Monday, September 27, 2021

Making a Switchback Bag with Free to Fly from Island Batik and ByAnnie

I was excited to find that one of the Island Batik Ambassador challenges this year was another bag using a pattern from the ByAnnie collection! 

 I made the Round Trip Duffle bag last summer, so when we were asked to make a choice for a pattern this year, I decided that I would like to make a backpack - the Switchback pattern looked like a fun choice, so I decided to try it out.  For fabric, I selected some pretty blues, with green, orange and yellow from the Free to Fly collection.  Everything I needed to make this project was provided in my July Ambassador Box from Island Batik, including the pattern, all the hardware, soft and stable plus interfacing and webbing for the straps.  

When you make one of these bags, the instructions can seem a little overwhelming as there are many pages with lots of steps.  But this actually sets you up for success, because as you do one step at a time, everything comes together perfectly in the end!  Plus the add-on video is a great help with the tricky bits!

There is a detailed cutting chart, then you quilt your sections, and cut those into the required pieces.  Quilting the Soft and Stable is really easy - I find that using my walking foot and doing straight lines goes quickly and gives the bag a nice finish.  I love the great definition it gives!  For the quilting I used used 50 wt Aurifil thread, and for the bag I used a combination of 50 and 40 wt threads, depending on the color I needed to use.

I loved how cute and tiny this shoulder strap is!  A little tricky to add the binding, but I got it done!  After that was finished, the straps were made, then it was on to adding some pockets and creating the bag flap.

The front of the bag has a zipper pocket, plus two rings so that the front flap can be secured.  I love the color blocking used on this bag, it really gives it a fun touch!

I was a little mystified by the little flap that had to be sewn to the sides and bottom of the front pocket section of the bag, but when I got to the part where it got sewn to the body of the bag it made perfect sense, the flap allows this part to stand out from the bag so you have a nice roomy pocket!  I was so delighted with the results, it was a really neat way of doing this!

Once I got to this point, I was so into the process that I forgot to take any more pictures until the bag was finished!  Isn't it pretty?  

This bag features a long strap that you can wear over your shoulder or as a backpack.  When sewing the back to the flap there is quite a bit of bulk where the strap loops are and I had some skipped stitches, so I just changed to a brand new Schmetz needle size 16 and that took care of it perfectly! 

It has a clip for keys, that can also function as an extra safety feature to keep anyone from reaching into your bag when it's on your back, as you can hook this into a loop on the other side and draw the sides together.  It's perfect for holding my house key; since my jeep has a keyless entry, I usually have to hunt out my house key in the bottom of my purse when I get home - now it's super handy and I know right where it is!

That front pocket is perfectly sized to hold my Kindle Fire tablet, so I can have a book to read when I go out!

Now I just need to make a matching case for the kindle!

It can actually fit sideways as well!  

There are also two pockets with elastic at the top, as well as an interior zippered pocket.  The top flap zips, you can clip the sides together, and then clip the flap down so it's very secure for using as a backpack as well.  The bottom of the bag is wider than the top, so it can hold a lot of stuff, if you need to stock up for a full day out and about.

The shoulder pad is stitched to the strap so you don't have to worry about it shifting around - it's the perfect length, plus the strap is adjustable, so you can easily lengthen or shorten to your preferred length. I used this on my trip last week, but I think I'll use it as my every day purse for a while - I love how organized I can be with those handy pockets!  No more digging around the bottom of my bag looking for something.

Thanks to Island Batik, ByAnnie, Schemtz Needles and Aurifil thread for the supplies I used to make this great project!


For the love of geese said...

Love it, great choice on the quilting.

Quilting Gail said...

Looks like a fantastic bag, Pamela! Love it!

Emily said...

Beautiful! I like clipping your keys to the inner bag clip; that's a good idea! Such a pretty bag!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas said...

Really beautiful. I like the fabrics you used and the security strap option sounds great. I always use a backpack style purse, and sometimes I worry when I'm in a crowd.