Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Finish: My Version of the Phoebe Bag

Apparently, most pregnant women "nest" by cleaning and organizing their houses. When I was pregnant with Goose I nested by taking on large home renovation projects: replacing the exterior doors, ripping apart my attic studio and planning a full renovation of our upstairs bathroom. You know, little things.

This time around I seem to be obsessed with bags. Maybe it's because I realize that there is no reason to do a full clean of the house with a 2 year old running amok. Or that organizing everything for the umpteenth time doesn't mean that my house will be less cluttered or that I will remember where I put things. But for some reason, I feel that if I don't make every kind of bag I've ever set my eyes on then I won't be prepared for the little Chipmunk to enter into our lives.

And I have diaper bags (that would make too much sense to make). I'm craving handbags, totes, luggage, toiletry cases, you name it. I'm sewing zippers like a fiend. I'm investing in interfacing and webbing and iron on vinyl (for the toiletry cases of course). I'm pinning bag tutorials like they are going out of style. It's bizarre. I'm loving it, but it's bizarre.

I thought I could manage the bag expense by not buying any new fabric. I'd been eying tons online, but as long as I didn't click the little button I wouldn't have purchased it and therefore would have to make do with what I owned.

Then a friend and I checked out a new-to-us fabric shop a few towns over. I had been lusting after this Botanique Bold Bouquet by Joel Dewberry. Despite Google's numerous attempts to get me to purchase it (seriously, those big brother pop up ads based on my search history are going to be my undoing!), I had resisted. So what's a girl to do when 2 feet into a store finds a whole glorious bolt of it staring back at her? Buy it obviously.

I knew that I wanted to make a bag out of it (see: obsession above) and had saved the Phoebe Bag by Rebeka Lambert, which seemed like a perfect fit. I used it more as a starting point as there were a couple of changes I wanted to make. 

First, I wanted a "leather" bottom for extra durability and zippers zippers zippers. Long gone are the days that my handbag sits nicely next to me in the passenger seat in the car. It's more likely to be thrown on the floor as I struggle to get a flailing two year old in the car. Or dragged around the house when said two year old wants to play with anything he shouldn't. So I needed a zipper pockets in the front and inside as well as a zipper on top.

Luckily/unluckily for me, one of my favorite cheap-o Target handbags was on it's very last life with all the linings ripping and zippers coming loose. So I chopped it apart and was able to use (3) zippers, all the fabric for my "leather" bottom and the ring hardware for the strap attachment.

I lined the inside with a yellow/citron Pearl Bracelet by Lizzy House. As an aside, I never understood everyone's fascination with this fabric. Especially since it loses so much of it's charm when sliced up for quilts. But I realize now it makes a FANTASTIC lining for bags: it's simple but provides interest and comes in great colors.

A note on the zippers: I tried two tutorials for this. The first was on the outside (note to self: start with a hidden zipper when trying something new!) and I wasn't happy with the results. I think it was some combination of my zipper inexperience and unclear directions. The tutorial I used for the inside pocket by Vanilla Joy was fabulous and I've used it twice since with perfect results. In addition to the zippered pocket I added two slip pockets for extra storage.

The bag is a bit smaller than I expected. Even though I read all the dimensions and instructions I thought for some reason it would hold a lot more. I can fit my large wallet, chapstick, phone, a diaper, and Goose's water bottle in their comfortably but not much else. It may very well be a good thing so that I don't load it up every day with nonsense!

One more look...

I organized a new Pinterest board devoted to bags that I'm considering, as well as tips and tricks.

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