Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Not One but Two Cooper Bags

When Colette Patterns released The Cooper Bag, I knew I had to make it.  I really enjoy making bags, something relaxing about the construction.  I think it is the straight sewing, lots of topstitching and occassionally, I just like not having to fit.



 Canvas and faux leather are some of the recommmended fabrics, which particularly appealed to me. Mood Fabrics' Beige/Silver Sparkle Canvas was my main fabric choice, which in person has more of a gold look.





 

And my contrast fabric is Mood Fabrics' Brown Solid Faux Leather


 When selecting a faux leather, I just made sure the description said good for bags, such as this faux leather's description "Medium-weight with some pliability, this vinyl is best for accessories, like handbags, totes "

I was going to make this for myself but realized it is just too big.  This bag is huge and perfect for a student.  As, I was making this bag, Meredith said, "If you don't want it, I will take it."  So that is what I did.



 A few extras on Meredith's bag:  I covered webbing with the faux leather and added purse feet.  In retrospect the webbing provides great stabilization but adds so much thickness to the straps.  It was all my machine wanted to sew through all these layers, so take this into account if you do fabric handles.  With such thickness I could not use the  metal  slides to adjust the strap length.   Meredith put the bag  over her shoulder and I cut the strap to the appropriate length.


The back of the bag


  Many of you know, I have four adult daughters, the youngest two are twins, freshman in college.  In our house the twin factor is very similar to the book,  If you Give a Mouse a Cookie but with a theme  if Mom makes something for one twin, you can bet the other twin wants something very similar.  That indeed happened, Kaitlyn said, "I want one of those, too."  I had enough fabric  to squeeze out another bag. The only difference is Kailtyn has the sparkle canvas for her strap, which only is the sparkle fabric.  Much easier for my machine to handle.



I added a shoulder pad to Kaitlyn's


  A close-up of Kaitlyn's bag:



  The rivets add so much to the bag, just a little extra which you would see in a RTW bag




  Some tips with the faux leather
  • use a teflon or a non-stick foot
  • pin always in the seam allowance
  • I lengthened my stitch a bit when topstitching about .5
  • use the appropriate needle, which my Fabric Savvy book said was a 90
Another tip, which I learned on the second bag, wait to insert the female snap after the flap is constructed and basted on the bag.   This helps tremendously to match the straps perfectly and keeps the alignment straight.  The pink dot is the placement mark, which if you push hard on the male snap, leaves an indentation in the canvas and you have the correct placement.






  Don't let this bag intimidate you, it is so doable.  Colette Patterns has a great sewalong, which has the construction steps broken down in sections, this helps the bag from being overwhelming. I used stash quilting cotton for the lining and here are a couple blog posts with construction information (here and here)





  As my girls head off for their second semester, they have two good looking messenger bags to use on campus   And they sure do like their straps different lengths!









10 comments:

  1. Wow. . Awesome bags, love the two-tone colors and the playful lining.

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    1. Thank you, Sheila, the fabrics make the bags.

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  2. These are so cute! I've said it before and I'll say it again-- your daughters are so lucky!

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    1. Thanks so much, now on the daughters - I am the lucky one, the fill my life so much.

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  3. Lori, the bags are awesome! The bag is a great design. Your choice of fabric and faux leather really made them look like RTW!

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    1. Thanks, Dharma, I do love these bags.

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  4. I agree with you--sometimes it's great not to FIT!!!!!!
    The bags look great and the rivets and feet really make it look RTW.

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    1. Thanks, Kyle, those small rivets do make a difference.

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  5. I love these bags! I am so jealous...I have always wanted to have twin girls. :-) However I am blessed with one daughter whom I love dearly.

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    1. Thanks so much, the bags are great and the girls are even greater!

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