An Idea Works Out

I was looking at Pinterest last night and saw a bag that I thought was interesting. So I followed the link and eventually found a free pattern for the bag. I was pretty sure I had figured out how to make this happen, but downloaded the pattern just to see if I was right. And I was.

Here’s the first panel.

Here’s the link to the pattern.

You basically sew 2.5 inch strips together, then press the seams with the wrong sides of the fabric together and stitch 1/4 inch from the edge. You’re basically making French seams.

Then you just fold the little tabs up or down and stitch them to make the scallop pattern.

I looked through my stash and selected a group of fabrics to use, and it’s funny that they’re all Brandon Mably designs. It wasn’t intentional to select all Brandon fabrics, but the look I wanted was definitely in the Brandon area.

I need to make the second panel tomorrow and then construct the bag. I’m just going to construct it like I do my Frankenbags. Thinking about some options for the lining. Might be Brandon’s onion rings. It definitely HAS to be a Brandon fabric.

I’m looking forward to executing this technique with different fabric and color combos. Different fabrics would give different and really cool effects.

One of my blog readers, Jody from Brookings, Oregon, left a comment earlier today asking me how long it takes to make a Frankenbag. She’s working on her first one and has found it a lengthy process.

The part that takes the longest is definitely making the two panels. This typically takes me anywhere from two to four hours, depending on how many orphan blocks I’m using and how complicated the other piecing is. Then it’s pretty quick to make the quilt sandwiches. Straight line quilting for two panels probably takes about 45 minutes. I can whip up the handles in ten minutes (I cut quite a few handle pieces while I’m cutting, so all I have to do is grab two pieces, fold and stitch). Constructing the body of the bag goes quickly. That might take me 15 minutes or so. Then making the lining, sewing it in and finishing the bag probably takes another hour.

So if I add it all up, it probably takes me four to six hours to make a bag, depending on how complicated and involved the panels are.

Jody also wondered if I’ve gotten faster after making nearly 30 of these bags. And I’d have to say that I probably have. I’ve learned a lot of tricks along the way that make the process quicker and more efficient. Things like the best way to pin the lining in the bag body so I don’t stab myself 15 times while I’m sewing it in.

I got photos of some really wonderful Frankenbags made by blog readers in the last few days! I’m having a blast seeing what others are making. There’s so much creativity and amazing sewing skill out there!

The first one was made by Susan Dunn, and it’s a wowzer! Look at all that amazing color! And that black and white spot is so bold and substantial. And the whole thing looks like it’s really well made. Quite inspirational!

The next one is from Maddie Pepe. I love the cool colors in this bag. And I have a soft spot for stars. And take a look at that lining… it’s pretty spectacular! Maddie used a more substantial batting type material inside the bag and added a rigid piece in the bottom. And I really like how she made her zipper pocket. I’m going to have to look closely at that and see if I can figure that out. I love a good zipper pocket.

The last one up tonight was made by Michele Pintarch. She’s made other bags that have been posted here. I really like this bag. I love the colors, love the bold black and whites and I just love that purple lining with the surprise pocket lining! I just love details like that pocket lining! It’s amazing how much impact a little thing like that can have. And look at that big purple bloom on the side of the bag. Brilliant!

Thanks to Susan, Maddie, and Michele for sharing their photos! Beautiful bags, every one of them!

It’s going to be a relatively cool weekend compared to the heat spell we have coming up next week. I’m going to enjoy a couple of cool days before I have to hunker down in the house next week.

20 Replies to “An Idea Works Out”

    1. Great! I love the free-form nature of it and I’m glad you like it. Some people really struggle with that free form approach. I also love that these bags are a project that are relatively easy to actually finish!


  1. Wow wee! Sew inspiring to see these lovely bags! Hopefully I will find some time to sew this weekend! I have been babysitting my granddog a very smart and lively Australian cattle dog, and she fits right in with my big black lab border collie mix. 💖💙 enjoy your weekend

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Holy Moly !! Loving your new found idea, and again all these awesome bags other’s are creating. I have two front and backs sewn together waiting, just waiting to be quilted and constructed, it is taking me forever !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you have your panels done, most of the work is done! For me, the construction goes pretty fast. And straight line quilting goes fast now that I have a system figured out!

      Can’t wait to see what you’re making!



  3. I love your bags. I’m going to attempt one soon and truly make it an experiment. I’m currently making some New York Beauty blocks. They are a first attempt. I’m also going to experiment with quilting as well. A Frankenbag for sure😃. I have a question: what would happen if you changed the gusset dimensions? Also, there is a store online that I get emails from about leather, but he is apparently stocking all kinds of cork. Just thought I’d pass it on. The Leather Guy is the name of the store. Check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for the reference for the leather store. I’ll def check it out.

      You can certainly adjust the gussets. All you have to do is make the square you cut out at the bottom bigger or smaller. It will also change the dimensions and proportions of your bag. But its definitely worth playing around with!

      I just love that so many people are diving in and doing things they’ve never done before. It’s so exciting and fun!



    1. It always completely changes a piece to see it sewn into a bag. I can’t wait to see how this looks as a bag.

      And yes… that black and white jumble is so fantastic!



  4. Nice touch using Jumble in-between the beautiful bright KFC fabrics.Way back in the mid 1980s Caryl Bryer Fallert was making a series of quilt using the tuck technique and made quite a stir when her series came on the scene, don’t know if you have heard of her but worth having a look at her site.


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