Sewn: Stowe Bag #3

If I make anymore of these, I promise that I will not post about them; three is definitely more than enough..

Note: I purchased this pattern and all opinions are my own.

This is my third attempt at Grainline's Stowe Bag and over the weekend I finished off the big (lined) version.  I have also made two small versions (one lined and one as per the original instructions).

And I still am in two minds with this pattern. The original idea behind me making this bag was to store knitting in it.  I am teaching a girl a work how to knit and thought something to put her projects in would be nice.

Here is the first one I made:

With this one, you can see the inside seams which I didn't really like. Even though I had overlocked them, it didn't look very nice.

But I must confess I use this bag all the time.  I throw in my wallet and phone and off I go.  I reckon if you put some nice binding somehow on the exposed edges inside it would look much better.

Next was Stowe Bag #2.  Whilst researching the above one, I stumbled along a post on how to line it.. I followed these and got a cute little big which has more structure than the first one. 

I use this one for my small knitting projects as I can put it in my large handbag that I take to work during the week.  Either that or I use it at home and drag it from room to room.

So now onto Stowe Bag #3.  I purchased fabric from Hawthorne Threads after trolling through 100's of fabric.  I used 3 fabrics, one for the outside, one for the lining and one for the inside of the pockets.

The outside was a denim but ended up being lighter than I thought it would be, whereas the fabric I used for the lining ended up being heavier than I thought it would be. 

I wanted to do the binding as the same as the main outside fabric, but didn't have enough for this so I just used store bought some. Gawd, I so suck at putting this stuff on.  Even after 3 goes I did a botched up job. Siobhan from Sewing with Dogs mentioned a binding foot.. Huh?  Just checked it out.. I am so getting one of these. What rock have I been living under? I have also discovered that I can get other feet that might help when sewing on binding (for quilting mainly but same thing). I am going to have a chat with the ladies at my local store where I bought my machine from. 

But back to the topic. 

Again following the instructions for lining the bag and with no issues, I whipped this bag up over a couple of nights; you could easily do this in one day btw.  

So what do I think? (I am sitting here writing this whilst screwing up my face).. Meh.  I think it is too big. Also part of the instructions to line it is to have you put some stiff interfacing on the bottom so as not to lose the gusset look. This has actually made it too stiff and it gives you a definite base (along with the square bottom of the lining).

So with the top being quite soft, it just doesn't hang nicely.  Also because of where the handles are situated, you can't really wear it over your shoulder; the bottom just doesn't sit right. You put your hands through the handles and the bottom is against your side - see the first picture to get my drift.

I also wonder if the overall look would have been different if I had washed the fabric first (which I will do for the next one). 

Not sure what I am going to use this bag for.  I still have to make a bag for Yang and poking around the web and checking other blogs, I remembered that Jillian from SewUnravelled made some Japanese Triangle bags (as did Anna from Blogless Anna). Jillian used this pattern from BurdaStyle and I think I am going to make one of these for Yang as this is more her style. I have the fabric all ready to go so can line it and I may also put in a pocket as well.

I think that this will be last one of these I make, if I don't feel the love for it yet, I don't think I ever will. I can't quite put my finger on why either.. I think the small one is a better design, whereas the big one is just too big. The handles are opposite to the bottom so it just doesn't sit right if you wanted to wear it over your shoulders and it is looks silly over your arm, but this is my opinion.  At least you can't say I didn't give it a go!

(since writing this post - I have tried to use this bag a couple of times and I can say that the big bag is a terrible design, which is due to the way the handles are placed.  You cannot wear this bag over your shoulder due to the fact that the bottom pokes in to you which means it just doesn't sit right. This is my opinion)



Stowe Bag by Grainline Studio (Designed by Fringe Supply Co)

Fabric used:
1. Casted Loops in Indigo by Art Gallery
2. Cross Weave in Ivory by Robert Kaufman
3. Feathers in Golden Canyon by Hawthorne Threads

Lined the bag