterns I’ve found).
It’s cute and a great size for a minimal amount of stuff (wallet, sunglasses, keys, phone). I have used it on a few quick errands and *gasp* survived without all my extra crap! Of course I used a fun Star Trek print for the lining.
I’ve also been thinking that, while I’m on my upcoming work trips, I’d like to have some smaller mini-bags to store specific things inside the Take-Off Tote I posted about last week. For instance, my iPod and headphones. I have an ancient-by-today’s-standards iPod (5th generation classic), and I like over-ear headphones, so they actually take up a little bit of space.
The larger version of the DUMD Essential Wristlet with boxed corners is perfect!
You can’t tell in this photo, but the lining is a neat tonal dye that is somewhat variegated throughout. Plus, more cool Star Trek fabric.
Feeling adventurous from all this bag sewing, I took a chance and got a wallet pattern by a different designer. It’s okay but not up to the standard to which I’ve become accustomed.
It’s the Ultimate Wallet by So Sew Easy. The directions weren’t bad, but definitely didn’t give the level of detail or precision I’m used to with Erin’s DUMD patterns.
I was pretty unimpressed by some of the construction details – there are a lot of big, heavy, thick areas that could/should be trimmed down in ways not included in the directions, and it’s just not as precise as I’d like in both measurements and instructions. I had more than a few moments along the way of thinking, “but what if I…” but I chose to trust the pattern and not second-guess it. I should have gone with my gut in this case!
On the plus side, it has a zillion card pockets and plenty of space for paper money, as well as an internal zippered pocket. Overall, I’d say: great in theory but not so great in execution. It’s not a bad pattern and I didn’t see any errors, it just wasn’t what I was hoping for.
Back to the safe, happy terrain of DUMD patterns for my next one! This time it’s the Day Tripper.
This is obviously not a smaller bag, but I still wanted to make it. I wanted to try using home decor fabric AND doing a bag that uses traditional batting rather than Soft and Stable (much as I love Soft and Stable, it’s somewhat pricey and not sold locally so I have to order it online).
This bag is awesome for a person like me who loves pockets! You’ve got the zippered exterior pocket, sectioned open pocket on the back, sectioned open pocket on the interior – and I added another sectioned open pocket on the other side of the lining. Pockets for everyone!
This may become an everyday bag for me. When I bought my big splurge Coach bag, I expected that the quality would be top-notch and that it would essentially last forever. NOPE. It has frayed on one of the straps where a big bit of the covering on the strap peeled away JUST LIKE a bargain imitation-leather purse would have done. BOOO. I can of course trim off the fraying bits as they happen, but one should not have to do that with a big-name expensive purse. Anyway, I can always use this Day Tripper for an everyday bag instead, until I wean myself down to a smaller one.
In the meantime, I’m feeling pret-tay good about all this accomplishment.