Each time I meet up with my lovely friend Di, she seems to have yet another gorgeous handmade bag with her. It's her thing really. In the nicest possible way, she's definitely a bag lady! Last summer I was fortunate enough to meet up with Di once in Belfast (fleeting cuppa before she attended a family wedding) and once for a much more relaxed day in York during my summer hols. On both occasions I had bag envy and if I have my way, I shall be sporting my own versions of both before this summer.
While Di and I talked a million miles an hour to cram copious conversation and catch-up into an hour long slot pre-wedding, I spotted that she had brought with her a pretty little Sidekick Tote. It was the first time I'd seen one "in the flesh" and I loved everything about its shape and size. Soon after I bought my own copy of Anna's popular pattern determined to make one for myself in the autumn.
Well, if you are a regular reader you'll know that last autumn had a significant family upset and a lot of stitching was shelved for quite a few months or new priorities took over. But, I'm thrilled that at last I have been able to get my bag making groove back on and give Anna's pattern a whirl.
Having decided which fabric would belong where and cutting out the pieces accordingly, I got to work on the pleated pocket front. To start with it was nice and easy and this neat little pleat made me smile.
Then with some bias edging things suddenly got a lot trickier, but I pinned for my life and it worked out ok.
Of course, the perfectionist in me wanted some of it to be tidier, but seriously unless you are hunting for missing pound coins at short range in my bag, you are never going to notice (and neither am I once I start using it). BTW - you won't find any missing pound coins, someone else will always have snaffled them first!!!
By the time I had the pocket attached to the front of the bag, I was well chuffed! For the record, this bag is made from a lovely linen type fabric that I picked up last spring visiting Newark Market with Di (we get about a bit for people who live far apart, don't we?). It's almost dec weight I think, but not quite so it has a nice bit of extra body to it for a bag outer than quilting cotton alone. The accent fabrics used on the pocket and lining are from Kate Spain's Sunnyside line. Some of you may remember that they almost made the cut for my Aeroplane Bag last summer, but I am glad I kept them for this one. This bag will be used daily in the drier months and I will get to see their bright loveliness so much more often than the Aeroplane Bag.
After a little scorching of linen by my iron and accompanying hot words from me, I'd like to say that the rest of the bag came together without too much difficulty but I think my brain was full of pregnancy-induced cotton wool. Thankfully the scorching was on small pieces that hadn't required too much work and I had plenty of linen to replace and re-do them, but I did struggle a bit with the finer detail of the recessed zipper. I need to point out that this is likely all my problem and not an issue with the pattern itself. I'm not going to show you the results of my efforts in that area, just take it from me it's not all pretty but it'll do.
After those hiccups, making the straps to feed through the slider hardware was not nearly as scary as I expected.
Now, at last I have my very own pretty Sidekick and can reduce that bag envy to just the one. But I have plans to have no envy left at all soon, so keep your eyes peeled.