I don't know how long this will last, but I'm going with it.
Here are the teacher bags, all done.
I followed the tutorial at Rachel Griffith's P.S. I Quilt blog. I blogged about it a couple of posts ago: It's a simple tute, though I got bored stiff sewing 1.5 inch strips together for the body so on one I did four different size strips for each side, and on the other I pieced 3 same-size blocks for the sides.
I stuffed them with some Purell foam, Sticky Notes, a pen, a highlighter, tissues, gum, and candy.
I got really good at making these. I even memorized the tutorial. So, even though I've been looking for the perfect bag for my iPad with Otterbox case (seriously, I've spent about 12 hours total searching the web for an easy-enough-for-me pattern/tutorial that has what I want (not picky there, but definitely no rounded corners, pleats, ruffles, etc.), I decided to give this bag a try, making it bigger.
A month or so ago, I bought this fabric at IKEA (at the time, I had NO idea IKEA sold fabric!). It's heavyweight, almost (but not quite) canvas.
So I decided to practice with scrap fabrics, so that I could get all the measurements and adjustments right and written down.
I'm not good at the math involved in increasing fabric cut sizes in patterns and tutes, so I decided to eyeball it.
I had made my sister, a lover of all things pigs, a table topper one Christmas and didn't like how the first one turned out, so I made her another. But I saved the first one.
I put my iPad on it and it seemed like if I cut it in half and put another equal-sized fabric in between, it would be close to the perfect size. AND it would show off the pigs.
The bag is really busy because of all the scraps, but here is as far as I got today.
The dimensions so far are 12 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and 3 inches deep. When I make it again, I'm going to knock an inch or so off the sides and decrease the depth to 2 inches. The straps will all be one fabric, too, but I didn't have enough of one fabric to make long enough straps for this practice bag.
Also, I'm dying to try Soft and Stable because the fusible fleece I used for this isn't as sturdy as I'd like it. It doesn't need to be, though, because I'm not looking for protection for the iPad as the Otterbox takes care of that. But still, I'm just not into floppy purses.
You can see on the left of the bag that I have a phone pocket pinned on. I've already changed my mind; I'll put it on the inside of the bag, because then I can just sew it on with the machine without worry about how it will look.
I am also going to put another pocket inside for my glasses, too, which I'm finding I need more and more. *Sigh* I'm not very fond of the aging process. I don't mind losing a breast, but I do mind losing my up-close vision. I'll split sew the pocket so that I can put a pen in the other. How organized am I?
Here are some things I've learned from this practice bag:
1. Make sure the direction of the fabric is correct for the sides (my pigs are upside down on one side, which can't be helped for the practice bag because I had to cut a table topper in half, and I couldn't very well turn the fabric upside down because then the border fabric would be near the bottom instead of the top).
2. Sew the handles on before I piece the two sides onto the bottom and leave a quarter inch hanging over (on the inside, which will be hidden by the lining).
3. Use fusible fleece on the handles. They're a little too floppy for my liking right now.
I'm excited about my practice bag! I think it's going to look quite scrappy when I'm done, imperfections and all.
Now I have to decide which fabric to use on which parts of the bag. Should I do three alternating wide strips on the sides and the striped fabric as the bottom, lining, and handles? I'm not sure about using any white on the bottom because of dirt. I could put feet on the bag to prevent any problems, but that would mean going to JoAnn's before I work on the new bag.
One more look at the choices:
Or, should I use the black fabric as the bottom and make it a little "taller" than the sides (showing it off more), the black-and-white swirly and chevron fabric as the sides, and the white and green fabric as the lining and straps. I could then use the striped fabric for pockets inside. I'm kinda' liking that option.
Or, same as above but having white and green fabric as the side (showing it off more), and the swirly-and-chevron as lining and straps. I'm just not sure how those swirls and chevrons will play on the straps. But I think that fabric won't show dirt from use (oil from my hands, etc.) as much as the white and green.