I just finished this adorable bag pattern and I had to show it off to you! If you’re relatively new to bag sewing, or lurking around the interwebs to scout some tips from sewists before you…. keep reading. I chose to start with the Bowl Me Over Bag pattern from ByAnnie Patterns.
(*This post is not sponsored by ByAnnie Patterns. Opinions are my own and I share them in hopes that you will learn from my experiences and be inspired!)
First off, I know I typically dabble my skills in the quilting corner of the sewing world. Today we’re going to go off track just a bit. 🥰 It is worth the ride.
I have to say that I would not consider myself a sewist of bags or a bag maker. Now that I have this bag behind me, I have slightly upgraded to bag maker in training. I still have some more to learn!
I’ve always been a little intimidated by bag patterns (which goes against my fearless/try-anything nature in the quilt-making corner). Don’t ask me why. I don’t have a good reason… it just seemed hard and I never let my brain really go beyond that thought to contradict myself or fully analyze WHY I was feeling that way.
Surely you have something in your life/craft world that you’re too scared to try too?
When I say “bags” I mean the purse style or overnight bags, not the cute little zipper bags or tote style bag! I’ve sewn those before and they don’t require a lot of special skills.
I actually have a tutorial for a super cute zipper box tote/pouch that is adorable!
The box zipper pouches are so fun and cute. They come together quickly and there is no reason you can’t keep a few of these on hand for a quick gift!
Even though these are technically “bags” I finally decided that enough was enough. It was time for the real deal bag patterns! I mean, you never know until you try, right?
If you are a seasoned bag maker…
Please forgive any misguided instructions, silly thoughts on my part or calling processes/steps by the wrong name. I am a self-taught girl. It will always be my first instinct to jump into a project feet first and ask questions later. 🤣 I doubt I will ever learn.
The Prep Work
I looked very closely over the required supplies list. I like that the ByAnnie company does have everything in their own brand to make shopping a little easier.
You can buy everything from their website and have everything shipped at once rather than sourcing out each item on Amazon. Here is a link to the ByAnnie website.
A little more about the supply list
I have read that some people prefer other materials to the ByAnnie branded items.
I’ve also been told that you can get cheaper versions of the same type of product or hardware from other stores.
If you’re fairly knowledgeable about the materials, I would suggest looking into them to save a little money when you can. (more money to spend on other craft supplies!)
I felt the prices on the ByAnnie website were fairly priced and convenience does have a price in my opinion too, but I’m not an expert!
The Bowl Me Over Pattern
I decided on the Bowl Me Over PatternbyAnnie Bag. – My reason? It would easily accommodate my ipad when I traveled around running errands without feeling like I was going on an overnight trip somewhere.
Just look at how darling these bags are! I love the look of traveling homemade!
My Fabric Choices
This was a hard step for me.
I felt like I was stepping out in faith even creating this bag in the first place. But putting off making a decision on my fabrics felt like I was dragging my feet to jump on this project.
I didn’t know if I wanted to make a “test” bag to work out any kinks or learning moments then followed up by a “final version” with my favorite fabrics… so I just went with some of my favorite fabrics to start with.
Carrie Bloomstom is one of my favorite fabric designers. I love her fabric. Everything she creates feels like my heart and soul. I am a graphic designer at heart. The blue with the newspaper star print is my favorite fabric in my collection! Just look how pretty it is!
I pulled the light aqua fabric as an accent fabric from my main fabric. There is just a small hint of it in there, but I feel like it was enough to make it all pop!
Isn’t this neon pinkish thread combo with the fabric just to die for? 🤩
My thoughts on the Pattern
The ByAnnie Patterns are very detailed. oh.my.goodness. very detailed. There are a lot of pages and diagrams within the pattern as well as complimentary access to pattern-specific videos on the ByAnnie website. (you have to buy the pattern and use the provided access code to see the videos)
I found the abundance of information really helpful at times and other times I was very overwhelmed. The process is different from the quilt patterns I am used to.
I also was not as familiar with the terminology as I thought I would be… It could just be because I am a newbie to the bag-making world from the quilting industry?
Overall, I feel like the pattern was very helpful and informative… you just have to take it slow and I learned it was better to assume that I knew nothing and proceed with caution when making cuts and seams.🤣
The Bowl Me Over Bag Making Process
Deciphering the pattern and cutting my pieces was the first hurdle… making the bag and sewing it all together was the second hurdle.
I am a perfectionist – to a point. I really really want to have a beautiful flawless project, but there were some mistakes that I had to learn to live with because if I didn’t… this bag would not be finished yet!
Done with a few flaws is better than never finishing because expectations are set too high. – Feel free to quote me on that but please don’t throw it in my face when I am angry with my seam ripper in hand lol
I have so many “learning flaws” in this bag! 😂 so many! To a random stranger, they won’t know or see the mistakes I see, but I know they are there.
Thoughts on your machine being up to the task of bag sewing
While my very reliable Janome sewing machine is up to just about every quilting task I’ve put in front of it… we struggled to sew all the layers of this bag together properly.
I completed proably about 90% of the Bowl Me Over Bag pattern on my machine without any trouble at all. The quilting, the zippers, the mesh lining and pockets were all slightly different than quilting, but worked fine for me.
That last 10%, however… was a bit rough. I struggled when it came to assembling the final steps of the bag.
With the multiple layers of fabric and layers of stability foam… It was A LOT of layers to sew through and keep in place!
I hated that I had to skip the final finishing step of the bag… which made me sad… It was to essentially bind around all of the raw edges in the interior of your bag so it would be nice and pretty… and not look like…. well… this mess!
You can’t see this detail from the outside of the bag… and usually, no one is going to go digging through my bag but me… however, I would have loved to have seen that pop of aqua binding in the interior of the bag! Wouldn’t you agree?
I felt that the thickness of the raw edges and the binding were going to be too much for my machine and my perfectionist tendencies to attempt. Especially after I ran into this issue… oops.
I might suggest going up on your needle strength too if you are sewing through all the bulk. I used quilting needles because they have worked well thus far, but I wonder if a Jean needle would have served me better?
Perhaps I could possibly go in and hand-stitch the binding in one day… It would be a fairly quick project… but it is on the back burner as far as urgency on the to-do list! Perhaps someday!
Also… I would like to openly admit that I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to snaps. And I am sorry because by this point, I was ready to be done with the bag.
I wasn’t in a bad mood or having a particularly hard time with it, but my alotted sewing time for the weekend was coming to a close and I had to cut a few corners to actually finish this bag! – Something else to ad to the list to learn another day!
Would I consider making the Bowl Me Over Bag pattern again?
If I decide to make this pattern again, I may look into nixing the foam that is recommended in the pattern and opting for a thinner, but still firm interfacing material instead to help the bag keep its upright shape with less bulk.
See My finished bag!
Here are a few pictures of the finished bag and all of it’s beauty… flaws and all.
I love it. I am truly happy that I decided to just go for it and make this pattern with my favorite fabrics! The jury is still out on whether or not I will make this pattern again… It could happen!
I hope you enjoyed reading about one of my latest sewing projects!
I love to share the things that I learn with you! If you have any questions (or any snap sewing tips! lol) leave them in the comments below!