Conference Bag Using Faux Leather

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The Conference Bag is from So Sew Easy and I sew it as part of the Conference Bag Sew Along.  The bag is designed to carry sewing supplies when participating in conferences.  It features two exterior pockets, interior elasticated pocket and interior zipper pocket.

When looking for fabrics it was hard to decide what to use because I’m not a fan of printed fabrics. The fabrics that I liked were suede and faux leather but I thought they were not appropriate for this bag until I read the article How to Sew with Faux Leather from Liz Moments. I was convinced to give it a try. The inspiration of my fabrics combination are from this bag from Liz Moments’ Blog. I love the Paris fabric that I found for my bag!

 

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Inspiration for My Fabric Selection (picture from Liz-Moments)

 

I loved the bags featured in the Liz Moments tutorial!

 

Pattern

I used the Conference Bag Pattern that came with Sew So Easy video tutorial as part of the Conference Bag Sew Along.

The Sew Along lasted for 10 days and included videos each step of the way. I learned about the different interfaces available and the different materials used for bags (I had no clue of any of that before).  I also learned techniques to be able to make bags. It is a great tutorial for beginners.

 

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Sew So Easy Conference Bag

 

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Handles and Tabs

The handles and tabs were easy to make.  The hardest part using faux leather was to hold them in place, as I couldn’t press them.  I used the magic clips as explained in the Sew Sweetness tutorial and it worked.

 

 

Conference_Bag_front_pocket
Conference Bag Front Pocket

 

The pocket was also very easy to make. I love the Paris fabric and I centralized the Eiffel Tower. For the other side of the bag you have the option to split the pocket in two, by stitching in the middle. I decided not to split the pocket because I didn’t want to stitch over my Eiffel Tower 🙂

Next time (and there will be a next time because my mom wants one for her), I would use a different interfacing in the pocket to make it stiffer.

I didn’t sew the tabs to the bag until the very end, where I hand-sew them.  It holds the tabs to the bag, otherwise the tabs come down and fold the corners of the pocket. This is the step to do sew the tabs with the sewing machine.

 

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Scrap of Fabric Behind My Presser Foot

 

 

Exterior of the Bag
Exterior of the Bag

The corners on the bottom were hard to sew, there are many layers of fabrics + interfaces. I hand-sew them in place, then stitch with the sewing machine.  The corners were ok, but something I need to improve next time.

I couldn’t use fusible stabilizer, to hold the stabilizer in place, I use fabric glue.

Conference_bag_elasticated_zipper

 

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Lining Pockets

 

Sewing the inside zipper pocket and the elasticated pocket was also new for me. I like the slip pocket behind the zipper pocket! and it is something that I can use for other projects.

 

Conference Bag Recessed Zipper
Conference Bag Recessed Zipper

I used the faux leather for the recessed zipper. I can also improve in the stitching, but I had no problems installing the zipper.

 

Conference Bag Finalized
Conference Bag Finalized

 

The topstiching of the bag was a challenge, there were many layers and it was very thick,  I don’t know how my machine could handle that.  It barely fitted under my presser foot.  As I continue to sew, I like to sew thick fabrics like denim and now faux leather. A heavy duty machine is becoming more necessary. (A good excuse to get one 😉

Conference Bag feet
Conference Bag feet

 

I used a piece of a foam board for the bottom of my bag and I installed the bag feet.

Inside My Conference Bag
Inside My Conference Bag

 

I like my Conference Bag and I learned a lot from this experience.

Fabrics & Supplies

 

Conference Bag Materials
Conference Bag Materials

 

There is a long list of materials for this bag (listed in the tutorial), and since is my first bag I had to buy everything. I bought most of the materials online at fabrics.com.  I like the way you can filter products at fabrics.com, it makes it easier to find what you are looking for.

I used Letters from Paris Paris Map Cream and Deadwood Faux Leather Chocolate (also available in purple and red). I also bought a contrasting fabric for the lining at my local Joann’s fabric store.

I bought the rectangular rings at Etsy, and the foam stabilizer at Amazon.

I enjoyed making this bag and looking at the pictures of other sew-along participants on the facebook sewing chat! I can’t wait to sew another one.  I already bought the materials to sew Sew So Easy Nautical Bag.

 

Happy Sewing,

Anabelle

 

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