Blue Calla Dahlia Drawstring Bag

I have a rather large collection of lovely Blue Calla patterns but never seemed to get around to making one. I’d been coveting the Lewis and Irene Minshan range for quite a while and so, when I found myself with some time on my hands, I decided the Dahlia would be Minshan’s perfect partner.

I was a bit short on leather so treated myself to some beautiful yarn dyed Essex Linen from Emma’s Fabric Studio. This was the first time I’d ordered from Emma but it certainly won’t be the last! The fabric arrived quickly and was so beautifully packaged with a personalised note from Emma……I don’t know about you but in a market where prices are very similar wherever you shop, it’s little touches like this that will make me come back and order again.

Cutting out took a little bit longer than an average bag because of all the additional accents but it’s worth it as these add that little extra to the bag.

After thinking about interfacing choices, I decided to use foam on the front and the back of the bag. I used sew in and I attached it to the outer of the bag, not the lining. the pattern called for fleece in the sides but I felt with the SF101 and the linen pockets, it didn’t need it. I may change my mind after I’ve used it for a while!! Construction was simple, effectively four pieces of fabric forming a tube. Now, at this point, I should have applied my attention grabbing rivets as per the pattern but I forgot! By the time I remembered, I had the bag base sewn in and I got scared of making a mess of it and having to start from scratch so I made the executive decision to leave them off! When it came to sewing in the base, I just could not get it in without a small pucker in the bag. Next time I make this bag, I will probably increase the seam allowance on the seams of the tube a tiny, weeny bit as it’s easier to stretch a bag into a base than it is to get rid of excess fabric!

Inside, I added two zip pockets, one behind the slip pocket. I didn’t have hardware for the size of the strap used in the pattern so I made a one inch wide strap, instead.

And, so, the lining was in, the bag was all but done…..just the small matter of 12 rather large eyelets to install! Tip: Before you go anywhere near your bag with an eyelet installing tool, do a test installation on scrap fabric with the same amount of interfacing applied! My rivets were quite deep and so installed perfectly on the front and back of the bag but would have been quite loose on the sides so I cut some small squares of foam which I put in situ through the gap in the lining, ensuring a nice snug fit.

The Dahlia really is a great pattern. Celine’s instructions are clear and there is plenty of photos to refer to so a confident beginner could happily dive right into this pattern. The extra touches and trims and extras like the top stitched seams add a real professional touch.

I love this fabric so much, I made a matching scarf and my first ever NCW wallet (blog post on this to follow!).

Until next time, friends……


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