My latest project is the Hobo Bag from Sew Everything Workshop. It’s a three-spool project (the highest level of difficulty). And, it was a success! It’s a zippered hobo bag that is big enough to carry a laptop in.
This is a self-drafted pattern, but drafting it was really easy- it’s just two differently shaped rectangles, one with a curved corner. Painless!
I’m excited to say that this is my first truly successful zipper installation! I carefully hand-basted the zipper, then sewed it in with my machine. The stitching around the zipper pull veers to the outside of the zipper instead of staying in the middle, but still- success! No weird gaping holes, and mostly even stitching!
I did make several basic alterations to the pattern- I added pockets on both sides. This is a large bag, so pockets are a must if you want to avoid being disorganized. I also lengthened the strap from 20 to 29 inches- the instructed length just sounded too short, and adding extra length gave me enough leeway to make sure I could attach the strap very securely, instead of with just one line of stitching. Since this bag is so big, I could see it being very heavy if it was full of stuff, and the last thing I need is a broken strap. It probably would have been fine if I didn’t lengthen the strap though- it was just a personal choice.
Overall the instructions were very clear- the only real critique I have (besides adding pockets and securing the strap more securely) is that the instructions for attaching the strap are not clear- attach the strap to the wrong side of the lining, then proceed. Yes, this is pretty straightforward and obvious- but jittery new sewists like me sometimes make stupid mistakes, and it’s nice to have everything spelled out in detail in a beginner’s book.
I do have one more alteration that I plan to make when I make another version of this bag- I’m going to add heavy duty interfacing to the handle. It has a tendency to fold up a bit, which is a little annoying.
I give this project an A. it’s a great bag that would be easy to size up and down. I’m very happy with it, and am planning to make another one in a more neutral/versatile color scheme that I can travel with. I’ve been using this as a yoga bag- it feels great to get use out of my sewing projects!
Plookiss’ Threadware has a step-by step tutorial for this bag here.