McCalls 6532, Completed!
Finally! Ok, the worst part of this project was hand stitching the lining to the zipper at the very end. It was a mere three hour project involving waxed and doubled thread, a thick heavy needle, a thimble and most importantly, a pair of pliers. If I had a buck for every needle stab and pin prick I wouldn't have needed to buy that Powerball ticket last week! Finally its done!
I really like this bag. It is a bit larger than I thought it might be. I would make it again but cut down the size a bit. Here's the 411:
This is McCall's 6532, a Kay Whitt design. I will be honest and tell you I really don't know who Kay Whitt is. I will have to do some googling on that one. But it is her design and a nice one. It is much larger than I thought. Sure, I can measure and I did but its sort of like buying food in restaurant. You see things and just buy too much. I saw that the bag was large and just kept going. What I am going to do to make this bag work a little better is make an organizer for the inside. More to come on that front. This, with a bit more interior organization would be a great diaper bag or carry on bag.
I did not follow the pattern. I was convinced I had an easier way to deal with the future bulk of it all and I did until I got to inserting the lining.
The fabric comes from Joann' clearance home dec area. It is a heavily embroidered design in rayon thread on black denim. I easily found the same denim to match at fabrics.com. I needed that for the straps and bottom. The tapestry was purchased for five dollars a yard and only wish I had purchased more but the next delivery is always around the corner at Joanns. I have seen some really great fabs in their home dec clearance.
The lining is a quilting cotton, a not really nice one. By that I mean the fabric was heavier than I would like for a quilt but perfect for this use. It has little sparklies all over. and is nice and bright to dig around. I passed on the interior pockets because of the future "organizer".
The interfacing is what really made the bag. It made it great and it made it frustrating. The exterior bag was fused to fusible fleece as the pattern recommended. This would have been fine with quilting cotton exterior but I had upholstery fabric going on here. The pattern has you interface the lining. This is where I went overboard but it what got me the luggage look, which I think is rather professional looking. I first fused Decor Bond to the lining, never in the seam allowances. Then I fused on top of that a layer of Peltex. The Peltex, heavy board that it can be, got cut back a half inch away from the seam allowances. I also pieced the Peltex so that there was no interfacing in the areas of the bag that needed to fold. It would have been a nightmare without doing that and there is more on that two posts back.
We have established that I didn't follow the directions. I STILL read them through at least three times as this bag is rather involved. I needed to be careful about the sequence and put some thought into what would come next. My goal was to have a sturdy bag that would require as little turning right side out as possible. I accomplished that by making the bag and lining separately and dropping in the lining at the end and hand stitching it around the zipper to close. That last hand stitching was brutal so I don't recommend it. I would only use my sequence if you are dealing with really heavy fabric like this home dec piece and all that interfacing. That Peltex is a bitch. Making this in a lighter fabric or quilting cotton, I would just follow the pattern.
The bottom and straps are the matching black denim. You can see I put bag feet on the bottom.The bottom of the bag has a piece of Peltex that is covered with muslin and attached at the bottom side seams. It "floats" and gives hardness to the bottom. There is also another layer of Peltex in the bottom from the lining bottom. I don't like how the straps are secured at the zipper height. If I made this again I would do that as suggested but would also secure the straps to the bag a few inches higher as well, maybe with a buckle or such.
I topstitched as much as I could but that wasn't much. It was just too hard to maneuver this hard bag under the needle. I did use my workhorse now 40 year old Kenmore for all of the construction. I also used a size 16 jeans needle throughout. I had no tension or stitching issues. The zippers are home dec type zips. I use them a lot. They are rugged, quite neutral in color, inexpensive and I like the heavy brass look.
Would I make it again? Yes I would and I may. However the next time I make it I will take it down a couple of inches in length and width. That will keep the luggage look away. I actually have fabric ready for another one but we'll see what becomes priority in the cave as I reassess my wants and needs. I recommend but not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced bagmaker.
First egg of the season after a long molt period. The first was yesterday and two more today! The girls are back in business!.................Bunny