I first saw this Sew-Together-Bag when a friend of mine (Krista @kristastitched) made one and put a picture of it on Instagram. I instantly fell in love with it, and all the pockets and organizing storage it offers - perfect for teachers supplies, makeup or sewing notions. Which then gave me the crazy idea to make one for teacher's Christmas gifts (the kids' Science/Spanish class) as well as Christmas gifts for a few of my friends.
8 bags later I can testify to it not being a super fast pattern, but a very satisfying project. I used scraps to make a pieced strip in the front, and then added monograms to personalize each one (I love the way they turned out!). But really, these can be personalized, or made as scrappy or streamlined as you want.
I ended up cutting out all the pieces for each bag at one time, which helped speed up the process. And then I'd sew 2-3 at a time - kinda like chain-piecing quilts...but...bags. On a few of them I mis-cut the front panels, and had to improvise by adding another narrow strip of fabric, and then made it look like it was on purpose!
For my friends that sew, I added a little felted wool rectangle (from a shrunken wool sweater) for pins/needles.
Since I needed (24) 9" zippers, I bought mine from a little shop over at Etsy, called ZipIt. Bulk pricing ended up being much better than buying individually at JoAnn's, and I was very pleased with the quality, not to mention it was so fun to pick colors from such a nice assortment!
Packaging got creative when I went to mail these - and necessity is indeed the mother of invention. My pantry provided the perfect mailing package, and after I wrapped the oats tubs in brown paper they looked "inventive" if nothing else. Even the Post Office employee commented on them being unique. At least she made me feel like it was cute - even if it was ghetto. =)
Overall they were a hit, and after Christmas was over and I could catch my breath, I made one more for me. Now I can't wait to fill it with all my sewing notions!
At first I hesitated a bit when I saw the price of the pattern, but when I realized how many bags I'd be making, averaged out, it ended up being a steal. =) Plus the pattern is brilliant.
Oh yeah - if you want to check out pictures of other Sew Together Bags, head on over to Instagram and look up @sewdemented's #sewtogetherbag. And be sure to let me know if you make one too.
Pattern: Sew Together Bag - pattern at Craftsy.com
Outside Fabric: Essex Yarn Dyed Linen - in black
zippers: ZipIt (Etsy.com)