About 3 years ago, I decided to look for a real leather purse instead of sticking with the $14.99 specials found at Kohl’s. I ended up with a black Tignanello bag, and it has served me well, but I thought for spring it would be nice to have something lighter and more fun. Enter Swoon Patterns and the free Laney hobo bag pattern. I had actually searched quite a bit trying to find the bag I was envisioning. I saw this bag early in my search and liked the hobo shape, but I had an idea in my head that didn’t exactly match the options I found. After coming full circle through the internet (exaggeration? nah.), I decided to take the Laney pattern as a starting point and modify it.
And then I stopped and thought maybe I should make one bag as written before I go off on a tangent like my wallet. I went back and forth a couple times, ultimately deciding to liberate fabric from my stash for my first go at bag making with a Swoon pattern. One yellow pillowcase found on clearance at Target, a bird print from Valori Wells’ Wrenly collection bought a few years ago on impulse, and a blue/white gingham print later, I have a new purse:
Surprisingly, I started this on Sunday and finished it (late) Monday night – quite possibly the least time I’ve allowed a project to languish in between sewing sessions. It came together so nicely, I’m tempted to make another. I debated putting the yellow on the inside and had to text my design consultant (Alana, I’ve given you a title) for her opinion. I had started assembling the panels when I laid a partial outside piece over a finished lining side.
Uh-oh. My default setting is to pick blue for everything, so seeing this I thought I made the wrong choice in keeping the gingham to the lining. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the yellow, just that the gingham was so cute. I pressed on as I had started though and I’m so glad. One of my favorite things is the blue lining peaking out around the yellow.
Of course, I couldn’t leave the pattern alone completely. I added my tag on the side seam shown above, in addition to a few modifications inside. The pattern calls for a tie closure, but I didn’t think it would suit me. Instead, I added a magnetic snap (too close to the edge, making it hard to top stitch). I also put in two basic slip pockets and a swivel hook for my keys.
I’m so happy with how this turned out. Also, the free pattern totally got me hooked; I will be much more likely to spring for a paid Swoon pattern in the future knowing how easy this was to follow. Overall, a great first experience with bag making. Now I think I might need to take some of the remaining bird print to make a small pouch to enhance the interior organization…aka to make it so I can carry more lip gloss/pens/hair things without them taking over my bag.