Time for a quick update before I head to my Modern Quilt Guild meeting. (We just started a MQG in St. Charles, IL – if you’re local and interested, go check out the Facebook page!)
I know lots of you are following my progress on Twitter but I wanted to give the rest of you an update. I’m still testing samples for the Daytripper – meaning I still have to start actually taking photos for the instructions and I can’t do that until I nail down the exact pattern pieces and materials (amount of interfacing, batting, etc.). The first few I made just had WAY too much interfacing and I was worried about most of you trying to sew through that much bulk. I scaled it back for the last two, and the very last one I completely eliminated the batting but I think it needs to go back in. I’ve tried various different products but I’m trying to stick to those national brand names that I know you all can buy. This is not a complicated bag construction-wise. It’s very straight forward and will be relatively easy for me to explain to you. It is, however, a complicated bag to actually *sew*. It’s bulky, it’s probably going to require you to break out a denim needle, it’s curvy… those little things up the difficulty level a bit. I still think you can do it, but you’re going to need to go slowly the first time you make one. That’s why I’m trying to get everything from my end perfect and I don’t want to give you a dozen options. I want to find ONE that works, then those of you who love to modify everything can modify away. Unfortunately that means basically 1-2 days every time I need to make a new sample, which is what is taking so long. And I’m on a deadline here – this needs to be READY but December 1st. Sleep? What sleep?
I made one for my friend Lisa but somehow the pattern pieces got messed up. I used 987F fusible fleece, but to avoid wrinkles I fused it to the Pellon 50. Way too thick and too stiff. It turned out cute but with so many mistakes. This was supposed to be my final sample, like over a week ago.
Some of you were asking about a smaller, purse-sized one, so I did just that. I will probably need to do a little math for you on the length of the zipper gusset, but other than that everything should scale correctly when printed at a smaller %. I hope. I’ll test it again once the full size is finalized because I’ve already tweaked the pattern pieces. :) I would also go a tiny bit bigger.
I cut this one out of a handful of fat quarters. I even had to piece the strap. :)
I liked the batting combo in this one (Pellon 988 + Pellon 50), but I hate poly batting. I do like the look, though, and I think I’ll have to give in to my hate for poly batting because it’s easy for you to get your hands on and it looks great. (Warm & Natural cotton batting was what I used on mine and while it was OK for me and my machine, it makes for a heavy bag and a less powerful sewing machine will choke on it.)
So for my next “final” full-size pattern piece test, I tried using super thin cotton batting which I’ve used before in other projects but it didn’t work. The problem is that with all the curves and all the layers, you really need to baste this thing and without a walking foot, that’s not the easiest thing to do. The cotton batting ended up scrunching up and not playing nice, so I started over (I only had to re-cut a couple pieces) and made it *without* batting at all. Just SF-101 and Pellon 50. It turned out great – easy to baste (I found a trick to the basting!) and easy enough to sew through and especially to top-stitch. But, it’s floppy! I was trying to explain floppy on twitter and failing, so I tried to take some photos to show it. Now, some of you may not like the padded bag look or may not care if your bag is floppy. With some coaxing, I was still able to get it to stand up all the way while empty. And I think adding a 2nd layer of Pellon 50 to the gusset may take care of a lot of that. Also a bag base – which I found the supplies for at Blick for $1.69! But my executive decision is to go back to the batting that I liked on the smaller one.
The one on the left is kind of what it did naturally (keep in mind, it is empty). The one on the right I kind of squished for effect. So, unless I have major issues using the same batting combo in the big one, I’ll go with the batting for the pattern and if you don’t want to tackle batting without a walking foot or if you have a really basic machine, then you can eliminate it and still get a really cute, functional bag. That’s kind of what all this testing is all about!
And hey, iPad in the back pocket with room to spare! (Yes, that’s a cardboard one… my husband was tired of me stealing his for photos. :)
Therefore, *one more* (fingers crossed?) full sized sample and then I can start taking pattern photos. And then once it’s done we can start playing with sizes and alternatives. Fair enough? Thank you all for being so patient and for all the encouragement!