This post is long overdue. I agreed to make this set as a Christmas gift last year and finished it in January. I didn't get it to my sister until last week, when I was finally able to visit my family. I had completed the pouch at least by Christmas, but I can't seem to find a photo of it anywhere.
I will admit, I really struggled with this pattern, which confused me because no other bloggers wrote about having problems and I have experience making complex bags.
Pattern: Grainline Studio Patterns' Portside Travel Set
Fabric, etc.: Both the coral and the black print were canvas from JoAnn fabrics. Most of the zippers came from there, except the custom ordered one (which I had to buy several of, they didn't sell singles) was from Etsy. The leather for the pull tabs was scrap. Clips aka snap bolts came from the hardware store while d-rings and webbing came from JoAnns.
Cost: Custom zippers $8.75, snap bolts $8.98, d-rings $1.25, webbing $9.19, fabric + topstitch thread + other zippers $36.29 = $64.46
Time: Two months
- I used a lighter weight canvas so I definitely needed the interfacing. I think if I used a duck or what I would normally think of as canvas I wouldn't use it.
- I was really annoyed that the fabric and notions list is not broken down according to which part of the set you are making. Therefore I had no idea which of the smaller zippers went to which bag, and it wasn't clarified in the instructions. If I wanted to make just the dopp kit, I would have really had a time of it.
- The zippers used for this pattern aren't common lengths you can buy at the store. This meant I had to fudge it with both too-long and too-short zippers and for one even had to buy a custom zipper. The pattern does not specify what type of zipper (nylon, metal, heavy duty...) to use.
- I used heavy duty zippers throughout, but next time I would only use it on the duffle bag because it was nice and sturdy. They were really bulky on the small bags and quite expensive.
- The d-rings I used aren't as sturdy as I would have liked, there were better ones on Etsy but I couldn't afford them.
- The instructions are vague and generally confusing. There is no use of piece numbers and sometimes what they call the piece is not what is labeled on the pattern piece (examples are step 25 and step 31).
- The instructions don't tell you to what fabric/piece you should apply the interfacing. An informed seamstress would know not to interface the lining, but it would be better not to assume. Plus there are so many pieces that even I had to think about it for a few minutes to get my bearings.
- At Step 31 the space between pieces 14 and 14 lining, is not 1/4” but 13/16” (so it is larger).
- At Step 32 it isn’t clear that you are still working on the bag lining. Also the illustration is incorrect.
- No step on attaching lower back to upper back.
- Frequently pieces didn't line up when I went to sew them (i.e. one piece was longer or shorter than the other). In the beginning I assumed I just didn't cut things quite perfectly, but some of the discrepancies were much too big for it to have been that.
- I wish the pink band on the dopp kit lined up all the way around instead of being longer in the front. I also wish the pouch had been lined, which I will do next time, it just felt sloppy inside.
Despite the pattern's shortcomings, I ended up with a bag that my sister really loves and in all honesty I will probably make myself one because I do love the final product. I'm interested to see if it is easier the second time around or if things match up better.