Hello friends! I'm so excited to share with you an original bag by little 'ol ME!! It turned out to be a Slouchy Hobo Bag, although I really had no idea that is what it would be when I started (LOL!!).
Now, I did design my Casual Friday Bag and an iPad sleeve, but they both were very basic. My first bag was simply a snap closure and a couple of slip pockets. When I began to design this Slouchy Hobo bag, I actually did have some specific goals in mind.
1. It had to have those cute little slanted zips that I've been drooling over on some very high-end designer bags.
2. I wanted an interior zipper.
3. I wanted to include a secret compartment on the back of the purse with hidden zippers on either side. This compartment could be used for gun carry, iPad, magazine, portfolia...you name it!
4. I definitely wanted a closed zipper.
5. I wanted hardware
6. Adjustable Strap (which I ended up not doing)
7. Hardware (grommets, lobster clasps)
8. I wanted a large Conceal and Carry bag, as I have had many comments from potential customers that they would like a bigger bag than the current bag I offer.
After setting these goals I went to work on a pattern. I taped some printer paper together, figured out about how big I wanted it and then went to work.
These front pockets are my favorite. Now, you may be wondering, "why pink w/ blue???". Well, that is what my husband was wondering. I personally like the colors, but actually it just worked out b/c I only had pink zippers on hand and this beautiful cream fabric with the aqua batik is one that I could not use on any of my products for sell. Would you believe it had these little brown specks all over it? I purchased it brand new from the craft store, but did not really look too close at it. I had had it for months, so it was too late to take it back when I noticed the problem.
The left pocket is very shallow, good for lipstick, keys, OR I just realized my flip phone actually fits in this pocket!! I made the right pocket big enough to fit any size iPhone.
This is the most exciting part of the bag! To tell you the truth, these hidden zippers were the main reason for developing this bag. The gun bag I have for sell right now in my Etsy Shop has a zipper closure that looks completely different. They are not 'hidden' like I would like. THIS is what I've been wanting, I just did not know how to do it! Enter in Christine, AGAIN, to save the day. Christine is the amazing handbag designer over at ChrisW Designs. She was nice enough to allow me to convert her beautiful Bella Bag into a Conceal and Carry Purse. For this bag, I used her pattern for the hidden zipper from her amazing Lombard Street Bag. I"ve made two of these now and I am truly IN LOVE with that bag. I have one that I carry all the time now. It is my favorite 'go-to' bag for being out and about all day shopping or traveling.
I do not personally own a gun, so I will use this pocket for magazines, library books, my iPad (if I ever get one) are anything else....hmmm, If I still had little ones in diapers, this pocket would be perfect for diapers, wipes AND extra clothes. Ok-I'm getting more excited about this bag!
I learned how to put in the recessed zipper while making the Lombard Street Bag. It is now my favorite bag closure! It is super duper easy!! You just have to try it.
The only problem I had with this bag is adding the gusset. I cut my front body shape rounded on the corners and then I also rounded the guesset pieces. Should I have not done that? All I know is that it was very difficult to piece together. It is not nice and neat, but the look actually fits in with the slouchy style.
Here are the grommets I added and the lobster clasps. Have you check out my grommet tutorial yet? I love putting these little guys in because they are also very easy to install.
One bad thing did happen while sewing this bag. My Kenmore started acting up and I spent 2 weeks trying to stop the loops from forming on the back. I did everything imaginable to fix the problem. Anyway, I finally gave up and decided it was not worth taking it in right now. So....all that said to say...I HAVE A NEW MACHINE!! I used it to finish the handles on this bag. You can actually kind of tell in the grommet picture above that the handle stitches look so nice, but the stitches on the main bag are kind of loose. Ok, maybe only I notice that! (LOL!) So far so good on this machine. It is a Janome HD (heavy duty) 1000. The reviews were all good and the best part is that it was on SALE! The only thing I'm a little nervous about is that there seems to be LESS room under the foot than my Kenmore had. If it is heavy duty, why would they have the foot so far down? Also, the feed dogs don't seem to keep the fabric going as well as I would like, but that could be because it is such a tight fit. Other than that, it sews like butter!
Oh...looky there! An American Girl magazine. Did you know I am co-hosting an AMAZING American Girl Wardrobe Giveaway right now? It ends Monday so you'd better enter now!
Have a great weekend guys!!
If you are interested in any of the bags I mentioned from ChrisWDesigns, you can find them here! Click here to visit ChrisW Designs.