Like everything else I have been posting recently, this Park West Bag by Sew Sweetness is for the fair! While volunteering to help with the judging process at QuiltCon I hit up Bunny’s Designs. I pretty much blacked out from Japanese import realness that is in that store. I made some hard decisions and one was that I would not buy the enormous fat quarter stack of Kokka Enchino and settled instead for a smaller one. Bunny’s is where dreams are made!
Anyways, I knew the fat quarters would be for one of the bags I was planning for the fair. I ended up buying fabric for the Blossom Bag at QuiltCon so the fat quarters were destined for this tote!
This pattern had everything I was looking for to make it a contender: smart details, structure and cool zippers with a welt pocket and a recessed zipper on top.
The pattern pieces fit together perfectly. The pictures in the pattern leave a little to be desired by way of lighting and actual sewing but the instructions are perfect.
I ran into a little trouble with the zipper for the top of the bag. I was making this at retreat at like 2 a.m. so it may have only been confusing to me due to circumstance. BUT! The step is the only one without a picture as well. The instructions have you cut out a tab for the zipper. While sewing the top recessed zipper panel together I mistakenly trimmed my zipper even, at both ends, with the panel. This was a renegade step. In my mind I knew there was a tab piece so I thought trimming it made sense. The zipper is supposed to be even at the zipper stop end with the panel piece and then super long on the other end. You then sew the tab on the end. There are zero pictures of this in the pattern and it looks like you are supposed to put the super long end tucked down into the bag.
So it was fortuitous for me to trim the zipper off and have a mild panic attack. I cut the tab piece in half, turned in the short edges 1/4″, folded it down the middle, folded the raw edges to the crease, and then folded the whole banana down the original crease. I sewed one tab on each end and I really like it.
tl;dr What you should do for the zipper panel is cut the zipper to 13″, tab the ends as above but you will not have to fold the short edges in. Then assemble the zipper panel as written. It is a way cleaner look than having a long tail hidden away in the bag.
What I Did
As mentioned the main panels are Kokka Enchino. I took the extra step of quilting the main panel exteriors.
The accents are in the black math fabric from Elementary by Sweetwater for Moda. It is directional, which really works for the rounded main accent and the little handle tabs.
I used more of my leather skirt from the Blossom Bag for the bottom. Purse feet are listed as option but you should totally put those in. They are really easy to install and any additional hardware adds interest.
Besides quilting I did not make any structural changes to this bag. It was a huge hit at retreat!
Final verdict: This pattern makes a great bag. If you rely heavily on pictures for how to make bags this pattern might not be for you. If you have some experience making bags this tote comes together fairly quickly. The details are so amazing.