World’s Ugliest Bag – latest sewing fail and GIVEAWAY

World's ugliest bag!  Don't fall victim to sewing failures - take a for God's Sake!

Oh dear. Oh deary deary me. (In my best British accent.) Just what happened here then Miss?  The sewing police had better not be reading this or I'll be prosecuted for sure.  Thrown in sewing and fabric jail for such an epic failure.

The charges:

  • Woeful waste of fabric
  • Wasting precious sewing time without due care for the consequences
  • Failure to stop when I could tell it wasn't ‘right'
  • Sewing without due care and attention
  • Failure to properly execute a muslin
  • Sewing while intoxicated?  I got cleared on this charge, which is almost a shame because I could have used it as an excuse.

Statue-of-DavidInspiration had struck while I was asleep.  It often does.  In this dream, it was just an ordinary day at the grocery store, but I was carrying the bag of my dreams!  I can see it now.  A simple open tote, sleek, neutral, uncluttered, with a central pleat revealing a splash of the accent color down the center of the bag.  Just perfect for popping out to the shops to get a few things.

Then I was suddenly arriving home to find my husband was in the bathroom and had shaved off all of his body hair and had painted his private parts lime green.  I'm not kidding – this is really what woke me up with a start!  But even then, I couldn't forget the bag.

I started soon after breakfast.  Measured out a few dimensions for how big I wanted the bag to be, made a few rough notes and I was excitedly cutting out a few minutes later!  Who makes a bag muslin – right?  So I had this linen I had been saving for a bag and I cut, interfaced, pinned, stitched.  Hmm, right from the get go it wasn't looking exactly like my dream bag.  In fact the more I continued, the less it looked like my dream bag.  It actually looked more like my husband's private parts, smaller than I imagined and a bit mis-shapen. (Only kidding dear. Have I gone too far – sorry, the bag fail has put me in a funny mood.)

So here we have it, the World's Ugliest Bag.  I can see where I went wrong.  EVERY WHERE!  What was I thinking?

World's ugliest bag!  Don't fall victim to sewing failures - take a for God's Sake!

Yes, I gave up and didn't bother with the top stitching to finish.  Sigh.

But I love bags and I want to design more bag patterns and sew more bags, so there was only one thing for it, and I signed up for another Class. It's about time I took another class and you can't get better than the Design your Own Handbag from Craftsy.

Online Sewing ClassThe lovely Brett Bara is a perfect instructor.  I've already watched the first class and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  Yes, I can do this.  I can make the bag of my dreams – eventually.  But clearly not today.  I'll just have to be patient, learn a few more skills. The class is already full of inspiration for me.  I can see more bag patterns coming your way in the future…

Who wants to take the class along with me?  Read to the bottom to enter the GIVEAWAY and win your own class.

Design your Own Handbag from Craftsy.  I'm taking this one!

If you have never taken a Craftsy class before – why not!  If you want to learn to sew/quilt/knit/draw/ etc then they have so many great classes.  Some of the features of Craftsy:

  • Classes don't expire, life time access
  • Money back guarantee if you decide the class isn't for you
  • Ability to write notes and place bookmarks on parts of the videos to find things later
  • Chat room for discussing with other students
  • Ask questions of the instructor and see answers from her and other students on the right hand side as you watch.
  • Lots of free classes so you can see how it works and see the quality.
  • Some really great sales so if you can wait to enroll, you can get it at a discount

There are also a couple of free classes about how to make a variety of bags, so if the Design Your Own Handbag class isn't within your budget right now, try out one or both of these.  Clearly I should have watched the one about how to make a simple tote bag, on the left.

Online Sewing Class Online Sewing Class

For a list of all the FREE classes on Craftsy – Find all the FREE classes here.

Now for the GIVEAWAY

One So Sew Easy reader will win the Craftsy Design your Own Handbag class for free.  All you have to do it click the link in the box below to enter.  If you aren't already registered with Craftsy, they will ask for your email address so they can contact you if you win.  That's it.

Entries close on 31st March, and one winner will be drawn at random by Craftsy.

Win Design your Own Handbag
One So Sew Easy reader will win a free course

Just click the link below to enter.  If you are already a Craftsy member, you will be automatically entered.  If you are not, then you will need to register to take part in the giveaway.


I'll be reporting back on how I get on with the class, and sharing and tips and tricks I pick up, and of course I hope I'll be able to design some nice new bag patterns to share with you.  In the meantime, if anyone would like the pattern to the bag I made this morning, just drop me a message!

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28 Responses to World’s Ugliest Bag – latest sewing fail and GIVEAWAY

  1. bettijo says:

    I am just home from hospital following hip replacement. I am walking with a walker. I desperately need a bag to attach to the walker. I think I could make up one (have made several bags without patterns), but would love a pattern or ideas. It has to attach with Velcro, or something, to wrap around bar in front. I cannot decide whether it should fold over, like saddle bags on either side of horse, or just be a single pocket. Problem, my sewing room is upstairs and I am not going stairs yet, but soon. I think I have all supplies needed on hand. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Hmm, not something I’ve ever made wither but it can’t be too difficult. Just something like you say, with straps and pockets. I had a quick look on pinterest and found this – might help.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Welcome home again and I do hope you’ll be feeling much better and bounding up and down the stairs again soon. I just left a link in a separate comment to some patterns that might give you the sewing inspiration you are looking for.

    • Connie says:

      You won’t need that walker for long enough to make a bag for it. I am 65 sorta fit, and had a replacement in January 2014. I only used the walker for about 3 weeks. Do your exercises and you’ll get stronger quickly. Be certain to learn what movements you should never do again. I bent down to fasten my sandal and pulled my hip out of joint, you don’t want to do that. lol Good luck with your recovery and keep walking every day, its the best exercise.

  2. msjay160 says:

    You’re such a hoot…loved the story. The title sounds like a children’s book, lol

  3. Hilde says:

    Debs,How many of us sewing nuts have wasted time on something we,or no one else would wear,I took such a dress to the charity shop and the lady said,”just what dad needs for his scarecrow” so nothing wasted,take heart,cheers

  4. Carla Proffitt says:

    I really don’t want to kick a fellow sewer when she is in the depths of her failure, but I must admit: this bag is hideous. I feel your pain, sister, I have had plenty of sewing failures of my own. Thanks for all your great information and hilarious anecdotes. Best Wishes, Carla P.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Your comment made me smile, yes, it was a painful experience. And yes, the bag is truly nasty. But the course is great, I’ve only watched a little bit so far and I know I’ll be doing much better next time…

  5. Julie says:

    I’m not gonna lie to you, it IS pretty ugly! I love these kind of post when people share there disasters, I feel so much better about my own then, so thank you.
    It could be saveable though, I think if the bottom of the pleat was closed as well somehow, maybe the shape would be better, maybe not….
    Or you could just cut it up and make a lovely clutch bag from the smaller pieces, the colours are great together, and those handles you have so lovingly made would be great on a bright print tote.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Yes, the handles came out really nicely, probably the best I’ve ever made. I took real care to make them nice, double sided and neatly top-stitched. But then the rest is a mess! I’ll see how I get on in the course, perhaps it could be refashioned into something less messy looking. Thanks for the suggestions.

  6. Teri says:

    I love that you are willing to share your failures as well as your successes with us. Your posts always brighten my day!

  7. Jana says:

    I had a pretty bad day but you made me laugh! 🙂

  8. Penny Kitzmiller says:

    I love this bag! I would probably add some free motion quilting or something but I really do like it. It looks modern to me. If you decide that you no longer want it, I will take it in a heartbeat.

  9. Nelly Jane says:

    Nice one, Deby. Great post and don’t worry, we’ve all made mistakes. I have two completely unusable skirts in my wardrobe, can’t quite face throwing them away but can’t think what to do with them, either.

    • Deby Coles says:

      A new thrift shop has just opened up nearby and I think some of the projects I’ve sewn will be making their way there soon. They aren’t badly made, just not right for me, not a good fit etc. But someone can use them, even if its just for a dog bed!

  10. Sue Cooper says:

    Dreamland, what a funny place to be. Mostly they are good to me though.

  11. sewgrandma says:

    LOL your description of your bag compared to DH is a hoot. The bag (yours that is) looks pretty good. Your dream indicates that you should have checked out DH… he turning green with envy due to your sewing fantasies.

  12. Diya says:

    He he .. It happens .. I have made flops of so many of my tops till I made the perfect one 😀

  13. Cindy says:

    Thanks for sharing your failures, as well as successes. This post serves as a good “cut it out in muslin first” lesson. I definitely have had some pretty awesome “fails” myself. It makes me laugh to remember them. On a totally different subject, have you finished sizing your dress form with the fabulous fit system? I am waiting for my dress form and fabulous fit system to arrive, and would appreciate hearing about your experience with the fit system, good or bad. I think it is better to hear from a real person who has used the system, rather than the sales video. Any tips for making it easier to use? Did you find it easy or frustrating? I am hoping that this investment in good equipment will help in my dressmaking adventures.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Hi Cindy. The video is up on YouTube now – and the full blog post is scheduled for the 22nd. I’d been putting it off -trying to loose a few pounds but that hasn’t happened – sigh…

      • Cindy says:

        I’m glad to see that it worked for you and that it didn’t take you a lot of time to size it to your measurements and body type. Your blog post should be up right about the time my dress form gets delivered. I look forward to reading any additional fitting tips you might have that would help me turn my dress form into a body double.

  14. Annette says:

    Don’t worry. I’ve seen worse. I haven’t had the guts to make my own pattern. I just follow a pattern or directions. I do have a box of inspiration that I want to take apart and use as a pattern.

  15. milamyk says:

    What a funny post:) And I like this bag anyway-it’s corky !

  16. Erin says:

    Deby, I just adore that you share your failures with us! It makes me laugh, and I find encouragement in it: Well, if SHE failed, then everything will be OK. 🙂

    I think the bag concept is really cute, and I see a lot of potential for it. Hopefully you didn’t throw it away-you may come back to it one day and suddenly see how you can fix it in an instant. (Or maybe it will just sit there and taunt you like an apron I attempted is taunting me because I decided I could “skip the pleats-who wants ’em anyway?”, not realizing they were functional, not just for looks, and now the waistband can’t be attached. Oh well, we all have that one thing that makes us slap our foreheads. At least it can be used for spare fabric if I ever needed it.)

    You should check out the book “Sew What! Bags” By Lexie Barnes. It shows basic bags and instructions for how to make your own things. 🙂

  17. Maryall says:

    Deby, your dream made me laugh! I’m with you on sewing disasters – you have no idea how many times I have waisted precious sewing time because I had chosen the wrong fabric/interfacing or even pressing method! I once pressed a wallet, after it was ALL finished, and was so proud of myself because I had managed to pull it, even after using a too heavy fabric – and when I filled it with everything, tried to close it… it wouldn’t close!! I had pressed and melted the velcro closure!! aargh!!! I’m more careful now, I think it’s all part of the learning curve 😉 Hugs, Mary

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