Friday, January 24, 2014

The Uptown Girl Bag

The third bag I made this month is a design by Christine at ChrisW Designs that I had the pleasure of testing. Ever since I've been making bags I've always wanted a leather bag. Don't get me wrong I love fabric bags but I just wanted a leather one for a change. Although my Pfaff has always served me well it didn't like faux leather much and I always had problems sewing it so I didn't bother. Then last year I got my industrial sewing machine and it loves faux leather and real leather so as soon as I saw this pattern I knew it was for me.

It has two slip pockets on the outside ideal for keys and phone. Inside there's 4 slip pockets,  2 pen pockets and an interior zippered divider pocket.

If you can't find cable ties or regular boning for the zippered divider pocket then try this. It's used for packing fridges, tv's etc. Really strong and rigid it worked perfectly. I got mine for free from a local electric appliance dealer who was happy to hand it over.

When making the outside body of the bag I learned that the faux leather could be stuck down with a leather glue onto the foam I was using.

But I think I didn't apply enough because after applying it in the evening I left it overnight to dry and in the morning found it was all bubbly. This technique is used by bag makers here and makes the bag nice and rigid. I guess I need a bit more practice but the fumes from the glue were pretty overpowering. Not wanting to cut out another outer bag I decided to stitch over the front and was happy with the result.

Christine used ready made handles and grommets on her bag. I couldn't find the grommets so I made these tabs and handles. They were only an inch wide which made it really difficult to turn the tabs inside out but with a bit of pulling and tugging and a lot of sweat I managed to do it.

I decided to sew the bag bottom to the foam I used to make sure it wasn't going to slip around as I wasn't using bag feet like in the pattern.

Finally the bag was finished with a recessed zipper to keep everything safe. Again I made a slight modification. I made both zipper ends longer as opposed to one long and one flush against the recessed zipper tab and I used these nickel zipper tabs rather than make my own.

I've been using my bag for the last few days and love it. Loads of room for the essentials and still room to hide a little bit of fabric LOLL. Make sure you check out the other testers bags HERE, they did an amazing job and as you will see this bag will look beautiful made in pleather or fabric.

If you'd like a copy of the pattern then go HERE to get yours straight away and if you sign up for Christine's newsletter you get 20% discount. This bag really is excellent value with or without the discount.

I also made a makeup bag in faux leather to go with my new Uptown Girl bag but I'll show you that in a few days time, this post has been pretty photo heavy.

Thanks for stopping by

~ Maria ~


  1. Love this bag! impeccable work as usual Maria!

  2. Your bag turned out great Maria! I like the quilting on it and who knew you could even quilt through the pleather? I wouldn't have thought of doing that! I like your long zipper at both ends too. I will keep that in mind the next time I do a recessed zipper. I though you turned in the raw edges for making the tabs for your handles, but then I read that you sewed them right-sides-together and turned them?! Wow great job! I would have been swearing like crazy if I had done that, LOL!!!!! You are amazing!

  3. Great results! Your bag is stunning. People are going to be surprised it was handmade. I love this design. Very sophisticated! Thanks for the tip about the faux boning. I didn't use any, I just interfaced the pocket pieces so they were sturdy but if I would've known about this tip I could've use some of that thingy.

  4. Well you already know how much I LOVE your bag! I'll pass on trying the gluing though...I prefer to keep my fingers separate and movable and not STUCK together or permanently attached to a bag! LOLLL

  5. Impeccable is right - that's another fabulous finish! My machine would take one look at that pattern and those fabrics, and would run SCREAMING out of the room - I've seen it act that way with 2 layers of denim, LOL. Definitely not industrial - you get to work with such great fabrics with yours!

  6. It's a gorgeous bag Maria. The finish is immaculate - no-one would have a clue it is handmade:)

  7. Wow !!! It's perfect, like always. Thank you for the tips

  8. Spectacular!! What a beautiful bag! Thanks for sharing with us all the details you did in the fabrication of this bag. You surprised me again! Everything is perfect .. wow!
    I loooooooooooove this bag :)


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