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Re-imagine & Renovate: Slouchy Corduroy Book Bag Becomes Retro Linen Cool

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My personal choice to "Re-imagine & Renovate" was this book bag. Not only was it super fun to make the first time around, I love the slouchy style. Sew4Home calls Portland, Oregon home, where we have a huge number of cool boutiques filled with locally designed and made fashions and accessories. I know this bag would fit right in with the urban cool kids. And for those of you familiar with the hit TV show, Portlandia, you'll enjoy the fact that our Echino cotton/linen fabric choice allowed us to, "Put a bird on it!" We hope you've been enjoying our R&R series, which shows you how we re-made eight original projects. We also hope it inspires you to experiment on your own with new fabric, trims and notions to make something old new again.

A big thanks to our friends, and Shopping Directory retailer, Fabric.com for co-sponsoring the series and providing all the fabric for today's Re-imagine & Renovate project. We created many projects with Fabric.com last year, and never failed to be inspired by their selection. Their motto is: "The place to go when you sew," but we'd like to add, "The place to go when you sew... or when you just need a really good dose of inspiration for your next project because you know you'll find it and be able to order it right away." They'll probably think that's too long for a new motto.

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The exterior of our new bag is done in a cotton/linen canvas blend from the 2010 Echino collection from Kokka Fabrics. Designed by Etsuko Furuya, this retro medallion print is called Bonbon Green. The lining is a Natural cotton from Moda's Bella Solids collection. We selected natural, stone-look buttons, and a soft suede cord for the closure with cheeky orange lampwork accent beads.

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Every fabric has its own beauty and its own personality, and how you use it in a project can transform cute and quirky into sleek and stylish. It can even flip girlie-girl flirty and floral into masculine bold and modern. It's why we are so in love with fabric here at Sew4Home; we know what a difference it makes to the end result of a project. Add a little R&R to your list of New Year's resolutions. If you are new to the world of mixing and matching, take a look at these four tutorials:

How to Create A Fabric Palette

Tips for Mixing Prints

Mixing & Matching Colors, Patterns & Textures

Making the Right Fabric Choice

And check out our monthly Love That Fabric features for our latest picks, such as Kokka.

To "Re-imagine & Renovate" your own Portlandia -inspired book bag, go to the original tutorial.

We made no changes to the instructions when making the new bag, however, if you use a directional print as we did and cut the main body of the bag as one piece, you will end up with an upside down motif on one side. This is because the bag is folded rather than seamed along the bottom. Since our directional print was subtle and the birds are already a bit random, we were okay with this. But if you choose a strong directional design, you'll be happier if you adapt the pattern to include a bottom seam. To do this, rather than cutting ONE 15½" wide x 36½" tall rectangle for the bag body. Cut TWO pieces at 15½" wide x 18¾". Rotate the pieces so they are both running correctly from top to bottom, then stitch the two pieces together with a ½" seam allowance along what will be the BOTTOM 15½" side of each to create your finished 15½" wide x 36½" tall rectangle. Press the seam open, and continue through the original instructions as-is.

Back to School: The Perfect Slouchy Book Bag

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Comments (15)

Tracy said:
Tracy's picture

I got my daughter's bag with matching pencil bag done just in time for classes to begin.  Purple is her favorite color and just happen to have a remnant (almost) big enought for the project.....http://myworldinastitch.blogspot.com/2012/08/purple-is-for-paisley.html   here are the pictures of completed project.   I plan on making more for friends of my kids, tutorial was easy and bag just the right size.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Tracy - so glad you liked the tutorials. Your daughter will be the envy of all her friends! Thanks for sharing your photos, and for linking back to Sew4Home from your blog.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ ReiMiraa --- bad or bag, I'm glad it turned out so well smilies/grin.gif
ReiMiraa said:
ReiMiraa's picture
...gahhh. BAG BAG BAG. sorry. i had to get this right... smilies/tongue.gif
ReiMiraa said:
ReiMiraa's picture
*** bad not bad.... predictive text on tablet is bad though...
ReiMiraa said:
ReiMiraa's picture
I made this bad pattern as a gift for my sister who lives in portland. I had found this old Oriental fabric in a store at the locked in price from the 70's. this is my new secret fabric shopping area... Vintage? no. Original? yes.
mwhite said:
mwhite's picture
smilies/cheesy.gif
going to make one of these for my daughter. thanks for the great ideas.
Donna Joy said:
Donna Joy's picture
My friend needs a new bag and this is just the right size.
I think I will make one of these for myself to carry to Bib said:
I think I will make one of these for myself to carry to Bib's picture
I think I will make one of these for myself to carry to Bible Study. smilies/kiss.gif Thanks for all the good ideas. I love sewing on my Janome Quilters Choice!
Kaye Davis said:
Kaye Davis's picture
Junior High grandkids would love this one. I'll have to check out my fabric stash for these.
Sharon Spingler said:
Sharon Spingler's picture
Nice! I'll have to make some up for my grandkids.
Shanny56 said:
Shanny56's picture
this is cute no matter what material used, thanks
Gloria3133 said:
Gloria3133's picture
I liked the series. It is fun to see what a simple change of fabric does to an item. Thank you. I am looking forward to the next items you bring out.
crescentcity1 said:
crescentcity1's picture
Love the fabric. I am going to make this for my daughter, she is on her way to college next year, plenty of time to make a few different ones!smilies/cool.gif

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