Sugar & Spice review


Hello, hello, hello!

I thought it was time (after two years), to bring this review of Christine's Sugar & Spice home! This post was originally featured during the Sew Sweetness Purse Palooza in 2013.

"I was absolutely chuffed to be given the opportunity to be a guest blogger on Sara's Purse Palooza this year! Of course my husband still thinks the word palooza is hilarious, but I think it's brilliant!

Sugar & Spice bag by Mrs H, design by Chris W designs

I had the very great honour of making up the Sugar & Spice bag pattern from Chris W designs, which I chose because of it's fresh, interesting look. Of course I hate sewing piping in, so I didn't really think that one through until I came to sew it up!

I would say that if you are new to using one of Christine's patterns, don't be too daunted by the size of it to begin with. This pattern was made up of 47 pages in total, although it was indexed with the chapter markers on the left of the PDF. So that you're not too scared by the size of this I've broken it down into what the pages were!

26 pages of instructions including 52 colour photos
8 pages of pattern pieces including 1/4" smaller stabiliser pieces & rectangles that other patterns might just give you dimensions for (like me!)
1 page of labels to cut out and pin onto your fabric when cut
6 pages of text only instructions (to save on printer ink)
1 cover page
1 letter from Chris including printing instructions
1 page with 5cm & 3" squares for printing to check your sizing
1 page with features & fabric suggestions
1 page with materials list
1 page with a cutting list
But no partridges in pear trees ;)

I have to admit when I first downloaded it I thought, oh my, this is going to take me a while, but in truth, it's just that Christine's patterns are very detailed, and filled with explanations and tips, great for those who are newer to bag making, or like a lot of information.

So to make up the bag, I used cotton from Kate Spain's Serenade line, Thistle in the Damson colour way. I decided to use lilac piping for the pockets, and then I wanted a contrasting colour for the straps. Choosing the colour took me way too long, and far too many emails to Kate Spain & Moda, although both were very helpful! I like it when fabric designers like Jeni Baker (via her blog) make sure you know which solids co-ordinate with their line, it's much easier for us makers!

In the end I went for Moda Bella Solids Eggplant (which we all know is aubergine really!)

Piped pockets & aubergine straps, plus a bit of pattern matching-ish!

Let me tell you this though, I absolutely detest sewing in piping, so I chose to only use it on the pockets (which are front & back) and not for the rest of the bag, despite Christine's very detailed instructions on how to sew piping in.

I also used rivets for the first time on this bag and followed Christine's helpful blog post about how to insert rivets. The main lesson I learnt there was that if you can't put two in evenly, despite using a ruler, just use one! Or end up with wonky rivets like me.

Zipped top closure

For my straps, I didn't use any strap fleece, I just used the strap interfacing, I didn't want my straps to be too bulky because my modern sewing machine is a bit precious about sewing too many layers! I also didn't sew any lines inside the straps, I prefer my straps un-quilted.

The pattern is peppered with Christine's personality and humorous comments " secure the strap and for added strength for when you carry your kitchen sink! LOL"

I also added a zipped pocket on the inside instead of one of the slip pockets, I think us ladies usually always need a zipped pocket for our special lady things (like hidden chocolate bars, right?).

The only other modification I made was that I top stitched around the top edge of the bag when it was all finished and done. I think I probably needed some definition there because I hadn't used piping.

Overall I'm very pleased with my bag although I wish the drama over the moda solid colour had been a bit less! I tried to pattern match the pockets to the main fabric because I was using such a large design, but it would have been far easier to not worry about the pattern matching.

Christine very kindly gave me a copy of this pattern for free, before it was released to the general public so that I had plenty of time to make my bag and type up my review, thank you very much Christine!"

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  1. That's beautiful. I really love those colours. The pattern matching is awesome- I think it would have taken me about half a century to get that right! Thanks for sharing your review here.


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