Hello everyone!  I previously shared a few projects that I’ve made with the Art Gallery Fabrics Color Master Collector’s Box Set (the Fresh Water edition).  The box includes so much fabric that today’s post is made with the fabric leftover from this previous post.  As a refresher, the Color Master box that I selected includes 10 fat quarter fabric pieces, 18 x 22 inches or 45 x 55cm (which is 2.3 meters or 2.5 yards of total fabric).

The pattern that I selected for this project is the Forage bag by Noodlehead.  This bag is a free pattern that is available for download.  I’ve been admiring Noodlehead’s patterns for awhile now so I was excited to finally make one with this post.  I made the Regular sized bag (a mini size is included as well).


The finishing details included in the instructions are quite lovely. I like to spend time up front to cut out the fabrics, apply the interfacing, make bias tape, etc. so that every piece is ready prior to sewing.  I used the Cutting Instruction section of the pattern as a checklist as I was preparing the supplies. When I cut out an item, I checked it off on the list (to help keep track of the list).

I noted that the pattern calls for a Pellon brand interfacing.  I found this helpful reference to note International brand substitutions across interfacings.  For this project I substituted the Vilene G700 interfacing instead of using Pellon SF101.

I have a few wire baskets that I like to use as I’m preparing a pattern like this (to hold the items together for the project).  It’s always maddening when you’re taking time to prepare a sewing project and then you lose a few pieces before sewing (and have to cut them out again).

I utilized a fat quarter of fabric from the Color Master box for the handmade bias tape as well.  After ironing handmade bias tape, I enjoy storing it on a spool (before sewing with it). I find that storing it wrapped around a spool (or flat, wrapped around a card) helps keep the ironed folds in place.

A little finishing detail that I enjoy doing (when sewing bias tape) is to mark the seam line with a fabric pen.  By marking the seam line ahead of time, you can aline the beginning and ending seam along the bias end points. The perforated holes shown in the photo below are where I didn’t mark the seam line, at first, sewed the seam and then ripped out this same seam to sew it over again.  Previously the bias ends didn’t align well (prior to marking the seam line).

This step results in a smoother finish in the bias tape.  The edges along the top and bottom of the bias tape are closer aligned (rather then having a jog where the bias strips are joined).

The bias tape is used in the pattern to contain the inside seams of the bag.  It’s a small finishing detail but I really appreciate it (making all of the seams inside the bag smooth and neat).

In the previous project, I share tips on setting metal snaps.  In this project snaps are not used but metal grommets are set in a similar way as metal snaps.  If you’re new to setting grommets, I recommend checking out the previous post. I previously practiced first on samples before cutting into the actual project.

I followed the pattern instructions to mark the center location, at the accent area of the bag.

I found that due to the large size of the grommets, it was helpful to set the Eyelet on top of the fabric, centered at the plus mark (the center hole location).  I used a dissolvable fabric marking pen to trace the inside circle of the Eyelet. I then used an craft knife to carefully cut the traced circle through the front and back accent fabrics.

The following photo shows the instructions (for the brand of grommets that I used) for how to sandwich the grommet in between the fabric:

I have made a few projects with this size of grommets.  I’ve learned that I prefer to have the “Washer” visible on the wrong side of the project and the “Eyelet” visible on the Right side.  The Eyelet has a flange that will smash against the Washer and this sets them together, between the fabrics. Sometimes little bits of fabrics can peek out at this area (from where the hole was cut with the craft knife).  Having the sandwiched flange on the wrong side will hide any little bits of fabric ends that may stick out. For this bag I didn’t have this happen, but I wanted to note this preference.

The little pen pocket detail is so cute, inside the bag.

For the strap, I pieces together shorter pieces of fabric to end up with the finished 60” length.  Although a few extra seams resulted, I sewed the pieces in the same print direction (so it’s harder to see the extra seams).

I diverted from the pattern a bit with the strap ends.  The recommended steps in the pattern are to leave the strap ends raw and use a fray check material to seal the seams.  As I used a larger metal grommet then recommended in the pattern, I decided to fold the edges of the strap ends in place (and sew them with the raw edges folded and hidden).  

Another variation that I think would be fun to do (on a future bag) is to taper the strap.  I would enjoy leaving the ends at their current width but enlarging the middle area of the strap that wraps over your shoulder.

For the back side of the bag, I used a fun tree print from the ColorMaster box.  I enjoyed a nature theme with this bag, birds on the front and the trees on the back.

I did not get to making a zipper pull, but I found this fun link for some handmade zipper pull ideas as well.

In the end, I’m so happy with the finished bag.  I’m always looking for fun patterns to make for gifts and I think the mini version would be so cute for kids as well.

I wish you all happy sewing with your own sewing adventures!  Let me know what you make with these beautiful fat quarter collections.

Rachel (@oakbluedesigns)