Pick out a couple of coordinating quilted fabrics, mix and match patterns, stripes, and trims to create your own Vera Bradley-style bags, and even a zipper makeup bag and glasses case. Mixing quilted and non-quilted, solid, stripes, checks, and prints works just fine together as long as you stay within the same color pallette.This sewing pattern and instructions will guide you through making all shapes - zipper makeup bag, several sizes of purse and tote, lunch bag, and duffle bag. Most have zipper closures, but the lunch bag has a tab with hook and loop tape. You'll need to use a stiff piece of *cardboard or plastic to put in the bottom of the bags to help keep them crisp and standing up. You should get started making a bag or two, and you'll be hooked! They're easier than they look, and so much fun to carry. Simplicity Crafts, 1996.
*I like to use thin plastic cutting boards for the stiffening. I buy these at the discount stores, usually in a package of 3 or 4 for $5 or so. They are easy to cut and insert, and hold their shape better than cardboard, especially on the corners.
* * * My Mind Wanders * * *
The first time I made a Vera-style bag, I went all out -- I put in multiple pockets inside and outside, several zippers, and little feet for it to sit on. After all, I've been sewing 60 years, and I should have been able to handle a bag - no problem, right? Well, I got the thing finished, but I was sick of it by the time it was finished. For my next bag I chose a simpler design with fewer bells and whistles, and I chose non-quilteds for the lining and some of the trims. It went together quickly, and I was much more satisfied with the construction and finishing methods, as well as the finished purse. Now I'm more comfortable designing and sewing bags, and I enjoy adding all the extras, but sewing a simpler bag occasionally is also satisfying. Simple tote bags, especially, can be a huge scrap and stash buster. We're always looking for quick and easy projects to help us use up all the scraps in the house. Making purses and tote bags is a good way to start.
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