I was fortunate enough to receive some advanced samples of Sedef Imer’s new fabric line Rhapsody for Riley Blake Designs. Oh it is sooo pretty! I especially love the main teal print and the attention to details like the tiny white hearts. I’m also (of course) absolutely in love with the tiny pink floral fabric.
As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to make a bag with the main print! It would make a perfect little bag for the summer.
If you follow me on Instagram or saw this post here then you would have already seen I have been attempting to translate some Japanese bag patterns. I LOVE Japanese craft books, the way they are styled, the patterns pretty much everything! There is one small problem… they’re in Japanese. It is not even if you can put into Google Translate as the characters are obviously completely different to ours. So the past few years of collecting them I have just drooled over the pages, dreaming instead of all the things I could make. Recently however I finally decided to tackle a project and I’m so glad I did, it has certainly given me the confidence to try more. I think the thing is once you have made a few bags the principles become familiar and it becomes easier to work from fewer and fewer directions, or in this case just a couple of diagrams! Thankfully dimensions are numerical but bear in mind they use CM!
I knew Sedef’s fabric would make the prettiest Granny bag and now I can admit that was why I made the first one. There was no way I wanted to cut into this precious fabric without having a practice run first! Even though I had made the first one and it had all gone to plan I was still incredibly nervous to cut into it. Had I picked the right project for it, could I do it justice, what if it all went wrong. Maybe I should just sit and stroke it instead!? But then what would be the point of that? It seemed such a shame to allow a pretty fabric sit on a shelf unmade.
Well I am glad I took the “risk” as it did pay off! (I am aware if you’re reading this and don’t sew how weird I might sound, how can be cutting fabric be a risk?? But I think (hope) many sewer’s out there will understand where I am coming from!?)
This was a super fun make, I want to make more, can you have too many?? I even have some fabric left over from half a yard! So not quite Fat Quarter friendly but a sure stash buster! I kept the lining simple using the dots from the Rhapsody line and chose not to add pockets, mainly as it’s only a small bag there wouldn’t really be enough room for one. Although having said that don’t be fooled by its mini size it is quite roomy inside thanks to the darts on the bottom of the bag. I would really like to scale this up and make a bigger version!
I love how with the Japanese style granny bags the binding also equals as the handles! This is what makes it a lot quicker to make, and gives it I think such a pretty effect. I don’t know about you but making straps is one of my least favourite parts of bag making!
I am pleased with how structured this looks. The bag in the photos doesn’t have any padding in it to make it look “puffy”, it is standing up and looking proud on it’s own! I initially put the fusible fleece on the exterior fabric but the fabric really wasn’t happy with that and didn’t behave how I wanted it too. It kept wrinkling and refusing to take the shape I wanted it to. I was about to admit despairing defeat and cursing myself for wasting fabric but instead I unpicked it and gently tore away the fleece. With a good press you would never know and I was ready to start again. I decided to admit this to you so you know it doesn’t always go right first time and sometimes behind the scenes there is a lot of trial and error! Anyway being a quilting cotton the exterior really needed something so I used a fusible woven interfacing (SF101) and this was perfect! The great thing about woven interfacing is as well as giving the fabric some stability it also moves with the fabric so you rarely get those wretched wrinkles that you can get with some of the other interfacing, case in point the fusible fleece I first tried! Luckily the fleece that I had taken off the outer was still fairly usable so I fused it to the lining instead and this is what gave it the lovely structure I was after. Finally I finished it off with a Japanese wooden button and an elastic tie.
Now I am just wondering if people would be interested in me writing/translating a pattern for this?
Rhapsody is in stores in the US now and will be available in shops in the UK and Europe very soon!