Free bag pattern

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My apologies for the lack of a summer sew-along post this week!
As of now there are officially two weeks left of the school year, and I am drowning in paperwork and unfinished business! While all my projects for the sew along are finally finished and ready, it takes a lot of work to get the patterns ready, take pictures, etc.
In the middle of all the end of the school year stress, my favorite bag that I have had for three years finally died, and I was forced to make a choice whether to buy or make a new one. I made two of them this week, but neither was one that I could see myself carrying for the next three years. So, after finding this lovely Japanese fabric at the Fancy Tiger in Denver, and consultation with my husband, who is both opinionated about/obsessed with technical bags, I came up with this one. I think it is absolutely perfect! It is a crossbody bag, which is comfortable to carry and secure. It’s just big enough to hold the essentials, like a wallet, phone, etc. but not too big that things will get lost in it. On the outside it also has two pockets, a regular one, and a more secure zippered one.

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You can download the pattern here.

There are a few things I would like to point out to make your bag look professional, instead of homemade. The first one is fusible fleece. It will give lovely shape and body to thin, quilting weight fabrics, and enable you to use them as you would a thicker fabric.

The second is topstitching. It helps to add some structure to your bag, and adds a beautiful, professional touch.
The last one is hardware. And guess what? You don’t need to spend a lot or go to a specialty store to get it! The fabric on your old bag may be beyond repair, but it’s very easy to cut off the hardware and reuse it on a new bag! If you don’t have an old bag you’re willing to part with, check your local thrift store. People often get rid of their bags because the fabric gets worn out, but the hardware is still usable. I found a few bags last week for two dollars each and all of them had hardware that was in excellent condition.
Take a break from doll sewing, and make something for yourself for a change! (Ok…if you NEED this for a doll, copy the pieces at 33% and hand-sew it out of felt or something non-fray so you don’t need to line it)

Summer sew-along will be back next week.
In the meantime, check out what others have done on the Flickr page, http://www.flickr.com/groups/summersewalong/ and please feel free to add your own photos to it! I know I have said this before, but I really enjoy seeing new interpretations of my patterns.  There are some really nice color/fabric combos to inspire you and a few re-sized for Hearts for Hearts (I dare you to look at those photos and not “need” that doll!)

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