Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Midi Bag Adventure


It's been a while since I've made a handbag or tote from a pattern; I usually just wing it.  The Midi Bag by QuiltSmart was tres cute...  but I needed the pattern because I couldn't figure out how it went together by looking at completed totes.


I've been sewing and reading patterns for over 50 years so I believe I can review this one fairly.   I cannot recommend this pattern for beginners... or even advanced beginners... unless they are in a class where they can receive assistance.



The pattern instructions are on the inside of a three-fold card stock insert that is folded around the printed interfacing.  

All the actual instructions are on the inside of the insert.    The top third of the inside of the pattern insert was given over to a photo of completed totes and "options."  While these were nice, more detailed directions would have been appreciated.   I can understand the need to keep the pattern insert to one sheet but a legal-size sheet with more room would have been a better choice.


Although I read through the directions before starting, things were not at all clear.   I needed to stop working on the project a number of times during construction  to reread the directions and try to figure out exactly what the diagrams meant.  Actual photos may have been more helpful.  Directions could have been more concise.  Statements such as: "Trust me on this" could have been omitted.


Working with the printed interfacing was fun.  Once the fabric squares were ironed on the interfacing, the sewing part was simple...  and the corners all met perfectly, which was cool!

Where the printed interfacing was really helpful was during layout of the panels since the illustration in the directions wasn't clear... at least to me.


I liked the option for including a pocket on the inside but, since I was working with remnants from a quilt, I didn't have enough fabric....   so I improvised, using measurements in the Options section for pocket placement on the lining panel.


Directions for the lining were not as clear as I thought they could be...  the actual sizes for the four lining pieces are in the directions and not listed anywhere else, such as for quilt directions where all the pieces to be cut are listed near the beginning, along with the fabric requirements.


All in all, this was a fun project and I'll probably make a few more....  especially since this tote is on its way to my baby sister who lives outside of Washington DC.   And, since I have another sister and want to be fair, the next tote will be for her.



I'll make notes of measurements since I won't purchase another pattern just to have the printed interfacing.  I'll also have notes that clarify cutting and assembly steps as well.

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Disclaimer:  I do not work for any quilt shops or pattern companies.  I was not given this pattern to review and the opinions stated above are my own.





17 comments:

  1. You may have just saved some unsuspecting quilters from a lot of frustration, if they may not be as comfortable with their pattern reading skills as you are.
    But it is a very cute bag!

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  2. Thanks for the review. I recently made a bag from a pattern that I found fairly confusing as well. The problem with my pattern was that they had a photo of the completed bag in one set of fabrics and photos of the steps in another set of fabrics. I was confused about which pieces were which, too, and like you--I'm no novice. Your bag turned out so beautifully, though. I love the red and white because the shape of the finished bag is almost like a heart.

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  3. Looks like you did a great job on this! The interfacing makes it easy to get the matching seams just right. This pattern always throws me for a loop too....how to get a bag shape from that odd shaped section, but it does work. This turned out beautiful!

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  4. Sometimes you wonder how patterns manage to get printed but your end result is so cute and different. I used the interfacing/squares method before with a QIAD pattern so this method must have given your purse some nice body. I have to make a purse as a Christmas gift, might try this one but I know I would probably have to keep referring to your post of the layout. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. So, where do I sign up for your "assisted" class?! ☺ "Trust me on this" gave me a laugh! I love how the bag makes a heart shape...sister will ♥ it!

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  6. Cute, cute, cute!! So glad your expertise gotter done!!! I KNOW I WON'T try it!!! Thanks for the heads up!!

    Blessings

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  7. Your bag looks wonderful, Freda. I bet your sister will love it. :o)

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  8. Love this bag, Freda. Colorful and roomy. I like good, complete, clear instructions, too.

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  9. It turned out great! I don't do well when the instructions aren't easy... Did a quilt along once with very hard to understand instructions. I wondered if it was me or the blogger.... I ended up doing ok, but like you said, it wasn't for beginners.

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  10. It was worth the effort. You have a really neat bag.

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  11. It's a darling bag, but I'm completely turned off by poor patterns and instructions.
    Lillian

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  12. Never trust anyone who says: "trust me". ;)

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  13. This bag looks great. Thanks for the insight on the pattern. (Good fabric choice.)

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  14. I agree totally with the instructions and diagrams being hard to follow. I'm so relieved that I'm not the only one who thinks so! However Quiltsmart is very helpful if you contact them with questions.

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  15. Thank you, thank you for thee pictures. I made the outer part of the bag and liner some time ago -- but hadn't completed it. I wanted now to make a different liner, and damned if I could remember how to fit the pieces together right. Your photos saved me! :)

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  16. The pattern directions are very lacking. I am working on the Mondo bag and am thinking of making the minibag with my leftover jellyroll strips. I think that I will just purchase the printed interfacing for the mini bag. it would be good if I can purchase from a quiltshop and save shipping costs.

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  17. i'm a new quilter and picked up this pattern and i'm very frustrated! I am on pinterest trying to find better directions "trust me on this" statement LOL. yeah, their instructions are lacking. your bag or should I say your sisters bag is super cute! i'm off to *hopefully* find better directions. :)

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