Rosie Cross-body Bag in Faux Fur Fabric!

After making a couple of Glenda Convertible Clutches, I'm ready to try another pattern by Swoon.  In case you haven't come across them, Swoon Patterns;

  • are inexpensive
  • "create bags that are simple, clean and easily modified by the advanced sewist" 
  • use diagrams rather than photos
  • do not go into minute detail on the instructions

Just saying, so you know what to expect!  I find that bit about "easily modified by the advanced sewist" rather liberating, especially as I have a couple of things I want to try using the Rosie Crossbody Bag PDF Pattern!

IDEA NUMBER ONE - 

I want to create a faux fur Rockabilly/Hollywood Glam Style bag, using Velboa Tiger Skin fabric. I've been admiring some in Etsy (like this one, now sold).  I could do with a white hook on a white wall like this for my photos!

IDEA NUMBER TWO

The second one is to use re-cycled pink denim and corduroy and add a patchwork Butterfly as an applique on the decorative panel, like I did on the flap of this one, but using pinks.

1. Sewing my Faux Fur Rosie Crossbody Bag

1. FABRIC and INTERFACING

I bought my Velboa skin from Minerva Crafts.  I chose tiger and leopard, and I'm using the tiger for this bag.  I've never sewn with Velboa before.  It's very soft and floppy, and the wrong side is slick and nylon-ey (?!).

Trying out different interfacings

From the outset I knew I wanted to use ByAnnie's  Soft & Stable interfacing to give this bag structure, and this fabric really needed the support!  I used the Velboa pattern pieces to cut out the Soft & Stable, and a temporary spray adhesive to hold it in place so I could machine baste it on 1/8" from the edge.

Making Leather Bags

For the lining I had a remnant I picked up in a charity shop I wanted to use as it was a good colour and quality.  It's a rather unusual combination of orange with a pattern of pink and gold swirls!

I used Vilene G700 woven fusible interfacing on the lining, which is similar to Pellon SF101.  

For the strap connectors and the strap itself I am going to recycle some black needlecord.

I did try using Velboa for the strap, but after trying several different interfacings and stitch lengths to make this sample, I came to the conclusion I would have to use something else!  One of the things I didn't like about it was that the Velboa didn't look good with topstitching, and that would have to be factored into my *bag's construction.

Bag front, with a flash of lining (sorry it's so dark, the sun hasn't shown here for days now)

2. CONSTRUCTION NOTES 

With everything cut out and interfaced, I could start assembly.  As I am not using the suggested fabrics, I took things very carefully, for instance -

I did NOT fit both parts of the magnetic snap, just the part on the front of the bag.  I will fit the part on the flap later on, when I can check the placement on my version

I DID hand baste all the pieces together before sewing, so I could remove those hated pins before sewing up.  (I always get pricked, they distort the fabric, and if I miss one they will break my needle!) 

Finished bag from the back

Here are my general Tips for sewing with Soft and Stable and Velboa;

  • Use a longer stitch than normal
  • Use a quilting needle to get through all the layers easily
  • Use a walking foot if you have one (mine is on all the time these days)

THE ZIPPERED POCKETS

Now Swoon likes to sew their pockets differently to my usual method (i.e. using the pocket front to make a facing for the slot in the bag piece, attaching the zipper to the faced slot, then attaching the back of the pocket to finish).

However I know it's not the only way.  This alternative does not add a facing but attaches the zipper directly to the bag exterior, then attaches the pocket pieces to either side of the zipper tape, then joins them.  I had read about this method on the Emmaline Bags blog here but I had never tried it.  

The exterior pocket, unzipped to show the furry lining

To make it even more interesting for myself, I chose to use the Velboa for the pocket lining in the exterior zippered pocket, rather than the lining fabric.  I should have fussy-cut the flap I suppose, but this is a pretty good match by accident! 

I had cut a large slot in the Soft & Stable, but still could not get the Velboa to turn back neatly. I decided to give up and use the pocket lining piece to make a facing, BUT then attach the zipper to the pocket lining NOT the bag exterior, as I already knew any topstitching on the outside would look awful.  

Inside the pocket - left hand side pushed up by Soft & Stable, right hand side stitched flat

This worked well on the outside, with no stitching showing as you can see, but the zipper could not lay flat inside as the Soft & Stable formed such a thick step.  I guess I could have tried to trim the S&S into a slope, but instead I hand stitched the outside edge of the zipper tape to the Soft and Stable (without any stitching showing on the outside) so it lay flat. Then all I had to do was attach the back of the pocket.  

Close up of finished zipped pocket, with no stitching showing

Unorthodox, a bit of a 'mash up' but hey, it worked.  No stitching showing, and the zipper's in.  This one has a dangly pull.  When it came to the interior zipped pocket, I started to do it the Swoon way but I wasn't happy about the slot corners. 

The inside, showing the finished zipped pocket

 I considered stitching around the box before cutting it open, but then decided I may as well do it the usual way and be happy!  I added a divided patch pocket on the opposite side, just because I could.

THE STRAP CONNECTORS

Cord strap connectors, velvet strap, lovely curves!

I am using recycled black needlecord, and the fraying raw edges worried me rather.  As a result I hand-basted the ends, butting them together tightly so they couldn't fray, before machine stitching them in place.  

I'm using these 1 1/2" silver rectangle rings and a matching slider I bought from 'Sewing Patterns by MrsH' on Etsy last year.

ASSEMBLY

The bag actually came together very well.  I don't enjoy gussets (called bottom/sides panel here) but the Soft and Stable helped no end, holding everything steady and flat and it went like clockwork!  Easy Peasy!  I decided to stitch the seams twice, then overlocked them too.  Probably a little overkill there!

The inside, showing the extra slip pockets

This is when I fitted the magnetic snap to the flap, and it needed to be much lower down to allow for the thicker fabric and interfacing I had used, so I'm glad I waited!  Although you can see the patch of extra fleece I added in the photo, it doesn't show in real life! 

Once the bag was turned right side out, I slip-stitched the opening closed then edge stitched around the top by hand too, so no stitching would show on the outside.  I used a very small running stitch, and needed a thimble to get it through.

FINISH

I decided against using the rest of the needlecord as I would have had to join multiple pieces to make it long enough for the crossbody strap.  I had a pair of black jeans with a velvet-like pile and used some that to make the strap instead, as it only needed one join.  I remembered to use my denim needle, and the stitching went smoothly.  

I confess I don't normally use a crossbody strap - for one thing it reminds me of wearing my school satchel, (yes, it was a long time ago) for another I don't like dragging things over my head.  However it can be a useful feature, and the extra hardware looks nice!  I have to say she has a lovely curvy shape, feels nice to the touch and stands up all by herself.  I may have to edge stitch the flap by hand though, I don't like the lining showing.

I've just filled her up with all my usual 'stuff' and it all fits nicely.  The only thing I forgot was a key leash, but I could add one by hand (or with a rivet) if need be.  The sun came out so I rushed around getting some better photos!

Now my summer bag can be washed and tucked away for next year... can I hear purring?

Rosie Crossbody Bag PDF Pattern

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Comment by Karen on December 9, 2014 at 6:14pm

Featured in ChrisWDesigns Bag Brag Tuesday Linking Party No 78

ChrisW Designs

Check it out for all the other bags on show!

Comment by Brenda J. Moore on December 9, 2014 at 12:45pm

Loving this one completely!  I have a variety of faux-furs and have been trying to figure what else to do with some of them.  This is totally ROCKIN' the HILLBIILY!  

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