I finally made this pattern after having it for at least a year. It was designed by my friend Erin Erickson of Dog Under My Desk. We became friends because of our love of sewing and our dogs. Then in one of those weird coincidences, we realized we had a mutual friend and then her aunt and I became co-workers at the Bernina dealership. Sometimes people are just supposed to be a part of your life.
I admired this bag when she wore it into the store and I saw her post about it on her blog. My chiropractor has been telling me for at least a year that I needed to give up my heavy shoulder bags and either downsize to a small hand bag or a cross-body strap bag. I knew this was the perfect remedy but finding time to make it was always an issue. I’ve also been waiting for the “just right” fabric for it too. Last week this fabric came in and I wanted to make something out of it immediately. This is the Hope Chest collection by Josephine Kimberling by Blend.
I really enjoyed making this pattern. Erin has done a fabulous job photographing and describing all the steps. Because of how detailed this pattern is it is in PDF format and I didn’t print out all (32 pages!) I opened the file on my laptop and referred to it as I worked. If you have a tablet (iPad, Kindle Fire, etc.) you could send this to it and use that to read the instructions. The only page I printed was the cutting layout diagram. I did not print and use the pattern pieces. I chose to just use the cutting list and my rotary cutter to cut all the pieces. I also made sure to label each piece with a note to the size and name of the piece.
Speaking of tablets, this bag is the perfect size to carry your tablet. My Kindle fits just right and there is room if you have a bigger tablet such as an iPad. Not a surprise, Erin and her husband are really technology/computer geeks so she really has her finger on the pulse of the needs of the techno sewist. This will be a great bag for travel. Very secure, convenient front pocket for plane tickets, etc.
Erin is an interfacing savant. I swear she’s tried them all and has an opinion about what works and what doesn’t. And her opinions are based on practical trial and error. If you have a question about interfacing check out her Interfacing Page.
Other highlights of this pattern (and all of Erin’s patterns) are the attention to details and finishing. I have a thing for well engineered patterns that pay as much attention to the inside and finishing as they do to the outward appearance. This pattern is beautifully designed with all of these details in mind. Of course this means that there are a lot of details and steps involved in this pattern but they aren’t difficult, just take them one step at a time and the end result turns out very nice. Erin’s instructions literally take you through each step with a clear color photo. Her zipper instructions are probably the best I’ve ever seen in all my years of sewing. Seriously.
I carried this purse this weekend to a couple places. At a party on Saturday night it was picked up off the chair twice by different people who commented on it and admired it. (Needless to say they were pretty impressed that I made it.) One even compared it to a new design available from “31 bags” called the Organizing Shoulder Bag. Coincidentally a customer came into the store yesterday carrying the 31 bag and I got to compare directly and I have to say that I like the Two Zip Hipster just as well. There are detail differences but the size is comparable. I have also been told that Vera Bradley has a similar style but I haven’t had a chance to compare it. But I can say with confidence that the less than 2 yards of fabrics, zippers, interfacing and notions still cost me WAY less than a new Vera Bradley bag! I can see another one of these in my sewing future. I think it is the perfect blank canvas for some cool machine embroidery or applique. I also think that doing some mixing and matching of different fabrics for the front pocket, sides and straps would be fun.
I give this pattern 2 Thimbles UP!