The Sew Together Bag is undeniably cute. I keep seeing it everywhere-blogs, Pinterest, and in quilt shops. I decided it would be the perfect gift to make for my friends for our trip to Chattanooga. In hindsight--I needed to have made this decision more than five days ahead of time!
First I bought the digital pattern and downloaded it from Craftsy. The pattern says that the skill level is "beginner" and I beg to differ. I have been clothing and craft sewing and following a pattern for 50 years. (Yes, I'm that stinking old!!) I do not consider myself a beginner by any stretch of the imagination. But I must admit that these instructions are not well written and some photos or diagrams along the way would really simplify things!! My saving grace was the Sew-A-Long I found on Quilt Barn's blog. Here is the link to her FABULOUS step by step instructions complete with pictures. If you decide to give this pattern a go, do yourself a favor and visit Quilt Barn's blog!
I wanted to make each bag to fit the personality and likes of the recipient. Judy loves very modern quilts and solid fabrics. Anne has a new found love for Tula Pink. And Pam is totally over the moon for French General, scrappy and anything with buttons. Easy Peasy.
A trip to my favorite quilt shop yielded fabrics for Judy and Anne and a stop at JoAnn's for zippers, thread and buttons and I was all set.
Making the oustide of the bags was the most fun. That was where the creativity came out. Colorblocking for Judy's bag with coordinating stitching lines in various widths gave it the modern look I was going for.
I wanted to give Anne's bag a tailored look and showcase the diamond fabric. I followed the diamond shape to quilt it.
For Pam's bag I raided my French General stash, cutting 2 1/2" squares. A simple quilting on the diagonal and three buttons finished it off nicely.
Lots of whining and ripping later I had all three bags to this stage--
The night before we left I finished Pam's and Judy's, but at 1:00am, I still had the final zipper to go for Anne's bag. We were leaving at 6:30 and I had just 5 1/2 hours iron, pack, shower and get a little shut eye, so I had to call it a night. :( Anne was spending the night with me and she had given me "permission" to finish hers on Friday, when we returned from the show. I took her up on it!
That's why two bags are finished and the third one lacks a zipper here--
Here are close ups of each of the bags. Judy's first. I do not have a picture with the pockets open-but the zipper color is a hint to the fabric color on the inside.
This is Anne's-finally finished! The polka dot fabric on the inside of the pockets is a Kaffe Fassett.
Pam's was scrappy enough on the outside that I kept the inside pretty simple. One fabric for the lining and another for inside the pockets.
I wanted to mention that if you want to make a bag like this, but the Sew Together Bag isn't big enough for your needs, I ran across this pattern on Craftsy too. I know nothing about the instructions or construction methods, but it is a lot larger and might work well for carrying your quilting supplies to a class or retreat because it is big enough for you to pack a ruler in too.
If you decide to make a Sew Together Bag, be bold and have fun with your fabric choices. The sky is the limit when you are making the outside of the bag-let your imagination run free. I googled "Sew Together Bag" and looked at "images" for inspiration. Mine are hardly original ideas, but my friends loved them and that's all that matters to me.