After Monday night’s bump in the road, I was able to finish up this bag for my Instagram tote swap partner on Tuesday night. The topstitching around the mouth of the bag is far from perfect. I sewed, ripped it out, sewed again, and finally left it because although it still isn’t as good as I wish it was, I realized that it’s as good as it’s going to get.
I must admit that the topstitching debacle left me feeling frustrated by this bag, despite the fact that everything leading up to that last step gave me happiness and a sense of accomplishment. I have been reminding myself that overall, I’m really proud of how well this turned out. It’s by far the most technically difficult bag I’ve made and 95% of the construction is really pretty darn good.
The pattern is the Evelyn bag by ChrisW Designs. Over the last 3+ years, I’ve made enough bags to realize that a contributor to my topstitching misfortune was the way the lining was inserted into this particular bag. As part of that process, you always have to leave an unsewn gap to allow for turning the bag right-side-out at the end. That gap then has to be closed with topstitching or handstitching, and in my experience getting the seam to lie just right is always a little tricky.
Most patterns I’ve used leave that gap in the bottom of the lining where any wobbles are nearly invisible — because no one stares at the bottom of a bag lining. But this pattern left the gap along the mouth of the bag smack in the front. In hindsight, I could have easily modified this pattern to leave the gap in the bottom of the lining, so I’ll keep that in mind if I use this pattern again!
I really love the fabrics here — all three are from the Acacia collection by Tula Pink. I’m kind of on the fence about Tula Pink fabrics in general, but my partner listed her as a favorite fabric designer and I obviously wanted to do something she will like. Happily, I do really like this particular collection and colorway too.
In the end, despite my nitpicking and perfectionist tendencies, I totally want to keep this bag for myself. I figure that is the best sign of all that I made something good for a swap partner, and I hope she enjoys it!