Happy Monday everyone! I know I've got one more look to share from the EXPLORER mini collection but it'll have to wait because today I have another Pattern Swap! And don't forget to read to the bottom, where I've got a few announcements!
Pattern Swap is a fun feature I've started to help support and collaborate with fellow indie designers. Each month I swap a pattern with another independent designer and we both sew them up and showcase them on our blogs. The sewing community is full of amazingly talented and I'm smitten to be able to work with a few of them! If you missed it, the first Pattern Swap with Kelli of True Bias is here.
Today I'm swapping patterns with Sara of Radiant Home Studio. She's got to be one of the kindest people on the internet. She makes and shares a variety of things on her blog, including some lovely sashiko embroidered projects that make me drooooolll. I first found Sara's blog while working on a parcel for Perfect Pattern Parcel- one of her patterns- the Water Bottle Tote- was one of the patterns in the parcel. She made an effort to comment on every blog post shared for that particular parcel and was so kind and complimentary to everyone. Ever since I discovered her blog I've been itching to make a Retro Rucksack, so that's what I've got to share with you today!
I haven't sewn many bags (just this and this) and I was a bit worried about the amount of time it would take, particularly since I procrastinated and made it this weekend, but I was able to pull it together rather quickly. I didn't feel there were corners cut in construction but her instructions were straightforward and easy to follow, even for a bag novice like me.
The top flips up after unbuckling and has a recessed zipper. The shoulder straps can be worn like a backpack, or if you loosen the strap slides and pull it through the top rings you can sport it as a cross body bag.
I love the versatility of this bag. I plan to use mine for outings with my kids. We are at a stage where we don't need lots of gear and extra clothes, just a few snacks, water bottles, and diapers for a day outing, so this bag is the perfect size. I omitted the inner zipper pocket and instead added some simple elastic loops to keep our water bottles upright.
The small side pockets are just big enough for my iPhone 4s, keys, or sunglasses. Or hey, maybe some chapstick and a small tube of sunscreen for a beach day?
This pattern was a great mix of simple, straightforward instructions as well as helpful tips, including a few appendices to help with sewing faux leather and other challenges you might encounter in bag sewing. I find this is often a hard balance for me, keeping things straightforward and streamlined while still providing helpful information, and I appreciate the way Sara was able to do that.
Because of my procrastination all of the fabric and bag hardware was purchased from Joann and Hobby Lobby. I'm lucky I was able to find all the necessary hardware! The fabric is Blue Duck Cloth for the accent, This Cloud 9 fabric for the outer (interfaced to provide stability), and this Cloud 9 fabric for the lining. I used these swivel hooks from Joann along with these D rings for the front. The slides for the strap are these ones from Hobby Lobby. I actually used those same ones and just removed the center bar for the top and bottom rings for the straps as well, except they only had 2 packages of the brass so the bottom ones are black. I know! That's my punishment for last minute shopping.
Don't forget to check out Sara's version of the Blue Ridge Dress HERE!!
And now for a few exciting announcements:
I was featured on the Reyna Lay Designs Podcast on Saturday! I had a great time visiting with her. You can listen to it HERE, and she's got lots of other great interviews to keep you busy while you sew!
I'm also offering a SALE on the Blue Ridge Dress in conjunction with the podcast and to prepare for an upcoming Sew Along! Now through Friday September 4th you can get 20% off the Blue Ridge Dress by using the code BLUERIDGERLD20.