Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Boyd St. Bowling Bag + Giveaway!

If you follow my blog regularly, you probably already know that I am a HUGE fan of the bag patterns from Emmaline Bag and Patterns.  Janelle does the most amazing job from conceptualizing a bag design, to creating the pattern pieces, to photographing and explaining in detail each step of construction.  In other words, she's very talented!

Well, Janelle's latest pattern for the Boyd St. Bowling Bag does not disappoint.  She teased everyone about a month ago with a picture of her test bag, and I knew immediately that I had to have it!

At some point this past year, Janelle and I started exchanging emails about bag hardware, fabrics, and other sewing related things.  So when I saw a message in my inbox from Janelle a few weeks ago, I wasn't surprised to hear from her, but I was surprised that she wanted ME to test out her pattern for the Boyd St. Bowling Bag!  I was so excited!


Immediately, I knew I wanted to the handles out of faux leather or vinyl.  I had never sewn with that material before--until now!  I was also drawn to the shape and style of bag which is a departure from all the other bags I have ever made.  I'll discuss my experience with sewing vinyl a little later in the post, but first, let's go over more of the actual bag details.

After making the Teardrop Bag, another pattern I purchased from Emmaline Bag & Patterns months ago, I knew I wanted to use canvas or duck cloth again for the lining.  I really like the way the duck cloth holds up without adding any interfacing to it, and it's not difficult to sew with even when layered with the outer bag fabric.


The inside also has a slip pocket and a zipper pocket both made from quilting cotton lined with a medium weight fusible interfacing.  I sewed down the middle of the slip pocket turning it into two smaller pockets perfect for holding my cell phone on one side and mints and lipstick on the other.



For the exterior of the bag, I used two different printed duck cloth fabrics in shades of off white, yellow, and gray that I purchased at Hobby Lobby.  This duck cloth is considerably thinner and softer feeling than the utility grade duck cloth I used for the lining.  I did apply interfacing (Pellon SF101) and fusible fleece to the wrong side of the exterior fabric to help give it more shape and support.



Construction of the bag itself was not difficult and would definitely be suitable for someone who has prior bag sewing skills or an intermediate seamstress.   The design of the bag includes two small pleats on the front plus the curved top piece which is ideal for using a coordinating fabric to match the bottom half of the purse.

Another feature of the Boyd St. Bowling bag that I love is the zipper closure across the curved top with a zipper pull on both ends to make opening and closing easier.  Janelle even shows you a super easy way to cut the fabric for the gusset so that your fabric pattern matches up.  See how the chevrons are all lined up properly in the photo below?



The pattern provides an option and instructions on how to construct a detachable adjustable strap that would hook onto the zipper pulls on either end using a swivel hook and D-rings.  I didn't think I would ever use the strap, so I chose not to make one.

The bottom of the bag is reinforced with a piece of Pellon Peltex 71.  This was my first time to use this type of interfacing, and I was quite pleased with the results.  Again, Janelle's instructions made sewing the bottom together a breeze!  The bottom of the bag is firm and sturdy and has six metal purse feet to not only help protect the bottom from wear and tear, but to also give it that more professional look.


To construct just the bag portion of this purse, I sewed on and off over the course of a day and a half.  Not bad considering I had lots of interruptions from Ella and had to run errands and get my son at school!

Now onto the vinyl handles and tabs.  As I mentioned above, this was my first time to ever sew with vinyl, and I was so excited to try it on this bag!  I found some really nice marine vinyl in the remnant bin at Joann's.  This type of vinyl is so soft and supple compared to the normal utility vinyl  that I think of when I hear the word vinyl.

I love how my vinyl handles eventually turned out!  They really make the bag look store bought and professional!  Don't you agree?


Anyway, Janelle gives very detailed instructions with lots of photographs on how to construct the strap tabs and handles--in both fabric and leather/vinyl!  Again, she taught me several new things and introduced me to some new sewing notions (like double sided wonder tape, upholstery thread, and a sewing needle for leather) that I had not tried before.  I always know that after I finish one of Janelle's patterns, not only am I going to have a terrific new bag to use, but I'm also going to be a much more experienced and knowledgeable sewer!


In order to sew the vinyl on my machine, I sometimes used my walking foot, my regular sewing machine foot, and my regular sewing machine foot with scotch tape on the bottom.  I also used a long stitch length of at least 4.  This part of my bag construction was definitely a challenge, but only because my old Bernina Record 830 from 1974 just doesn't have the power needed to sew through multiple layers of the vinyl.  I had to hand turn the wheel often just to get the needle to sew especially when I sewed the strap tabs to the bag body.  I also had to put a piece of stabilizer on the underside of the bag because the fleece was tangling the bobbin thread and not advancing the stitches properly.

After some lengthy email discussions with Janelle, I believe she decided to rate the Boyd St. Bowling Bag Pattern as suitable for an intermediate to advanced sewer with a note stating that prior experience and knowledge of sewing with vinyl or leather is recommended for those who want to make vinyl handles.   If you have a heavy duty or commercial grade sewing machine, then I would think sewing multiple layers of vinyl would be no problem for you!

Of course, her pattern gives full details on how to make the exact same strap tabs and handles using regular fabric which I know I will use the next time!  My machine should have no problem tackling multiple layers of regular fabric and interfacing.

I'm so looking forward to using my new Boyd St. Bowling bag.  It's gonna hold a lot of stuff since it's so big (roughly 16" L x 10"H x 5"W)!

So, what do you think?  Do you want to make a Boyd St. Bowling Bag for yourself?  Well, as of Monday, it's officially for sale at Emmaline Bags and Patterns along with hardware kits to make the bag in case you don't want to run all over town (like me) to find the supplies!

Janelle is also hosting a contest and offering up a copy of the Boyd St. Bowling Bag Pattern and hardware kit to two winners!  How awesome is that?!  You can enter the contest below and the winners will be announced on Wednesday, April 17th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Oh, and in case you'd like to see all the other bags I've made using patterns from Emmaline Bags and Patterns, just click the links below.  And Janelle just released another cool pattern for the Necessary Wallet Clutch that I purchased immediately!  Can't wait to try it out, too!




My Boyd St. Bowling Bag has been featured over at The Train to Crazy today!  Thanks, Andrea!

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74 comments:

  1. Your bag turned out AMAZING! I love all the prints you used!!

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  2. Awesome bag! Janelle is truly talented :-)

    You did a great job on your bags. Love the fabric!

    Cindy

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  3. I think you did a wonderful job making your bag. I would love to try a pattern like that.

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  4. I've never made a handbag but I like simple prints that are not too busy and mix easily with my wardrobe. Any color chevron is fabulous :)

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  5. Beautiful bag! I think you did a great job, and I love the fabrics you chose!

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  6. Great job on the bag.. love the fabric choices!

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  7. I like prints- you can buy a plain bag anywhere! I like stuff that is fun and unique. great bag!

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  8. Thank you so much for the very generous pattern review, Veronica. Thank you. You have made such a gorgeous bag! I really wish I was a good at picking fabrics as you are, I need to work on that. Janelle

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  9. I love bold, contrasting fabrics .. What a super give away and your bag is gorgeous :)

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  10. I love the professional hardware and details of the bag. The Boyd St. Bowling Bag would be a very impressive gift for friends' birthdays, as it looks so boutique and upscale. It can also be a fun and casual bag for running around town depending on the type of fabric used. Loving the zippered inner pocket! I appreciate the flat, sturdy bottom with purse feet since I frequently have to place my purse on the floor.

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  11. I love this bag!!! You did such a great job! Answering your question - I would use some chevron I bought from fabric.com that's a home decor weight!!!

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  12. Looks very professional. I love your fabric choices, Janelle does have such great patterns.

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  13. I have some Ty Pennington fabric in spice that would be nice!

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  14. I love to use fabric with an organic feel - so florals, leaves, branches, etc.

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  15. Love the shape of the bag and the fabric choice is fantastic! Great job!

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  16. Woohoo--that is too cute! I love yellow and gray, and the combo of prints you chose!

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  17. love that bag , i think i would want a patchwork one

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  18. Love,love love the bag!I love crazy patterns, bright fun colors, basically just a busy piece. Love this blog!

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  19. I did historical costuming for years and was limited by the time period in my fabric and pattern choices. After a break, I'm sewing for myself. I finally get to use cute cotton prints in bright colors!

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  20. I love linen and I love saturated colours, graphic prints and I even like a floral print or two. This looks like a lovely bag - I have not put feet or handles like that before.

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  21. I like larger bags, with complementing patterns and colors. And lots of pockets!

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  22. I love mixing up patterns with solids for bag, especially to highlight a detail

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  23. thanks for the hints on sewing the handles!

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  24. I have had great success finding fabric for bags at IKEA... random, I know, but good price for high quality and fantastic modern prints!

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  25. This looks like a fantastic pattern!

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  26. Your version turned out very nice. I also like canvas fabric for purses. I mostly like geometrics. I never use florals, not even in my clothing. Janelle's Bags are awesome.

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  27. I love the bag! I like to use all kinds of fabric :)

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  28. I make a lot of bags and don't stick to one style or type of fabric. I like each one to stand on their own style and for the fabric to show off the design.

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  29. I love your pictured bags!!!! I love florals (e.g.. love Amy Butler and similar fabrics).

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  30. Looking at my home sewn bags, they tend to be floral, but I think it's time to change it up and do a purse pattern of stripes or geometric like you mentioned.

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  31. The bowling bag is a very cute bag. I made one similar but the handles on this look so nice.

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  32. I love geometric prints and the funkier the colors the better I like them.
    MaryD
    www.stitchesonmyneedle.blogspot.com

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  33. My gosh, your bag is beautiful! I'm a very beginning sewer, and can barely handle anything more complex than a straight line. I wish I had the talent you do to sew my own bags...it would be so much cheaper than the many trips I make to the outlet mall for new purses!

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  34. I like to use fabrics that will give the purse a designer/classic/professional feel. I don't care for the bright florals for myself but I've seen some super nice ones. I've not put 'feet' on any of my purses yet, so this would be a nice update and that vinyl handle does shout professional! :) Would love to win!

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  35. Gorgeous bags! The bowling bag has really cute fabric!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party
    http://usscrafty.blogspot.com/2013/04/submarine-sunday-26.html

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  36. thank you for the chance to win. i love all your bags and really love the summer colors

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  37. I am in love with this bag! Gorgeous in grey and yellow; it's been my color combo obsession for the last 2-3 months!

    Fawn

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  38. I love the yellow! My favorite color is teal, I prefer patterns, and florals :)

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  39. Definitly a QAYG bag, I've got a lot of cute scraps and I've never been good at choosing just one thing!

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  40. Love this bag! Very professional looking.
    Thank you for the chance to win.

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  41. Lovely bag and choice of fabrics.

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  42. What a fabulous bag you made!! Love your combo of fabrics! :)
    I love geometric prints. And love blues, teal, black and grey for colors.
    Thanks for a chance to win! :)

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  43. That's a beautiful bag and I agree with you the vinyl handles made it look so much more professional. I love the fabric you used also. Perfect for spring. Thanks for a chance to win.

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  44. Great bag! WHat a fun shape. I LOVE yellow right now. I would make this bag out of yellow, probably with some gray too... it might turn out an awful lot like yours, actually. LOVE.

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  45. I love the fabric and the size of the bag. Can't wait!

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  46. This is AWESOME! I'm loving the colors. It makes me very happy! Thanks for sharing! I’d love for you to visit us at Get Your Crap Together!

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  47. Very nice bag. I love the handles, and the size, and the fabrics, and the pockets and...and..and...well, everything! Would love to try this in duck cloth, maybe something with polka dots would be fun!

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  48. I really want to make this bag. I usually pick a fabric that makes me smile. I almost always use prints in bright colors. I tend to pick lime green, orange and purple.

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  49. Love this bag! I have some cute linen prints and some 'vegan-leather' (aka pleather) for the trim. What fun!

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  50. LOVE the fabrics you chose for your bag! It looks very cheery! I adore yellow BUT don't use it near as much as I would like! Christine
    - ChrisW Designs

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  51. My favorite colors tend toward soft greens, peaches and blues, and I love floral prints, but my daughter just got me a half-yard bundle of Sew Retro for my birthday, and I think it would be really fun to use for this bag!

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  52. Your bag is beautiful. Love the fabric!

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  53. I pink colors/ patterns that reflect the mood I am in at the time.

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  54. I love pinks & greens & yellows & blues this time of the year. Your bag is beautiful!

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  55. I like floral and geometric patterns...of course colors and patterns i like vary tremendously depending on my mood!

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  56. I love the bag... the pattern and fabric choices are both great.

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  57. I tend to prefer solids... very simple non trendy... but i just received a quilted tote as a gift and am LOVING all the different florals and patterns and colors! it's like a spring flower garden exploded! so fun!

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  58. A roomy and great shaped bag, Veronica!

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  59. You did a great job. Your bag is beautiful. Love the fabric!

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  60. I would love a summer colored bag - maybe chevron and another pattern like your bag.

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  61. Love the color combo!! Thanks for the giveaway! Amy @ gasudimack(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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  62. I love your bag!!! The fabric choices are great. I love yell
    ow and gray prints

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  63. This bowling bag is perfection! I love it so much!

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  64. I love your bag! I'm a big fan of Janelle's patterns too. I've made the Emmaline and love it. That was also my first go at using vinyl. You're right, you do learn a lot from her patterns.

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  65. I love that bag. I never made one but i think i would choose geometric fabrics.
    Isabel A. (isabel_mbpp@hotmail.com)

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  66. I would want something bold and bright. Love the bag!

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  67. love the yellow and grey you chose. No idea what I'd use - a great excuse for a fabric shopping trip!

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  68. I love your bag! I have been using a lot of the chevron prints in my bags lately!

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  69. I like canvas and/or duck as well. So sturdy & stands up to being tossed around. I adore the yellow, grey, combo but would also like to throw in some turquoise My "new-ish" Create Something room is lite pink w/ turquoise in the closet. And those handles; Oh My Gosh!! You did a Fabulous job!! Me Likey!! Thank you & Janelle for this awesome giveaway!! kweenbee_612@yahoo.com

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  70. This is an amazing bag!! It doesn't even look homemade!! Thanks for linking up at Whatever Goes Wednesday. We hope you'll stop by again tomorrow!

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  71. This bag is so stinkin' cute and professional looking! I am SO impressed!

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