Well I've been super lucky with giveaways lately and recently scored 15 wonderful patterns from the ladies at Patterns Only and a multitude of pattern designers. I've promised Louise pics and if I can manage a review of he pattern.
So first cab of the rank is the 'Sophia' Bag from Charlie's Aunt - you can find the pattern here - it's a pdf - I don't mind pdfs for bags and small items cause you only ever have to stick a couple of sheets of paper together. The bigger ladies wear, I think I'd rather a printed pattern.
Anyways back to the pattern.
Let me just say I LOVE Charlie's Aunt patterns, they are a very nice pattern, easy to read and follow and come in styles suitable for beginners right up to advanced.
I'd say the Sophia bag would be suitable for a beginner, it has only 3 pieces and is easy to construct, whilst it does have curve if you shorten your stitch length and take it slow it's easy to go around them. Just remember to clip and trim those curves for your bag to sit well and remember to press as you go.
I used a gorgeous 1920's lady print and some dusty blue velveteen (I scored at a sale last year) , I have plans now for the velveteen after seeing some gorgeous creation by another sewing mama.
I used a heavy weight interfacing for the outer bags - I didn't have any of the quilted calico that's recommended in the pattern, I'd say it's a UK thing, you could if you wanted to use some pellon also for a more padded bag, but the velveteen was quite thick so it stands up well by itself. I also used some lightweight interfacings on the bag inners, it quite a light colour and a bit sheer and I thought it would stand up better that way.
I made the pocket first, I took my time and it was perfect, went to put it on the bag and discovered it was backwards - I had changed the pattern so the pocket was on the velveteen side, but forgot to reverse the pattern oops, so anyways I made another. I took it slow, took my stitch length down and clip and trimmed. Ironing is an important step her to get your pocket to look schmick. I think I'd like to add some piping next time.
After the pocket it's pretty easy to put together, make the two bags and put one inside the other and stitch around the top and turn. It isn't a big bag and I don't have a freearm on my machine, so it was a bit fiddly, with a freearm it would be much easier.
It came together very quickly and I think you'll agree it looks great. I think it would be lovely in a single colour with some gorgeous vintage buttons. It's not a big bag, but perfect for an afternoon out, or day at the races or theatre, just big enough to hold a wallet, keys and phone. I do like that it has a nice flat bottom so will sit up by itself, if you do that often, I'd probably put some bag feet on it, to protect it's bottom.