Saturday, August 31, 2013
My Piece-of-Cake Shopping Bag
I set out to make it for the prizes.
You have probably noticed the Zakka Along 2.0 which is sewing through Ayumi Takahashi's book Patchwork Please! Every week in the sew along there is a prize awarded randomly to one of those who link up a finished project. Well, I really want the prize this week - it is a whole lot of linen and a gift certificate to Pink Chalk Fabrics. I love linen.
So last night, having noted that there are not a hundred entries yet so my chances to win were good, I decided that it was worth the time to make the bag to enter. I was not, then, that excited about the bag, and some of the reviews on the internet did not encourage me either. But I got started and finished it this afternoon.
My view now is that this bag is great - seriously useful, and not too floppy or weird at all, and I am so glad I made it.
First, if you fold it nicely, it will carry as a lovely tidy triangle when it is empty. You can see that I used an Echino linen cheater print and Essex linen in a neutral and also in bright green. I used the neutral linen for the lining and top cover as well as the pocket and handles as I was trying to be at least partly in the zakka spirit of things.
I did not have webbing for the handles so I just made some by folding a piece of linen like a binding. The view above shows the pocket.
To get it to fold nicely, just set it down and let the sides fall in and then pick up the handles. There is no fussing around to get it to look nice.
I did make a mistake making it, but I don't think it changes much. The pattern calls for larger panels on the sides than the front, I believe because the side panels are pleated to allow for expansion. I reversed the panel sizes but it works fine. I needed to remeasure and cut new bottoms, but otherwise the pattern went together the same way.
Here is the side without the pocket. Oh, I did not add any interfacing and I used just the Essex linen on the inside, not a plastic coated fabric. I did make the lining 1.5" shorter, as recommended by Krista at Spotted Stone in her post here.
Here it it empty on the ground. It can open to basically a circle shape. The book says it is the size of a shopping cart and I expect it would fill very nicely into some of those smaller size carts (there are some at my store on the coast but not here). There is a drawstring cover at the top of the bag to keep your groceries or other stuff clean and dry and from falling out.
If you fill it about 1/3 full of folded laundry, it expands to a nice shape to hold it.
When you fill it basically full, the ends unfold to fit everything in nicely.
And you can overfill it, that top covering keeps things from falling out. Here it is with two large quilts in it. This bag is useful.
And when it is full it sits nicely on the table. I see so many possibilities for this bag - for shopping, for going to the beach, for taking fabric to a sewing day, for holding laundry when you are travelling or just in your room, for going to the gym, and whatever else. One thought is that it is so big that if I filled it with too many heavy groceries I might find it hard to carry, so I will be careful about that.
In the end, I am very happy with this bag and I will use it loads. And I still want to win the prize, wish me luck. You can go here to see the other bags linked up too.