Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jane's Little Boxy Bag Review

I've been following Jane's blog Projects by Jane for ages and have always loved her bags. Then back in March when she was holding a giveaway for her cute little drawstring bag I won the giveaway, you can see my post on that HERE, I was over the moon.

A short while ago I thought I'd try my luck and get in touch with her about testing. I was too late for this little boxy bag but she said I could do a review if I wanted. Even better, I get to make a bag without having to check the pattern over.

Here's my boxy bag.

The pattern arrived in my inbox and I took a look expecting it to be pretty ordinary but was I in for a surprise. I test for a lot of independent bag designers who are all brilliant at what they do, they'd have to be to get me to understand a pattern LOLL but this pattern was just amazing. All the questions I used to have when I first started pattern testing were answered in this one pattern. She explains about stitches, curved edges, how to determine the seam allowance, how to use the pattern pieces and how to place them on the fabric, all with illustrations and photos. It's extremely detailed and very well written. It even shows you how to measure your zipper, something I had always wondered. Do you measure from the ends of the zipper or the metal tabs? It's all in this pattern.

Jane's pattern has beautiful large photos of each step with digital illustrations as well just to make sure you know what your doing and it made me smile to see she does something that I just recently started doing and thought I was going mad. We mark our seam allowance with a marker to make sure it's nice and straight and even LOLLL. Is that the perfectionist in us or are we nuts? LOLLL

I stuck to the pattern but only made one change and that was I used fusible fleece which I quilted onto the fabric with wavy lines but it's hard to see in the photos because the thread is so similar to the fabric. There is a lot of thickness at the folded ends so I would suggest sticking to Jane's recommendations for interfacing unless you have a good industrial machine.

 I love how the ends fold and I love that it has handles too.

If you notice inside there are no bound seam allowances. The inside seams are all hidden between the lining and the outer bag.
I'm going to keep this bag for myself as a toiletry/makeup bag. It's just the perfect size measuring approx 8.75" (22cm) across the bottom, 4.5" (11.5cm) depth and 4.5" (11.5cm) from top to bottom.
I didn't interface my lining becasue I had used fusible fleece on the outer bag and it was fine that way.

There are tabs at both ends to make opening and closing the zipper easy.

I've made this type of bag before from free tutorials but they had bound seam allowances which can be a bit of a pain. This method is much easier and tidier. I definitely recommend this pattern and because it's so detailed I'm sure someone new to bag making could tackle it without any problems.

If you'd like to make one then you can find the pattern HERE at Jane's etsy store and up until the end of December there is a coupon, MIASCREATION2014 (all caps) for 25% discount.

Now I'm back to making more things for the Olive shop and even tried to take photos to do a tutorial for the mobile pouches I showed you HERE but the lighting is so bad that I'm going to have to put it off for when the sun comes out. We've had nothing but constant rain lately.

Thanks for stopping by

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~


  1. Very pretty bag~ I do love the sides~ I also like the fabric you picked!!! Always nice Maria!

  2. Love it! You always do such a perfect job!!! Nancy

  3. Hello! Thank you for the review. It's a little strange reading about my own pattern from another person's perspective! I knew you wouldn't have any trouble making the bag because you're such an experienced bag maker. The bag you made is lovely. Good choice with the lining, zipper and handle. You even use the same colour for the font in the image! I see a little bit of myself in you. Ahem... you remind me of myself during my craft market heyday... Except your range is much wider. When writing up the pattern, I made a few samples of the bag, a couple of which I keep for future photography but one of them I'm using every day when I go for short trips to the supermarket or food court.

  4. I have this pattern on my dining room table, waiting for me to get to it. I do love a good little pouch like this :)

  5. Hi Maria,
    another lovely Bag! Love the frabrics you choosed!
    Happy sewing week, I just finished another Shopper ;O)

  6. It's a beautiful bag Maria. Doesn't look too complicated to make either.

  7. Great bag and great review, Maria. I've seen boxes like this but not with handles for a purse. Loving the pink!

  8. I really like that design, and your fabric and trims - I think most (if not all?) of Jane's patterns are finished properly inside, with no raw edges. A lot of other designers could learn from her - it's the sign of a good designer to do things properly!

  9. Love it. What a cute cosmetic bag. As always, yours looks terrific. Enjoyed your blog and learning about Jane. Will need to add this to my list to order.

  10. Very cute bag and a great review. Your choice of fabric is lovely. I'm going to take a look to Jane's blog now

  11. Your bag turned out really pretty. One thing I like is that it has handles. I've seen a lot of boxy bag tutorial but none of them have handles.


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