Cosmo Bag Pattern Review
But it wasn't like that at all.
I'd say that a beginner could easily do this. Sure it has a lot of steps but they are basic construction, there aren't any advanced techniques in this bag, it just requires patience and pinning. I hate pinning but it helps greatly here.
Like I said, the construction was not difficult, easily beginner. Remember, easy doesn't always mean quick. There are a lot of pieces to sew together here and taking your time to pin the pieces will make a better finished product. Also, don't skimp on the pressing, it makes anything you make look 100% better. I found that the instructions could be streamlined to be more efficient though. When putting on the band and handles she has you sew the band on one side, clip, then iron, then repeat for the other side. I preferred to sew the bands on both sides then clip then iron at once. The same with the handles, instead of pressing and top-stitching after each handle, I just sewed all 4 on, took them to the iron and pressed them then came back and top-stitched. It just saves time. I also did the pockets and sides the same way. It just made things a bit faster and more efficient, I didn't skip any steps, I just organized them better. I did add top-stitching around ALL of the seams on the outer part of the bag. I just top-stitched about 1/4" away from each side of the seams. I also decided to do a 4-hole 2" button instead of the smaller shank-style covered button that is called for. Because of this, I didn't wait until the last step to sew on the button, I sewed the button onto the outside right before I sewed the lining to the bag. I didn't want my stitching to show through to the lining.
The interior of the bag came together quickly. I only made one small change, I added a gusseted pocket for my cell phone. I felt that it would just get lost in those huge interior pockets and the outer pockets are really to deep for my phone. I measured my phone and added 1/4" to each side and the top and bottom, it turned out great and holds my phone perfectly. I lined the top of the phone pocket up with the top of one of the interior pockets and stitched it into place.
The large pockets in this bag are great and easy to make. You just baste the pockets onto the finished edge and sew a line up the middle to form the pockets. You could sew the line off-center or even sew 2 lines and get 3 pockets if you wanted to, it just depends on what you like.
See the top-stitching on the sides there? That is what I was talking about before, the pattern doesn't call for it but I like the look that it gives and it reinforces the seams even more, this is a huge bag so it needs to be strong if you are going to stuff it full of stuff!
In short, I love this bag and I love this pattern. I am sorry that I waited so long to try it. I can't wait to make another one, I'll add the smaller side pockets and I'll probably add a large kangaroo style pocket to the front, I'll have to make some extra copies of the main panel and fiddle with it a bit in order to figure it out.
If you are just starting to sew, don't be intimidated by the steps in this pattern. There isn't anything hard about it at all, just take your time and follow the steps. If you feel your curves getting wonky, use your seam ripper to hold them down a bit as you sew. Also, use a tailors ham to press your curved seams, it will make a huge difference on how they lay down and they will not pucker!
I purchased the fabrics at a local quilt shop, Jo-Ann, and fabric.com. The outer printed fabric is a canvas home-dec fabric, the blue is a kona cotton, and the interior fabric is a batik. I found that the patterns requirement of 2.5 yards for the outer fabric was WAY too much if you are using a 54" fabric, I could probably make another small bag with what I have left. . The 6.5 yards of woven interfacing was accurate, I used almost every bit of it. Use the interfacing that she calls for, it really makes the bag sturdy but not stiff.
Buy this book, use this pattern........and the other patterns! And no, I didn't get paid to review this pattern, nor was I asked to, I just thought I'd offer another perspective on it!