My backpack has fallen apart and sometimes a backpack is lots better than my usual handbag. When thinking about replacing it I started thinking, hey I'm a sewist! Maybe I should make one. I got to thinking about how feasible this would be and about other bags I have made.
At Christmas I made 2 bags for loved ones. The first was this weekend bag, pattern by Floop the coop:
And the other was this Kennedy bag, pattern by Sew Sweetness:
These photos are not great of either but I wasn't taking pictures to show on the blog and as they were gifts, I can't exactly ask for them back to photograph!
As two bags I made within the same time period its much easier to make a comparison of the details I liked and didn't like. I'm going to state right now that one of these bags was a clear winner for me.
The weekend bag pattern I bought at the knitting and stitching show in October. I bought it from the Fabrics Galore stand but the woman who makes it also has an etsy store called floop the coop (link above although I can't actually find any current products linked to this brand.) The pattern cost me £6. I also bought the fabric from the same stand, it's called postcards from Paris and I thought it was super pretty.
The Kennedy bag is a free pattern that was posted on the sew mama sew blog and there are heaps of really cute versions out there. I made it up with scraps from my stash, the geometric patterned fabric is curtain fabric donated to me by my grandma and the accents are in denim.
One problem that I had with both patterns was assembling the accessories. Bag accessories can be a bit tricky to source. Luckily my local haberdashery in Simply fabrics, Brixton had some of them but the rest came from ebay.
When sewing up the patterns I found the weekend bag instructions very poor, which is particularly sad as now I know the finished product, I can reveal that it's essentially an envelope. The Kennedy bag while much more complicated had very clear instructions and was totally straightforward to put together. I really recommend this as a pattern for anyone wanting to make themselves a cute handbag. I really need to get on the case and make one for myself! I've had visions in my head of a tartan and leather one for ages, although these are not super summery fabrics so maybe I need to make a summery one soon and a winter one after the summer. Gosh, two bags plans already!
Although I love the end result of both of these bags, one caused me lots of needless stress and the other didn't. I'm really tempted to try another of the Sew sweetness patterns as the first one was so straightforward. I really need a new back pack so the Edelweiss backpack might be a contender but it doesn't look like it would be big enough to hold all my junk so I'm going to keep looking for a bit. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.