Batala/Harlequin backpack done

It was a really good pattern.

Two big sewing sessions were enough to get the job done. I did take a few liberties with the pattern as written, mainly because I was making the bag from leftovers and needed to improvise. I didn’t have quite enough of several things. So, for example, the lining has several seams in it, I made the drawstring instead of using cord, the straps are fitted to size rather than adjustable, and so on. The fact that I could do this within the parameters of the pattern was a mark of its versatility, in my opinion, and doesn’t compromise the end result.

So, we have a small, neat but capacious bag with three pockets: two internal and one external, two of them zipped, a flap with a magnetic clasp to cover the drawstring, straps attached to a D-ring which doubles as a hanging loop, and lastly, an opportunity to showcase a really pretty fabric.

It’s also very light, feels sturdy and sits comfortably on my back. I don’t think it’s firm enough to hold anything very heavy or bulky, but as this is essentially a handbag rather than an actual backpack, I feel that’s perfectly OK. Obviously, I ended up using the paisley straps, but this was because I simply didn’t have enough of the geometric. Some-times the universe makes decisions for us.

If I ever want a heavier version, I’ll make it in leather, oil cloth, canvas or decorator fabric. 10/10 would recommend. #batala backpack #pinkponydesigns. The pattern is available to download on Etsy.

And because even sewing isn’t enough, I tried out a new bread recipe/process.

Four ingredients. Zero effort. 100% delicious.

Tender, open crumb, crust a combination of crispy and chewy. Can’t wait to see what it’s like as toast…

And now, on with the next thing.

Batala/Harlequin backpack

What’ll it be, then?

Which of these two webbings will I use for the Batala/Harlequin backpack?  My personal preference is for the colourful geometric one at the bottom but I’m inviting opinions in case someone has cogent reasons for preferring the other one.

So, progress: I’ve got the front and back panels done, the flap done, the D-ring hanger done, and the dark blue sides attached to the colourful front and back. There’s also a zippered pocket on the back panel you can’t see. Still to do: the phone pocket, second zippered pocket, the straps and the lining. That last bit will be fun, since the whole thing is attached to the outside, and then the whole bag has to be turned back out through a 3 inch slit in the bottom of the small zippered pocket on the back. Which will be fun. Not.

So far, I’m impressed with this pattern. If anyone is planning to make it, I strongly recommend mounting the pattern pieces onto card and then cutting them out. This is partly because you have to draw around things several times. Not only is it harder to draw round just paper, but the card will stand up much better to this treatment long term.

Making the bag is easier than I feared. The piping is the hardest part, and even that isn’t hard so long as you have a zipper or piping foot for your sewing machine, and you handle the bias strip gently.

I think I’m probably over halfway through, and it’s going to be fab!

The Harlequin Coat #8

Well, rats

Those ribbon froggings were a spectacular fail. I pinned them on and got stitching… endlessly. Only to discover towards the end of the process that the ribbon coils were held together with a single thread that wasn’t properly secured. They not only fell apart very quickly, they were also pretty hard to use successfully because the satin ribbon was very slippery and the turk’s head knot that was the ‘button’ would not stay inside the loop once any slight pressure was applied.

I re-did all the tedious hours of stitching. But in reverse. 😬

Time for Plan B.

I found these black metal clasps on Etsy and ordered two pairs. I’m hoping they’ll do the trick. Otherwise I might end up having to use the dreaded toggles; this is not a duffel coat. On the upside, I got the pockets on and the coat is done apart from the closures.

In other news, as if I didn’t have enough on, I’ve decided to make myself a purse/backpack to match the coat. I’m no bag designer, so I once again resorted to Etsy to find one that was a) simple and b) interesting. There are so many of them out there, but I wanted an adult/classy version without a frenzy of pockets and zippers.

In the end, I chose this Batala backpack design from Pink Pony Design, and while mine won’t be in purple and green with a tiger on the flap, I promise you it’ll look good with the coat, since I have a large piece of my favourite fabric left, plenty of the dark blue and some fun contrast fabric for the piping. Fingers crossed I don’t discover any issues on this project. All reviews of the pattern are very positive, and I’ve seen photos of some completed examples which look great. I really like all her bag designs, so this may not be the last one I make!

Now I just have to hurry up and wait for those clasps.