Friday, May 20, 2011

Patty's Super Shopper, Part I

Rarely have I had such a blast making a bag as I had making this Super Shopper for my friend Patty!  Patty is a fellow Army brat; we met in our junior year of high school when our dads attended the US Army War College together.  From the moment I met her, Patty put a smile on my face - she has that kind of spirit about her.  We have gotten back in touch thanks in part to FaceBook; it's been so wonderful rekindling our friendship!!!

On to bag-talk.  She asked if I'd make her a Super Shopper - a special bag to carry, one that her incredibly adorable granddaughters would build memories around.  (Patty is a writer.  I hope she doesn't take off for grammar...)  I was SO happy to make her one - thanks for asking, Patty!!!

The fabric we used as our inspiration is the matryoshka doll fab I showed you a couple years ago.  ☺ Dave, my trusty Guide Dog for the Color Blind got busy pulling fabrics, and Patty was able to play along with us, again via FaceBook.  We found all kinds of fun fabs that would work - and Dave really wanted me to add in some cut-up BDUs (battle dress uniforms).  He really liked them.  When he gets that adamant about things, I know not to ignore him.  He has such better color skills than I do, so it would be foolish not to at least run the idea past Patty.  Not only was her dad in the Army, but her brothers are in the military and she has a son and a daughter in the Army.  I had to!!!  Fortunately, she was game!  Yea!!!

Enough talking, let's get on with the photos!  Today, I'll share various "bag in process" pix. Let's go!

IMG_2115 Inside panel

That's one of the inside panels.  I thought I'd put some of the pockets from the BDUs to work.  Why not!?!?  I used a lovely thread by Aurifil for all the top-stitching and quilting.  It's sort of a salmon-y color that brings out the babushkas on the little matryoshka dolls.

Speaking of pockets... I used a smaller BDU pocket on the outside of the bag:

IMG_2130 Outside pockets

I tucked a shallow pocket behind it (topped with the golden mum fabric) and a deeper pocket behind that (with the "autumny" batik fab).  Pocket on a pocket on a pocket.  Sort of goes with the whole nesting dolls theme, don't you think?!

OK, here's one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time.  As I was posting pix to FB, a friend in Scotland complimented me on the bag thus far, but said that she "hates those little Russian dolls -- they're so full of themselves."  It took me a minute to get it, I confess, but once I did, I couldn't stop laughing.  (You know ... nesting dolls ... full of themselves ... Hahahahahahaha!)  Thank you, Nicky!

Moving right along - here's the other inside panel:

IMG_2131 Inside panel

That's a long pocket across the bottom, split into compartments (the BDU and salmony floral) and another along the top (multi-fabrics), with another pocket on top.  With a side-tab from a BDU top as the closure.

Let's see how the front panel's coming:

IMG_2132 Outer panel

That's the pocket on a pocket on a pocket front panel.  Up to the upper right is the other outside panel!

Since this is a special "Grandma Bag" for Patty, I wanted to tuck some surprises inside.  I posted this picture to FB without any explanation:

IMG_2145 dressing bunnies

Hey, who doesn't keep OD green ribbon around!?!   What Patty didn't know until she got the bag was that I was making little outfits for pre-made bunnies!

IMG_2147 Dave, GDFTCB

Does Dave look put-upon?  I couldn't resist.  He's soooooo good - plus he was on a pretty hefty dose of  Tramadol following dental surgery.  (He's doing well - thanks!)

Here are the outside (front) and inside of the bag:

IMG_2149 Inside & outside

I was marking the corners to box.  I don't know why, but this is my least favorite part of the whole process!

IMG_2150 boxing the corners

Sure is a nice "finish" to the bag, though.  Check out the front corner:

IMG_2151 outside

It just makes it sit so nice!

Patty, Dave, my FB friends and I decided on green straps.  I thought they needed a little something, so I embellished a bit:

IMG_2170 embellishing straps

I couldn't resist!  A friend asked (and I need to answer his email!) if those are forceps that I'm using.  Yes!  Or hemostats.  I looked both up and am totally confused as to the difference!  Whatever they are, they are tremendously helpful for holding things together and reaching into different spaces!  The ones with the slight curve are my favorites, I think; I have three different kinds.  I'll have to post about them!

Let's insert the straps:

IMG_2173 adding straps

Pins are your friends.  Just don't sew over them.

Wow, I had the BEST time making this bag; I think it's my favorite ever!!

The finished Super Shopper will be up tomorrow!  Thanks for reading!


  1. Wow, I still can't sew a straight line. This looks fab!

  2. Coolest bag ever! And it's mine!! :) Thank you Karen.

  3. That's a wonderful bag and so special for your friend! Dave did a great job with the fabrics! He looks cute with the bunnies and we're glad he's feeling okay too!

  4. Love it! I use my Super Shopper all the time - it's the best bag I own.


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