I know I've mentioned a few times that I planned to purchase Elizabeth Hartman's Perfect Zip Bags pattern. Well, I finally got to it a week or so ago, and this week I set about reading through the pattern and making myself one of the bags.
What a revelation! If you have any interest in making zippered bags, I highly recommend this pattern. Elizabeth goes about the construction in a way I hadn't seen anywhere else, and I think the results are just incredible. The tutorial includes instructions for three different styles of bag, with a couple sizes for each. Two of the bags are boxy, so dimensions are given for cutting the fabric. The other bag has a pattern in two sizes.
I decided to make the smaller size of the darted clutch. The pattern is a half pattern with instructions to cut on the fold, but I chose to trace off a full pattern piece because I'm hoping that I can use this pattern with leather in the future.
You really don't need much fabric at all for this little bag. I used scraps from the Dear Stella Va Bene collection that I've used for a few other projects: Italy Map in White, Vespas in White, Va Bene Stripe in Red and Tuscany in Taupe.
I followed Elizabeth's instructions to the letter, except for one thing. She recommends a sew-in interfacing, but I used the stiff collar interfacing I'd used previously on Hubby's shirts. I wanted to see if it would give the fabric a canvas-like quality, and it almost did. But it also made it much harder for me to get my bag turned out nicely. What you see above has been heavily ironed after completion, and it's still a little lumpy because of that interfacing.
I really love the covered zipper ends - this wasn't the first time I've tried them, but it was the first time I've been successful with them!
I tried to get a good picture of the lining and pocket, but I wasn't able to get the bag open enough while keeping my hand out of the way! I fussy-cut my pocket so I'd have trees and some pots of flowers on it.
Although I'm happy with the bag, I do wish it were a little bigger. I have such a hard time judging the finished size of anything from the pattern pieces! Next time I'll use the larger pattern for making this bag. Still, it fits my phone, and I could also put in some pocket tissues, a lip balm and my ID and bus card - that's all I really need!
I tied a ribbon into the zipper pull to make it easier to grab, but I feel like it's a little "too much" so I'll probably remove that. Aside from the interfacing, the only thing I'll probably do differently next time is to shorten the loop that attaches the bag to the D-ring that holds the strap - just a personal style preference.
Have any of you used this pattern and tutorial? Are you tempted?