Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pattern Review - Izzy & Ivy Messenger Bag

I decided to do a little prep before next week's craft club meeting since we are going to tackle a more involved sewing project.  I picked up a pattern for a messenger bag from Izzy and Ivy last year at the Sewing and Quilting Expo.  (You can read all about my fun purchases and my expo experience here, here and here.)   It was purchased with the intention of using it for a craft club and we are just getting around to it.  I think it's always a great idea to try to read through patterns before diving into them, although this rarely happens in reality.  This time I did, and after going through the pattern I decided the best way to understand it was to actually sew the bag.  Plus I would be more prepared to help anyone else with questions when we start it as a group.  

Typically when I buy patterns from independent designers rather than the big companies like Butterick or McCalls I know there is going to be some translating or trouble shooting.  This pattern was no different, although I have to say it was minimal even for a neurotic crafter like me.  The bag came out pretty cute but I'd have to say I have a couple little things I would change or adjust.

The strap is kinda short if you want to wear the bag across your body.  Since it is designed with an adjustable buckle I would definitely make the strap longer and just cinch it a little to fit you.  I have the strap almost all the way extended on this one.

Another little thing is the fact that there is no closure for the flap.  A buckle strap or even a couple pieces of strategically placed ribbon would be enough to remedy that.  The pockets are plenty deep enough that I'm not worried about anything falling out, but the flap on my finished bag doesn't cover as much of the front as in the picture on the pattern when it has stuff in it.  This is no big deal as long as the bag is upright.

The pattern asks for multiple pieces to be basted through the process.  One thing that I found which really helps, especially when sewing with heavier pieces of fabric like the canvas, is to use a sewing spray adhesive to keep things in place when basting.  The pieces that I did this with were much smoother with no puckering.  I would also have liked for the designers to specify which pieces of the body to baste to the canvas.  I think this would have made the construction a little smoother.  They kinda leave it up to you.

I decided to use pre-made bias tape, which worked fine, instead of making my own like the pattern asked me to do but didn't tell me how.  I'm well aware of how to make bias tape but if a pattern is asking me to make it for the bag I think they should explain that step as well.  Just a little pet peeve.

Other than that this is a great bag.  It would be awesome as a library bag to throw over your shoulder and I have to say it is pretty sturdy thanks to the canvas inner lining.  The strap might have to be a little beefed up if you are carrying heavy stuff often but for everyday use it is great.  I chose to use fabrics out of my stash so there was minimal cost but I'm upping the ante with the bag I'm making next week.  Can't wait to see how that one turns out.

Sew on!


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