Monday, November 12, 2012

The Koos Bag Finis!


We were blessed with a gorgeous day here for photos and DH did as directed so they are not too bad. The bag has nothing in it so is a bit puffy. I absolutely love it. I think this will be perfect for travelling to visit our children. It is BIG and has sort of a luggage-y feel all of which I love.  Here's the 411:

PATTERN: 

Vogue 1311, a bag designed by NY designer Koos Van den Akker. He is recognized by his collaging of fabrics,  love of bright color and simple designs. His designs function as a canvas to showcase a clear passion for fabric and color.  

I don't think I ever would have tried this pattern if it weren't for the inspiration provided by Shams of Communing with Fabric.     Her bag with it's vivid colors is TDF so please check it out. 


  FABRICS:

100% quilting cotton that I don't like for the applique base

 Fusible fleece

Assorted home dec fabrics that were inspired by the original tapestry chosen. There are embroidered taffetas, stretch velvet, two different faux leathers one of which became the straps, a tacky red metallic stretch fabric for a bit of highlight. That came from the  "Halloween department"  at JAs. My personal opinion, based on what I was taught years ago, is to always have a dominant fabric which will cover more than half of the area. Here it is the ginko sort of looking tapestry. Loved the colors in it. If an item is covered with an equal amount of every fabric it is not quite as interesting as one with a dominant fabric and accents. (From my days of interior design).

Some matte gold sequins. 

A brass upholstery zipper.

100% poly fabric for the lining. This is that nasty stuff called "Silk Essence" at JAs. I generally detest poly silkies. They are hot, clammy, and love to pucker when stitched, horrible for a lining. But this supposed lining fabric is great for bags as it comes in tons of great colors, is inexpensive and always available. I try to use light colored linings so items don't get lost in a big black bag hole.


 CONSTRUCTION:

This is really quite simple to construct. You can use Koos's plan for your collage of fabrics or you can simply use the basic shape as I did to do you own thing. The bag consists simply of a big circle for the top and bottom and a 8 inch band in between. Here's how I veered from the pattern:

  • Fusible fleece was fused to a base of cotton that was cut to the three necessary pieces, top circle, band, bottom circle  (not including straps and buttonholes). This then became my canvas on which to stitch the appliques.
  • There is a great, new to me, technique Koos specifies for the zipper. Love how it came out  and you can see that here on The Koos Zipper.  I can see a lot of potential for this technique on future projects.
  • The applique fabrics were basically stitched and flipped, a technique used in many quilts particularly Log Cabin quilts. 
  • In the SAs each sequin was cut to its center hole and slid off the connecting threads. I wanted to keep the threads so they could get caught in the SA. 
  • Once the applique work was done this went together quite quickly. On the shell I had stretching issues despite carefully stay stitching and clipping. On the lining the pattern matched up perfectly, proving a nice draft. So be careful with all the handling of your fabrics and take all the precautions to not stretch those edges.
  • The straps were made of faux leather. I used a size 14 stretch HS needle for that. Sewer's Aid, a silicone sort of thing, was rubbed on the needle shaft, under the presser foot and on the Fasturn tube used to turn the straps to the right side. I don't use any special foot when I sew faux leather. 
  • I blew the wonderfully unique Koos buttonholes. I found myself in the zone and unconsciously proceeded to stitch down the appliques for the BHs instead of making the neat "butterfly" version that Koos teaches. Oh, well, maybe the next one. And there will be a next one! This was too much fun. 
  • I added extra stitching to the area where the straps connect to the bag as suggested by Shams. How much weight does she put in that thing? I'm glad to know I'm protected for heavy loads!
  • I wrote my initials and date on one of the F leather applique with a paint pen that I wrongly attributed to Sharpie. It is made by Krylon and works really nicely. No bunny tags on this one.
 
CONCLUSION:
I will definitely make this again. It is just too simple and too much fun. One thing I would suggest that is different from my beginning post on the construction (a few posts back) is the choosing of the fabrics. I went through a whole process of imagining and then labeling each fabric with the piece I wanted to use. That was no fun. I chucked that idea and just piled up all my fabrics and picked them out piece by piece the way a painter picks his paints. That's a lot more fun!


I highly recommend this pattern if you want a bit of a challenge, some great fabric play, and a super new big bag.
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 These are fabrics I am considering for my next iteration, greys, soft brown, pale turquoise. Have more searching to do before firming up the pallette.

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No new floor yet in my space but it's coming. In the meantime I played with my lights over the machine. I really want my dominant neutral to b white. I have been drooling over some of those lace covered lamps on Pinterest. Here's my attempt. I simply sponge painted the glass shades with white acrylic paint. It looks like lace from afar and gives a prettier glow to the light.

  

26 comments:

  1. Love your bag...the colors are so lovely and you'll feel so stylish when you use it.
    I like your lamp as well. When I saw the picture, with the snow in the background, I thought the lamp was covered in frost!

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  2. Bunny, your bag is beautiful. I've waited and waited to see that finished product. It certainly exceeded my expectations. How can that be...everything you do is so "out of this world"...should I expect anything less?? I do like your selections of fabric, and I agree, as with scrappy quilts, it is more enjoyable to just select as you go then have it all laid out!!!

    Love your snow picture....and the lamp looks nice and frothy!

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  3. A great bag. How big is it actually?

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    1. The circles are 18 inches across and the band is 8 inches high. Going to make one, Nancy?

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  4. Love the bag. Makes me want to make one now. I wish I had time to do several for gifts, but will have to wait. Like your new haircut!

    Tracey

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  5. great bag Bunny and I especially like the fabrics you are putting together for version 2. The photo by the river looks idyllic lol

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  6. Lovely, lovely big bag. Love the shot at the river.

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  7. Love the bag and the terrific details you've been sharing about its construction.

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  8. Hurray! You finished it, and it looks great!

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  9. The results are fabulous! I can't wait to get my sewing energy back & move this one up near the top of the ToDoList! Thanks so much for the beautiful inspiration, and and helpful tips :)

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  10. Super cute, Bunny! I love your fabric selection!

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  11. Congratulations on completing this masterpiece! You did an excellent job of constructing and blogging about this bag. Your fabric choices are really nice, and I especially like the appliques. Great job!

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  12. Bunny, it turned out fabulous!! Now I'm eager to see the next one! I too love your choice of fabrics.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, everyone. It was a fun, fun project and a pattern I highly recommend.

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  13. Love the bag. Not sure I would have the patience for it.

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  14. If all back packs could be so fabulous!! Wonderful! You should be very proud.

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  15. That is one elegant backpack! You can load that baby up with all you need for a weekend. Your next fabric grouping looks equally pretty. Cool lamp, too!

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  16. Replies
    1. Thanks, Gwen. It's called "growing out and needing color".

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  17. This bag is TDF! Beautiful. Thank you for sharing the details on the making of it.

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  18. So...if you decide to give up your gig at the library, you can go straight to the runway. You are gorgeous! I've been following your Koos bag project; the result is so much more than the sum of the parts. Great job, Bunny! Thanks for sharing your process and the finished bag.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the sweet comment, Sandra. I don't think they are hiring five foot tall models this season, however! (wink)

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  19. Super cool bag, Bunny. The fabric choices are perfect. And I'm with everyone else -- your new haircut is fabulous. Makes you look no more than 40!

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  20. Love both the bag and your inventive light treatment! Great hair, too!

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  21. Bunny, I also think you look quite beautiful in these outdoor pics with your amazing Koos bag. I was also impressed with your lace light. For another lace look, you could pounce white acrylic paint through an inexpensive piece of lace. Just a thought as I have had good results with this technique.

    Karendee

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    Replies
    1. I thought about the Karen, but my back room where I store all my fabric is so stuffed with furniture while we wait for our new floors that I can't even get to my laces and a lot of other fabrics too. The good news is that the wood will be delivered tomorrow after a long wait and will be installed next week. You can't imagine how I long for this all to be back to normal. It has really affected my sewing output but all good things come to those who wait, right? At least I am hoping it is all worth the wait.

      Thanks again, everyone, for the bag and hair compliments. You are all so appreciated, whatever your opinions!

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