August 4, 2013

For round three of the Super Online Sewing Match we were given U-Handbag’s It’s a Cinch bag pattern.  When picking fabric I was quite conflicted.  I think for the prior challenges one way in which I have fallen behind a bit is by being much more simple than the other contestants.  I really like things to be clean and modern, but sometimes that can feel less detailed and less ambitious.  But in the end I decided to stay true to myself.  For me, simple and often solid colored items feel more expensive and more importantly more like something I want to use/wear.  The outside is a textured black and white home dec weight fabric that I found in the garment district.  The accents are all leather which I salvadged from an old leather jacket that my husband found in the trash a few months ago.  The lining is a simple kelly green thick linen for a pop of color.

This really is a great pattern and is very customizable.  I made a few changes to make it more suitable for my tastes.  First of all I moved the straps out by about an inch.  For some reason I just prefered that spacing.  I also added a large piece of leather as a sort of fake front to the pocket (the outside pocket is actually in the lining).  On the other side of the bag I also added a square pocket with vertical stripes to add some visual interest.

One feature that I love about this pattern is the ability to cinch up the sides with the hook and d ring.  The shape of the bag goes from a boxy tote/laptop bag to more of a handbag by simply hooking the side together.

I used brass for all of the metal pieces of the bag including the zipper.  The pattern has a great way of attaching the zipper which makes it much easier to assemble than I would have guessed.  I also added little zipper pulls with some scrap leather.
Like I mentioned, the lining and is a great linen that is a bright kelly green.  There is a nice elastic pocket on the side too to keep my cell phone etc… in.

In the end I am SUPER excited about how this bag turned out.  Can’t wait to use it right away.

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  • Reply Lexie August 4, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Love the bag! Actually, the whole outfit really! Simple and stripes is just my style!

  • Reply Rachel August 4, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Wow! It is fantastic. I think you did the right thing using those fabrics & features – it is a great bag.

  • Reply Lori August 4, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Your bag is excellent.

  • Reply Teresa August 4, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Wow, wow, wow! Kelli…this is awesome! I looked at the pattern when round three was announced and I just wasn’t sure if it was my style….your bag, though, makes it look amazing!

  • Reply lisa g. August 4, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    great bag! all the hardware and leather detailing makes it look super professional.

  • Reply Nothy Lane August 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    I love the strips with the leather detailing. Really great job!

    • Reply Nothy Lane August 4, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      Stripes! Sorry its been a long day.

  • Reply Amy August 4, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Simplicity is good. Loving the bag and I would actually like a repeat of yours. I’ll keep rooting for you!

  • Reply thequirkypeach August 4, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    This bag is SO AWESOME! I love everything about it, from the stripes to the leather to the green lining – I would carry this in a heartbeat! Bravo! 🙂

  • Reply Cirque Du Bebe August 5, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    Whoa cannot believe you made this!! Unbelievably amazing. All those little leather features really make it!

  • Reply Cirque Du Bebe August 5, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Whoa cannot believe you made this!! Unbelievably amazing. All those little leather features really make it!

  • Reply Haylee August 5, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Kelli this is AMAZING, oh my gosh. I would buy that in a freaking heartbeat, my gosh I kind of can’t get over how much I love it right now. haha, if you don’t win this round then I don’t even know what to think anymore. I actually don’t even know if you can win rounds but you definitely deserve to win regardless!! haha wow, seriously amazing job.

    Also just for the record, I don’t think your love for more simple designs has put you back at all. In fact I think it’s made you stand out (I don’t know, maybe I’m biased because I’m the same way and love simplicity, and because I’m just rooting for you to win. Shhhh on that last part though 🙂 but seriously you’re definitely doing something right so I wouldn’t worry.

  • Reply Jacq C August 5, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    I really love the bag – I’d buy it in a heartbeat. You’re right to stick to your own style, it’s very ‘you’ 🙂

  • Reply Elena Rosa Brown August 5, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Brilliant bag! Completely useable and great customisations! Off to scour the net for the pattern!

    x Elena

  • Reply Gail August 5, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    I like this pattern a lot – practical and good looking. Perfect in my book

  • Reply Lindsay August 5, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    I absolutely love your fabric choices. I’m rooting for you!

  • Reply Jen Bennion August 5, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    So beautiful! I love it 🙂

  • Reply Fabric Tragic August 5, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Really impressive, your skills are fantastic.

  • Reply Stephanie August 5, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    I love, love, love this bag! The fabrics are perfect.

  • Reply sallie oleta barbee August 5, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    I love this bag! This is absolutely the sort of thing I need! And, Kelli, I love your clean & classic aesthetic! It’s gorgeous and modern and SO wearable. And if it looks ‘simple’ it is deceptively so – it’s HARD to make something look so put together and understated!

  • Reply gingermakes August 5, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    This is so, so beautiful! It’s so professionally done! I love it! And I’m a huge fan of your clean, modern aesthetic. Your makes always look expensive and classic.

  • Reply Clio August 5, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Cute bag!

  • Reply jodie August 5, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Stunning with wonderful details! Simplicity at its best!

  • Reply Knapsack August 5, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Really love this bag. the leather accent is super!

  • Reply Meg August 5, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Love, love, love it! The leather takes it to a whole new level!

  • Reply nest full of eggs August 5, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    So fashionable! Great fabric choices, great hardware and I really like the leather zipper pull.

  • Reply April Boyer August 5, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    I also love simple, clean, modern fabrics and designs. And this purse is just perfect. That pop of green in the inside is great!

  • Reply Lyanna L. August 5, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    wow your bag is so perfect! I would buy it in a second. =) Great job!

  • Reply Michelle August 5, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    I love it Kelli, you did a wonderful job 🙂

  • Reply Kara August 5, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Your bag is stunning. I love the clean look of your fabric choice and i think the leather accents totally hit this challenge out of the park! I’m thinking I may need to copy it seam for seam!

  • Reply kristin August 6, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    You bought this for $850 at Coach and you’re passing it off as something you sewed, right?? Because it’s fantastic. It’s really pro-looking and high end and I want it. Keep up the great work, Kelli!!

  • Reply Elena August 6, 2013 at 4:21 AM

    Wow, I love this! I completely agree about a simple, clean aesthetic – it’s so much more classic. Gorgeous!

  • Reply Monica Swift August 6, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Wow, Kelli. This is fantastic. I’m glad you stayed true to your style, it came out perfect. I’m in love.

  • Reply Kelly August 6, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Your bag may be simple, but I just love this striped fabric with the leather and that green lining. You have such a great eye for colors and texture. It looks very professional and expensive!

  • Reply emily.marie August 6, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Classic, beautiful & versatile! It looks incredibly well made, nice work!

  • Reply Lucinda Poel August 6, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Perfect! The pairing of the striped fabric with the leather accents is just perfect – I love this!

  • Reply Deborah August 8, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    These look like catalog photos, in the best way–and if they were, I would be clicking “Buy Now” right this second. I looooove this bag, and now want to make one just like it! Very impressed by you–all the leather, and that fabulous stripe! Awesome work.

  • Reply dixie August 14, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    This is a beautiful bag! And I love your clean and modern style, too, and it works for you. The stripes + leather are stunning. This looks like an expensive RTW bag from Saks or something!

  • Reply De Zuster Van August 25, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    This is a gorgeous bag! I love the fabric/leather combination you’ve used.

  • Reply Lady Mockingbird September 5, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Just found your blog and absolutely love this bag! Look forward to seeing you on my reader list!

    From a fellow Nyc-based crafter & sewer,
    ~Amy Nicole “Lady M”

  • Reply Tifani April 12, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    You have great style! The striped/leather accents are just gorgeous. Do you think it would be pretty easy to make this purse larger with the pattern you used? I’m looking to make a travel tote like this but I’m afraid this isn’t quite big enough.

    Beautiful work!

  • Reply Nikki March 5, 2015 at 11:10 PM

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the bag! So cute!! 😛

  • Reply Seaweed & Raine April 2, 2015 at 7:46 AM

    Don’t make any apologies for this bag – I think it’s incredible! Love the leather accents. And the fabric. Oh. My. 🙂
    Nicely done.

  • Reply kim October 31, 2015 at 8:43 PM

    Love this bag so much. It’s been 2 years since you posted this. Um…want to sell that to me? 🙂

  • Reply Reflections + Predictions: Kelli Ward | Sew Mama Sew January 24, 2017 at 8:18 PM

    […] you make that you’re most proud of? Going along with the last question, with no contest my It’s A Cinch Tote from the Great Online Sewing Match was by far my favorite make this year. It’s perfectly my style with a balance of natural […]

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