Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Anna Maria to Zebra

Some cherished fabrics from Anna Maria Horner and Echino combined with Kwik Sew 3749 to make bags for some dear ones.

I would love to have kept all of these, but especially the last one, the Echino zebra and deer print. I had one yard of this fantastical fabric, and I wanted to get two bags out of it. To squeeze the pieces side by side across the printed border, I used the lining pattern for the face of the bag as well as the lining. By eliminating the pleats from the panel, I was able to make more efficient use of this special fabric, and I think I preferred showing the fabric flat in this case as well. The contrast velvet is a remnant from a client project: fabulous, huge, down-filled, purple velvet pillows. The tiny fringe trim you see between the cuff and the body of the bag is the selvedge from the velvet dot fabric.

The pattern is a peach. Straightforward, perfectly drafted and a great canvas for all sorts of alterations and extra features. The separate panels for the cuff and the side panels provide opportunities for using contrasting fabrics or different portions of a printed design. On the blue Anna Maria Horner fabric, the print has columns of a floral design alternating with columns of dots. I like the way this bag design allows us to relate the features of the print to the structure of the bag. I wish my photo illustrated this point more clearly!

Inside the bags I ramped up the pockets a bit from the pattern suggestions. Instead of one big pocket, I placed a separate cell phone pocket in the side panel of the lining and then a large divided pocket on the inside of the main panel. I also added a key loop. One of the recipients has commented on how she enjoys the pencil slots sewn inside the large pocket. I find all the little details in bag sewing to be, quite honestly, tedious, but there's no denying that the user really appreciates them.

In total I made six of these bags. They would be quicker if not for the curved seam sections and the interior details, but still I found them rather quick. Maybe about three hours from cutting to finish? If you are able to use a heavy upholstery fabric for the exterior, you will probably be able to do away with the interfacing, which saves a good bit of time. Some of my bags required interfacing, some did not.

Oh, I almost forgot! The pattern doesn't say much about pressing your seams open as you go. Skip this step to the detriment of the finished appearance of the bag. I tried it both ways and pressing made, as always, a quantum difference.


  1. Hi,
    I'm with an online dress boutique called Shabby Apple (www.shabbyapple.com), and I'd love to get in touch with you about offering your readers an exclusive coupon. Please check us out and if you are interested, email me at eliza@shabbyapple.com.


    Shabby Apple

  2. I love anna marie horner fabrics. I think I will have to make a bag like that!

  3. Lovely bag. Not to push my site - but consider me for your fabrics!! Keep up the good work!