Back to School Stashbusting

I have two kids in school this year and both needed new pencil cases. I had great success with the Perfect Zip Bag pattern by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson!, so I decided to use it again. Why mess with a good thing?

Perfect Zip Bag sewing pattern by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson!, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
This bag was made using the Seven Seas collection by Cloud 9.

The first bag was made using leftover scraps from the Seven Seas gym bag I made last year. Now it’s a matching set! Kid No 2 helped pick out exactly which creatures needed to show on the outside.

Perfect Zip Bag sewing pattern by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson!, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
This bag was made using leftover fabric from my latest pj sewing project.

The second bag was made with leftover fabric from my latest pyjama sewing project, and from a quilt I made ages ago. Kid No 1 picked all the fabrics. Even the interlining is from scraps from another project.

All scrapbusting, all the time!

This project was part of the Sewcialist Scraptember Sew Along and the Stashbusting Sew Along Kid Challenge.

Summary

Pattern Review: Perfect Zip Bag pattern by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson!
Fabric:

  • Laddies and Poppets, Sea Critters, and The Fleet in Grey from the Seven Seas collection by Michéle Brummer Everett for Cloud9 Fabrics, courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.
  • Rainbow in Purple, from the Angry Birds collection and licensed to David Textiles by Rovio Entertainment, LTD.
  • Ta Dot in Mustard, from Michael Miller fabrics.
  • Flannel scraps for the interlining.

Size: Large (View A), with inner pocket and wrist strap.
Cost: 0$
Sewing Level: Beginner.
Modifications: None.
Results: Great. I would strongly recommend this pattern and would make it again.

Just to be clear: The Angry Birds name is trademarked by Rovio Entertainment, LTD and used by the fabric manufacturer under licence. The bags shown here are not official licensed products and are not available for sale. But you can always buy some fabric and make your own!

Ocean Waves Zip Bag

This is something I made a while ago, but never blogged. This is a gift I made for my mother, a little zip bag. It’s actually part of a set I made. There is also a coin purse and a larger tote. But I was sewing these up the week before Christmas and had no time for a photo session.

I used the Perfect Zip Bag pattern by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson! It’s great pattern that I’ve used before with great results. I colour-blocked this version, using black chambray and a Japanese-inspired print that I picked up as a fat quarter at a nearby quilt shop.

Perfect Zip Bag sewing pattern by Oh, Fransson!, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
This is the Perfect Zip Bag sewing pattern by Oh, Fransson!
Perfect Zip Bag sewing pattern by Oh, Fransson!, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
The bag has a cute little wrist strap.
Perfect Zip Bag sewing pattern by Oh, Fransson!, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
I used a black chambray and a print I picked up as a fat quarter at a local quilt shop.
Perfect Zip Bag sewing pattern by Oh, Fransson!, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
This bag is currently being used to hold a portable knitting kit.
Perfect Zip Bag sewing pattern by Oh, Fransson!, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
I used Anne Keelle’s Argyle in Steel to line the bag. It’s one of my favourite prints.
Perfect Zip Bag sewing pattern by Oh, Fransson!, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
I love how the zipper is finished in this pattern. So tidy!

Summary

Pattern Review: Perfect Zip Bag pattern by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson!

Fabric: Black chambray, unknown wave print. The lining is Argyle in Steel from the Remix Collection by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman. The interlining is canvas.

Size: Small (View A)

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: I colour-blocked the exterior.

Results: Great. I would strongly recommend this pattern and would make it again.

Princess Leia Goes Back to School

All my kids love Star Wars, but especially my daughter. One day she came home telling me that the boys at school let her play Star Wars with them, but they said she could “only be the princess”. Hmmmm. I was not impressed.

Of course I had to explain that Princess Leia is not “just” a princess. She is a leader in the rebellion (which means she gets to tell everyone else what to do), an important diplomat and politician, a spy, and a princess with magic powers. Most of the other characters don’t even have real jobs, unless you count smuggler and rebel as jobs. Princess Leia is pretty kickass, if you ask me.

So when I let my daughter pick her own fabric for a back-to-school pencil case, Star Wars it was!

Zip bag for back-to-school
Zip bag for back-to-school

Of course the problem with Star Wars isn’t just the kids at school, it’s also whichever marketing executive is in charge of licensing their merchandise, and who isn’t taking girls into consideration.

The Fabric

The fabric I used is Star Wars Character Names in Multi from the Star Wars II collection by Lucasfilm Ltd. and TM for Camelot Cottons. It’s official licensed fabric and has the names of eight characters on it. How many are women? Just one. (Though I suppose the ewok could go either way.) I picked this up at my local chain store, but you can get it online and there are a few different prints.

At least Princess Leia was on the fabric. This summer we visited the Star Wars Identities exhibit at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. It was lots of fun. If you get a chance you should definitely go. And of course there were tons of toys for sale, since Star Wars and merchandising go hand in hand – but no female characters. There was only a bobblehead Princess Leia, (which broke on the car ride home) but that was it. Playskool makes a cute set of figurines that were for sale and that are way more age appropriate, but they make no women Star Wars characters at all.

It’s definitely something my daughter notices. She likes Cars (the movie), Planes, Star Wars, but when we go to the toy store there’s nothing for her, despite the fact that all those movies have smart, interesting female characters. But then those characters aren’t made into toys, and if they are, they are extremely hard to find. I suppose some marketing exec would argue that the female characters don’t sell, but that is especially true when you don’t make any.

So I was pretty exited to be able to make my own gear for her that was clearly for girls, and had her favourite character on it.

Nice contrasty lining
Nice contrasty lining

I used bright green fabric for the lining and solid purple to match the print for the exterior. Kid No 1 helped choose the colours. I wanted it to be clearly made for a girl, but not too girly. You really shouldn’t have to choose between solid pink 24/7 and “no girls allowed”.

The Pattern

I used the Perfect Zip Bag pattern by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson! I’ve made this pattern before, but I haven’t blogged it. The pattern can be used to make three different styles of bag, all fully lined, in a variety of sizes and with different straps and zipper pulls. I made view A in the larger size with a wrist strap and inside pocket.

Interior pocket.
Interior pocket.

It’s a great pattern. It’s extremely well thought out and the instructions are exceptionally clear and well written. And it makes a really professional bag that looks finished on the inside and outside.

I know there  are lots of free tutorials for zip bags online, but this pattern is definitely worth buying.

There is also an online tutorial on how to make the zip bags using quilted patchwork panels. I’ve used that technique for a larger bag using the Perfect Quilted Totes pattern (also not blogged) and the results were really nice.

I used flannel for interlining. I used canvas last time, which makes a crisper, stiffer bag, but for a child I thought a softer bag would be better.

Check out that zipper!
Check out that zipper!

Summary

Pattern Review: Perfect Zip Bag pattern by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson!

Fabric:

  • Character Names in Multi from the Star Wars II collection by Lucasfilm Ltd. and TM for Camelot Cottons.
  • Kona solid (could this be Plum?) by Robert Kaufman.
  • Ovals in Lime from the Remix collection by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman.

Size: Large (View A)

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great. I would strongly recommend this pattern and would make it again.

Just to be clear: The Star Wars name is trademarked by Lucasfilm Ltd. and used by the fabric manufacturer under licence. The zip bag shown here is not an official licensed product and is not available for sale. But you can always buy some fabric and make your own!

Sewing Like Mad