I'm on a roll folks! And I'm going to run with it. If I've learned anything in life so far, it's how strong and powerful momentum can be. I've had this unfinished project on my sewing table....wait for it...since November. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift! I do realize in the grand scheme of sewing lives, that's not even "long", but it's been taking up valuable space and taunting me...so finish it, I did.
The garment bag is for my mother in law. Every time she comes to visit us for the weekend (yes, weekend) she brings bags, and bags and BAGS of stuff. I decided that she needed something personal to carry it all in. After much digging, the Fig Tree Bon Voyage bag looked to be exactly what I was trying to find for her.
After reading the pattern, and realizing my own limitations as a quilter, I decided to go ahead and buy pre-quilted fabric. I know, I know...I can hear the gasping and choking and see the chest clutching from here. But really folks...I'm a sewer first, and a quilter, like, 10th. My quilting skills are still very mediocre at best and I wanted to be able to focus on the construction of the bag. Besides, this print is SO my mother in law. I know she'll love it. (AND, it took me over 4 1/2 months as it was!).
Here's my finished product:
A few things to note about the pattern before I start. I didn't use a contrasting gusset fabric, as they did in the photo. Nor did I add on the optional pocket. I had a lot of trouble trying to figure out the placement of the pocket, and how it would work without your things all falling out, and I made the executive decision to just not add it. (Again, it took me over 4 1/2 months as it was!)
What I liked about the pattern the most, was the labeled pieces diagram at the beginning, which were also color coded. Had it not been for these, I would have struggled even more than I did. The steps were laid out well, and the overall directions were written very clearly.
What I didn't like about the pattern was the lack of detail around how you got the two gusset sides to come together at the top. I couldn't for the life of me envision it while I was putting it together, and there was no graphic or diagram in the pattern. I ended up trying a few different ways before I got it work out the way I think it was intended. Now that it's done, it looks great, and actually is pretty straightforward, but...alas...as is often the case, I overthought it.
Another thing I really love about the pattern is this:
All of the interior seams are bound and it gives the bag a really lovely, "finished" feel.
I also did add a little zipper pull, beacuse there wasn't any mention of one, and the only zipper I could find that was long enough was brass and isn't as smooth as I'd like. The long pull makes it much easier to slide it up and down to open the bag.
One photo on the back of the pattern shows the bag folded in half using the loop, and I really liked that feature. Especially if you have to travel on a plane or somplace that you are super limited in hanging space. You could fold the garments in half, and the bag looks fantastic, and I think, given it's structure, will hold the clothes nicely.
All in all I'm happy with the final product. Please, under no circumstances ask to see what the inside looks like, or for detail shots. This is most definately a "prototype" version.
I would say this pattern is for an intermediate sewer, at least. It's certainly not a beginner pattern. But the end result is polished and chic looking. If I had actually chosen the fabric and quilted it myself it would make a downright gorgeous bag.