I don’t do a lot of book or product reviews, but when something comes along that I really want - I jump at the offer. When I was offered the Lisa Lam “A Bag for All Reasons” review opportunity, I admit that I’m SUCH A HUGE FAN OF LISA and U-Handbag that all I *saw* (ala Gary Larson) in the publisher’s email was, “aasdkfjl azdlkjzmrg’ dglkzdk LISA LAM slkdfoc we;r a’d idfoijsodj dkmlk LISA LAM sdkp[ e ald ogpwekr fkjgo LISA LAM slaoi difoijfoiam alfj’a adfkjaldkjg doijcoijoi LISA LAM” and immediately replied, “YES”, and then went back are re-read the email.
I had seen the 3-1 Convertible Backpack on flickr and KNEW I wanted to make one, too. My fear was that it would be too advanced of a pattern for my not-too-advanced brain. And because I often don’t read pattern instructions, I knew that since I was doing a review I would have to actually read the instructions. Oh the pressure was so strong, I almost ditched the backpack plans. But I gave it a go and read
the instructions the well written instructions! And then fear quickly turned into a fist pump in the air and a proclamation (to my dogs) that I CAN DO IT! Besides, I already had some Amy Butler Daisy Chain, a teal solid, and some poser linen (a cotton weave) already set out to make the backpack. The sperm had pretty much shook hands with the eggs at this point - and I HAD to get this backpack baby get made.
I’m am a visual, non-reading instruction follower. Lisa’s instructions are well written and in a way that feel like she’s talking to me one-on-one giving me personal instruction.
I took my time and made my bag over the course of 3 days. One step at a time, and no speed-demon-plow-my-way-through sewing.
I traced my pattern pieces onto freezer paper, and ironed-on the pieces to my fabrics (no pinning!).
I used cotton duck (available in the “outdoor” fabric section at JoAnn’s) as my interlining. Cotton duck canvas makes for a nice, stiff form with not a lot of bulk. I learned this genius interlining trick at Oh, Fransson! - thank you Elizabeth!
Another trick I learned from Elizabeth is using Clover’s Wonder Clips in tight, curvy, bulky spaces. These clips are a DREAM to use!
Permission granted! I love when pattern writers “give permission” to do things your own way (something I encourage on my own patterns). I was already apprehensive enough with all the hooks, loops and snaps (the H Word… hardware) - but the grommets about had me running for the hills since I was doing this step by step and literally by-the-book for this review. In the book Lisa says, “if you have a phobia of eyelets (grommets) don’t let that stop you making this bag - in place of eyelets, make a casing for the top of the bag and thread the ties through this instead”. HOLY GROMMET HOLES, it’s as if Lisa wrote that for me. So I did, I made a casing. I also made a little flange-ish thing (the technique name excapes me because I just learned that word only a few weeks ago) - the result when you have a little bit of the lining showing.
I top-stitched a tube around the top with an opening at the front.
I got one of those squeezy knoby bobs and voila.
I could not be more happy with my backpack. I can’t put it down and I keep playing with it. I repeatedly tell my two cats and two dogs, “oh yeah, I made this”. I really couldn’t have made this without such well written instructions and Lisa’s crazy awesome designs.
For now my backpack is a trophy bag - on display and sitting pretty. Tomorrow we go out, and I show the world (or the 10,000 people of Astoria) my new baby.
My only dilemma now is deciding to whether to make another backpack or one of the other fabulous projects in the book!
I was told that there has been a printing error with that pattern and that it should have been corrected with the latest batch of books. If anyone should get a previously printed copy, here are the instructions I recieved (that should follow step 26):
“Three in one convertable (bblfr)
The bblfr needs to be stitched centrally over the bag flap (on the bag back exterior). The top edge of the bblfr needs to be placed one centimetre above the bottom edge of the bag flap (so the bottom edge of the bag flap this covered by the bblfr). PS the top edge of the bblfr will have the d-rings and grab handle pointing upwards.“
Digital preview: A Bag for All Reasons
Lisa’s blog: u-handbag.typepad.com
F+W Media is kindly giving away a copy of A Bag for All Reasons to one of my readers! Leave a comment and I’ll draw a lucky name this upcoming Saturday morning.
Edited in: The giveaway has now ended, and using random.org for comments 1-238, the winner is #31 by Pam of Library Gal Quilts (how awesome is it that the library gal won a book!). Yay, Pam!