Friday, September 23, 2011

a Bag for Jacey

Progress: Figgy Toast

First, let me tell you about Jacey.  She's fun.  She's pretty.  She's nice.  But, don't hate her cause she's also a quilter, knitter, and everyday sewist whose blog Jaceycraft is one of my regular stops for inspiration.  Jacey has a way of combining colors that's pretty unexpected, definitely bold and downright cool.  I'm honored to have become her friend in that round-about, kind of mysterious way that can happen online. 

Simplicity 2274

Sometime in August, Jacey and I decided to make duffel bags for each other using Simplicity 2274.  Jeni at In Color Order made herself one of these over-sized travel bags which got a lot of us dreaming.  The idea was to get them to each other in time for The Sewing Summit, so that we can take these as carry-ons.

This was my first private swap, so I was definitely more than a little nervous.  Happily, Jacey made it easy by falling hard for Melody Miller's new line Ruby Star Spring.  I'm pretty fond of that bee too, and my sponsor, Marmalade Fabrics, stocks what I needed.  The tomato colorway really looks like it was made for Jacey.  I mean, purple, orange and mint green?  Who would have thought of that?  Probably just Melody and Jacey.  Mmm-hmm.

 Ruby Star Spring!

I got a yard of Spring Bee and a yard of Spring Bloom and crossed my fingers that I could make that work.  The pattern calls for quite a bit more, but Ruby Star Spring is 60" wide.

duffel bag 

Even with a bit of fussy cutting to get those bees in spots where they could be enjoyed, I'm very happy to say that it did work out!  I also added some Kona tangerine for a pocket lining and Kona berry on that front pocket to help make do.

a bag for Jacey

So how was the making?  In bits and pieces.  This bag was one of the three things I finished last weekend.  Since Jacey got her package yesterday, I'm able to show it to you now!  Overall, I didn't enjoy working with the tissue paper pattern.  Not so much because of the tissue paper (which is still a tad annoying), but because the directions were so, soooo frustratingly brief.  I was able to figure everything out eventually, sometimes re-reading sections a million times and once even talking myself through it on the phone with Jacey, but it was work.  I mean, all they'd have to do is include a few more sentences to be a bit more clear.  And we'd all be happier. Sooooo much happier!  Am I right?

End complaint.

pleated pocket

What I did enjoy was...

1.  Making something for Jacey
2.  Working with Ruby Star Rising, which has such a luxurious hand
3.  The embroidery.

hello bee

If you'd like a more detailed review of the pattern, definitely check out Jeni's post.  I did overstitch all of the inside seams as Jeni and the pattern suggest and prewashed everything, including the jute.  ALWAYS prewash that jute!  And, do it in the machine.  I did it in my sink for days (literally) and it wouldn't stop bleeding, even with a color catcher.

Um, what else?  Oh, yes!  I made her a journal with the scraps.  Of course.  I'm predictable like that.

Jacey's journal

I was really tickled to add those Red Letter Day ducks and the Erin McMorris orange floral print to this project since both of those scraps were gifted to me at some point by my friend Mary Claire.  How fitting that they should be passed along to another friend!  And the fabric goodness never stops giving...

<3 the embriodery

So, first personal swap?  Definitely a success!  Jacey's happy, so I'm happy.  And, as it happens, the mailman just brought me a box from a certain special someone while I was tippity typing up this post.  Off I go!


  1. I'm blushing with your kind words, Rachel! I adore my new bag, and I can't wait to break it in! Thank you again for such a fun swap, and I'm so happy to have shared this fun experience with you.

    Thank you, thank you!

  2. Lovely! I have not seen that fabric line and I totally and completely love it!!

  3. Oh wow, what a cool bag, and it looks totally professionally made too! Great swap :)

  4. Well darn! I thought I already had a plan for this fabric (isn't it amazing?), but that bag is seriously wonderful. Sounds like the pattern could be way too annoying though. You did a fantastic job with it Rachel!

  5. Jacey is a sweetheart and those fabrics are per fect for her! I love the purple fabric on the side, just gorgeous. And you know, I always forget how brief "national" patterns are until I go back to work with them. Makes me appreciate the little mom and pop patterns much more!

  6. Great job, Rachel! I just finished mine this week and know how frustrating it can be at times.
    What interfacing did you use? I used fusible fleece on the outer AND lining, which turned out too thick in some spots. Bag is still great, though.

  7. I already loved this pattern, and this fabric is one of my current favorites - putting them together? Genius! Hahahhaa, I love how you couldn't resist making a journal too!

  8. Everything about that duffel bag is awesome. I just love it, and the recepient is very fortunate!


  9. Oh how fun!!! I love and want this bag! I'm jealous! ;) And, I frequent to Jacey's blog, too. Very inspiring!!! I wish I was attending the Sewing Summit, hopefully next year.

  10. I know Jeni's made me want to make one too!! I love the one you made for your friend it looks awesome in those fun prints.

  11. i love jacey! we became fast internet friends :)

    and of course I loooooove that bag.

  12. Oh my gosh. This is fantastic. Love the bonus journal. I love that you used jute rather than fabric straps, or even just some plain ole webbing. Love the bag!!!

  13. I totally agree with you regarding directions for making tissue paper patterns. I've often commented to friends who sew that while I can read all the words in a pattern, I still feel as though I'm reading Greek. I will say that it gets better with practice, but I sure prefer to quilt over following a tissue paper pattern!

    The bag looks great. Such a fun use for that fabric.

  14. i love jacey! she is the best and such a fun fun fun person! love the bag you made for her. that bee makes me so happy. she is a lucky duck and so are you, to get a great bag from her. i can't wait to see what it looks like!

  15. It's a really beautiful bag; obviously well done and made with much love and care! Thanks for sharing!

  16. That is a wonderful-looking bag and you did a great job of placement! The fabric is something else - love it. Thanks for sharing, always.

  17. Rachel, is it just a wonderful bag! You did such a great job with the fabric placement and every little touch.
    I agree that I like patterns that spell it all out- especially if it is the first time you are making something. I would rather have the obvious written out for me, just in case!

    Can't wait to see what she made for you!

  18. this is totally awesome rachel! and it's so eye catching. love the embroidery too

  19. What a wonderful bag. Love your fabric choices. Have not seen that line. Thank you for sharing.

  20. oh wow it's gorgeous. looks like a labour of love!. that fabric is beautiful.

  21. Love the way it came out, lucky Jacey!

  22. I love seeing something made out of fabrics I wouldn't naturally choose. It looks great!

  23. I am sorry, but HOW beautiful are those bags, I almost ache with admiration and envy. What an inspiration - totally gorgeous - thank you for sharing.

  24. Love this bag! You did such a great job and I'm sure it was such a bright spot to her day when she opened it up! You guys will be all classy at Summit!

  25. What a seriously fun idea! Love how this one turned out, you're right the bees are absolutely perfect for it! Now I want to make another! :)

  26. SO inspiring! So sad I don't have the time (or energy) to make one before the Summit, but maybe for a later trip! I agree, the Melody Miller is soooo drool-worthy. How's about we swap next time, huh? And you can make me one of THESE. Hehe :)

  27. I have made 4 of these bags so far and have another 3-4 planned. I used Duckcloth for the exterior, Canvas for the handles, broadcloth of the liners, and parka zippers. I measured all of the pieces and cut them using my quilting mat and rotary cutter. I cut the exterior and lining pieces 2” larger than the pattern piece to allow for fabric shifting and quilting shrinkage. I quilted a 1.5 inch diamonds using painter’s tape to make mark my sewing lines. A walking foot is totally necessary. I used a regular presser foot for the 1st bag and was totally frustrated. I purchased a walking foot the next three bag; so much better. I used fusible fleece on the body and side panels. I added interface to the side pieces, strap pocket, and side pocket. I replaced the tabs with D-ring loops (for a future shoulder strap). I added side pockets to each side and strap pockets on each side. I finished the side zippers between the side pocket exterior and lining fabric. I did add a liner to the bags (makes it look more professional). I did not use the jute webbing. I cut 2 8”x58” strips from Canvas. I folded the strap in half and then half again; then ironed 2” fusible fleece to the strap. I topstitched the strap. I will add a piece of plastic to the bottom of the bag for stability.
    I made a No Guts Boxie Pouch to go along with 1 of the bags.


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