Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pleated Wristlet ~ finished, and a mini review

I've totally been bitten by the bag bug.  Maybe it's summer that has me thinking about smaller projects, as opposed to quilts.  Maybe Purse Palooza has me inspired.  Probably a combination of reasons.  At any rate, I'm having a lot of fun and am learning a lot of new things!  First I made the Hexagon Pencil Case, then I tried a Dumpling (not blogged, but you can see it on flickr), and now.....the Pleated Wristlet by Michelle Patterns.  The pattern includes 3 sizes.  This is the medium, which actually ended up bigger than I expected.


This pattern has amazingly clear directions - even the recessed zipper was a cinch, just taking it one step at a time.  A little tip for you - hand basting a zipper in place before sewing with the machine is TOTALLY WORTH IT.  This pattern didn't say to, it just suggested pinning and machine basting, but I hand basted the zipper when I made the Dumpling, so I did it here as well and it made all the difference in the world.  Pins just get in the way, in my opinion.  Oh, and by the way, I didn't even use a zipper foot for this project.


I lined the bag with my new favourite colour - plum!  The lining is quilted with a thin batting and muslin backing.  Not sure if I would do this step again for this pattern.  I think a light interfacing or a layer of flannel would be sufficient for the lining, especially since the bag's exterior has a lot of structure already.


Speaking of interfacing and structure, all of the exterior bag pieces, including the wrist strap are backed with a heavyweight fusible.  Being new to this, and experimenting with products I've never used before, I wasn't sure what type of interfacing to use.  I went with a heavyweight because I have attempted bags in the past that ended up way too floppy.  For this particular bag though, I think a medium weight would have been sufficient, especially for the strap.  Don't get me wrong though, the heavyweight was actually okay but it may just have been a tad over-kill!  I guess in the end, deciding which interfacing to use has a lot to do with the fabric you are using.


I read a review of this pattern, and that particular blogger said that she wasn't crazy about how the exterior corners were finished and would do it differently next time.  Me?  I LOVE these corners!  I think it's ingenius and very unique.  I would totally do it this way again.


Bottom line - I would absolutely recommend this pattern and I look forward to trying more of Michelle's designs in the future.  I think the biggest thing I am learning is this:  when making bags, it is important to GO SLOW.  We get so used to piecing and quilting and just zipping fabric through the machine really fast - well, that just won't work with a bag that requires precision.  I took every step really slowly and carefully, and am so pleased with the result.  

Oh, and that zippers can be our friend!  Don't be afraid of them - I challenge you to try something with a zipper if you never have.  You'll be very proud of yourself!

P.S.  A shout out to Rebecca of Sew Festive Handmade for her recent post, suggesting using a roll of wrapping paper as a backdrop for taking photos.  Awesome.


Sew Sweetness


Linked up with Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story

13 comments:

Kimberly said...

Gorgeous Heather! Andrea really enjoys the pattern too... she finished off 5 new ones for the market this weekend and they're all adorable! I'll make sure she gets pictures of them

Katie B. said...

This is adorable! I love the fabric!

Chelsea said...

So pretty Heather! You're right, that corner detail is perfect, one of those little touches that would draw me in, too.

Maybe I should make one of these so I can cart around my bear spray and air horn while I'm out hiking! (not that I've actually picked up either of those yet)

Katie said...

It turned out beautifully, Heather! I love the purple lining. I actually bought this pattern a few weeks ago and haven't yet decided what fabrics to use, hmmmm.....

Debbie said...

VERY nice! I think I actually bought this pattern a while ago - love the recessed zip! And you dumpling bag is really great too!

felicity said...

Funny, I *just* started machine-basting my zips in pouches and it works wonderfully. This project is fabulous! The plum lining really makes it.

CitricSugar said...

Great review - and great bag!

Love how your dumpling turned out. They're addictive little suckers... :-)

Jess said...

Oh it' looks awesome! Love the fabrics you used, and it looks so professional! Gorgeous!

Jenelle said...

This is so cute and it looks so professional too. You did a lovely job sewing it! I also like the corners a lot. :)

Kate said...

Gorgeous! I like the colors and the corners and the pleat and the recessed zipper...you manage to find the best patterns!

Colin and Sarah said...

Heather!!!!! that is so cute! I love it! maybe we could have a date sometime and you could teach me some skills! I'd love to try my hand at making that!

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Beautiful!! I really love that plum too x

LuLu said...

Oh Heather, that bag is amazing! I love the plum lining against that lovely gold exterior.