I love it when a new or upcoming event requires a new pattern! Hub is planning a trip to the UK so I started looking for a satchel bag pattern as a walk-about bag. I presented him with a selection of patterns for men’s bags from which he quickly selected the Chris Satchel by Uh Oh Creations – yay, a Canadian designer!
Hub grew up in and around London in the UK and has only been back a handful of times. Hub and Son are taking this trip together to explore and see his old stomping grounds and share a few British pints along the way. They will also visit our daughter in Liverpool.
So this is a serious undertaking. No more goofing around with pretty embroidered hats and cute, adorable small wallets. I need to make something secure, travel worthy and functional. No pressure Fran!
Okay, this project called for something tough and durable. I have drooled over the waxed canvas from Emmaline Bags for ages, but didn’t have the necessary project for it. Well, this was perfect! I purchased the burgundy canvas (Oh, I also threw in some of the black waxed canvas for future projects, shhhh).
This waxed canvas fabric is wonderful! The colours are strong earthy tones and the fabric is thick and sturdy. Sewing with it on my Juki TL-2010Q was no problem at all and I imagine a normal domestic machine would also be fine. It is lovely with a slight worn look to it and is water repellent. Perfect.
For the lining, I indulged myself again. I went with the Tim Holtz print called In Transit. All of the Tim Holtz prints are breathtaking in my opinion and it is so incredible to be able to work with these beautiful fabrics.
Hardware was another odyssey into new territory for me. In the past, I have always stayed with nickel or silver plated hardware. It can get crazy expensive – as a hobby sewer only – to have all the hardware pieces in every finish. But silver was just not going to work for this project but the antique brass was perfection. I bought the zipper tape and pulls all in antique brass from Emmaline bags. It was also my first time using zipper ends (I got the antique brass for this project, but added a set in silver for my silver collection).
I like to watch a tutorial on YouTube when making a pattern for the first time. I found one by Brandy Jackson that was really great (btw, this channel is great for Canadian content and sources for bag makers – check it out).
So, pattern was bought and printed, hardware and fabric assembled…and, yup, I absolutely chickened out.
I decided to make a pancake version first before I cut into all this lovely fabric.
The Dry Run
I had some blue canvas fabric in my stash from years ago and found a coordinating cotton remnant for the fabric portion. I cut it out and started! Most of the pieces in the pattern can be cut using dimensions rather than pattern pieces, but they are provided if you want to print and cut. I used the pattern pieces mostly so it could keep me organized by placing the pattern with the piece until I used it. I also used the handy checklist provided.
There are so many great things about this pattern! Most memorable to me was the ease with the way it turned. I enjoyed learning a few new techniques. The unusual construction for the outside had the last piece of interfacing fused only after assembling much of the outside – kinda cool. The zipper method on the top was also new to me and worked really well.
I am so glad I did the tester bag first though because I realized that the corners get REALLY thick and so it is very important to get all the foam and interfacing out of the seam allowances. For my tester, I found it impossible to do the final top stitching at the top because it was just too thick at the sides even for my Juki!
After cutting out all the pieces, it was a very quick sew. I loved how it came together and pleased with the results! I was ready to move on to the “real” satchel!
Ready To Go
So, yes, I did eventually get up the nerve to cut into that wonderful fabric from Emmaline Bags. When I made the final bag, top stitching was quite manageable without the foam in the seams. I discovered that it is really important to be accurate here because it also helped square up the corners for the final construction. It all just fit together like a puzzle.
In fact, for all my nerves, this was a really easy sew. I re-watched Brandy’s video and went in!
The fabrics were fantastic to work with. I tried to “fussy cut” the lining fabric a bit, but the most of the design too large or too uneven. Part of its charm.
It was like heaven working with this material though. Such a luxury. The results were fabulous – even if I say so myself!
So Bag is done and he wore it their whole trip. I received the occasional selfie from them (below), and each showed a tiny sliver of the bag (notice Hub’s left shoulder). It held up very well and he will continue to use it at home. Yay! What do you think of this pattern?