Friday, June 22, 2012

Wanderer Ruck Sack Review

Don't you just LOVE those emails you get from Amy Butler's studio announcing new sewing patterns?  If you aren't on her mailing list, you really must go SIGN UP.....NOW!  (Especially because we are awaiting a very special announcement from her studio!  We can't wait!!  No, I'm not telling!)  We were thrilled to see that one of her three new patterns was a backpack!  I can't tell you how many times we get requests for backpack patterns!  We LOVE Kay Whitt's backpack pattern in her Sew Serendipity Bags book!  It's super hearty with a fabulous interfacing and lot's of fun hardware that will make your backpack look like it came from a custom boutique!  But if your looking for a quick, drawstring type back sack, The Wanderer Ruck Sack is for you.  Adorned with layers of ruffles, it adds a sophisticated softness perfect for any age!

First, I picked three fabrics.  Exterior, Coordinating Exterior and Lining.

My picks may seem odd but I have been staring at these three fabrics for months now trying to figure out what I wanted to do with them and this seemed the perfect fit!

First apply all of the interfacing...some pieces required two layers....she recommends Stacy SF-101 single sided fusible woven interfacing.  You know me, this is all I use anyway!  Amazing stuff!  I try to have a bolt on hand at all times! 

After interfacing is applied, time for ruffles!  She has you do a set of two basting stitches on each ruffle, pull until it is gathered to the correct measurement.  Pin them to your exterior piece and top stitch two lines across each ruffle in the center, roughly 1/8" apart.

Attach the exterior ruffle piece to the exterior coordinating panel following the directions to leave an opening at each top side seam to pull the straps through.  You'll also be attaching the strap loops at the bottom of the bag during this step.

Next, create your pocket and lining....SUPER easy and quick.  You'll leave your space for turning in the bottom of the lining and hand-stitch it closed

Slip the lining over the exterior and sew all the way around with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Turn it right side out and press around the top.  Sew around the top edge to create your strap channel being careful not to catch your top ruffle under your needle.

Now you're ready for your straps.  The directions are perfect and usually how I do any strap on my designs.  Only difference, you'll leave the ends open for 2.5" so that once your straps are threaded, you can sew them together in a loop.

Okay, so now you've finished your straps and threaded them through and made them into loops:

You're Done!  Super cute!
Here are a couple thoughts:

This is a VERY cool looking bag!  Ruffles are IN and this bag rocks them!  The size is smaller, 14" x 17".  It's not a huge shopper type bag.  I will wear it to the Farmers Market but I probably won't be able to carry ALL my fruits and veggies in it.  It would be great for a small laptop or tablet, cell phone and wallet.  (You might even be able to apply some Thermolam to the lining pieces to make it extra sturdy if you intend on carrying electronics.)  My daughter, who is an artist, mentioned it would be great to carry all of her sketching materials while out in the field sketching.  (Birthday present!) 

The straps:  Here's where this very easy pattern turned a bit challenging for me.  Threading the first strap through the channel was easy enough.


I forgot to thread the first strap through the strap loop at the bottom of the bag.  I attached the ends and finished it with top-stitching and everything before I realized that I hadn't threaded it through.  This was 100% MY FAULT.  ( I was watching San Antonio Living and they were talking about potato salad and I was doesn't take much to distract me.)  Once I undid all the sewing I had done and separated the strap ends, I threaded it through the loop and attached it again....all was fine.  I started threading the second strap through.  The channel gets very tight with two interfaced straps in there.  It wasn't super easy, but I got it done.  Now both straps are threaded and finished off.  The bag isn't difficult to close.  Just pull on opposite straps and it closes beautifully.  It's opening it back up again where it gets difficult.  I know this is just because it's a brand new bag with fresh interfacing.  With a little use, the fabric/interfacing will relax and it'll get easier.  Perhaps NOT interfacing the straps would avoid this stiffness in the drawstring of the bag.  BUT, the interfacing in the straps is necessary if you want a good sturdy bag.  If you don't care about the straps being hearty, don't interface them and I think you'll have an easier time pulling the bag open and closed right away.

Friday Morning Addendum:  Chief messed with it last night and the more we opened and closed the top of the bag, the easier it got.  So, it's just going to take some use to get the top to ease up.  There's a lot of interfacing in there for good reason!  I'm so excited about carrying this bag to the market this weekend!


Kelly said...

Thanks for the review Joy. It is beautiful xxx

Unknown said...

I can't wait to make this one, thank you so much for the tutorial. I love Amy's patterns! This one looks amazing!