First, I chose the fabric. I wanted something luxurious looking, so I decided on a gorgeous fabric by Tania Wheelan called Picnic Damask (available on fabrication.co.nz, just click here), and inkeeping with the luxurious theme I chose a regal looking blue for the inside. The pattern called for plastic tubing to go inside the handles so I took a trip down memory lane and found myself at Para Rubber buying a metre of see-through hose. (My parents owned a Para store when I was a teenager, and I worked in it every weekend - that smell is something you can never forget. Oh, the number of times I cut plastic hose or counted it out during a stock-take!). Finally, all that was left to do was make up the bag.
As always, I completely underestimated how long it would take me. Not only did it take me a while to get my head around the pattern (I'm not sure about you, but I always find reading a new pattern and figuring out exactly what they mean to be a bit of a challenge!), but I'm also somewhat of a perfectionist so I tend to spend a lot of time unpicking slightly imperfect stitching. Needless to say making this bag was no different. But, I got there in the end (I think it took me three evenings to make rather than the one I had thought it would) and I hope you'll agree that the finished product was worth the effort.
Much to my delight, Mum has decided to use the bag more as a handbag than as hand luggage - she never seems to be without these days. But, after talking with her the other day about what works and what doesn't with the bag, we decided that it could do with a couple of minor modifications:
- It needs a pocket or two. While the bag is surprisingly tardis-like (it definitely holds everything you need for a night or two away, including toiletries and a spare pair of shoes), it could do with some pockets so that you can have those all important items like your phone, plane tickets or magazine at the ready.
- It needs a longer zip. The pattern only required a 35cm zip, but it could really do with being at least another 10cm longer so that it's easier to get into.
Do that, and it would be a near-perfect accessory for any girls' weekend.