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Simplicity 2274 Holiday Bag Review by Samantha

As the Summer holiday season fast approaches, I had on my wish list to sew the perfect big holdall style bag for our Summer adventures. I had on my wish list a few key musts; It needed to be washable, family friendly, easy to store between trips, big enough to fit a lot of holiday gear in and not too girly so the boys would carry it too. You know how it is girls!

I had searched the high street for the perfect bag and everything was too floral or looked to grey and functional. Here are my five reasons why I stitched my new holiday bag and why you should create a bespoke bag to stand out from the crowd.

Number 1 - It’s a Huge Bag

I was delighted to find the finished size of this Simplicity Sewing Pattern (2274) is a whooping 50cm x 30cm x 30cm. I’ve managed to fit four 30 x 30cm cushions in to give you an idea of how big this fab bag is. Because it’s such a soft bag it folds down to store in the space of two woolly jumpers in my wardrobe.

Number 2 - You can make it with just 1.5m of Fabric

I choose a black and white cotton Gingham Fabric to give my bag a retro feel and lined to with a pastel pink lining fabric with a fuchsia pink top stitching. You will need to use a bag Batting Fabric to give your bag some stability and a professional finish. I found that stitching the three layers together with a lining, bag batting and gingham fabric needed a size 100 needle. I’m so pleased I made the bag with a lightweight dress fabric as once you have the three layers of your bag on a domestic sewing machine, it’s pretty thick for it to take. I really recommend a dress weight fabric even though it’s tempting to go for an oil cloth or a heavier fabric but this would be too thick for a domestic sewing machine to take. The picture on the packet looks like it is stitched with quilting weight fabric. Don’t be put off with the wavy quilter style stitching on the bag, I stitched straight lines and it was fine and gave the bag a modern finish.

Number 3 - It can be used as a Shoulder or Carry Bag

The carry handles are made using 3.5m of webbed Binding Tape which are wrapped around the bag and are securely stitched at the bottom of bag. I hadn’t used jute webbed binding tape before but after prewashing it and covering it in a matching fabric it gave my bag a lovely finish. Stitching through the two layers of covered tape on the base of the bag with my 100 needle was the bit I thought I was going to break a needle but hey, the needle just went straight though. I was really impressed! The bag can be used as a shoulder or a carry bag and love that!

Number 4 - It has extra pockets on the outside too!

The pattern has a really easy front pocket which you stitch on and secure with the handle detail plus a sneaky little pocket on one side. The pattern recommends a zip and a pleated pocket detail on the side but I wanted an open pocket to throw a guide book or my daughter’s sun hat in when we are on off on our travels. The two outside pockets are a really simple but great feature to add more storage to the design.

Number 5 - I love a Simplicity Pattern for Easy Instructions

I have to say, when I was looking for a bag pattern, I looked for Simplicity first. I haven’t stitched a commercial bag sewing pattern for years and wanted the challenge. I do love Simplicity Sewing Patterns, they go together really well and instructions are clear with diagrams to help you with the tricky bits such as adding the zip and attaching the front pocket. The pattern does go through various fabric layouts and has 2 pages of double paged instructions to help you.

The only addition I did was to finish the zip and the seams with bias binding. I found a pastel pink bias but you can browse the Trimming Section for one to match your fabrics.

I am delighted with this bag and would recommend it to anyone with a little sewing experience. Unlike a dress, it doesn’t need to be fitted and once you have cut the pieces out and clearly labelled each section (post-its are great!) it can be stitched in a few evenings. My next make is going to be a smaller version of this bag for a gym bag. What fabric should I choose?

I really loved the gingham fabric, it was really soft and would make up in a lovely vintage style gingham dress to match this bag.

Thank-you to Vicki and the Minerva team for gifting me the supplies for this project.

Samantha @ Create It Samantha

Also, find me here!

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