Limited by the amount of 2 1/2" squares I had, I designed this bag with a patchwork pocket panel that goes all the way around the outside. It is stitched down at the corners, creating four separate pockets. After taking these pictures, though, I might stitch down the middle of one of the side pockets to make two smaller pockets, one will be just right for my phone.
The "leather" accents add a richness as well as a professional touch. I used an upholstery vinyl from JoAnn Fabrics that looks and feels like the real thing, even on the back. This enabled me to have the raw edges exposed, reducing bulk in the seams. To top stitch, I used a jeans needle (size 100 and very sharp) and it sewed through four thicknesses like butter.
To attach the strap, I bought this rivet setting kit from the craft store. I've never done this before, but there was no way my machine was going to sew through eight layers of faux leather so I thought I would give it a try. It was super easy and worked great, although I am pretty sure that I hammered the heck out of the rivets a little more than necessary!
Isn't the lining fabric sweet? It was also found at JoAnn Fabrics, in with the regular quilting cottons which I usually bypass, but those sweet yellow flowers grabbed my attention and when I felt the softness, I was pleasantly surprised and bought two yards! I might be going back to buy the rest of the bolt!
I wanted the bag to have a "slouchy" feel so just used one layer of fusible fleece as a stabilizer. I quilted through the fabric and the fleece and added the lining separately. The patchwork is quilted by stitching on both sides of the seams, and the bag body is quilted with straight lines at about 1 cm intervals (the edge of my presser foot).
Making a bag without a pattern was not without it's uh-oh moments. Like when I was so eager to find out if the bag and pocket panel would fit together that I sewed the side seams before installing the zipper. And I wasn't sure how the whole bag, lining, zipper thing would work so I tried it a different way on either side of the zipper. Fortunately the difference is only visible on the inside!
Additional bag details:
dimensions - about 16" x 12" x 6" (base is 13" x 6")
fabric - Robert Kaufman yarn dyed linen in "flax"
one mini charm pack Carolyn Friedlander "Doe"
one mini charm pack Carolyn Friedlander Robert Kaufman favorites
yellow flower, Heather Tozzi for GCD Studios, David Textiles
Stabilizer - Pellon Thermolam TP971F
Thread - Coats & Clark machine quilting cotton, "temple gold"
trim - JoAnn Fabrics Upholstery vinyl, "Cordova chocolate"
zipper - Coats & Clark 18" purse zipper, "dogwood"
hardware - antique square ring, Everything Mary
I am so pleased with how this bag turned out that I think it would make a great pattern. Since I've worked out the what-not-to-do and the proportions, it is " just" a matter of writing up the instructions and creating some diagrams. Hopefully soon!!
Linking up with these great linky parties:
My Quilting Infatuation - Needle & Thread Thursday
Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish It Up Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict - Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
T.G.I.F.F. - this week at Quilt Matters