Over the past couple of weeks I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to teach a couple of bag making classes at Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver (check them out- they have an online shop if you can't make it to the store!)
I had so much fun teaching students how to make the Benjamin Dopp Kit and the Hedgerow Book Bag! I was so proud of all of my students (mostly beginners) diving in and giving waxed canvas fabric a try. In my Hedgerow class, some of my students tried out some fun strap variations that really got my gears turning! I have some ideas for new tutorials and Hedgerow variations that hopefully I'll be able to share soon.
One of the best things about teaching is that it helps me look at my patterns with fresh eyes. I've made each of my bags dozens of times, to the point where I can basically do it with my eyes closed. At this point I'm also very comfortable working with waxed canvas. Teaching a beginner how to make a bag using waxed canvas for the first time gives me some great insight on where I might offer some additional support and guidance in my patterns and tutorials. In my Hedgerow class, I noticed that the final step of topstitching the top of the bag was not going as smoothly as it should have for many of my students because they were running into their snaps. I realized that while technically the snap placement on the current pattern works if you sew the top seam with a perfect 1/2" seam allowance and then really crease that top seam well, there isn't enough wiggle room to guarantee success for the less experienced bag maker. It is always a bummer to have to go back and change a pattern, but I care a lot about making sure that everyone is happy with their Red Rabbit bag, so I've changed the snap placement in the pattern, and I also have some guidance for anyone that has run into this problem already:
- Option 1 (easiest): Rip out the topstitching and gently "heal" your waxed canvas with a low-heat iron, protecting your ironing board and iron with a press cloth. That's it. Your bag should hold its shape just fine without the topstitching. Read more about healing waxed canvas HERE.
- Option 2: Rip out topstitching, heal the line of stitching, and re-do it using a zipper foot, if you are able to get the zipper foot around the snap.
- Option 3 (hardest effort, but best result): Rip out the topstitching and heal it. Rip out the stitching in your lining gap. Turn the bag back inside out. Rip out the top seam. Sew it back together with a 1/4" or 1/8 seam allowance. Turn your bag back right side out, crease the top well, and top stitch. Re-sew the bottom lining gap closed.
You can find the updated Hedgerow Book Bag sewing pattern as a free download HERE.
Thanks for sticking with me as I learn and grow as a pattern maker! Happy Sewing!