Finished. Torn Straps. Revisions.
So, I finished my bag before my trip last fall, but I didn’t have time to write up a post. Then I traveled & the handles tore halfway off the bag on one side. I decided that I would wait to post until after I had fixed and reinforced the straps so that I could share with you all everything I did to modify the bag.
I had a tip to use a piece of Peltex and a zig zag stitch at the top of each handle:
Since I had to practically disassemble the entire bag to properly fix the handles, I also redid the zipper because I was having problems with it catching the fabric.
I followed the instructions for where to stitch and where to baste pre-zipper installation.
Then I pressed it open instead of pinning the zipper and took out the basting.
Then I pinned the zipper as shown below.
Please note: the “X” of pins at each end were temporary to keep everything from moving around until I was completely done pinning.
As you can see it’s now an exposed zipper.
After stitching, I trimmed the ends of the zipper, making certain that my zipper pull was within the confines of the bag. I also did a zig zag stitch across the end to reinforce it. Don’t worry, the zig zag stitch ends up hidden once you sew your bag ends on.
I sewed the ends back on then repeated the zipper pinning with my drop in lining. Because my machine is not super fancy, I have a hard time getting into tight spaces for sewing. I machine sewed the bulk of the top stitching, but I left long thread tails on each end and hand sewed up to each end of the bag where my machine wouldn’t reach.
And voilà! A much sturdier bag than before.
I also want to give feedback in the tip I mentioned on my last post: “I saw a tip on the Swoon FB group to cut your lining pieces 2.5% smaller (about 1/4″ all the way around) so that the lining sits better inside the exterior.”
I’m not sure if I made some sort of error and shrank the body pieces a different amount than the ends, but I had massive trouble getting them to fit together after following this tip.
It all worked out in the end, but I would recommend just cutting according to instructions and sewing with a slightly larger seam allowance instead, if you are concerned with fit. The excess fabric can always be trimmed down after sewing.
Here’s the finished bag (stuffed with 3 large bath towels to give it shape, but could have fit another):
Oh, also, I double folded the ends on the adjustable strap, so that it has a fold edge instead of a raw edge showing.
All-in-all the pattern was great! Very clear instructions with enough diagrams and illustrations. The layout was well-ordered, and didn’t leave out any needed supplies. I think all the changes / tips I followed had more to do with personal taste than any deficiency in the pattern.
The only exception I would say is that the handles definitely need to be reinforced at the top if you are not using rivets or grommets (possibly not a problem with the heavier duty fabric / thread options). Swoon Dallas 4.75 stars!