I’ve been eager to finally make something special for myself to enjoy this summer after a fall and winter full of making for others. I’m totally in love with Anna Graham’s book, Handmade Style, and I decided on this awesome beachy bag that will make me feel like I’m at the beach, even if I can’t physically be there. I definitely see this bag accompanying us to the pool this summer, though.
Pattern: Bucket Bag from Handmade Style by Anna Graham
Materials: ½ yard Anchor Canvas in Navy for the exterior, 1 ½ yards Essex Linen in Flax for exterior accent and straps, 1 yd. Essex Linen in yarn dyed navy for lining, and two fat quarters for pocket lining, two 5” zippers, 8 grommets, 1 strap hardware set.
Modifications: added one extra interior pocket
This bag was a simple and fun project to sew up, which is crazy because it looks so professional and beautiful and usually I have to take a painstaking amount of care to reach that level.
I think I had the most fun installing the grommets, as I had never done it before and it was really satisfying to hammer them on. Plus, I finished it off with some leather scraps I had laying around for the cord stopper and zipper pulls which I think really make the bag. I also wanted more structure to the bottom of the bag, so I added a layer of fusible fleece to the bottom lining.
I made a few mistakes along the way that had me going, duh! But this is what I learned. The technique used to install the two front zippers is one I’ve done before and learned from another Noodlehead pattern, but I hadn’t done it with a directional fabric and that is how I ended up with upside down whales on the inside of my pockets. Not a huge deal, but be sure to sew your zippered pocket lining on upside down, if you want them right side up in the finished pocket. I also had a difficult time gathering the sides of the bag to fit the top band because it was so thick. So, I’d recommend sewing at least 3-4 gathering stitches to gather the sides so you don’t have to do this three times like I did.
This entire book is filled with really great, professional and stylish projects that are not too difficult to accomplish. I’ve been sewing for a lot of years, but I always end up learning something new from a Noodlehead pattern. From this book, I’ve also made the Double Zip Wallet, the Tablet case and the Pencil case and I’m about to start the Floor Pouf for my daughter’s birthday in May. Anna Graham does it again! She writes such well thought out patterns, and bags are most definitely her specialty. If you’re looking to sew up a new bag, I’d be willing to bet that Noodlehead has something for you.