Functional but Fun

Since I started a new job back in November I had been thinking about making a work bag. I struggled to find a pattern that I liked or that was big enough. I wanted it to hold my uniform (including shoes), my normal handbag items and my lunch box and drink. I also wanted it to be able to carry it on my shoulder or by hand. Anyway, eventually I came across the Cath Kidston Holdall pattern in issue 27 of Love Sewing Magazine and I really thought this could be the perfect pattern.

Recently I attended another class with Janet (Kitchen Table Sewing) and one of my fellow shirt makers was giving away some fabric. I chose the grey fabric with a work bag in mind as I thought it would be sufficiently “formal.” When searching for a lining in my stash I came across this pink and green welly boot pattern and thought it would be rather fun to go all formal on the outside and playful on the inside. I’m pretty happy with the combination.

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I had thought to interface the outer fabric but when it came to putting the two fabrics together they seemed to hold shape quite well. Having now constructed the bag, I wonder if this was a mistake as it is quite floppy and requires things to be put into each section  for it to maintain any structure at all. That said, at some points it was a struggle to stitch through all the layers of fabric as it was without adding extra bulk.

I found the pattern fairly easy to follow although some of the sizes of fabric didn’t make much sense to me and I ended up trimming things to the size I thought they’re supposed to be. I don’t know what I missed but I couldn’t work out why the lining fabric and outer fabric for the front and back pockets weren’t the same size. My trimming might, of course, be the reason the back pocket flops so much. The back pocket is almost completely un-usable and I’m thinking of adding a snap fastener in the middle to make if more functional.

Overall, I like the bag despite it’s lack of structure. I like the top stitching on the handles and I like all the pockets. It is definitely big enough for all my work things and is getting used for its intended purpose. I like that the inside is a little bit fun and once the bag is filled it looks like a proper bag! And I only carry my work things from the car to my office so I don’t mind that it is open on the top. It is definitely functional. If I’m honest though, I probably wouldn’t make it again without thinking through the structure and working out where I went wrong on the fabric sizes!

But I think it feels William Morris’ brief.

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4 thoughts on “Functional but Fun

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