I decided it was time to retire the bag I've been carrying since the summer last year and make myself something new. I've been hoarding some fabric for a while by a designer called Alison Glass, as far as I'm aware its not available here in the UK. I got my panel from the USA some months ago and had not seen the 'right project' to show of its beauty. http://www.andoverfabrics.com/SingleDesignerNew.php?Designer=Alison
Now the time had come!
The pattern I choose to use is by Mrs H www.mrs-h.co.uk .........a British bag designer. I've made only two of her bags before but found her patterns to be well written with lots of detailed instructions. This pattern didn't disappoint. Mrs H......or Samantha , has a Facebook page so if you need help with a pattern either she or one of the other makers on her page can usually help. She has followers world wide so it wont mater what time zone your in, someone will usually be there to give advice https://www.facebook.com/groups/1682705708624802/
I'm usually not a fan of bags that don't use foam stabiliser, I like my bags structured, but this one uses fusible fleece, its a hobo bag, so designed to be slouchy. I toyed with the idea of using foam instead For my first effort eventually used the instructions as they where.
As the song goes.......'the first cut is the deepest'...........and it was..........anyone who sews will have fabrics they just want to own, you want it to look at, to stroke, to just say you own it........I was the same with my beautiful Alison Glass Ex Libris panel
The picture doesn't do it justice, its rich in colour and the pattern just draws you in, every time I look at it I see something different, this is my kind of fabric........colourful, abstract and beautiful.
Choosing a pattern to show off the fabric is important, but when you only have a small panel it makes it hard to find something that doesn't have hundreds of bits to cut. I knew I was on the right track when I saw another bag maker make a bag using the same pattern from another fabric from this range.........so the decision was made for me.
The bag is designed to be reversible, but I just knew I would never turn this fabric to the inside so I left out the straps inside that would allow you to use the bag both ways, and teamed my fabric with plain black.
Don't be alarmed by the lack of pattern pieces, this bag is made mostly with rectangles of different sizes, so there are only two pattern pieces to print out, the rest is done with a ruler and scissors or rotary cutter.........
What a fab quick sew, I know I sew quickly anyway, but even for me this was a quick one. From cutting the pattern to completion, about 3 hours. For a first attempt at any bag that's fast. I added a couple of bits inside to use up the last few scraps of fabric.........a double welt zippered pocket.
yes that's a 'double welt'.............not something I would usually do inside a bag as its really not seen, but I couldn't waste those last scraps. More fiddly to do than a standard zipped pocket but the look is so smart it was worth it. I used this tutorial to show me how to do it the first time.......... https://playfulstitching.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/double-welt-zipper-pocket/
Once you've done it once, you wont find it so challenging.
The bag went together beautifully, the instructions are clear and concise, there are lots of diagrams to use if your a visual learner. The bag you end up with is HUGE! I love the short strap, it sits just perfectly on the shoulder and allows you to keep the bag cradled under your arm, I wasn't totally convinced by that to start with but having tried it,,,,,, it works. The bag is perfect for those that carry a lot of stuff about, like me........
So the bag is done, what do you do then??? Yeap, you got it, make another...
So buoyed by the success of my first hobo, I went searching for another panel of fabric that I brought some time ago, another piece that I had to have but really had no idea what id make with it. and without too much trouble a second hobo was born. again not reversible.
This one went together even more quickly, I'm blessed with a good memory, so once I've followed the pattern once I can usually do a second one without looking too much at the instructions... This one will be my holiday bag, The fabric just screams 'take me somewhere sunny'......and its big enough to get all those holiday essential's into with ease.
Try the pattern, you wont be disappointed by the results, or if you would like a bespoke bag made from this pattern contact me through my page at