Friday, 5 August 2016

Bag of the Month Club 2016........August......Swim Gym Bag by Mrs H

I feel like I've been unfaithful as I've been testing for another designer........its an interesting experiment since every designer does things a little differently.

So what have I been testing? The August bag for ..........never heard of it???? have a look at the website, its a fab club that up until now has run for 6 months of the year. You pay one subscription and get six patterns, one a month from Jan to June of the year..... you never now what your getting. The designers are all well known so you can expect quality patterns.
"2016 is the first year they have run two July to December has a new set of patterns. I have been playing with August.

So what is she??? August is a Swim /Gym bag, something a little off beat....if like me the very mention of the word 'GYM' sends you to lay down in a darkened room , please don't worry, this is a bag that wont make you break out in hives or even break a sweat! She's large and functional.........and made in different fabrics from the ones you normally use for bags. The lovely Samantha of has been bold in her design, using fabrics and materials that some may find frightening, simply because they are not 'the norm'............embrace the differences ladies...........this is a fun sew with new skills to learn.
so lets start with the materials...........Cordura.....described by the manufacturers as follows

''1000 denier Cordura, Nylon, PU Coated (polyurethane coated) to be waterproof. It is very hardwearing fabric and has excellent anti abrasion properties. Whilst a heavy duty material it can still be sewn with most domestic machines.''

If you have never sewn with it before try it......its similar to sew to faux leather, but you can sew through more layers. I use it quite a lot and always use a long stitch length and Teflon foot...... The main thing it needs to be for the pattern is waterproof. The pattern tells you how to double turn all the seams to create a totally waterproof more wet patches down your leg or in the car when you've been swimming!! Cordura is also fantastic for embroidering, but like faux leather is better to float over the hoop and use lighter designs.

Mesh.........I have mesh in my stash but found it wasn't sturdy enough, you will need something with a little 'body' to it.......Byannies mesh from either or from works a treat and comes in an array of fantastic colours....I used white as I wanted to be able to use the same mesh on different bags.....

So.........the bag........

The bag is big enough to carry everything you'll need for a day at the beach, a trip to the pool , mesh pockets for creams and all the smaller bits you need, sunnies, flip flops iPod.............and a cavernous inside that will quite literally hold water as the seams are all sealed to prevent leakage. I managed to fit three large towels into mine with room to spare so this is a great size for me. The one thing I always struggle with at the beach is where to put my car keys and valuables......there's a clever little zippered pocket tucked away inside for those. the mesh top keeps the bag light to carry, and its comfortable to either pop on your back like a ruck sack or sling over your shoulder.........the whole thing is finished off with a drawstring  that threads through grommets on the top I know some people are worried about only advice is ......don't make your holes too big, I try and always make mine slightly smaller than the grommet I'm using......add a tiny bit of glue around the edges of the hole before fitting the grommet......I've never had one fail on me yet.

I added an embroidered panel to the front of the bag, just because I liked the idea of it.

My second bag I made for my he got to choose the fabrics. This one is made in cotton on the outside, I used fusible fleece and no mesh. This is at 80% and the ideal size for a child.
I used waterproof vinyl (the thick tablecloth type) to fully line the bag and used the same sealing technique on the seams to ensure the outside part stays dry. I added some straps for his shoulders rather than the rope as he's better with something that's a little thicker.....

The pattern is unusual, with the seams being front and back rather than at the sides where you might normally expect to find them and the construction and materials are different from those you might normally use, but as always with Samantha's patterns, its well written with lots of pictures to help explain what you need to do for those who don't read.......guilty as charged..........working with waterproof fabrics is something I'm fairly familiar with but for those of you who aren't......its not as hard as you think.......and I think this pattern makes a refreshing change to making bags with

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