Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Zip-Away Shopping Bag Sewing Pattern Test Drive

The Zip-away Shopping Bag is both trendy and environmentally friendly. Small enough for your handbag or car's glove compartment and a great gift idea. The cleverest part of this pattern design is the wallet outer becomes the hard base for the bag when it is opened up. It is also easier than you would think to put together thanks to some handy use of fusible web and interfacing.

Be warned - once you start making these you won't stop - I've made four so far!

The shopping bag is quite large - it unfolds to 29 x 36 x 12 cm . It folds away into a tidy little 15 x 12 x 2.5 cm pouch. The first sample I made (the Dotted Line sample below) has long handles so it is a bigger bundle to zip up. The Sushi sample has short handles and I think I prefer this length.

The best part is working out the fabric combos for the outer pouch & inner shopping bag. You can also save a bit of money if you choose a non-directional print for the main shopping bag - you will only need 75cm of fabric instead of the recommended 95cm.

This pattern is rated for an intermediate sewist but a beginner that is more than confident with zippers should be able to tackle it. The stiff interfacing and the curved zipper make this pattern look a lot harder than it really is. The majority of the wallet section is assembled using Vliesofix to fuse everything, including the zipper, in place before you even sit down to your sewing machine. The entire bag can be made in one afternoon or evening.
I used Peltex 72F for the wallet/base of the bag but you can also use Fast2Fuse. Apparently Peltex is slightly more difficult to manipulate than the Fast2Fuse. I have only ever used Peltex so can't offer a comparison at this time. I didn't have any trouble using it for this particular pattern. Peltex is a very thick and stiff interfacing (approx 2mm thick) and is fusible on both sides. Nicole uses it in a number of her patterns, mainly for bag bases.
The zipper is sewn into place once the wallet and the bag is fused together. Just be careful not to fuse the zipper teeth too close to the wallet edge. The closer to the edge the teeth are, the harder it will be to zip up. Having said that, it is probably one of the easiest zippers you will ever insert around a curve.

The remainder of the shopping bag is sewn up remarkably quickly. This makes it great project for Christmas or Birthday gifts - quick, easyish, practicals and cute to boot! You can customise the fabric
combos to suit both men and women, kids and adults. Perfect!

If you would like to recreate this bag here is everything you will need:
Sushi Bag Fabric Combo:
Dotted Line Bag Fabric Combo:
We will have plenty of the Zip-Away Shopping Bag patterns as well as interfacing kits available at the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair next week.
- Ky

No comments:

Post a Comment