costumes + accessories + fashion


I made a thing. It was terrible. (Pattern review, McCalls 7487)

I love bags. I especially love train cases. So I was SUPER excited to find this train case pattern! However, it was a whole lot of nope. 

McCalls 7487

This is actually the first bag pattern I've ever used. I've made bags before but they were always self-drafted. I was really excited about making a bag the right way, not the make it up as I go along way. But if I've learned anything from years of sewing commercial patterns, it's that patterns are more suggestions than decree. In this case, I decided to follow the pattern to the letter, and then decide what steps to keep and which to replace. Spoiler: I'm  replacing most of them.

This pattern was made of 9 pieces, some or all of which were duplicated on outer fabric, liner fabric, and three (THREE!!!) different types of interfacing. There was an additional pattern piece for making your own piping, but I just used the pre-made stuff. The outer fabric pieces were interfaced with headliner foam, the liner pieces with lightweight fusible interfacing, and the tops and bottoms reinforced with extra-firm craft weight interfacing. The cutting and interfacing process was so tedious!

The pattern's order of operations was screwey and needlessly complicated and required a high level of measuring and sewing precision to get the pieces to fit together just right. I attached my piping to my top and bottom pieces just a little too close to the outer edge, and it caused all sorts of problems when I tried to attach them to the sides. I actually wound up pulling the piping off of the top and reattaching it to the side, and then sewing the top to the side. It worked MUCH better! And gave me a little more freedom to make mistakes :)

The top lining was a bit of a challenge to attach, and the bottom was nearly impossible. As a matter of fact, I didn't actually finish the bottom lining. I think I'll have to do it by hand, and I just don't want to. Not right now, at least. I'm sure there is an easier way to assemble the lining, but the instructions have you attaching the top and bottom lining pieces as the very last step, and at that point there's not really any way to simplify the process. It wasn't worth it to tear the whole thing apart and start over just to try to come up with an easier way to line the thing. 

I also don't love the headliner foam. I wish the bag had a little more shape and structure. I'll use a sturdier interfacing next time. 

This pattern was, overall, a disappointment, Ok, maybe that's too harsh. This pattern has potential, the execution was just bad. In any case, I have a long list of changes to make next time. Version 2 will be much better!