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  • Writer's pictureCreative Roots Sewing

Happy 150th - from a noob bag maker...

This year Canada celebrates its 150th birthday. What better way for me to celebrate than by trying something I have wanted to do since I started sewing - bag making. So yes, you guessed it, this is my very first bag ever! Not only is this the first bag I have ever made, but also my first time participating in a blog tour.

First, bag making can be overwhelming - where the heck do you start!? Lucky for me I have a fantastic friend who is so incredibly talented

in bag making (and so many other things) that

she could offer me the support I needed - she

also happens to be the person who convinced

me it was finally time to make bags by making

me commit to doing a blog tour - and so here I am.

The goal - to make a bag that at least looked like a bag, using all Canadian supplies. We started at a sewing and craft show where I picked up some hardware from Emmaline. I had already chosen a pattern from a Canadian designer (I used the FREE Blue Calla Lilac Mini Messenger pattern) so I had my materials list with me, but I didn't find much else there. Again, lucky for me, my awesome friend hand delivered the rest of the supplies I needed and took a lot of the guess work out of equation.

Next, it was time to pick fabric. I of course wanted to showcase one of my favorite Canadian fabric designers, so off I went looking in my fabric stash for the perfect Canadian fabric. I chose purple mushrooms designed by Danielle Larson

of Midnight Mountain Fabrics. I chose this particular print for a number of reasons, ​​but the final decision was made because it really screams Canadian inspired. It was tough to choose between that and moose, but I figured there would be many more bags in my future and moose could be next.

Now that I had everything I needed, I was ready to print the pattern, and cut all my fabric - *phew*, that was a LOT of pieces. Just the cutting of everything made me feel like I had already accomplished something - you could see it coming together! As some might know, I sew garments, so bag making is quite different, and I was loving the challenge already. The next day I took each piece and interfaced them (at least once, and sometimes twice). This was my first time working with interfacing that wasn't a lightweight knit and I really enjoyed it. It was time to start sewing! The instructions were fantastic so there wasn't a point at which I ever felt lost. The only real issue I had was when I put my twist lock closure on, I cut the hole slightly too big (I am blaming my lack of proper tools...yeah, we'll go with that). Luckily I had a second backing piece that I used upside down to stabilize it, and I don't even think you can tell unless you look really close. So in hindsight, for my first bag, I might have gone with a different type of closure (or, you know, made sure I had something better for cutting the hole with).

Sewing the bag itself was really easy - for anyone wondering if bag making is 'too hard' - it's not! DO IT!

As for using knits - I was warned it might be difficult as an inexperienced (ok, brand spankin' new) bag maker, so I was pretty nervous, but most of what I have are knits and I really wanted to show off one of my very favorite prints so I just went with it. The interfacing essentially turned the knit into woven and it was quite easy to work with.

So there you have it - bag making isn't as complicated as it seems at first glance. Though I made a few small errors along the way, I learned a lot and will definitely do better on my next one. I would definitely recommend both Blue Calla patterns, and Midnight Mountain fabric! Make sure you enter the contest for your chance to win an awesome prize from Midnight Mountain Fabrics as well as from a number of other amazing Canadian businesses.

For a chance to WIN a $30 store credit for Midnight Mountain Fabrics go here, or here (Facebook) pick your favorite fabric from any round/retail, come back and comment letting us know which fabric is your favorite!

Here's a sneak peak of what I've been working on. Bag #2, and of course I had to use something truly Canadian. Midnight Mountain Fabrics moose. I sacrificed some of the most amazing french terry for this one....stay tuned for the finished product!

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