Friday, July 23, 2010

Nicole Mallalieu Sling Bag - Best bag ever !

I wanted to make this pattern up quickly because our little family is going up to Brisbane to check out the Ron Mueck exhibition this weekend.

I needed a bag that I could carry a bit more than my usual handbag's contents and would say "Hey Brisbane, check out this Sydney chick's handbag".   I think this bag says that and more.

The fabric is a cotton sateen from Spotlight.   On special for $6 per metre.  I bought a metre and a half. 

 I reviewed it at pattern review so that I could also enter Nikki's current competition.  You can see the whole review here.  You have until the end of July if you want to enter.  Get cracking!

This is a design variation using a tutorial from Nikki's fund of fabulous tutorials.  It lifted the bag from 'really nice' to 'AWESOME'. 

And its so roomy inside.   This is basics: wallet / glasses / keys / pouch for mp3 / keys and a hair comb. Only half full !

Here's the bag turned inside out.  Patch pocket.  Handy zippered coin purse (my addition).

Here is the complete review:  

Pattern Description: A Sling bag from Nicole M Design.   The bag is in the 'intermediate' section of her site.   I don't know that it deserves that label.   Don't be scared if you're not sure you're up to it - trust me - it is easy to put together!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes - but better !

Were the instructions easy to follow? Nicole's patterns cover everything you need to know, from tips on fabric conservation when you're cutting out, making zips sit nicely, grading seams, understitching etc.   They are very comprehensive patterns and even though I'm a competent seamstress, I have the pattern out and refer frequently because there's always a handy bit of info that is helpful.

Fabric Used:I used a cotton sateen.   It had a stretch to it, so I interfaced the outside pieces of the bag as well as the facing.   This is an optional step depending on your fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:I added the rings in the strap and OMG it makes the bag 100 times more loveable.   Nicole has a tutorial on altering the pattern to add the rings here.  Yet another fabulous thing that Nicole offers, a whole host of tutorials on her website! 

Another design alteration I made is to add a little loop between the lining and facing to hang a little zippered bag from.  Sometimes I like to leave the wallet at home and just carry the bare basics in a little zippered bag that I have easy access to.  I do it to all my bags and it makes my life a little easier !

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?This is my second sling bag, I made the standard pattern variety the first time, with the extra long handle that converts to an across the shoulder bag, and this time with the standard shoulder bag handle.   I can see me doing this in many fabrics and many looks in the future.

Conclusion: This bag is beautiful AND it is ROOMY !!   There's so much space in there, its very deceptive you know.   I made this specifically for a trip to Brisbane with my family, where I knew I'd need more space for camera, snacks, water bottle etc as well as my usual ton of stuff I carry anyway.   Its going to fit the bill beautifully. 

I'll leave off now as its 8.30 and must go and pack for the early start tomorrow 4am !   Booking a red eye to Brisbane seemed like a good idea at the time.


edited to add - me and the kids (and my bag) with Ron Mueck's Woman with Sticks.  I'm a lot more comfortable carrying my burden than she is!


  1. Have a fabulous trip with your excellent bag! I must admit to "changing over" to my Sling bag for a trip to the Quilt Show this morning - it really does hold a lot!

    Many thanks for taking part in the competition - and good luck!

  2. Have fun in Brissie (my home town) - I'm jealous!

    Your bag is great - it looks so professional!

  3. I have the pleasure of working with the talented H, and I can tell you that the bag she has made is just gorgeous. I always look forward to seeing what new "something" she turns up with.

  4. What a gorgeous bag you made! Saw it on Nicole M's blog and came over here to see more of it. It's a pleasure to see your work.

  5. Hey, have you seen the results of the comp? Congratulations on winning 2nd prize. You were neck&neck until the eleventh hour. If you send me your email address, I'll send you details of how to place your order and claim your $50 voucher.

    Many, many thanks for taking part.