Monday, October 20, 2014

Purse Palooza-Integral Bow Clutch Review

Hello Everyone!

Are you all enjoying Purse Palooza 2014, so far?  I have been loving every minute!  There are so many talented bag makers and great patterns.  I look forward to this event every year.  I even began to mark it on my calendar.  I'm very grateful that Sara had the awesome idea to organize this event to showcase bag making. 

The pattern I chose to review is the Integral Bow Clutch Pattern designed by Constructivism.  This pattern can be purchased and instantly downloaded by following this link to ConstructivPattern's Etsy Shop.

Integral Bow Clutch
I chose this pattern because I LOVE the look of this bag!  All of the pictures I saw of the finished bag look professional.  It is the perfect size to use for girls night out, dressy or casual event.  It all depends on the fabrics you use.  It will hold a credit card, ID, keys, chap stick and sunglasses. "The finished clutch will measure approx. 29cm (11 1/2") long x 14 cm (5 1/2") wide x 5cm (1 3/4") depth at the base." that is from the pattern description.  If you've ever read my blog or looked at any of the bags I've made, I usually add some kind of embellishment--lately it has been bows.  Need I say more?

Integral Bow Clutch front
Often when I look at bag patterns, I try to pick a pattern that I couldn't make on my own or it includes details on some technique that I want to learn.   I could not figure out how the bow is integrated into the body of this clutch.  Do you want to know how it is done?  I quote "The fabric is pieced together and gathers up to form the bow, like a perfectly wrapped gift!"  Yes, It is!!!  The bag is structured and has a zipper closure.   I added the wrist strap.  It is not included in the pattern.

There are several pattern pieces included in this pattern.  Eleven to be exact.  I know that sounds like a lot especially given the bag size.  I PROMISE it sounds and looks way more intimidating to make than it actually is. 
Integral Bow Clutch Back View

The key to successfully making this pattern is to follow the included "Print and Cut" pattern piece instructions.  Yep, that includes pulling out that X Acto (type) Knife.  Then make sure you make all the marks on all of your pattern pieces....even the sewing lines.  This will make sewing this bag a breeze! 

I really like the instructions provided on how to cut the interfacing.  This is the method I sometimes use when I sew with slick or slippery fabrics.  However, I must admit that I made one bag by first tracing all of the pattern pieces and markings onto the back (non-fusible side) of the interfacing.  Then I cut out the interfacing pieces.  Finally, I fused the interfacing pieces to my fabric.  I think I had slightly less waste this way.   

The pattern suggests using a firm heavyweight non-fusible stabilizer for the front and back panels.  I used Pellon #70.   It also suggest using a mid-weight fusible woven interfacing (Shape Flex 101).  I used Pellon 950F.   When using Pellon #70 in this bag, it is not difficult to sew with because there is a pattern piece included that has the markings that are needed and excludes the seam allowances.  This allows for easy sewing and turning.  Hemming tape is used to adhere the Pellon #70 panel to the back fabric panel.  You sew directly on the front Pellon panel to make the bow. 

As for the sewing difficulty level, the pattern designer states that "I aim to create clear, professional, detailed PDF patterns & step-by-step tutorials with loads of photos & diagrams."  This is exactly how I would describe this pattern and instructions.  They are very clear precise and include lots of pictures and enough details with out having too many details (does that make sense?).  For this reason, I would think that even beginner could follow along to make this bag.  If you are a beginner and still question it,  take a moment to read other reviewers comments in the Etsy Shop.   Several of them made this bag having little sewing experience. 

There is a brief explanation on how to make the bow  piece longer, if you wish to do so.  I did not extend the bow on either of the bags I made. 

Integral Bow Clutch inside of bag with slip pocket to hold credit card and or ID.
The inside of the bag is fully lined and includes one slip pocket.  On the bags I made I slightly modified this pocket.  I made the seam allowances a scant 1/4".  Doing this allows the pocket to be the perfect size to hold your credit card and ID. 

Integral Bow Clutch view of top zipper closure

I will definitely be making this bag again.  I always have several grab bag type gift exchanges around the holidays.  I plan on making a few of these bags for this purpose. 

Thank you!

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