Today I’m sharing with you my very first time helping out on a Pattern Parcel!
What? You don’t know what a Pattern Parcel is? Let me enlighten you!
How Pattern Parcel Works:
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too.
So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.
We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need.
Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well.
Its our goal to raise over $20,000 for Donors Choose this year.
Can I add that this is a great Parcel to use to make gifts for the holidays as well as do some selfish sewing…? Just get your copy now, clicking on this button!
Let’s have a quick look inside this Parcel: there are 5 bags (plus a bonus 6th one):
Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo
Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns
Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs
Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White
Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns
BONUS PATTERN: Daphne Bag by Clover & Violet
What’s a Bonus Pattern?
Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #7 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern!
That’s just over $5 a pattern.
The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the brand new Daphne Bag pattern from Clover & Violet.
The Daphne is a slouchy satchel that can be worn cross body or as a shoulder bag.
The zip top keeps your gear secure and the internal pockets keep your accessories where you need them.
This is a brand new, never been seen before pattern and is an exclusive opportunity for Parcel #7 customers!
I choose to sew the Evelyn Bag by ChrisW Designs (the burgundy one you see in the mosaic above) because it looked so nice and tiny (also if I can see now that it’s a faux-thin bag: many pockets inside and lot of room for storing all those things any woman carries every day!). It was a long time from the last time I’ve sewn a bag (remember? My Hands-Free Asymmetrical bag!).
A word of advice for beginners: I would not suggest you this bag as a first attempt at bagmaking: there a LOT of different (but similar) pattern pieces and, if you don’t have a clear idea of what the construction flow of a bag is, you could end with something missing (or something left out), also if instructions were absolutely great and step-by-step!
The next one I’d like to sew from this parcel is probably the Flower Child Barcelona Wallet: I need a new wallet and this looks really awesome!
But, let’s go back to my Evelyn New Bag!
I choose to sew it in a medium-heavy weight printed cotton (I would probably choose something less bulky, if I had to sew it again) and, for lining, I added some pizzaz: black with white dots IKEA cotton and some orange linen blend to add a pop of color on pockets, intentionally left peaking to the outside, for a faux piping effect.
If you ever decide to do the same, my suggestion is: decide it before you cut the pieces and add a couple of mm to the lining pieces length… or they’ll end to be too short! Not a big deal, but better keep it in mind!
The e-book coming with the pattern is really exhaustive and full of information. I would suggest you not to print the whole thing if you have a tablet or smartphone device near you, when you sew: the designer includes printable directions without pictures, for all those who really need to read instructions on paper but don’t want to waste all that precious color ink from the printer!
Another cool feature (I had already seen on Lolita Patterns) were label tags for those pattern pieces you had to cut using measurements only (no pattern pieces in paper).
I went a step further, adding a color code to those tags, since there were pieces to be cut on interfacing, fusible fleece and main fabric…
To help myself not to lose anything, I also decided to take an IKEA cardboard box, to keep all the pattern pieces organized: I have so little time to sew, working all day outside home, that I need to be able to sew in every scrap of time I can find, between other tasks!
Using this method I’ve been able to sew the Evelyn Bag in 5 little chunks of time: one to cut everything, another to apply interfacing and fusible fleece and the other 3 to actually put it together!
This bag looks like a store-bought one, thanks to all the good tips the designer included, and the hardware she added (bag feet, rings and magnetic closure… I’ve bought rivets too but I wasn’t brave enough to actually try to put them on!) and the plastic cross stitch mesh, used as a rigid bag bottom.
It was my first time with fusible fleece too: I had to order it from the UK (Minerva Crafts) because here in Italy is something nobody uses, apparently!
By the way, it was love at first sight: it gives structure and shape without adding too much bulk… a dream to work with!
Instructions were really easy to follow, the hard part was actually sewing the bag: my sewing machine isn’t supposed to sew all that thickness… and my pins didn’t work well too!
…A truck load of bent needles and pins after…
I used my homemade thick-y to start seams, especially on straps or thick seams:
…and binder clips (*aff. link) to keep together straps before I actually sew them!
I’m really satisfied with my new bag, the only thing I wish I had thought before, it was making straps longer, since I prefer crossbody bags (easier to carry around when you have childs and groceries on the other hand!)