October 12, 2015

Fall 2015 Collection: Meet Cheyenne!

Kaufman Newcastle denim with batik lining,
featuring hand embroidery from our Cottage Roses Stitchery pattern

Well, it's that time of year again! I have been hard at work designing the fall collection. I have four new designs to share with you for the fall. It has been a while since I released any new bags, so there are two new ones in this collection for you to enjoy!

The Cheyenne Rope Bag is the first reveal of the fall collection. I have been wanting to design a backpack, but didn't really want two straps. I guess it is because a lot of us never use both straps and then the one that isn't being used just sort of dangles there looking unloved! When I researched sling style backpacks, I discovered the rope bag. I had never heard of one before. That tells you how much I know about rock climbing (I definitely don't climb rocks!). For those of you who are also unfamiliar with a rope bag, rock climbers use them when climbing to hold their extra ropes and supplies. The bag is held on with one strap and zips along one side for easy access to the contents. Of course, most of the commercially made bags are hideously ugly and very utilitarian, but I could see the beauty in the design and got to work.

Shannon Cuddle Suede (faux suede) with faux suede fringe on the pocket flap
and a quilting cotton lining

Initially, I thought about having a separate piece to create the depth of the bag like a usual backpack design, but I wanted to branch out and do something REALLY different. I let my brain work on it a bit and then the idea dawned on me...what if I could make the bag from only TWO main pieces? I got busy experimenting and before long I had an idea that worked. This bag really IS made from only TWO main bag pieces! I was able to get the three dimensional depth by darting the front piece before it is added to the back. I LOVE the shape and easy access to the contents. I also love that it is EASY to sew!

Riley Blake Elements, Equations, and basic fabrics. I call this one my Breaking Bad bag!

Once the "bones" of the bag were in place, I added some good solid details, like a front darted pocket and a zip pocket on the back exterior for a phone or other small items. The wide strap is adjustable and works well over one shoulder or cross body. Adding the lower tab along one side of the bag makes it really hug your back during cross body wear. It is a bag that would be great for a guy in really masculine fabrics, for a kid in fun themed fabrics, or for anyone else with whatever fabrics tickle your fancy.

Laundry Basket's Color Daze linen Fabric from Moda, featuring faux suede fringe on the pocket flap.

The design lends itself very well to a variety of fabrics, as you will see in the photos. Feel free to choose just about any fabric except knit or something really heavy like stiff canvas. It would work in canvas, but the seams will get thick and turning it right side out might be a challenge. I recommend the following fabrics: quilting cotton, twill, linen, faux suede, home decorating weight fabrics, corduroy, lightweight wool, velveteen, heavy silk, or lightweight denim, to name a few. A lining from quilting weight cotton is recommended.

Feel free to add your own special details as well. I added faux suede fringe to two of the bags and hand embroidery to the denim one. I mainly stick with sport zippers for this bag, but you can use metal zippers if that is your preference. If you choose metal, seek out the 7" length, or you will have to contend with shortening the zipper so you don't have to sew across the metal teeth.

A word about the stabilizer for this bag: FOAM! I experimented with several brands for this bag and with fusible VS. non-fusible. I can tell you that fusible is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Because of the way the zipper openings are constructed, it is important for the layers of fabric and stabilizer to be very attached to one another. Otherwise, you may have a wonky opening, and no one wants that.

My absolute favorite stabilizer for this bag is Pellon's new Flex Foam one sided fusible. I can't say enough good things about this foam! It has a great adhesive on one side that fuses quickly and effortlessly to the fabric and does NOT crinkle when you turn the bag right side out. It holds its shape well, is easy to sew through, lightweight, and looks great when the bag is finished. What more could you ask for?

Flying Colors linen by MoMo for Moda with a quilting cotton lining

Lastly, I get all my hardware from The Buckle Guy. If you have not checked out their website, I highly recommend that you do. Their hardware comes in a variety of metal finishes and has nice sturdy construction. I have never had any hardware from them that I didn't love. You need to check them out!

Passport by 3 Sisters for Moda
 (This was the prototype bag when I was experimenting with different foam stabilizers. If you look closely, you can see the crinkling in the foam and fabric from the fusible.
This is NOT the Pellon product.)

We expect to have the stock for these patterns in a few days. We'll be adding them to our website for easy ordering and posting to Facebook as soon as they are ready to go out the door.

Happy Sewing!