Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Boronia Bowler - Mine, ALL MINE! (Plus an extra pockets guide)

As soon as I saw the Boronia Bowler pattern by Blue Calla, I knew I wanted to make it right away!  Unfortunately I had other things ahead of it on the list, but I decided to skip the line for my birthday sewing last month!  It is a good sized bag, with tons of room inside and a stylish shape!  Of course I had to go a little crazy and add in extra pockets, but even that wasn't too hard.  I planned on making a 'test' one first, but then I decided to live on the edge and just go for it with my hoarded fabric.  I love Tula Pink sea prints, so when they reprinted the Octogarden, I jumped and bought my first full bolt of fabric.  Sometimes I pet it when no one is looking.  Or when they are looking, and then I get odd looks...until they pet it and feel how silky it is!

My favorite colors!

Emmaline Bags bling makes it even prettier!
This purse is great because it has a cute little shape, but when you open the zippers, it is HUGE!  You can really dig easily inside for all the random stuff that ends up in a purse and then falls to the bottom, never to be seen again!  I used more of my favorite Tula Pink fabrics for the lining...I should have bought a bolt of the purple and blue Mosaic because it is so amazing!
Zipped closed
Gussets keep it from opening too wide and having stuff fall out
Normal open size

Extra zip pocket I added in, moved it up about half an inch
ALL the way open, you can see everything!

The pattern has 1 zipper pocket inside and a set of slip pockets, but I decided that was not nearly enough, so I added in another zipper pocket inside and 2 outside slip pockets.  For the front of the purse I fussy cut an octopus to perfectly fit on the pocket so it would be featured.  For the back I cut the fabric so that it would have the octopus part of the print in the center.   Then I matched the pocket fabric so it would perfectly line up and the pocket would be almost invisible...but I didn't realize how high the overlay would come up, so that totally messed up my plan.  Somehow, the sewing fairies smiled on me and the lining side of my fabric perfectly matched higher up.  I think it was a birthday miracle!

I also jumped in and used glitter vinyl for my overlays and handles.  I've done it before, on the other Tula Pink Purse, but this was my first time with the new sewing machine.  It worked great!  I used my super glide foot, lengthened the stitches, and tried to keep my speed even.  For the handles, it was like nothing on the 4 layers, and on 8 I only had one 'oops' until I got the hang of it.  I had to start in from the edge, hit the reverse and release it without stopping to make it go through smoothly.  If I stopped and reversed, it seemed to stutter (stitches were still good tho!) and I am in love with the way they look identical on the top and bottom!  Stormy would stitch through vinyl, but the top ones always looked slightly better...
Just slightly too small to cut on the fold...curses!
My vinyl strip was just slightly too narrow for the bottom overlay, so I drew on the backside of the vinyl with an extra 1/2" seam allowance for both halves, then sewed them together, finger pressed the seam open, and top-stitched on either side of the center seam.
Are you looking at my bottom? ;)
This was also my first time using domed rivets, and after I mangled a few, I finally gave in and went to the local leather store for help.  Turns out that there is a special rivet setter for those domed ones...and it really makes a difference!
Top rivet was set with the right tool and is perfectly round.  Bottom is slightly flattened from my 'make do' attempt.

If you want to add your own outside slip pockets, here's my notes on the process!

Cut 2 pieces of fabric 6" wide by 6" tall (for one pocket)
Cut one piece of fusible woven interfacing (SF101) 6"x6".

Fuse interfacing to wrong side of outer pocket piece.  Place pocket pieces right sides together, sew across the top with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Flip pockets so they are wrong sides together, press to get a crisp edge, then topstitch along the top.  Baste the sides and bottom together.  Make the marks on the bag where the handles will go, but before you attach the handles, center the pocket in those marks.  You'll want the top of your pocket to be at least 1/2" below the fold of your straps, so you might need to do a little adjusting and fiddling.  Mine ended up about 2 3/4" from the top edge of the main purse piece.  DON'T line it up with the bottom of the fabric piece, or you'll end up with a pocket that is only about 2" deep and really not that useful.

Don't line it up here, BAD idea!
If you do, teeny pocket!
Ahhhh, that's the right place and it even matches up!  A little higher than on the other side, but no one will ever notice!
 Baste the pocket in place, sewing 1/8" away from the unfinished edges, then attach the handles as instructed.  The unfinished edges of your pocket will end up under the handles and overlay, so you don't need to worry about how they look.  A tiny part may be visible under the top of your strap, but to see it you have to really pull out the strap.  If it bothers you, you can always add on 1" to the width measurement and sew up the sides and top at the same time with the 1/2" seam allowance, then clip the top corners before you turn and topstitch along the top edge.

I still need to make my cross body strap, but I accidentally put away the fabric and haven't pulled it back out yet.  It will clip onto the strap pieces, so it's not even that hard to attach.  I'm just procrastinating because straps are boring! :D

I can't wait to make another one, maybe with some Nightmare Before Christmas fabric and black glitter vinyl?


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