#Sewingdare Done!

Make It Nifty-#Sewingdare-CoverWhen Gillian put the call out for sewists to put their hat in the ring for sewing dares I mulled it over for a few days then signed up. I wanted a dare that I could sew using stuff from my stash already. I didn’t make a move on my dare until she posted about sewing dares progress others were making.

Make It Nifty-The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook Bag-coverThe #sewingdare was a great kick in the behind for me to make the bag from The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook. I’ve wanted to make it for a long time, I had the pattern all traced and cut out ready to go since the beginning of last year, but I just haven’t gotten around to sewing it. I’ve always found other things that needed to be sewn NOW. Know what I mean?


The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook – Bag

Pattern Adjustments

  • I made the elastic casings a little deeper to accommodate the wider elastic I was using (2.5cm instead of 2cm in the pattern) I mistakenly added 0.5 cm to the tops of the exterior and lining pieces too, but I made it work by trimming off the amount I added to the lining pieces.
  • Cut out a simple wide strap. I had to cut 2 pieces because the fabric wasn’t wide enough. Each piece was about 6″ wide by 32″ long and then joined them with a diagonal seam like when joining bias strips.

Make It Nifty- The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook-Bag -outside&insideMaterials

  • Leftover fabric from this skirt
  • 2.5 cm wide elastic


The bag was pretty straight forward to make. There were a couple of times during the instructions when I had to read the instructions twice, but overall pretty simple.

When making the strap I forgot to trim the ends to turn under nicely when I attached them. So I had to unpick the top-stitching at the ends so I could trim the ends before I attached them to the bag.

Changes I made this time

  • Omitted the strap from the pattern and instead just cut a
  • Omitted the strap loop, cord and tassel

What I Like

  • The outside side pockets are handy to slip keys and phone into.
  • Very roomy inside
  • The strap is simple and sturdy

What I don’t like

  • Because the outside pockets are the same I keep reaching into one pocket for my phone or keys, but they are in the other pocket.
  • Little bit too slouchy
  • The colour is not the best, but it’s neutral and I can’t complain because I used stash fabric.

Make It Nifty- The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook-Bag -detailsChanges for next time

  • Use a stiffer fabric
  • Interface the base of the exterior with something very stiff interfacing
  • Instead of external side pockets maybe try an elasticated pocket on the front and a zippered pocket on the back


Pattern The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook – Bag (had for ages) $0.00
  • Brown drill from stash
  • Blue floral twill from stash
  • Elastic from stash
  • Brown thread from stash
Time 8 hours (* $17-ish Australian minimum wage) $136.00
Total   $136.00

Final Comment

In the end I really like this bag. It will be a great to use as a run-around bag. I’m not sure if I would make it again, but it was fun to give it a try.

Make It Nifty- The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook-Bag -wornThe main reason I don’t sew from my sewing books is because my sizing falls outside a lot of the sizing included in the books. I know, I know, I should just suck it up and grade patterns; that’s the whole point of sewing your own clothes-you can make pattern adjustments and make things fit you. I know, but insert-some-lame-excuse-here. #lazyseamstress

For easy reference I’ve now added the sizing to my Sewing Books with Patterns page.

ETA (30 June 2015): Woops! I forgot to thank Gillian for giving me a great #sewingdare and hosting a fun sewing challenge 🙂

Do you have sewing books with patterns?
Do you sew from them?

Let me know in the comments.

Until next time,

9 thoughts on “#Sewingdare Done!

  1. This bag looks great, and check out your topstitching on the strap! I think you’re right – this is the kind of bag to just throw on when you’re running out the door. It will go with everything and hold all the essentials. Congrats on completing your dare! I thought that was such a fun idea.

    • Thank you Carolyn.
      It’s become my go to bag. It can hold so much stuff! I’m pretty glad the side pockets can hold my drink bottle too.
      I’m pretty glad I finished the #sewingdare 🙂

  2. Lovely bag. It looks really comfy and useful. Nice that you had all the things for it in your stash. I don’t have that Burda book but I do have the Gertie one (plus the sequel) and the Colette one. I have made a Gertie Bk2 knit pencil skirt and a dress out of the Colette one. I like The Great British Sewing Bee 3 and sewed my sewing dare from that one. Xx

  3. Hello from a fellow Queenslander (Rocky)!! I love your bag. It looks great! I’ve had that book for awhile now but I’ve never made a bag from it yet. I’ve used the dress pattern however. Had to upsize it to buggery, but I love it!

    • Hey Natalie,
      It’s lovely to read a comment from someone in my part of the world 🙂
      I’d love to see your dress. Do you have a pic of it online that you could link to?

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