I always love the small details on shop-bought things so I always love trying to replicate them on the things that I make myself. Pictured left is a small tab that I've sewn into the seam, and which matches the fabric that I've used to make the inside pockets with (pictured right). There is a pocket for my mobile phone (a feature that I always love in a bag as I am always missing calls as I usually take so long trying to retrieve it from the jumble of contents), and another pocket next to it for bigger bits and pieces.
I've sewn two vertical lines going down the middle of the bag in contrasting thread, to try and add a bit of colour to the outside...but as I said in my last post, contrast stitching has the disadvantage of highlighting any less-than-perfect handiwork...Overall, I'm pleased with the bag - it feels really sturdy and I'm sure I could put books and magazines in there without any risk of the seams being weakened. I love the size, and the colour of the outside, and I love the piping around the bottom that helps keep the shape (which incidentally I had been dreading putting in, but it was one of those fluky things that just went well - yay!)....BUT...there are a couple of things that I feel really dissatisfied with - firstly the stitching around the curve at the top feels clunky: it was so difficult trying to get the lining to stay flat and get the slits all just the right length to keep the curve smooth, that I ended up not doing as good a job as I hoped - I did tack it all first, but I found it really hard to keep the machine in exactly the right place - with less that a millimetre between the outer line of stitching that the edge of the material...it's okay, but not brilliant. Secondly, I really can't stand the lining - it's too bright and lacks the subtlety that buying a more expensive, better quality lining would have brought...but it was in my fabric stash and I convinced myself that it would be fine, but actually it's not and it grates on me every time I look at it!!!
Having said all that I will still wear it happily as I adore this style of bag - only having one handle seems so much easier than two - it never slips off your shoulder, and, as your arm naturally goes over the opening, all the things inside feel really secure.
This is the canvas summer bag that I used as my inspiration - it's made by Jo Edwards, who I think designs the most wonderful bags. You can find some of her more recent models at Not On The High Street (I'm sure she sells so many that it's no longer her personally hand stitching each one, but I can say that the curve on her bag, that was so problematic when I came to doing it myself, is perfection...oh to be able to stitch like that!!!).