Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Emmaline Bag


Several weeks ago, I was fortunate to win a purse pattern from Janelle over at Emmaline Bags & Patterns blog.  The pattern I won was her Emmaline Bag pattern found for sale here on her website.  I was absolutely excited to get the chance to make this purse!  I had had every intention of making it right away, but I couldn't make up my mind about the fabric I wanted to use.  And quite honestly, I was feeling a little intimidated by the interior zipper pocket!

Fast forward to this past week, and I decided I was up for a challenge.  I picked out my fabrics, finally choosing to go with Amy Butler's Lark collection. I used Floral Couture in Berry for the exterior shell, Souvenir in Persimmon for the lining, and River Shine in Charcoal for the straps.  I just love these bold colors for summer!  Don't you?


Janelle advertises the pattern for the intermediate to advanced sewer, and I would definitely agree!  Compared to all the other purses/bags I've made, this one has more features that are reminiscent of a store-bought bag which make it appear very professional looking.  For instance, it has a gusseted bottom, pleated sides at the bottom, lots of curves, metal hardware, and an interior zipper pocket!

I don't consider myself an advanced sewer, and although the bag is full of details making it a more challenging project, I really didn't find it difficult to make.  But it did take me a lot of time, especially since this was my first attempt at making it!  I worked on the Emmaline Bag over the course of at least three days for a total of 8 to 10 hours in all.  That may seem like a lot of time, and it is, but I worked slowly and carefully because I really wanted this bag to turn out well, and I think it did.

And to think that I was afraid of attempting that zipper pocket!  Ha!  Janelle's pattern has so many pictures and such well written descriptions of each and every step that I had absolutely no problem making it!  The zipper pocket is perfect if I must say so myself!  In fact, the pocket was so easy to make following her instructions that I actually had fun making it!  Janelle even offers on her website two tutorials on how to make a zipper pocket.  Plus, she has several other useful tutorials for making other bag components.  You can find her tutorials here.




If you look at the bags Janelle has made on her blog, you'll see she used some lovely rectangular rings and O-rings to add a more decorative touch to the straps.  I searched everywhere locally for these to use on my bag and couldn't find any large enough.  The largest rectangular rings I could find were only 1" and the largest O-rings were only 1.25".  I finally decided to use some 1.5" D-rings that I came across at one store, but honestly, they just aren't thick enough to stand out like they should.  I've seen a couple of Etsy stores that sell purse supplies, so I suppose I'll have to just order them online if they have them!  If anyone knows of a good source for such things, please let me know!




Janelle recommended using template plastic for the bottom support.  I found it in the quilting supplies at Joann's.  I guess I expected it to be something more rigid like a thin plexiglass, but it's not.  I doubled the template plastic, so I'll see how well that works for now.



And finally, to me the most difficult part of sewing this bag was top stitching the two rows around the top of the finished bag.  I didn't use my seam ripper until this part--the next to last step in making the bag--because I just had a hard time getting the rows evenly spaced around those curves!  If I knew how to use a double needle, maybe that wouldn't have been an issue!  Anyway, after a couple of attempts, I did get it right!



In all, I am so happy with how the Emmaline Bag turned out.  It is so spacious and modern looking!  I can't wait to start using it.  And I'm already thinking about making another one in a solid color.  I'm pretty sure the second bag will be even easier to make than the first!

If you like this bag, I hope you'll visit Janelle at Emmaline Bags and Patterns and consider purchasing the Emmaline Bag pattern or perhaps the Teardrop Bag pattern.  Oh, and she is working on a new bag pattern, called the Steph in the City Bag, that is to be released very soon (update:  it's available for sale).  Thanks again for the pattern, Janelle!  It's one of the best detailed patterns I've ever seen!  (Update:  For a limited time, you can use coupon code Palooza on her website to get 20% pattern orders!  I just purchased the Teardrop Bag and Steph in the City Bag patterns, too!)


26 comments:

  1. I need a mans Zipper Pouch that will hook on my belt loop. A man's color, maybe orange and blue.

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  2. Oh wow, I am blushing now. What a wonderful, generous review Veronica! And your bag is show stopping gorgeous! Love that you used the Lark range, it's bold and beautiful and summery! I think your stitches look perfect. I actually use a felt tip marker on one of my presser feet and mark where the 1/8" is. I then found my clear satin stitch foot and had a lovely groove at the 1/8" mark, so that made it easy and then I use the edge of my presser foot for the other stitching line. It will get easier. I agree with you that the base could be stiffer. I have had others use a double layer of template plastic or plastic grid bag base (plastic canvas). I will try to find a source for brown fiber board. That is what the pros use. Also, a few good sources for rings are: www.ahkwokbuckles.com or http://www.etsy.com/shop/3Dpatternpaper for rectangular rings and O-rings. I love it and I am so very thankful for your post, review and referrals! Thank you! Janelle

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    1. I've checked out the hardware links you provided, and I think I'm going to order some from ahkwokbuckles.

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    2. ahkwok also has an Etsy shop, the prices are a bit higher but you can order in smaller quantities. I'll see if I can find it for you a little later today. J x

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    3. I found their Ebay shop, but the quantities were the same as their website. I couldn't find them on Etsy, so when you have a chance, please let me know how to find them there! Thanks!

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    4. Oh you are rignt, it was Ebay... Darn it. I was lucky enough to find a supplier here in Oz that sold in smaller quantities but now she has gone wholesale so no luck.

      I found this:
      http://www.etsy.com/listing/61599239/15-inch-inner-diameter-nickel-rectangle?ga_search_query=rectangle

      and:
      http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThePatternRoom

      Just search rectangular ring. This is killing me because I have 50 and I was going to start selling them with magnets as an "emmaline bag hardware kit" but I thought it would be best to wait until I move home to North America because of postage costs! I will be setting that up as soon as I move home though. J

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  3. Great job! I don't think a double needle would work for the topstitching, cos you'd end up with a zigzag on the inside...not to worry, cos your bag looks fantastic! So summery!

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  4. Love the fabric, love the shape!!! An awesome bag, Veronica!!! I remember being scared of my first internal zipper and then wondering why I was as it wasn't as hard as I'd thought.

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  5. Hi Veronica: I Connie at http://hotflashncraftn.blogspot.com/ a new GFC friend. I would love it if you stop by and be mine, too.
    I love the fabrics you picked, so vivid. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Beautiful Bag! I would love for you to link this up to "I Made This" at Grits & Giggles! http://www.gritsandgiggles.blogspot.com/2012/05/i-made-this-6.html

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  7. Hello Veronica,
    I found your blog link at “We Did It Wednesdays”. I love to sew. I am going to check out Janelle’s patterns. Nice work on our new bag.
    Smiles, Paula

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  8. Veronica Oh my goodness! This is so beautiful! The colors are fab for summer! The strap is just the right contrast!

    I would LOVE for you to stop over and link this up in our Saturday-Thursday Crafty Showcase. On Friday our designers pick their favorites and then feature them.

    Thank you! I'm off to look around on your blog some more!

    Susie
    http://bowdabrablog.com/2012/05/26/saturday-showcase-craft-projects-3/

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  9. Dropping by from the Saturday party... I love this purse the colors are just me !!!
    Enjoy your new purse it beautiful !!!

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  10. I love the color coordination, its the bag really stand out. It looks like you did a good job. Enjoy!

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  11. Love this! We have our Kitchen Fun and Crafty link party going on now and would love for you to share this! http://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.blogspot.com/2012/05/kitchen-fun-and-crafty-friday-link_24.html

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  12. I get my d rings and o rings from my local city mill hardware store. They have them in like every size imaginable.... For like 50 cents a piece. Worth checking out

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    1. Thanks for the tip. I'll try looking around some of my local hardware stores.

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  13. Your bag is fabulous!The zipper is totally perfect! I'm inspired now; I'm off to Emmaline to buy the pattern. CarolB in SB

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  14. It is so awesome! My favorite quote is "I do not consider myself an advanced sewer!" Uh, WHAT!?!? My other V pal in cyberland... you MUST reconsider or at least, I'm graduating you to "Advanced Sewer". LOL! I've been wanting to do a neat bag like this, so thank you for the tips! :) And I know that 8 - 10 hrs seems like a lot for others, but I'm the same way. I'm really careful most of the time and like to take my time with the details! :)

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  15. Your bag is gorgeous. i have this pattern from Janelle too and really want to make it. Her directions are really good.

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  16. Your bag is adorable! I love it! And thanks for the link to Janelle's patterns!! I'll be spending some cash there for sure!

    Kristy @ Shona Skye Creations

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  17. Thank you so much for linking up in our Saturday Showcase this past week! We were thrilled to have you and hope that you stop back in on Saturday and link up more crafty ideas!

    Have a super weekend!
    Susie at Bowdabra
    http://bowdabrablog.com/

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  18. Wow, you have been one busy bee, I am just catching up on your blog. I hae been very absent in the blogging world recently. Like you I have a bit of a bag thing going on so couldn't leave and say something about your bag, I love the fabric you used and this bag has got to be one of your best yet, love it. I hope to get back to blogging soon. Sam

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  19. I love your color choice. It just pops. A wonderful eye catcher.

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