Bear's garden bag

When I came across 'a day in the park ' backpack tote pattern by Liesl Gibson two years ago, it gave me perfect pretext to make a new bag for my daily use.

 But it took longer to find the fabric I had in mind for this bag. This fabric by Megumi Sakakibara is like a sweet poem about passing clouds, flying birds, wild flowers and various cuddly creatures who like to linger under fruit trees.

This is the back side of the bag. It has funny phrases that say 'ru.ru.ru...' which must be the cooing of birds in their chirpy voices. A sketchy butterfly reaching for the clouds, a faint hint of rainbow starting to form after rain showers and some distant trees waving lightly in the wind makes me wish this peaceful scene is not just a painted picture.

I wanted the whole feel to be like a real garden where we catch glimpses of life in the most unexpected places. There are lot of hidden surprises like this bird.. it was fun to figure out a spot for everyone including a cunning fox while cutting the pieces.

Every tidy garden must have a hard working gardener. Let me introduce you to Mr.Bear who is doing some inspection in his garden after the rain has stopped. Can you tell that his favorite color is green?

I like the convenience to convert this bag into a backpack or a tote. While going for a walk or running errands it allows me to keep my hands free and stays out of the way. But at the same time, it is nice to have the option to use it as a shoulder bag on days when I need quick access to the pockets or things inside it.

This is my first time using rivets, I bought the hardware of these O-rings and rivets as a kit along with the pattern at Purl Soho shop. The instructions are very clear about every small detail, even how to put these rivets on. But Kalyan took care of this part for me as I got nervous about putting them myself :/

The girl on the pocket is Megu. It is so nice to have her around keeping me company during my outings. She also reminds me of my school days when I use to wear two pigtails like her :)
This is another fabric by the same designer and has a cheater print. Instead of using the measurements given in the pattern, I fussy cut this piece to get three pockets and followed the lines in the print to do the outline stitching with matching thread.

As we know spiders love taking naps in dark corners more than anything, but I didn't realize a zippered pocket can make for a comfy home. I feel sorry for startling this spider from her sleep. Next time I have to be as quiet as possible.

Another thing I needed was a place to hang my keys. I fused a Shinzi Katoh linen tape with a cotton ribbon on its back to make this strap and slipped in a clasp.

Since my fabric was somewhat thin, I used a fusible fleece for the handles which was not suggested in the pattern, so when I double folded the edges to make holes for the rivets, it became too thick for their size. I again trimmed the edge for a single fold and it was a good fit. I finished the raw edges by some hand stitching to avoid any fraying later.

I used a fusible fleece interface 987F by Pellon for the outer fabric and a thin 'SF101 apparel interfacing' for the inside lining instead of using canvas recommended in the pattern as I love the soft squishiness in bags rather than being stiff, but still holding their shape.

There is a button closure for the outside pocket, but I felt a button would distract from the scenery, so I opted for a hidden magnetic snap that is stitched into the interfacing and appears invisible to the eye but still functions very well in keeping the pocket closed. I came to know about this product through an awesome tutorial by Michelle.

I made a simplified version of this bag for a friend last year and wrote about the changes I did in this post. Even though there are lot of steps involved in making this bag, I couldn't be more happier with the way the pattern guides you through each step carefully. If you are interested, it is available as a digital pattern in Oliver + S shop.

Thank you for reading through this lengthy post! Happy May! ( ' v ' )


Stephanie said...

You take great care with everything you make. I think waiting for the right fabric was smart -- especially since you found this fun piece. What a wonderful bag. I love every little detail.

Andres said...

I love that bag, it's so well-made!

Candace said...

I so love your personal touches to all of your projects, Pratima! I especially love the kindness you give to all the creatures who inhabit your bag :>) The fabric was made for you, I think! How wonderful that even Kalyan was able to lend a hand. Even though I've never seen your face, I would know it was you if we ran into each other on the street :>)

Anonymous said...

such a lovely bag - the details are like a little world that you've allowed us a peek into - thank you!

Nanette Merrill said...

You did such a great job sewing this bag. Not only is the fabric perfect but your lining and little touches make it so wonderful. I think you're right about it being better than a purse or a backpack. It is a perfect tote to grab and go!

DappleandGrey said...

What a beautiful bag. You take such care with your work and it really shows. Thank you for sharing!
Amber x