Yesterday was another St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild Sew-In.
Twelve hours of sewing? Don't mind if I do!
I'm normally a pretty prepared person, but for some reason my girl scout gene has been on the fritz and I've found myself scrambling at the last minute to get supplies together for sewing events.
For the sew-in I grabbed an in-progress quilt, some leftovers from a HST project, and a big pile of
fabric to make Elizabeth Hartman's Sewing Circle Tote. I never got to the first two.
I sewed up a Weekender bag earlier this year, and honestly thought, just by looking at this Sewing Circle bag, that it would be easier. I can't say it was harder...but don't let the straight lines fool you,
this bag takes some patience.
To start, you need patience cutting. It took me three hours to cut everything and organize it all.
I loved that there were no patterns to cut out - sweet!
Since I slacked and didn't have the exact cuts of fabric the pattern required, I did spend some extra time figuring how to make-do with what I had (ie. patchwork lining and handles)
The quilted panels take a little time, but I think they really enhance the finished bag.
I used an old Fabricworm fat quarter bundle that I've had for a long time paired with some natural Essex linen and a pretty grey cross weave from Janie Lou, a local quilt shop.
Assembly wasn't technically difficult, but as the bag grows in size it becomes a bit cumbersome.
Really no way around it when making a really large tote.
The interior went together easily. There are lots of small steps, but the instructions are written really well and the pictures are very helpful. I love all the pockets and zippers. Super functional.
The last few steps were the ones I found the most tedious. Basically its when you are finishing the top edge of the bag, and again not technically difficult, just cumbersome and some extra thick (no really) seams. My stitches aren't too pretty and I had to go over everything twice due to some skipped stitches, but I got it done. There has to be some trick to sewing something so big and lumpy - but I don't know what it is. You can tell in the picture up above that the edge is a little off.
All in all, I love it. Primarily because this bag is going to be so functional.
It's really well thought out, and I know I will get a ton of use out of it. I do love my Weekender, but it's just not my go-to bag. There are no pockets and it's not easy to take things in and out. This Sewing Circle Tote does all those things and will hold so much more.
Took me 14 hours total to make and lots of patience. Just one broken needle and a few bent pins.
Not too shabby!