Monday, July 11, 2016

The Barbados Bag

A couple weeks ago I was chatting with my friend Kelley, the owner of our local quilt shop, The Scrappy Apple, about wanting a messenger bag pattern. Kelley pointed me to The Barbados Bag pattern by Pink Sand Beach Designs. It looked like a fun pattern and well worth trying.

The bag front allows for fun fabric combinations

I already had the beautiful Purebred paint-by-number roses fabric (by one of my favorite designers, Erin Michael) and thought it would make a perfect late summer/early fall bag. 

Finding just the right accent fabrics proved to be a bit of a challenge. I purchased a couple different options before finding just what I wanted was already in my stash. I ended up using the blue Woodgrain from Michael's first paint-by-number line, Lush. Also, the fun coral Figures fabric by Zen Chic. 

The front features a "hidden" pocket behind the Woodgrain fabric as well as a zippered pocket in front of it. 

Great pockets for stashing sun glasses!

The back has two long pockets.  I just love a bag with lots of organization :)

Inside I used Paint Chips, also by Erin Michael. I have a hard time envisioning how to use the Paint Chips fabric so I think a bag lining will be just right. The inside also includes two pockets-perfect for a cell phone and keys.

So happy to have found a great application for this Paint Chips fabric!

The pattern is well written with good descriptions of each step. There are a ton of pictures - one for every step of the process. All these pictures can look a bit overwhelming at first, but if you just follow the instructions one at a time it all comes right together just as it's written. This is the first time I've done a flat zipper as shown on the bag front and it was not hard at all. I did add a bit more top stitching than the pattern called for - mostly because I just really like the look of top stitching.

The pattern is written for optional swivel hooks on the strap which I chose to use. In addition, I wanted the strap length to be adjustable so I shopped around and found a slide adjuster in the same antique brass as the swivel clips. The finished bag dimensions are 11 tall by 10" wide x 2" deep.

Adjustable slide can be seen on the left side of the strap
I definitely would make this pattern again, and might even try making it an inch taller and wider.  All in all it's a great pattern, and it's so fun to pick out coordinating fabrics for each part! Tomorrow I'll start using my new messenger bag!