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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Testing the "Make it Yours" Bag

Pattern & Tutorial for the Make it Yours Bag by eSheep Designs
My Make it Yours bag pattern...
After completing the black and white "proof of concept" bag for my Make it Yours bag project, I set out to create some actual pattern pieces. For that, I went back to my old Sears bag and essentially traced around it. Really.

I measured all of the exposed surfaces and then added an inch all the way around for a forgiving, easy to manage half inch seam allowance. To ensure symmetrical results, I created pattern pieces that could be cut on the fold where applicable, such as the body front and back panels and the gusset.

And then — because I am so not into "testing" with crappy materials — I boldly went ahead and cut out actual fabric to make this bag. (I also took the time to photograph my progress, because I was going to use the pictures in my eventual PDF pattern, the cover for which you see at the top of this post). I chose the same bed sheet and Wal-Mart tea towel combination that I used for my wallet project. The lining was yet another bed sheet. And as luck would have it, I had just enough bias tape left over (from trimming the wallet) that I also used it to trim the handles of my bag.

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I knew what features I wanted for this bag, but as a pattern that I hoped to sell in future, it was important to me to design it to be relevant to as many people as possible. So here's the thing: I basically finished writing this tutorial last summer. I then tested out the instructions by making this bag with a bed sheet from Mom's linen closet. (Between Mom and me, she definitely has the more interesting bed sheets!)

The Make It Yours Bag by eSheep Designs
Yet another Make it Yours test bag!
You would think that at that point, I would be ready to release this pattern to the public, but I kept having more and more ideas about what I could include.

One of those ideas eventually led me back to the ol' drawing board, because I really wanted the bag to be wider at the bottom. Well, that set me back for many weeks because the thought of altering the pattern was really discouraging. (It's a bugger to ensure that the scanned pattern pieces print out in the correct size once they are migrated to a Word doc turned PDF.) But eventually, I got around to — at least — coming up with a new set of pattern pieces.

Which of course, led to yet another bag. But that's a story to be continued at another time. ;-)

Next week, I will release a tutorial for a simple iPod/Mp3 Player Carrying Case.

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