Friday, September 14, 2012

Mosaic Buttercup Bag

My boyfriend is notoriously bad at gifts.  When he gives them, they're usually quite good - it's the giving that's the problem.  He's inevitably late.  Last year, my birthday present came in January (my bday is in September).  So far this year I haven't received anything - unless you count the take-out he brought home last night...  But we're only a week out, so there's still time.

His sister's birthday is just a few days before mine, so having to worry about two gifts compounds the problem.  This year, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make her a purse so that he wouldn't have to worry about her present.  It's still late, of course, but we have a good excuse: Mr. T is going to visit his sister in a few weekends, so why waste money on cross-country shipping when he can hand deliver it?

Anyway, after spending hours combing through countless bag patterns, I finally settled on the Buttercup Bag by Made by Rae.  I think it's the perfect size for Mr. T's sister, and I was working from my stash, which is chock full of fat quarters, so I knew I'd be able to find a good fabric and not have to worry about running out.

Her favorite color is blue, which was exciting because it meant I could finally dig into the Dear Stella Lanikai bundle I had purchased from Fat Quarter Shop awhile ago.  This bundle was my first quality fabric purchase, so I've been saving it for something super special.  Obviously I still have a lot left since it was a huge bundle (on sale, too!), but it breaks the ice a little bit since I've cut into the first FQ.  I was debating between using Mosaic and Splatter Paint, and decided to go with Mosaic because a) I thought the pattern would work a bit better on the bag and b) there was less white space which means it won't show dirt as easily!  For the lining and pocket I just used some fabric I had bought from JoAnn a while ago.

I had a lot of fun making this bag and I learned a lot of new techniques.  It was the first time I had used magnetic snaps, the first time I added interfacing (correctly), the first time I lined a bag, the first time I made pleats, and the first time I included a label (I'm pretty excited about this last one!).  Overall, I found the pattern pretty easy to follow.  I got inpatient and didn't read carefully a few times, so I did a little bit of seam ripping, but that was all user error.  I also had to refer to the Go Anywhere Bag pattern that I had just purchased from Noodlehead to install the magnetic snap.  (Note: keep your eyes out for this one - it's on my list for this weekend). 

To make the label, I used some cotton printer "paper" with the fusible back that I bought at JoAnn when I was making my brother's wedding kippot. I think it worked out quite well.

I love my little roach!
As far as edits, since I'm new to bag making I didn't really change much.  I just made the inside pocket a bit bigger because I felt the measurements included in the pattern were too small to make the pocket useful.  I kept the same depth but made it 8 inches long rather than 4.5 (so I cut the pocket piece 8x9in and folded it in half).  I also added a separating line, so there's one small pocket perfect for chapstick or lip gloss and one that can fit a slightly smaller cell phone. Also, since I was using quilting cotton, I stabilized both the outer and lining fabrics, as well as the strap, with Pellon SF-101.  Never having used interfacing before, I didn't know what to expect and was nervous that the bag would still feel a bit flimsy, but I must say I was quite impressed.  Neither the fabric nor the SF-101 feel that strong on their own, but you can really tell a difference once their fused.  I'm glad I added it to both the outer and lining fabric as well.  I think it will make a big difference in the durability of the bag.  Lastly, I'm not a huge fan of buttons, so I chose to skip that embellishment.

Anyway, this Mosaic Buttercup is off to it's new home in a few weeks and I hope it gets a lot of use!
Disclaimer: I was not paid nor did I receive any benefit or reimbursement for the statements above concerning Pellon SF-101.  I just really liked it..

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