Awhile back, I found the fun and quirky blog, Dog Under My Desk while looking for local crafters and bloggers. Erin has created several of her own patterns for cute items like a sling bag to carry her adorable little Yorkie in. She is a crafter after my own heart, creating for the ones she loves and growing her business from there. The ones she loves just happen to have 4 legs instead of 2!
When Erin decided to come up with a hipster purse pattern, she was looking for testers to try it out before she went to publish it. Being a fairly good sewist, but never having made a bag before, I was lucky enough to be chosen to give it a whirl. I then recommended Becca, who was pretty darn comfortable with making bags and purses, to give it a try from another point of view. Here, for you, are our different takes on the Two Zip Hipster.
This bag has been, literally, attached to my hip since I finished it. I get so many compliments on this thing! One lady even asked me if it was a new Vera Bradley (which I’m sure had a little to do with my fabric choice too).
Although the pattern is lengthy, (32 pages in an Adobe file, though half of that is the cut and piece templates) I found that every photo and bit of information was useful. Erin was careful to pick fabrics for her photos that easily showed the right and wrong side of the fabric and labeled everything in the tutorial meticulously to keep me on track.
Her suggestion for materials was spot-on too. Erin recommends YKK zippers over Coats & Clark. For my own purse I bought YKK ones, because that is what the small quilt shop I was at had in stock. When I decided spur-of-the-moment at Joann to make a second purse, C&C was all they had, so I bought them. If I had kept the 2nd bag for myself, I probably would be going back and ripping out the zippers to put in YKK ones.
I really think this purse is a great project. If you even have a very basic knowledge of your sewing machine, this pattern is very do-able. Like I said, this was my first bag. I had never used sew-in interfacing before, and had only used fusible to back t-shirt quilts. If you follow the directions, I am sure you can end up with a bag that looks store bought for less than half the price. I can’t wait to make more. If you’re a girl and you know me, you’ll probably be getting one for Christmas.
Kelly introduced me to Erin virtually - and I must say, I’m so happy she did. I second the notion that my 2zip has been attached to my hip since I made it. The pattern is very well written, and even though I have some experience making bags before, I certainly learned some new, useful skills while making this bag (and it renewed my love of all things zip!).
The first 2zip I made was a lot of fun. Structurally it looks pretty good…my front zipper somehow managed to get a little lopsided, but I digress. Since the whole point of pattern testing is to, wait for it…follow the pattern, I did something I normally don’t do – used the pattern pieces. Here’s my beef with pattern pieces – I suck at using scissors. I can never cut the paper in a straight line, and never cut it on the right side of the line. So, I usually end up with a piece that’s anywhere from .25″ – .5″ off (especially when there is taping involved). Despite my crappy cutting ability, I still managed to put everything together. Pro-Tip: label every single piece of fabric and interfacing you cut. There are a lot of pieces and it’s easy to confuse them since many are very similar in size.
When the bag was finished, I was immediately in love with it. It’s so functional and sturdy, the only thing I wished was for it to be a bit larger. I went back and measured all of the taped pieces and emailed Erin asking her to confirm the sizes (the measurements were not in the pattern directions we were given)…I was way off!
Armed with the new information, I set out to make another bag. Oh darn, right? So happy I did, because this one turned out even better than the first…and it was bigger! Hooray!
Like Kelly, I received a bunch of compliments on the bag and I plan on making them as gifts, too.
Thanks Erin for letting us test your pattern!