Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Alexander Henry Mirage Carry All Bag

This bag isn't called the Carry All for nothing, it is HUGE. The finished bag measures 38cm x 34cm x 9cm (15"x13-1/2"x3-1/2") and seriously you could fit the kitchen sink in this thing :)

The Carry All has a lot of options for pockets and closures. I went all out on my bag, here is the list of the features I included:
  • Outside Pocket with magnetic closure
  • O-rings on strap
  • Flap with piping and o-ring
  • Zippered top
  • Internal compartment pocket
  • Internal zippered pocket
  • Internal divider pocket
Zippered Top
The internal compartment pocket sits behind the Internal Divider Pocket and both pockets are closed with a button and loop.
Internal Divider Pocket
The Zippered Pocket is meant to be 18cm wide but I couldn't find an 18cm zipper in my stash for the life of me. I just cut 3cm off the pocket and made it 15xm wide to accommodate the zipper I did have :)
Internal Zippered Pocket
The Outside Pocket is meant to be closed with a sew in magnetic snap but I didn't have any so I used the non sew in type without any problems at all. I used these instructions to make sure that the back of the snap isn't going to cause any damage to my bag. I also fussy cut the pocket so that when it is closed the pattern on the front pocket matches the pattern on the front of the bag seamlessly.
Outside Pocket
After I piped around the edge of the flap I kind of wished I had piped the top of the outside pocket as well. I was also going to use a magnetic catch on flap instead of the O-ring but one magnetic catch on the front pocket seemed like enough so I went with the ring instead. I think that the antique brass colour goes quite nicely with this print.
Flap Closure, and check out that fussy cutting on the front pocket :)
Notes on Interfacing
When using quilting cotton to make You Sew Girl bags I usually always fuse a layer of Medium Woven Fusible interfacing and a layer of H640 wadding to the outer fabric to give the bag structure, unless you want a floppy bag in which case just use interfacing. I also used my new (second hand) Elna press to fuse all of the interfacing and wadding. This definitely fused everything more evenly than using a standard iron.
In the Internal divider pocket I used Medium-heavy fusible woven interfacing instead of Peltex 72F. The Peltex would have given a more sturdy divider but it would have made turning out the bag and top-stitching the lining gusset a lot harder than I was prepared to deal with.
Use a walking foot to help sew bulky layers of wadding.
As you can imagine 2 layers of wadding plus 2 layers of medium interfacing plus 2 layers of fabric can get very bulky. This is when having a walking foot is a big bonus, I find that it helps the machine pull the fabric though a bit more evenly.

Difficulty Rating
This bag is not for beginners, I would recommend having a few You Sew Girl bags under your belt before attempting this one. The hardest part is top-stitching the outer bag gusset as the bag can get very bulky and tricky to get under the presser foot evenly, especially if you have used wadding to add extra structure. There are also lots of pieces and this can be a little bit daunting. I would recommend going through the instruction book and highlighting all of the optional extras that you are planning on including so that you don't miss anything.

If you are wishing to recreate this bag this is everything that I used:
Happy Sewing
- Ky

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