Sunday, 22 June 2014

New Bag for the Summer

I do love to have a new bag for the summer, don't you?  With a man-free zone chez Sew Me this weekend, I planned to tackle such a new bag as a diversion from all the FAL finishes and quilts of late.  Yes, I know I have still got two unfinished items on my FAL list and that time is running out, but I won't tell Katy that I wandered off track this weekend if you don't ;-)

Getting prepared, I started to stitch up my QAYG panels last week.  Round and round and round with lines and lines of stitching (in spite of an errant walking foot!) all in my favourite Bonnie and Camille scraps.  Yum!

I mentioned in a previous post that I had already decided to make Judith's Quilt As You Go Handbag/Shopper Pattern as one of my bags this summer.  It's a very generously proportioned QAYG tote, ideal for summer days out (tons of room for a beach towel, sunnies, some high spf, a good book and bottle of water) or in my case for long car journeys and ferry trips where all sorts of distractions (my book, a little crochet, the ipad, bags of jelly babies and raspberry ruffles for the car journey ...) can be stowed away to occupy a few hours and take my mind off feeling seasick.  It also occurred to me that this would be a very useful number for, say, a soon to happen quilting retreat in the big smoke - imagine all that QAYG in your fave designers' fabric scrappy strips.  Just sayin'. . .

Pic with sewing machine for scale
See how big it is?

QAYG was a technique I've never really had a go at before and I do like how much structure it helps to give your bag.

One of the reasons I wanted to make this bag was to learn how to make a recessed zippered opening.  Judith's pattern instructions really demystified this process for me making it all very straightforward actually.  I do love my pretty lining fabric (from Scrumptious) and it was a toss up between an orange and a red zip for contrast.  As you can see, red won this time.

See all that room inside?
 Pockets are not included on the bag pattern but adding a wee slip pocket is a very simple thing to do.

Never having made an internal zippered pocket for a bag, I was keen to include one on this bag and add another new skill to my repertoire.

With the help of this free Craftsy tutorial I succeeded in creating a useful zippy pocket for my essentials - keys, phone, chocolate ...

So, there you have it, my super scrappy summer tote.  I'm off to stroke my lovely fabric bag and work out how many choccy bars fit in that pocket!

Check out more fab versions of Judith's bag if you need further convincing that this is one worth making.


  1. LOVE your bag, and the lining, and the green pockets! It's a stunner! Hope you enjoy using it. And will we see more QAYG in your future? Jxo

  2. What a lovely bag! Great pockets. I am planning to make a zippered pocket in one of my bags, to learn the technique. Great size bag for all kind of summer excursions!

  3. what a geat bag, so much room for all your bits and pieces etc. Love the way you have done the zip, afraid all the bags I have done are open this is much better, apart from keeping things dry when it rains they are extra safe from prying hands too

  4. It's beautiful Sarah! I love the lining and pockets :)

  5. Great bag, It'll be the star of any retreat xx

  6. How can that not be nice,it's Ruby!!!
    Love the bag, it's on my list to do this Summer.

  7. Lovely make, and I am sure Katy will not mind!

  8. What a gorgeous bag! It's absolutely beautiful. Judith is a total wiz, isn't she?

    Tell me again, please - is the internal zippy pocket included in the pattern?

  9. Love the bag Sarah! And in such happy, lovely fabrics

  10. Very pretty! And deceptively huge.


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