Monday, October 13, 2014

Farrah Tote Bag - The Magic Pattern Book Review & Giveaway

The Farrah Tote Bag
I had a great opportunity to review a new sewing book: The Magic Pattern Book by Amy Barickman. In exchange for my review of the book I received a copy for myself and one for a lucky reader. {Giveaway at the end of the post}

The book includes 6 different variations of 6 patterns creating a total of 36 patterns. It also includes fabric suggestions to give you even more variety.
The Magic Pattern Book
{image courtesy Workman Publishing Co.}
 The different categories in the book are the Tank Top, The Dress, The Skirt, The Cardigan, The Coat, and The Accessory. Below are the 6 different variations of the Dress. You can see how versatile all the patterns are. My next project out of this book will be The Catherine, which is the second from the right.



I wasn't too excited about posing for a picture if I made clothing for my review, so I chose to make the Farrah Tote Bag. I'm LOVING how it turned out! This is the perfect bag! It's not huge, but it's plenty big to hold anything you might need.

The Farrah Tote Bag

The whole bottom layer is a set of pockets. There's four of them, which is perfect for me - one pocket for each of my kids to keep snacks or small coloring pads for a long day trip. 

The Farrah Tote Bag
I began by printing off the pattern from the cd included in the book. Then taped all of the papers together, which was really easy since it is clearly marked how to put them together. Then I cut out the pattern. The pattern calls for two different fabrics for the bag. I had gotten these fun prints on sale a while back. The problem was I only 1/2 yard of each fabric. So I had to figure out how I which pieces I wanted out of which material. It ended up working out perfectly with only small scraps left over.

The Farrah Tote Bag
Next was the process of sewing it all together. I would guess that this is one of the most complex patterns in the book. {The Catherine shirt, which I'll tackle next only has three pattern pieces and should be a breeze} However the instructions were clear and easy to follow. I only had two problems. The first was not having enough interfacing. I would suggest getting 2 yards. The second was my own fault. As I was sewing the drawstrings, I just couldn't see how they needed to be as long as they were, so I left off a section. Well as it turns out, you're supposed to wrap each drawstring around the whole bag. Mine weren't long enough so I only went from one side to the other. It turned out ok, but they don't draw closed as easily as if I would have followed the instructions.

The Farrah Tote Bag
Another side effect: The drawstrings were too short to go all the way around the bag, but too long to just tie in simple knots like the pattern suggests. So I ended up tying them in bows. I must say I love the look.

I love how you get two different looks with the same bag, depending on if you draw it closed or not.

The Farrah Tote Bag
Want to win your own copy of The Magic Pattern Book? Just follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter. You must be U.S. Resident to win.  The winner will be chosen on Oct. 20th, 2014.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I enjoyed reviewing this book and I look forward to making many more items from it.  Check out the others on the blog tour and read their reviews.

October 6            AMYBARICKMAN.COM
October 7            WINDY LOU
October 8            MELLY SEWS
October 9            CRAFT GOSSIP
October 10          SEW MAMA SEW
October 13          ADVENTURES OF A DIY MOM
October 14          LILACS & LACE
October 15          FOUR SQUARE WALLS
October 16          PINK CHALK STUDIO
October 17          CITY STITCHING with CHRISTINE HAYNES
October 20          CUT OUT & KEEP
October 21          HE SOWED, SHE SEWED
October 22          CHIC STEALS
October 23          THREADS
October 24          INDYGO JUNCTION

29 comments :

  1. A lovely tote bag. It is a perfect bag and would get so much use. ~ Catherine

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  2. *Giggle* Wow, I forgot to say which pattern I'd like to try out! Besides the bag...I'd like to try out the dress pattern, as a tunic, though.
    Thanks again for the lovely giveaway, and the review. Your version of the bag really is cute! :)

    -H.

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  3. Since I have a hard time finding tops that are long enough I would start with the tank top then I would sew a bag, yours is darling!

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  4. The problem is more what to make first than what to make... I like some features of the garments in almost every section - except the tank. Skirts: The Beatrice, and The Billie (but longer). Dresses Ceilia (in a longer version) and Camilla; The Charlotte and The Catherine, made in tunic length. Cardigans The Daisy, and the Daphne, but without the bow in back... Coats: The Evelyn (but without the belt style collar and that belt on the back) and the Emma, cut at tunic length for a nice blouse. Accessories: The Fiona, The Farrah, and maybe the Freddie and the Frida... I already cut out the pattern for the Fiona scarf because it's less intimidating than some of the other patterns... start easy and go with the more complicated things later.

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  5. I'd make the cardigan first, as I need a couple of lighter weight toppers to wear with jeans. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.
    Oh, I like your version of the bag!

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  6. I would love to try the dress. It has been years since I've attempted to make an adult sized dress.

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  7. I loved how your bag turned out. I would make the Alice.

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  8. I'm not an experienced garment seamstress, so I would start with the tank top. Thanks for the giveaway. I love your bag.

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  9. I'm so curious to sew one of the hats! I don't really look fantastic in hats, but I've never sewn one and want to try it! Hey, my sister looks great in hats. :)

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  10. I LOVE the colors and design of your bag! I am a bag lady and would love to make one. Thank you for the chance to win.

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  11. I want to try the cardigan pattern. A girl can never have to many cardi's !

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  12. I'd love to try the Tank Top. And I like your bag :)

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  13. I think I would start big I love the Coat!

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  14. The cardigan is my first choice, then the bag. -- soparkaveataoldotcom

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  15. I would love to win this book! thank you.

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  16. I want to make a coat from this book!

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  17. I would also try the Farrah tote! The fabric they used in the book is so cute!

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  18. I would really enjoy this book. Thanks!

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  19. I would like to try the coat pattern
    cooladam1 at live dot com

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  20. I would make skirts first. I am a Rachel also.

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  21. I want to make a tank and a tote!

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  22. I like the tote bag you made and the cardigan sweater. Lots of options to add to my wardrobe.

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  23. That book looks like an endess source of inspiration. If your bag is any indication, you could outfit yourself from head to toe from those patterns!

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  24. I would love to try the cardigan variations!

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  25. Great bag, those pockets look like such a good idea. Isn't it funny how sometimes we think we know better than the pattern/tutorial/recipe so we make adjustments, then about 30 minutes later realise why we were mistaken! Been there, done that! Still all's well that end's well, your bag turned out beautifully in the end.

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  26. The cardigan - I have no pretty long sleeved sweaters and haven't ever made one so I am very curious about doing so. Great bag too - I really am excited about this book!

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  27. Would love to try the dress pattern

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