Mamma's got a brand new bag!

Hey everyone! How are you all? I had a busy weekend working away finishing the pattern testing for one of Sara's new bags. Its a new pattern called the Lapin Noir and I have to say that I love it! There are two different ways of carrying it which also give the bag two very different looks. And did I mention that it's also very roomy with lots of inside pockets? Perfect for trying to organise my life!
Sara Sweetness Lapin Noir bag by fabricandflowersuk

The pattern is well written and easy to follow, although there is quite a lot of 'prep' with regards to pockets, straps, handles so you will need to allow a bit of time - I managed it in a few hours over a few nights. The bag requires a foam such as Annie's Soft & Stable, but I used car scrim that I had left over from my Aeroplane bag and it helps to give the bag good body and make it feel really sturdy.

The exterior requires 1/2 a yard of fabric, so it's a great way of show-casing any special pieces of fabric that you have lying around. I had some Liberty Lifestyle Bloomsbury sitting in my stash which I'd bought when it was first launched, and because I didn't want to break it up too much I also used it for the front pocket and the strap extenders.
Sara Sweetness Lapin Noir bag by fabricandflowersuk

I did make a few minor adjustments to the pattern, mostly due to the supplies that I had on hand. I only had a quarter metre of the teal, which I really wanted to be visible as the lining when the bag's folded over. The pattern calls for the lining to be a mirror of the exterior of the bag eg. a contrast band at the bottom, so instead I did a bit of careful measuring and used the teal for the top portion of the bag so that it was level with the internal zip pocket 

Bag interior by fabricandflowersuk

The only issues I incurred was with the handles, which are actually one of my favourite features of the bag! The largest cotton cording that I could buy was 12mm (the circumference) which would have meant that the pattern requirement of a strip of 2.5" wide to cover it would have left a lot of excess fabric, so I instead reduced it to 2" and then followed the instructions. I also slip stitched the ends shut as I could not get my machine to participate on sewing the seam shut.
Sara Sweetness Lapin Noir bag by fabricandflowersuk
And then it was on to sewing the tabs to fix the handles in place. Boy, my machine did not like all those layers of fabric - it was quite the challenge, especially as I do not have an adjustable foot! So, my top tip for sewing on those tabs? When you have the handles wrapped up in the tab, ready to sew in place, it's really helpful to have a seam ripper to hand that you can use to push the handle and any excess fabric underneath itself so that it doesn't get caught in your seam (ask me how I know!!!). I didn't even bother trying to machine stitch around the tab and instead slip stitched them in place. If I had my dream machine with an adjustable foot height, then I think machine stitching would add a really nice touch, I just wasn't particularly good friends with my machine by the time I got to that point!

I love this pattern and the finished bag makes me feel all proud and glow-y like! I'll be bringing this with me to Retreat - it should hold most of my essentials I reckon?! And I'll be keeping a special eye on it when Hadley's around......

ETA - the pattern is now available to buy here!

See you soon,

S x

Todays sky ‚óŹ mixed, blue skies and clouds. Nice and warm though!