I have noticed some people have ranted that they will never buy another pattern from a certain designer or if it has or doesn’t have certain features. While this is your prerogative, hopefully without demeaning the designer, consider these steps to have a happier bag sewing experience.
(1) Remember that we all have different ways of learning. Designers will design to their way and you will read the pattern and try to follow it according to your way. If you find designers that seem to be much easier than others for you to follow, you usually have similar ways of learning. You would do well to stick to those and similar designers because your work will go much easier and faster. That doesn’t mean that you can’t work with other designers, but you will know ahead of time that for some you will have to work your way through the pattern slowly and carefully and use their patterns when you have the extra time to do that. You will also know ahead of time that it may prove frustrating at times to you and be able to take it in stride. Remember that many people have usually made and loved that pattern. It’s just different ways of learning.
(2.)Try the old school method of making a “muslin” pattern first with a new designer or a difficult looking bag. I know, I know that you don’t want to hear that because we all hate to wait to dive right in with that ‘just perfect’ material, but this can save you a lot of frustration and the possibility of ruining that new material. Use any inexpensive fabric if you don’t want to use muslin, but sit down and make a practice piece first. You are checking out how the pattern works not making a masterpiece this time. If you are having a bit of trouble go slow and contact the pattern designer through PM. Most of them are willing to help you through the trouble spots. Take lots of notes on any problem areas so that next time it is in ‘your language’. Make notations on the pattern or directly on the “dummy” material to help you make your next bag easier and better. Ues a long basting stitch so that any problems that have to be taken apart are quick and easy and then you can use the fabric pieces as your pattern in the future, they last longer than the paper.
(3.) Not all fabric is created equal. When you buy new cork, leather or some other fabrics that you feel might give you problems get to know it before trying to use enough that it would cut into YOUR purse. Try to buy enough extra to make a small zipper pouch with new fabrics or new weights of fabrics. Usually, a quarter yard will be sufficient and not make it too expensive, yet possibly save you quite a bit of money. If your pattern has curves or is sewed to another fabric make a tiny pouch with a curve or sewed to the other fabric first. Line it so you can see how it turns. This way you will know how the needles, threads, and fabrics are working and be able to solve any problems before you try to make up that gorgeous bag you plan. Sometimes you might find that you need to switch patterns for that particular piece of fabric because it is difficult to make curves or sew it to other material. That is an easier decision before you start cutting. In the end, hopefully, you will have a small pouch to keep, give or sell to match the bag you are planning and with the problems solved it is NOT wasted time.
Hope this helps some of you. Happy sewing.
Until Next Time KerryAnne