I bought this bag pattern a while ago as a possibility for a friend, but she never got back to me to have it made so I decided to make it for myself. When I was getting bored one day, waiting for fabric to be chosen for my next project (see my blog on the co-ordinating travel bag set!) I thought "I know, I can make up that convertible bag while I'm waiting!" so I chose some recycled denim, ticking and a rather nice Japanese Sevenberry Linen print to mix up for the exterior. For the lining I chose a soft floral printed denim cotton.
There is a story behind the linen print; last May I bought it on eBay to make a Stow-it-All for my sister who wanted blue roses, and it was posted put on the 31st May. A couple of weeks later eBay refunded the money as it had not turned up and the vendor didn't have any more to send me.
I chose this blue roses fabric for her Stow-it-All bag, and I think she liked it better. Then in August an unexpected parcel turned up, dated 31st May, containing the missing fabric! Where had it been for three months? No one knows, it's a post office mystery! I immediately contacted the vendor to give her the good news, as I needed to pay for it again as although it was too late for the bag it was meant for, I was sure I would want to use it for another.
I read through all the instructions, nothing I couldn't manage. I worked my way steadily through the cutting and interfacing, although I kept changing my mind about which fabric I wanted where. Then I started construction. At the bottom of step four it said "If you wish to quilt your bag exterior, now is the time to do so." I hadn't thought about quilting them until then, but as I was using ByAnnies Soft & Stable I thought "okay, I can do that." I used one-inch diagonal squares and quilted the flap too, then quilted the front pocket along the ticking stripes! Overkill?
Next was creating the strap, and here I decided to do a little mix and match as I was running short of the denim! Funnily enough there was a tutorial about creating Jazzy straps by slicing in the main and contrast fabrics on Chris W Designs blog last week, so you can use that if you want to do something similar!
When I came to step 54) Repeat steps 27) - 37) to sew the outer zipped pocket. So I went back and followed steps 27-37. Then I went back to step 54 to read the next sentence "Position the pocket piece (I) 3" (7.5 cm) from the central crease". Ooops! In step 27 it had said..."Position it approximately 4 1/2" (11.5 cm) from the bottom edge....." This meant my back strap channel wouldn't fit over the top of my zipped pocket. I fitted it underneath, but it was too low to work properly! Panic!!... and then I realised I had no need to convert it to a backpack as I don't want to wear it that way, so I left the channel and bottom tabs off altogether! Problem solved, calm restored.
I did go back to the instructions and bracketed the two sentences together and highlighted them just in case I make it again for someone who does actually want it to convert. I am very happy with my new bag, it is the perfect size, my iPad fits in easily and the front pocket is handy (and safe) for my mobile. The only modification I might make would be to make the zippered pockets deeper.
This was the first time I had tried a thumb catch (or tongue lock) and that was fun too, I bought two from 3DAN Supplies on Etsy as I wanted exactly the same ones as Samantha had used on her cover bag. When it came to adding a bag base I didn't have any plastic canvas, and I couldn't sew in a piece of template plastic, so I used a piece of Pellon Peltex. It was good enough for the Totes Ma Tote so I was sure it would be good enough for this plus I could sew it in, as per the instructions. It worked just fine.
There was a short pause in construction while I got on with my travel bag set commission once I had the fabrics, then I went back and finished this bag. So, here is my Convertible Bag, without the convertible bits! Does that make it the un-convertible bag?