Nothing like a project you really want to sew to get those other pesky projects out of the way, right?
Christmas is done. It's toast. You can stick a fork in it. The last gift, a Lazy Girl Gracie handbag, was finished earlier this evening. It's a much better version than the ones I made for his mom in 2006, and she liked the first one enough that she literally wore it to pieces. I had some of the same paisley home dec fabric left over, so I used that, since I knew she'd liked it, and this time I found the coordinating fabric that had gone missing last time.
This bag will hold up a lot longer. I added a reinforced bottom so that it doesn't tip over as easily, I used a magnetic closure instead of the recommended Velcro, and I used some big fat upholstery piping that I had (why? why did I have that?) and inserted it into the straps to keep them firm.
There's supposed to be a layer of batting in between the exterior and lining layers, but I didn't have any batting, and this was supposed to be Christmas sewing without having to buy more stuff, so I used several layers of that almost batting-like interfacing for men's jackets, and a layer of old felt that I had around. Basted together, it felt fine, and a little less squashy than batting. I like a bit more structure in a bag.
Even though this bag isn't really my style, there are things I do like about it. Six interior pockets - what's not to like there? They're a little too evenly spaced for my liking, but that's because their seams form part of the bag's construction, and shifting the pockets wouldn't work since all the layers are sewn at the same time.
I like how quickly the pattern goes together, and the fact that there are no pattern pieces, just measurements included on the instruction sheet. If you were feeling adventurous, there's no reason why you couldn't change the size of the bag - so long as you keep a few basic measurements in mind, it's all adjustable. The instructions are really clear, and even in black and white, the photos are clear enough to see what you're supposed to do.
In other words, it makes a great gift. I got it done in 2 nights, taking last night off because it was just painfully cold in the workroom. Tonight I got the temperature up to 65 in there, so I hunkered down and sewed like the wind that whistles in through the ancient bricks on my back wall. (Next year's home improvement project: brick pointing.)