During the afternoon before I left for retreat last week, I cut and prepped all of the pattern pieces. Instead of using sew-in interfacing, I fused woven interfacing to all of the quilting weight cotton (the Amy Butler lining) and fused Pellon fleece to all of the linen blend outer bag fabric (Echino scooters). All in all, the prep took just over an hour and the bag construction about 90 minutes.
Erin's .pdf pattern is great: clear photos, concise instructions, easy to follow. She's even got a tips section on her blog that is all about interfacing. After making many bags and purses, I can tell you that I will never use non-woven interfacing again. The bubbling and crinkling and crispiness is just awful and your project can instantly be ruined with one blast of steam from the iron. Because I like using heavier weight fabric (linen blend or home dec), pressing is necessary to finish your seams nicely. Your interfacing has to be able to stand up to the heat!
The photo above shows two things I had to do differently from the pattern. First, I was not able to find the hardware for a strap slider, so I made the strap a fixed length. The ends went through the D-ring, then I sewed two seams of straight stitch to secure them to the wrong side of the strap. Then a row of 7mm wide satin stitch covers the strap end. Below the D-ring, you'll see that I was not able to topstitch all the way around the top of the bag. My machine couldn't handle the thickness over the area where the D-ring loop is sewn into the top of the bag. Next time I make this, I'll trim the fusible fleece batting so it doesn't run into the seam allowance at the top of the bag.
This entire bag was made from one piece of Echino scooters in brown. I love Echino yardage that includes accent stripes (in this case, the fuschia dots and natural/aqua stripe). I purchased the Echino on sale here. There are lots of great pockets, the bag is secure with a top zip, and I know it will be perfect for D to take on our trip!
Now Mom needs a vacation bag. One that can accommodate my new DSLR. Back to the sewing room I go....