Bag envy – is that a thing? I think it is, as I do love so many bags that I see out there. This one caught my eye and I am happy to say the Ultimate Travel Bag by ByAnnie is ready for my retreat next week. OK, let’s be honest, I thought it might go to Ireland, but it didn’t. It really seemed complicated and I decided to take my time with it. But I did need something to go with me.
This bag* with the shoe compartment did and it was great but I did overstuff it….lesson learned. It was top heavy compared to my suitcase…due to boots and other sundry things, but perfect in many ways. However, I digress so lets talk about the Ultimate Travel Bag!
The Ultimate Travel Bag is perfect for shorter trips and this weekend it will hold my sewing projects. I would say it is half the size of the bag I took to Ireland. I spent months thinking about fabric and notions but finally made it! Here’s the story.
The Fabric & Quilting
It took me some time to move from pattern and fabric collection to a finished piece, but here are some of the choices I made.
I found this fabulous Blueberry fabric at the Maine Quilt show in July. I believe I picked up the pattern in June.
I decided to use this lovely lavender Island Batik that I had for the lining.
This bubble batik is the binding on the inside and also holds the plastic sleeve that keeps the bottom stiff. I bought it in October at Mainely Mimi’s. I really love it !
As I read the pattern I realized I wanted purple strapping*, that was acquired in August. It probably took me 5 months to acquire all the parts…some of it my ignorance about what I really wanted, and some of it just took time…living on an island an traveling seemed to add to it.
I did quilt this on my longarm using a Prostitcher design, called Angled Squares. This is a picture from the screen with the area all set up for quilting on Soft and Stable*, the “batting” Annie recommends. It really does give a nice body to the bag.
Making the Bag
It is a process!
First, the straps were made and the padded cover for the detachable/adjustable strap.
Then a bunch of pockets and the side piece. The buttons are on the bottom to protect the bag and help it stand. You can see some of the other pockets that go on the front and back above this strap. One is a double zip, one becomes a pocket with the trolley strap, and one is a big pocket for the inside. Also, there are pockets on each side and a strap with hardware for the removable strap to attach to on each side.
Next you add the inner pockets to the front and back and begin the assembly! Clips and a stilleto are your friend. You can maybe see I clipped the strap to the pocket so it didn’t get sewn into the wrong spot.
Bending the piece and getting it under the machine is a lot of wrestling. But eventually….
Here is the complete bag before turning right side out and one of the other interior ockets.
And, here, is the finished bag, right side out.
And just so you can see, a shot of the inside of the bag. I have been working on this New Year’s Day and finished it on the 8th. I didn’t work on it every day so maybe 6 days back and forth on it. This was the right way for me to make it as the instructions are dense.
My honest review is that:
1. It is a good pattern, but more pictures would be helpful.
2. The accompanying videos are great, watch them.
3. You need a good machine that doesn’t mind bulk.
4. Take your time and read and re-read the instructions. More pictures of what you are making would be helpful. Some of it is on the videos, some of it not.
You may remember that I was able to make a bonus from the quilted fabric, a Call Me Bag, before I even made the bag. There were leftovers, once I cut the pieces. If you haven’t done a lot of bag sewing, the Call Me Bag is a good way to start. Now, there are more leftover pieces, so I will make a few more things in a bit. I need to asses what is there and what I might want to make!
Coming Up on My Blog
Today we go to Medford (outside of Boston) for a few days. Monday to Wednesday I will be retreating with 4 of my Boston bee friends. There will be a SAHRR posts but nothing else really until those. Tips and Tutes will be another Electric Quilt video for some of the things you might want to know if you are doing SAHRR and want to play on the computer with choices.
SAHRR Center Block 1/15/24
Tips and Tutorials on the 22nd 1/21/24 (a day early)
SAHRR Round 1 1/22/24
Sea Glass Joy
I donated 11 yards to Common Threads of Maine in addition to the 4.25 for the bag. It is a nice jumpstart for the year!
Fabric in this month: 0 yards
Fabric out this month: 15.25 yards
Fabric in this year: 0. yards
Fabric out this year: 15.25 yards
NET Fabric: -15.25 yards