Thursday, December 24, 2015

Messenger Bag Pattern Review

Guess who was lucky enough to be a pattern tester for Seamstress Erin's new messenger bag?

Moi, bien sur!



Don't you love the pattern artwork?

Erin is an indie pattern designer with a funky, fun vibe.  She designs basics with a creative twist, and provides lots of options for us to personalize a pattern and make it our own.  The Achatina bag is no exception.  This is a basic bag pattern that every seamster should have in their repetoire.  It can be interpreted in many different ways!

Have an amazing fabric you want to show off, but just can't quite see yourself wearing it as a garment?  Make an Achatina bag.  Wanting to try out machine applique, but not sure what to applique?  Erin's pattern provides cute applique options.  Need a man purse?  Achatina can easily be made of leather or canvas.

So what did I make, you ask?
I started by making a music bag for a talented young violinist I know, using the music note applique provided in the pattern.

Followed by a request for a similar bag from the violinist's teacher:

(Here we see the second bag modeled by Starry Night, cat model extraordinaire.)

These two are made from cotton blend twill and quilting cotton.  The black and white print is actually a music score.  If you make an Achatina bag from cotton or any medium weight fabric, be sure to interface the bottom,sides, and strap.

Next I went for a creative interpretation of the pattern sewn from a scrap of vegan leather:

I shortened the front flap and repurposed two belts for the straps across the front.  I was surprised how easily my machine sewed through the leather, including the belts.  I used a leather needle, and heavier thread. The bottom of the straps are sewn into the seam, so one uses the buckles to open and close the bag.  Not the best for an everyday bag, so I plan to use my friend Stephanie's idea of incorporating magnetic snaps next time.  I would love to make a version from real leather.
And a peek at the lining:
The pattern is beautifully designed.  I did the home pdf print, and it pieced together quickly and smoothly.  The instructions are clear and thorough, with plenty of illustrations. Each bag takes two to three hours to make, depending on the details one chooses.

More messenger bags are definitely in my sewing future.  Erin offers bonus packs with additional applique patterns on her website, including animal, nature, travel, and other themes.  Here are a few of my favorites:


Piper needs an Eiffel Tower bag, non?

Hurrah for indie patterns!



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