I fell in love with the Bridget’s Bagettes pattern by Atkinson Designs the first time I saw it. Initially, I used the pattern to make a set of three kit examples in pink and turquoise fabrics. They were so easy to sew and with fabulous results! Then I had a thought…(this usually involves a lot of work for me when these thoughts arrive!)…why not make pouches for my sons’ teachers as gifts for the end of the school year? I could get them to pick the fabrics (with maybe a little guidance?), I could sew them, and then they could write a little note to go inside the pouch for each teacher.
After wrangling the children into actually helping rather than just picking up the two closest fabrics and throwing them at me, it all started to go well. We began with this pile of fabrics on the right. They were all fabrics that had been sitting in my stash and I didn’t have a specific project in mind for them.
I cut out all the pieces required and fused them to Pellon ShapeFlex woven fusible interfacing as the directions required. I love how this interfacing adds weight to the fabric but doesn’t make it like cardboard. The fabric remains soft and drapeable with a bit of stretch but has more stability and heft for durability and maintaining shape. Now that I’ve used it a couple of times I can think of all sorts of projects I’d like to use it in!
After this came the fun part – matching up coloured zippers to the fabrics. Atkinson Designs has also designed a range of zippers (made by YKK so excellent quality) in fun colours. I used these to either blend or provide contrast, depending on the fabrics used in the pouch. On to sewing…the pattern provides tips about working with Quilter’s Vinyl. It recommends using tissue paper underneath the vinyl if it is the bottom fabric you are sewing, and using a walking foot if the vinyl is on top. I used both of these tips and didn’t have any trouble sewing with vinyl. The picture to the right shows the vinyl attached to the zippers.
The next step involved fusible fleece for the section that is visible through the vinyl. The pattern recommends Pellon Fusible Fleece 987FP so I stuck with this. It has a great loft and is easy to use.
Then, it was time to assemble the central section of the pouch. Sewing through the zipper on both ends and cutting off the excess zip did involve a few tense moments and a little bit of seam ripping. But I got there in the end!
Next it was time to put on the back and flip the pouch inside out. I did have a few problems with this (they may have been made worse by the fact that I was doing it late at night and there may have been wine involved)…as the vinyl tended to crease a bit when I was flipping the pouch around. As far as I can tell there was no permanent damage though. This one’s my favourite colour combination!
And finally, finishing the outer edges. I found the Clover Wonder Clips invaluable at holding my carefully folded mitred corners in place while I topstitched around the outside. I wouldn’t want to pin through this many layers (and through vinyl!) and the Wonder Clips worked great. So great, in fact, that I may have to get more of them! The pattern does offer another option for finishing the outside edges but I like the look of mitred corners.
TA DA!!! One finished pouch (or bagette). Well, actually, not entirely finished as you can see the threads have to be finished off at the bottom and there’s the mitred corners to slip stitch closed, but you get the picture. Only 9 more to go! (Yes, between the two of them there’s actually 10 teachers/school staff to get gifts for…sigh). Still, I’d rather be sewing than doing just about anything else!
So there you have it, my foray into this great pattern by Atkinson Designs. I highly recommend it – it’s fun and easy to do, and it makes great teacher gifts!