This project, the Pleated Beauty Hanbag from Bend the Rules Sewing, has been in process for what seems like a couple of months now. I have been busy with life in general and have completed bits and pieces of this bag when I could. This was my first try at embroidery and I like the interest it adds to the bag. I echoed the leaf pattern on the pleating fabric with a basic running stitch.
I altered the straps from the book directions. To make them more sturdy, I added rigid interfacing (Pellon 70) and made them 1.5 wide. I like the outcome.
With each project, I find that I learn a few lessons. The main fabric is a linen suiting which was difficult to work with – stretchy and drapey, not ideal for such a structured bag. I added fusible interfacing which made the bag less floppy but the linen puckered a little after multiple pressings. Toward the end, there was just too much bulk in the finished seams. My little sewing machine struggled sewing the seam around the top due to the bulk from the pleats and handles. There should be an edgestitch around the top, but I can’t even get the finished edge under my pressure foot. I’ll settle for a good press at the top.