Saturday, 22 April 2017

Jesse, the queen of office bags!

Its been a while since I blogged.........just been too wrapped up in life, work and family I guess, but the time has come to pin back your ears, pop on your specs and be amazed......

I have been pattern testing again......for my lovely friend Liz from Moments Designs.

This one was quite a challenge for me, I make no secret of the fact that I like a quick sew, I'm guilty of paring down complicated patterns to make them quicker, I don't like a pattern with hundreds of pieces, I loose the will to make them and often half of the pieces too. If I cant sew it in one day or less........well its unlikely to be done!

However.........when I saw Jesse I knew I had to make her as the pattern instructed. This is the perfect office bag, or in my case.........seeing your accountant bag. There's room inside for your iPad, in its own padded pocket with a Security tab to ensure it stays safe, then two pleated pockets for bits and bobs, and a couple of pen pockets thrown in for good measure, then on the other side another long slip pocket ideal for thinner files, easily accommodating an A4 folder, another slip pocket, ideal for your phone or keys.......and just to add to the fun a little zippered pocket for your money or valuables. Add to this the main area which I discovered is large enough to hold a well as all the other things a girl needs to keep in her bag while she's at work. You get all the functionality of a men's briefcase but with a smart feminine look. Of course if you made her in canvas and leather she could just as easily be used by gender stereotyping
So what do we have........a stylish professional looking bag that looks simple in her lines, elegantly grown up with her angular sides and curvy top, there's a great hidden pocket between the straps that's useful to slip things into that you'll need to hand  and wonderful rolled handles that make her comfortable to carry either in your hand or over your arm. there is also an option to add a shoulder strap but I've chosen not to make one as I prefer to carry in my hand.

As always Liz's construction has a twist, I've come to expect nothing less from Liz. The lining is tight and fits the bag perfectly, being secured in totally. One of my favourite features is the clever pleated bridge zipper to secure the bag at the top, its looks stylish and opens fully giving goods access to what's in the bag, something that's often an issue with a standard construction bridge zipper.

So how did I find the pattern? I will admit I was a little apprehensive about this test. It all looked somewhat complicated, but in reality its really wasn't. The pattern is really well written in the wonderfully expressive way we have come to expect from Liz, hints and tips are scattered throughout. The pictures are clear and show each stage so there's a visual lead if that's your preferred way of learning/sewing (like me). The pattern is broken down into logical steps and you will make all the component parts before construction. I really liked this approach, I never felt like I was lost as I'm inclined to do with patterns that have a lot of pieces and instructions. There is a handy cutting guide for the pieces that can be cut using a rotary cutter, and labels to keep your pieces from becoming muddled. All in all its a great pattern and a very satisfying sew.

Jesse has been classified as an advanced pattern, but don let that put you off, I believe a competent intermediate sewer could easily make this as long as they take it slow and steady.
I made my first bag all in faux leather, which we where advised might not be a good idea, I'll admit that I ignored this and went for the full faux leather, making it a lot more challenging to sew but not impossible.......but you have been warned.....full faux leather is not for the feint hearted!

So pleased was I with my first bag, I made a second for my daughter when she starts college in September, she chose the fabrics, faux leather and faux suede on the outside.........and indigenous fabric for the lining. I thought I might reduce the pockets in my second version, but in fact I simply changed one.......removing the zipper pouch and replacing it with a traditional zipper pocket on the padded pocket.

and finally just to give you an idea of daughter holding her new bag....

I feel confident your going to love this design and its practical pocket arrangement, as always, Liz is available for any help on her Facebook page, pop by her page and join in the fun, get any help or advice you need and check out past and future patterns as they happen.
That's all for now.....happy sewing!

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