Sunday, July 8, 2007

Anatomy of a Bag

I'm done knitting the Dr Bag and am working on the finishing. I used the recommended yarn, but only single-stranded, not double-stranded, so it ended up being a much more manageable size for me. I really love the herringbone pattern.

Not only is the front of it pretty (at the top), but I also like the reverse side (at the bottom)--it looks like a lovely patterned berber carpet!

Now, the pattern has a seam allowance at the tops of the front and back pieces. You're supposed to fold these over and encase a rod of some kind to provide stability for the top of the bag. Since my bag is small and is not that much bigger than the handle, I decided to fold the seam allowance over the handle itself and just backstitch it down.

To make sure that I was picking up a straight line of stitches below when sewing down the seam allowance, I first basted in some contrasting yarn. This let me see 1. that the line I was using was straight, and 2. that there wouldn't be show-through on the other side if I picked up those particular stitches.

Done! Next was the seaming. Instead of using the pattern directions, I decided I wanted my seams on the inside, so I used a chain of crochet to join the pieces together. The purse needed a bit more heft and stability, so I added interfacing. Now, I bought some Pellon heavyweight (supposedly) fusible interfacing. But I couldn't get the darn thing to stick! I mean, I was ironing till my pressing cloth was almost crispy! I even tried ironing 2 pieces of interfacing to each other, just to see if the adhesive was working. Nope. Luckily, I had some Therm O Web's HeatnBond Ultrahold in my sewing stash and used it to stick the interfacing to the knitting. As you can see, I interfaced the entire front, back, and bottom pieces, but only part of the side pieces, since the tops of the sides need to be more pliable.

And here it is, able to stand up by itself. I still need to work on the closure and the lining, which I hope to do tomorrow.


  1. oh wow that is so great. I wish I had known about interfacing back when i was making mine. But I love yours. You should do a model shot to really show it off.

    Great Job!

  2. What is Ultrahold Therm O Web? What did you do with it? Sorry of the stupid question. I really love your bag. It's nicely done and looks very proffesionally made.

  3. Hi, Lily. Thanks for your comment. I actually put the
    wrong product name, so I've since edited the post. It's called Heat n Bond Ultrahold,but is made by Therm O Web

    It's a double-sided iron-on adhesive you can find in
    fabric and craft stores. It comes on a bolt like fabric, or a large sheet, but what I had in my stash was a strip-like roll. So I ended up using just strips and strips :-)

  4. Wow, this is really nice! I love the color, and the herringbone pattern really suits the style! Was the pattern for a big bag originally? I think it works excellent as a small purse.

  5. Thanks so much for the compliments on my blog! Now it is my turn- I love your Dr. Bag. Everytime I see one I get thismuch closer to buying that book. I love everything you did to give it that ultraprofessional look that many handknit purses lack. Thanks for all the step by step, I can see this bag in my future and your mods will really help!