I am so excited to finally be releasing our latest pattern today - The Connection Bag trio! I will tell you we have our heart and soul in this one and we can't wait to get it in your hands.
First, some history. My sewing passion was jump started by making bags about 17 years ago. Independent pattern designers were few and far between back then, so I tried every big name purse and bag sewing pattern there was. I hated every minute of following their directions, so as soon as I had the basic theory down, I ditched the patterns and made up my own designs. I sold a few on Etsy, gave a lot away, and used them. Like really used them. I learned what features I liked and what I didn't. What made a bag useful and what just made it nice to look at but not practical.
Okay, lets fast forward 11 years to the birth of Modern Textiles! One of the first projects I made using our fabric was the Bucket Tote! We used to have it in our booth whenever we sold fabric and people would always want to buy it. As soon as we opened the shop I wrote the pattern and we started having classes to teach people how to make it. I've written a few other bag patterns since then - the Lucille being my favorite, but we've always kept them really simple. I hadn't gone all in on a bag pattern because I wanted it to be just right. I knew it would take a lot of time, and I knew I wanted it to be perfect. In the meantime, I kept making my own bags. Trying new designs and putting them to the test. About two years ago I made this one that we recently shared on Instagram.
I used it practically every single day for two years. It was almost perfect. And it's the prototype for the Connection Bag. I used what I loved from my original bag and fixed the stuff I didn't. I had come up with a couple of size ideas and started asking our MT team which one they liked - thinking we could settle on one size and run with it. But we all felt strongly about different sizes, and I could see there was a need for all of them. And so, the pattern grew to include all three of them!
My favorite is the large fold-over size. I carrying my laptop back and forth from the shop a lot and I was tired of having to take multiple bags. I have been trying to figure out a way to do the fold-over style for a really long time and I love how this turned out.
I can easily fit my laptop plus all of my other necessities in this bag. The front zipper pocket is where I keep my wallet and keys- I like knowing their secure and I don't have to dig for for them in the bottom of the bag. I keep my phone in one of the large back pockets so it's easy to grab when I need it. Special thanks to Sara Sunderlin for making this beautiful sample and pattern testing for us. Thank you Sara!
The medium bag is really similar to original prototype, but even better! This bag also has a zipper pocket on the front and two large pockets on the back. It's open at the top, but you could easily add a magnetic closure. It has a slouchier feel to it and is so comfortable to wear on your shoulder or across the body. All the sizes have instructions for an adjustable webbing handle so it will be easy to go back and forth. I love this size bag for more everyday use when I'm not carrying my computer.
I think the small size is the perfect travel bag. The zipper closure at the top keeps your things safe and secure. The large pockets and roomy interior still mean you can carry all the necessities, but it's compact size means you can wear it all day without any strain. It's also great as a zipper pouch without the handles. Perfect for storing a tablet, art supplies or a hand sewing project!
As you can see we made a TON of samples, and we're still working on more. Pattern writing really becomes a team effort at MT. I love the different perspectives, learning and sewing styles we all have. And everybody's thoughts and ideas get thrown into the mix. I truly believe it's what sets our patterns apart - and I hope you've found that too! This pattern also features hand drawn illustrations for almost every step. I had a blast drawing them and I hope they help make the sewing process easy and fun for you. Here's a sample from the small bag instructions.
Ready to dive in?! Stop in the shop to pick up a pattern and gather your supplies or visit our online shop. Here's what you'll need.
We hope you love the Connection Bag as much as we do! Some of you have been hearing us talk about this pattern for a very long time! Thank you so much for your patience. I hope you have a blast making it. And just as important, I hope you love USING it!!
UPDATE 1/24/19: Connection Bag Remix!
I love the cleanliness of a new purse, but for some reason those pesky small pockets are difficult to get bobby pins out of! Last time I checked most of our phones are the size of a small tablet, so why are the pockets still fitted for a flip phone? Enter the connection bag: you can decide how big the pockets are.
This is the perfect size bag, big enough for all your daily essentials!
Sew you wanna know how much time it's going to take?
Set aside 3-4 hours for this medium size bag
Here is the back of the same bag, it has two large pockets! Shown with the laptop in main compartment.
Tips to avoid the dreaded seam ripper:
-Take your time to read through the pattern (as you would with every other pattern, right?)
-Make sure to use a zipper foot when it's called out for in the pattern
-I found it helpful to layout the fabrics in the order that they are listed in the pattern (A, B, C and D). Rather than having to continue to remind myself which ones where which.
-When sewing with a metal zipper - just sew as close to the zipper as possible, then move the fabric and zipper forward just so you are past the zipper and continue sewing.
-Grab yourself some wonder-clips, when you have some many layers of fabric it's pretty tough to pin through all of them without bending or breaking needles.
Check out the The Collection Bag Pattern - HERE! There are 3 different styles of bags in each pattern!