Way back at the end of last summer, and just before our lives got crazy for a while (see my post of September 13th) I was accepted as a tester of the lovely Anya Bag by Zoe, writer of So Zo. I was excited to be a tester as despite the fact that I’ve sewn, knitted and done crochet for as long as I can remember, I’ve never tested a brand new pattern, pre-release.
Unfortunately my photos of the construction process met with a watery end when I dropped my i-phone down the toilet, and no, they weren’t backed up! However, I still have my lovely bag which I’ve taken photos of again to show you.
I made mine from from a lovely fresh, mint green polka dot furnishing fabric which I’d bought from the sale rack at my local fabric shop, Fine Fabrics, Sheffield, for a couple of pounds, and I lined it with a piece of leftover curtain lining … so it came to the princely sum of about £2. I know Zoe of the So Zo blog likes to be thrifty, so I hope she’ll approve!
I need to show you a photo of the button I used as this has been in my button box for a number of years now, and actually came from a dress I made for my first pregnancy, just over 30 years ago! Once the dress had been worn for both of my pregnancies and was no longer needed, I removed the buttons, and I use them occasionally where they can make a statement. This one sits nicely on the tab of the Anya Bag.
So, here’s my (somewhat belated) review of the gorgeous Anya Bag:
- I made it in a couple of hours on a wet late summer afternoon, so it’s a great project if you fancy sewing something up quickly
- my fabric didn’t need pattern matching so I used less than the suggested length – so a great stash buster
- the written instructions and online colour photos were extremely clear and explained and visualised every single step – especially the clever bit of magic you do when sewing a bag with a lining and have to turn it the right way out at the end!
- it was handy and environmentally friendly to have the instructions on my tablet at the side of my sewing machine
- I loved the tip for pressing the pleats at the top to make them lie crisply. It helps to define the shape of the bag
- the straps are a great length for a shoulder bag, but I plan to make another at some point, with longer straps, so that I can wear across the body and make it hands-free!
I enjoyed seeing what fabric other bloggers used for their Anya bags. It’s amazing how a simple change of fabric redefines a garment or hand sewn item and gives it a new character and suggestion of use. I particularly like Handmade Jane’s version, and Scruffy Badger’s, in denim and tweed …. however, I remain jealous of the lovely crisp print which Zoe used for the bag in her photos!
Zoe’s pattern is available from her website, at a great price of £5!