Coming up next in my organizational sewing are these By Annie Pack It In packing Cubes. I actually started these first and as I was using the fabric, I realized it would also be perfect for the Amethyst Project Bag. So after making one of these, I paused and made the Amethyst Project Bag, and then I came back to these.
The pattern offers 3 different sizes and I made 4 of the middle size. I had 2 yards of the teal fabric and my plan was to just use it up. It’s a weird fabric. I really like it but the color is terribly hard to match. That’s why it’s coordinated here with white. The photo above is my first one. I did not follow the directions on the binding (I did for later ones) and it’s definitely a bit janky. Good enough to be used for storing things around my room, but I’d never give this as a gift.
It’s got a lot of pieces, but so do all these bag pieces that have foam stabilizing. This pattern actually calls for quilting the lining, foam and exterior fabric in a little sandwich. I used pollen double sided fusible foam instead of the Soft and Stable. It was nice because I could just iron everything together and didn’t need to quilt it. However, I do get more wrinkles in it (see photo below). I talked about this in the Amethyst Project Bag post. I see this a lot with the fusible foam. That being said, while I wouldn’t use the fusible foam for project I was gifting or carrying around like a purse, I would use it for a pattern like this that only I see on a general basis and that I just needed to get done quickly. I
I used zippers by the yard to be able to make a bunch of them and found it cost effective compared to buying separate zippers. Also learned how to slide on zipper pulls! I used the ByAnnie brand of zipper and honestly for bags, hers are the best I’ve found. The #5 width is perfect and zip action is smooth.
There’s a handle on one side and nothing on the other. Instead of webbing in the handle I just used fusible foam. It was much easier to slide into the handle than webbing and I liked how the fusible felt and looked. Plus it was nice to use up some of the extra fusible.
I used some utility fabric from Joann’s for the mesh. It’s not as stiff as the By Annie mesh. Again, if this were a gift, I’d get the good stuff, but for me, this is fine although it was a little slippery to work with.
You can see as I progressed I got better at it. The bindings got tighter. Annie actually explains in a video that tight bindings are key as they provide part of the structure. That video came out after my quilting retreat when I was working on most of these, but it would have been very helpful before.
However, you can see in the one below — the last one I made — how much better the binding looks and that things are much more square. In hindsight, I’m not actually sure my binding was on the bias despite following (or so I thought) the instructions in the pattern. I probably attached the triangles wrong because her method should/does work. But at this point it doesn’t matter.
Overall, this is a solid pattern. I’m really happy with how they turned out and if I need more of these I wouldn’t hesitate to make it again (also, I pretty much have the instructions memorized after the fourth one). I know I’ve bought By Annie patterns before through Craftsy/Bluprint and found her videos on there helpful, but this may be the first one I’ve actually made. Everything fit together nicely and the instructions were clear with appropriate photos. Looking forward to making the other patterns I have!
Here’s a summary of the changes I made, most of which I mentioned above and would likely do again:
- Used double sided fusible foam between lining and exterior fabrics instead of quilting them all together
- Used double sided fusible foam for the handle insert rather than webbing
- Didn’t bother to add zipper pulls as I felt the handbag zipper pulls themselves were big enough and in my opinion it didn’t add anything besides more work
I have them neatly organizing some of the mess that was covering sewing table. Now the key is to actually work through the projects I have stored in them and not let them just sit in these pretty cubes forever 😛