Purse Palooza The Aragon Bag

Purse Palooza 2015! All the makes have been so inspiring, I've found a few more patterns I "need" already. Have you?

For my Purse Palooza post I made the Aragon Bag, a sewing pattern by Sara Lawson of  Sew Sweetness

Click for pattern:

The Aragon pattern has 11 pages of full color photo instructions with succinct wording that is easy to understand. For materials you'll need:

1 1/4 yard of quilting cotton for exterior
1 yard quilting cotton for lining
1 yard secondary fabric
2 yards 20" wide Pellon Shape Flex interfacing (or light weight fusible)
3/4 yard of Soft and Stable by Annie's
I used extra firm interfacing to line the bottom, as the pattern calls for Peltex and I hate that stuff.
1 package of double fold bias tape 1/2" wide (or make your own)
22" regular zipper
two 14" regular zippers
1/2" magnetic snap (I used a plastic snap)
1 1/4 yard of 3/4" braided elastic

Autumn is my favorite so I decided to look to nature for inspiration; combining linen, chambray, and Kona solids in Autumnal shades. I used my scrap bin for my fabric choices, as I like to use everything up before I buy more. (I try, it rarely works out that way, but hey..)


Piecing strips, sewing together, and then cutting out the pattern shapes:

I repeated this for the interior pattern pieces as well.

There are lots of lovely pockets in this bag, so each pocket was cut from a different fabric. The outside pockets are Essex linen in black, which I love. The inside pockets feature cottons and linens combined. I just used whatever worked, in a color combination that was pleasing to me.

This pattern uses that gorgeously easy to sew stuff called Soft and Stable. I love this stuff-it was a total game changer for me. I used to fight that nasty Peltex stuff, breaking needles and my soul in the process. Just kidding. I did hate it though.
With the S+S you can either sew around the edges, 1/8" seam allowance, slightly pulling it taught while sewing to the fabric like Sara mentions in her pattern, or you can quilt it to the fabric like I did on this bag. 

I used my walking foot just in case- but you don't have to.

This is the back view-- it is so easy to sew with!

This was my first time quilting the fabric to the Soft and Stable. I quite like the effect. 

 I trace the pattern pieces from the paper, rather than cutting the paper out. *For the record though, the paper patterns by Sew Sweetness are printed on high quality paper and would stand up for a long time with use. 

Attaching the front pocket to the body.
I had to re-pin it three times. I even took a picture of it and looked at it through my camera. Everybody knows- a crooked pocket ain't puurty!

I am still on the fence about my quilting on this pocket, perhaps too Yoda-ish on the bottom? All I see is his little green head with that quilty pattern on it.

I really like the clever ways everything comes together. It takes a certain sort of brain wave to figure pattern construction out and convey it in easy-to-understand terminology. 

If you've never sewn a zippered pocket before, this pattern will teach you how. I wish I had known about these patterns a few years ago, before struggling with figuring it out on my own. I could have avoided lots of F bombs.

Another zipper pocket. Here I'm trying to show that I had to bend the interior body piece out of the way while sewing the pocket shut.

I used a ton of pins to hold pieces in place while attaching them, especially these fiddly linen pockets. Stuff can shift and move on you easily when dealing with quite a few layers, so don't be afraid to load up on the pinning! 

I underline key points when I read the pattern the first time through, so that when I'm actually making it, I notice exact instructions and don't jump ahead. This one for example-sew the pocket ONLY to the exterior piece, not the lining portion. That could be easily missed if not paying close attention. ;)

I placed a snap on the front pocket rather than the metal magnetic closure. 

I love my Snap Press. I bought it on Ebay for $120 and use it all the time. 
KAM Snap Press. I used to fiddle with those hand presses you can buy at Joann's. It was definitely an "AH HA" moment for me when I bought this baby. Tools make a difference.
Speaking of tools, a zipper foot REALLY helps when sewing in zippers. ;)

Get out your strongest, longest pins and get ready to finish it up. 

Pin well all around.

Sewing slowly--with lots of checking layers. I switched to my walking foot for my sewing machine.

Binding goes on now. I did not take pics of that as I was so wrapped up in finishing it. Plus, it totally mismatches so let's just pretend you see navy blue binding done in exquisite detail (like hand stitching the fold over layer)...ohhhhh ahhhhhh. (Insert audience clap, que lights..)

Okay let me get real, it doesn't look quite that great. lol

I added a tassel for a pOp of color.
I wish I had the large tab zipper for the top, but I didn't have one long enough. 
There is a large tab zipper on the back of the bag though-it makes such a difference,  tiny details like larger zipper pulls are worth the extra $$. 

I buy my zippers on Etsy from local suppliers, usually ZipIt in Sheboygan,WI. 

I've made some other Sew Sweetness bags, and the user-friendly-ness is consistent throughout all of them. 
Here is the Edelweiss  make. Here is my Tudor Bag on IG (not blogged). 

I rate the Aragon bag sewing level at Intermediate/Advanced, due to the binding and zipper details. But---I fully believe if you're a confident "go for it type"-beginner sewer you can do this, just read carefully and take it slow. Give yourself time to Google things if need be. You Tube is a wonder for use as a virtual teacher.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you thank you thank you for doing a step by step. I'm working on two of these bags now and while the instructions are good, I couldn't get my head quite around some until I looked through your post! I think when I'm done with these I'll try a quilted one like you did!


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