Monday, August 10, 2015

Change Your Mind Slipcover Bag

Do you ever make plans for a fun the pattern...and the fabric, but then never make the project? Yeah, me too. Until now that is. Back in July of 2013 I wrote about my plans to make a new bag for Selfish Sewing Week on flickr, (click here to read about how this bag journey began) - even commenting on how I may not wait for the official start date to begin...two years later the bag is finished.

Change Your Mind Slipcover Bag - brown dots exterior

After completing the Social Climber quilt for the Faith Circle I decided it was time to take a quick break from large projects and do something smallish and fun. My eyes landed on a beautiful trio of Flea Market Fancy fabrics neatly folded on a shelf and I knew it was time to make the Change Your Mind Slipcover Bag. I had almost everything I needed on hand: fabric, interfacing, thread, only needing to purchase a zipper.

Change Your Mind Slipcover Bag - main body
Main Body of Change Your Mind Slipcover Bag

For the main body I used this Leaf & Dot print because it was a good neutral and {I thought} my least favorite fabric of the trio. Well...once I finished the main body I discovered the simple elegance of this print and it quickly became my favorite! The pattern calls for heavy weight interfacing to be used on all bag parts, but I wanted to add a bit more substance to the bag so I used iron on fleece for the main body instead. The interior of the bag includes patch pockets on one side and a zipper pocket on the other. More about this neat zipper installation to follow :o)

The whole purpose for this pattern is to create slipcovers for your bag so you can change up the look as desired. Now the pattern calls for making the slipcover with a lining fabric on one side and your chosen "new look" fabric on the other. To me that seemed a bit of a waste. Instead I decided to make one slipcover and have it be reversible.

Reversible slip cover
Flea Market Fancy fabrics

Here you can see I used Flea Market Fancy Bouquet on the outside and Posie on the inside. There just seemed to be no good reason to make two separate slipcovers. For the slipcovers I used the heavy weight iron on interfacing like the pattern called for. You can see that I experienced some bubbling - I've never had this issue before because I'd always used the heavyweight interfacing with home dec fabric, not quilting cotton. Not sure what's up with this. Debbie, over at A Quilter's Table, just happened to mention this same issue in a recent post.

Change Your Mind Slipcover Bag - the interior
Interior of bag

This is what the interior of the bag looks like with the slipcover attached. See how it folds over the top of the main body and is held in place with buttons? I learned some new skills while making this bag:

  • a completely new way to install a zipper into the lining fabric {so cool!} I don't know what this method is called, but it creates such a neat zipper opening and is not at all hard to do
  • make and attach facings
  • how to sew buttonholes!! Oh my goodness...if I'd have known how simple buttonholes are, and how fascinating it is to watch my sewing machine make them, I'd have done them long ago!

Change Your Mind Slipcover bag - orange plaid exterior

Here are the modifications I made to the bag:

  • slipcover is reversible
  • I added the additional brown dot and orange plaid fabric bottoms just for fun
  • top stitching was added to both the main bag and the slipcover to make them a bit more dressy
  • on the recommendation on someone's pattern review I installed the buttonholes to the facing before attaching them to the slipcover
If I were to make this bag again I would put some type of divider and additional pockets inside. It's a pretty large bag and some interior organization would be a nice addition. In fact, I will probably go ahead and make something for this one and hand sew it in. In addition, I think I'd add either a zipper or snaps to the top to close it. As stated it is a pretty large bag and feels a bit open. All in all it is a very well written pattern and I enjoyed making this slipcover bag :o) 

What new sewing skills have you recently learned? I'd enjoy hearing about them - leave me a comment :o)


  1. This is very pretty, and an engenious idea. I recall making a similar bag, back in the mid-80's. However, the handles were wood, with spring hinges. You made the lining to sew to the handles, sewed buttons to the top of the lining, and then made the covers with buttonholes across the top. It will be interesting to see if you make more covers for yours. Certainly your adjustments make it much better.

  2. pattern & fabrics, make plans, set it aside....I've done that a few (27?) times. Well, maybe not so many as that. This is a beautiful bag, and I love the fabrics. I think all your modifications make great sense, too. Every time I make a bag I add pockets if there are none, or I add more than the pattern includes, inside and out. I like having a separate little cell phone pocket on one end inside the bag. I also like to include divided pockets for even better organization.
    Most recent new skill: I made a sewing kit #goodygoodysewalong #goodygoodybindingkit which includes a lined zipper compartment that was so simple to do! I'm sure I'll use that technique again.

  3. Debbie, this is gorgeous! I really like your fabric choices. Nice modifications, too, especially to make the slipcover reversible!

    My new skill is to take apart my Featherweight motor, clean it, and put it back together! :). The motor was smoking!

  4. I love those fabrics so much! And how cool that you learned a few new things as well. I haven't been sewing much so no learning going on here. The days just seem to slip by with very little accomplished.

  5. This is an amazing bag, I love how the one fabric became a favorite when is use! How different fabrics can look as stash or when used... And great smart double/reversible slipcover!! You truly made a really special bag.
    For me I'm trying some more FMQ, but this is slow progress...

  6. Wow! what a lovely bag.Great work you have done here.I like it.

  7. Nice one! I must appreciate the work you have done here.Thanks for sharing.


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