in our last post we had a little fun letting YOU be the designer and choosing which of our bag samples YOU would choose to grace the pattern cover for our 1st new pattern for 2022, the Bella BiFold. Thanks SO much to everyone who voiced their opinion! Pattern design can be rather solitary work and I always enjoy hearing the logic behind which bag my customers would choose. But as much as I enjoy these interactions, (and I do), this is another time that I REALLY needed to take your thoughts into account because I honestly liked ALL of these bags (and that’s unusual) but what IS usual, is that I was having a really hard time choosing between what I wanted to use, and what would be BEST to choose!
It almost feels like all of these samples are winners & that’s a pretty good feeling!
Only time will tell if I made a good choice so, let’s get started…
The Gorilla in the Wings – 2/4/22
First off, I really liked this sample. You might remember from the post above, that this was actually made up as a 2nd Gorilla sample since the first one just didnt work out, nor was it taken to completion. And… since I knew I’d need to carry this sample for a while, I made it up in some beloved scraps from another project, which actually was the cover bag for the Flaptastic pattern.
Turns out I actually LOVED this sample and carried it for well over 6 weeks, but here’s the main problem… I could never put this bag in this fabric on the cover of the Bella BiFold, since this fabric has already made it on one of our covers before! So sadly…. it was OUT!
Steampunk Fish – 2/10/22
I had great hopes for this fabric but per the referenced post above I had a tough time using this fabric. The edges (or frames of the fish prints) weren’t straight at ALL, and I couldn’t use the “focal fish” that I’d planned on using.
Additionally, there was so little of the black section available to use, (and it was actually a black PRINT), that I had to painstakingly piece it together which took forever! Long story short, this fabric was so hard to work with that it made the whole process of making this bag NOT FUN
Since I cannot in good faith recommend this fabric to our customers for use in the Bella BiFold design, it was regretfully OUT!
A Mandala Effect – 2/18/22
I was pretty excited about using this fabric by Katia Hoffmann (one of my favorite designers), since I’m always up for a good mandala focal point! But unfortunately when I found this fabric, none of the coordinating prints were available and I had to use a flat black for the contrast areas, which is never my preference for a cover bag as its next to impossible to see detail on a flat black.
Nevertheless I might have been inclined to still use this bag on the cover if not for the fact that I really can’t imagine the flap being cut in any other way than as presented here, fussy-cut to line up with the exterior. But here’s the rub… even though our customers admire fussy-cutting, most of them are totally intimidated by attempting it themselves and this could scare many of them away from this pattern altogether, so for that reason, it was OUT!
Alexandria Revisited – 2/22/22
So if you’ve been following along with us during this pandemic, I know you’ve “heard” me mention how hard its been finding fabric I like for my samples. And when it came time to make this particular sample, I had nothing new that was suitable for this design, so once again I pulled out scraps from the past, in this case a wonderful print I used for an ErgoMatic sample from a couple of cycles ago!
The result was a very pretty bag that will be well-received on the show circuit, but I’m afraid for me, the fabric reusage disqualified it for cover status and it was OUT!
Feeline Good – 3/9/22
Truth is, I had a blast making this sample. The fabric was colorful and fun to use, the fussy-cutting was relatively easy and the purple areas were right up my alley.
The result was a statement bag that would turns heads everywhere. One thing is for sure it will really draw attention to the new pattern on the show circuit but I’m afraid there are two things that kept from choosing it for the cover.
1- Fussy-cutting is mandatory here (just as in the case of the “Mandala Effect” bag above). It just wouldnt look right to cut that cat’s face in two… and
2- even though I love this exterior, many customers would find it too cutesy to be taken seriously…
so for these reasons, it was OUT!
Serious Whimsey – 3/19/22
And over the past two years I’ve become a full-on fan of P. Carpin Carter‘s fabric designs and I REALLY love her new little fabric frames featuring various animals. The best part is they’re sized perfectly for this design!
For these reasons PLUS the fact that I adore this sample, I seriously considered this bag for the cover. And while I did fussy-cut the flap here, I don’t think it was quite so mandatory to do so as it was in some of the aforementioned samples.
So why didn’t I choose it?
For me it was a matter of color. While personally I adore the color combinations in this bag… they are admittedly strong, rather unusual and probably wouldn’t have the universal appeal of the bag we finally did choose (below)… so for that reason it was OUT!
Which only leaves the sample we finally DID choose!
- First– and even though its not immediately apparent, this flap WAS fussy-cut. But you know what, it really wasn’t necessary at all and that’s a plus for choosing this bag, because based on my conversations with customers, I hear that while there is an appreciation for excellent fussy-cutting, most folks don’t have the time or desire to excel at it, and if they start to think that there’s a fussy-cutting requirement, that could be enough for them to avoid trying the pattern!
- Second– years ago I made up a HipBag Hybrid sample in J. Wecker Fritsch fabric that was remarkably similar to this fabric and it’s always been a show favorite. Our customers have asked about this fabric SO many times that I’ve often lamented that I should’ve bought bolts and bolts of it because I surely could’ve sold it many times over! So when I noticed that this designer had “revisited” and updated this collection AND added this AMAZING complimentary tape measure fabric (which to my thinking is integral to this sample)! The combination is irresistible to a sewing fiend like me (at least that’s what I’m hoping)!
- And third and finally– every so often I make a bag that I know from the outset “defines” both the particular design I’m working on AND my style. First there was this Quattro… then this Guardian, this Sling Along and in my heart I’m adding this Bella BiFold to this list… but only time will tell… right?
And here’s how it looks on the new pattern cover!
So… did we make the perfect choice?
Truth is, the Bella BiFold design has been very well received so far, and I easily could have gone with another choice and it probably wouldn’t make a bit of difference “sales-wise” but I’m pleased with how the cover came out nevertheless.
AND PLEASE NOTE!!!! — Just as we did in our last rollout in September, we’ll be announcing the Bella BiFold pattern release THIS WEEK, in the next edition of our bi-monthly newsletter, Bag Making is FUN. It will be complete with a time-sensitive coupon code, so don’t miss out! So if you don’t already receive our Newsletter in your Inbox, you still have a small window of time to sign up, get in on the fun AND pick up a nifty discount coupon too by clicking here.
And now it’s YOUR turn!
Call me crazy but I always love knowing if you agree with our selection or if you think we totally blew it! So please feel free to leave your comments and/or questions in the space provided below! Don’t worry. We won’t be mad if you disagree with us! 🙂
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