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Christmas Present for a Teenager - The Urban Bucket Bag (Little Moo Designs)

I liked the look of this bag as soon as I saw the one Bobbin Girl girl made on her Instagram page, and bought the epattern.  When my niece wanted a bag for her teenage daughter I suggested this one, and she agreed.  

We went shopping for fabric and came back with this furnishing fabric, a mixture of turquoise chenille, brown satin and gold stripes.  It is quite bulky, so I will have to be careful.

For the leather accent pieces I had some brown leather I was given, but it was a narrow strip, not wide enough for the base.  However, I have just treated myself to an upgrade, and bought the Janome Memory Craft 6600p.  I was delighted to find it had no trouble at all seaming the leather and then top-stitching down both sides!  Now I have a base with handy side seams for matching up with the main bag side seams later on.

To make the strap long enough I had to piece it, so I did it with the stripes across the as it was easier to hide the joins.  I top-stitched and experimented with some of the new decorative stitches I have.  This fabric does tend to fray so I used my over-locker and neatened all the edges.

This gorgeous batik is going to be the lining.  I know, it seems extravagant, but after you have gone round the store two or three times and come back to the same fabric every time, you know it's got to be that one!

Because of the gold in the fabric my niece wanted to have gold hardware so I bought it in gold and antique brass and let her choose.  She chose the antique brass, which is gorgeous and came from  I previously had antique brass which was just a paint effect and looked rubbish, this is so much nicer.  I chose the matching triangle rings instead of D-rings, and I think they will work really well.

Initially I wanted to use leather for the pocket flap, then realised I would have to use it with the lining so the magnetic catch was hidden inside.  However, once I saw the result I really was under-impressed, it was just too plain.  It really needed that strap and buckle effect.  

Then I remembered something and rummaged through my hardware.  I found a couple of leather buckle magnetic clasps I bought years ago on e-bay and never used, and they would look great and actually work rather than be just for show.  You can get these ones from Bag Clasps Ltd here in the u.k.

Sadly this meant I had to I carefully unpick the entire pocket and flap and start again.  I cut a new pocket (with a fabric flap this time) then added the leather magnetic buckle, hand sewing it in place. I veered from the instructions and closed the openings by hand, so there was only one row of machine stitches when I attached it to the front of the bag.  I'm really happy with that, what a shame I didn't remember them earlier.  

I went on and added the leather trims.  I chose to cut half circles and add them after the front and back were joined, to cut down on bulk as suggested in the instructions.  (What I would really have liked is a machine to punch holes in the leather like the ones in the buckle, so I could have hand sewn the trims on too.)  I did try to match the stripes on the side seam, and it almost worked.

I skipped to making the strap next.  My concentration slipped for a moment and I messed up the spacing between my four rows of top-stitching but I hope it just looks quirky!  The ends were thick to turn and stitch but my machine walked over them easily enough.  I didn't add rivets as they would have broken my stitches.

I used leather for the tabs to hold my triangle rings and added some brass rivets there instead.  I'm pleased with the result, but maybe I should have added two at the bottom too? Once again they would have broken my stitches.  You really need to plan ahead for them.

When it came to the lining the pattern leaves it plain, but I thought a zipped pocket would be good to keep a phone or purse secure.  I found a zipper I had reclaimed from something that was a reasonable colour match and had quite a chunky pull.  My new machine has this handy extra lift for the pressure foot so sewing the zip with the walking foot (Accufeed) worked well.

Once the lining was in I needed to add the eyelets.  This fabric was quite difficult to mark accurately even with my trusty Frixion pens.  I used Fray Check on the fabrics before fitting the eyelets.  Then it was time to make the drawstring and make a leather thing (like the one on the cover photo) that you use to pull the drawstrings tight (I don't know the technical term) rather than tie it on a bow.

I used the lining fabric to make the drawstrings, and tied knots in the ends, then slipped them through my leather thingy and pulled the straps tight.  I attached the strap to the triangle rings and it's finished!  It definitely has an 'edgy' vibe!  However I think if I made it again I would use Soft & Stable instead of fusible fleece, and plan my stitches around adding rivets better!

The Urban Bucket Bag (

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Comment by Susan on December 5, 2016 at 5:02pm


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