20 August 2015

Thursday Finish: Paris Bag


Deep breath. First I'll show you the cute bag. Then, if you're interested, I'll share my thoughts on the pattern (not good!).

This bag was not a lot of fun. It was fun to plan, certainly, but the actual execution? Not so much. 

The pattern: Cotton Way's Sew On the Go Bag. But don't rush off and buy it. Unless you like saying things like, "What?" and "Huh?" a lot. Because I said those a lot.

The problems:
  1. Illustrations were small photographs, no larger than 2X3, all on one page. I understand the need to save paper/ink, but I would have preferred to have larger pictures and just use my computer for viewing the illustrations. So frustrating to not understand things. Because of that front zipper pocket, you need clear instructions and illustrations. You get neither.
  2. Instructions. Big long paragraphs of instructions, with indications to view the tiny illustrations sprinkled throughout. Not a great way to write a bag pattern. 
  3. Method of doing things: there were two instances where I'm pretty sure I did things my own way, because I could never really figure out what she was getting at.
All this leads me to ask if this was even tested? Because my pattern tester would have caught all of this, and more! Kate would never let me get away with this kind of pattern writing.

If you still really want to make this bag, I recommend going to Three Owls Handmade. This list of tips and tricks was pretty helpful at times. But the best advice I can give is to just not bother. There are far better bag patterns out there. Don't waste your time and money. A bag like this should have taken just a couple of hours, tops. I can make a Weekender bag in less time!

Checking this one off the 3QFAL list. Now time to finish some minis!


  1. Ouch. That's never good to not like a pattern, especially with how expensive they are. Have you reached out to Cotton Way to share your concerns? Maybe no one ever has and she didn't know customers were getting frustrated.

  2. OMG Jennie - now I see where your frustration was! Such a shame about the pattern writing, especially given that you are an experienced bag-maker & that particular designer is oh-so popular... well done on persevering, I would have just given up!

  3. Oh, that's what the zippers are for....yeah I don't like that. Good for you for preserving, though. Do you think I ought to start red-penning already published patterns and emailing them to the designers? ;)

  4. How frustrating! Despite all of the problems your bag looks really great.

  5. I just went through a frustrating time with a pattern from one of the big pattern companies so I feel your frustration. Your bag turned out great though and I love the fabrics you used!

  6. I feel your pain - nothing more frustrating than confusing instructions (unless it's wrong pattern piece sizes ;o). It's one of the things that concern me most when writing patterns and I know I would appreciate the feedback - maybe Cotton Way would, too?
    Despite the disappointing instructions, it looks like you made a wonderful bag. Way to persevere!

  7. I have a bag that I have designed and this is exactly why I won't write a pattern for it. I have given a couple classes where we make the bag together but to write the directions so that anyone form a beginner to an accomplished bag maker could understand I just don't think I could do. Then I would be crushed to read such harsh criticism after all that work. No pattern writing in my future.

  8. The bag looks great, but I can certainly understand your frustration!! What a shame. These projects should be way more fun than that! :-/

  9. I'm totally with you on the sentiment! Time is precious and patterns should be easy to follow - you are a great purse / bag maker so if you found it duffucukt, I would find it impossible! Not an easy task making a pattern but if you're going to do it, do it well!

  10. Super cute bag, but sorry about the frustrating pattern. Pattern writing is hard and it's just not for everyone. Thanks for sharing your honest views though.


"The more things you do, the more you can do."

Lucille Ball