How can Bag Month be… over? Our Shoulder Bag winner announcement marks the end of a fun and inspiring month full of the best bags on the block. September will be another big theme month, but in the meantime we have lots of features, interviews and fun to come. We’d like to take this one last opportunity to thank our wonderful judges, Carrie, Jennifer, Linda, Liesl and Sara. Enjoy our Shoulder Bag winners, and congrats to all!

Grand Prize Winner
Laced Up Linen by Lisa, Pink Lemonade Boutique
Many of you fell in love with Lisa’s bag, and our judges did too. Lisa writes:
Vital Stats: 16″ accross 10.5″ high and 3.5 deep at widest point, Materials: Cotton quilting fabric, Linen, dupioni silk, grommets, plastic “rings, Body and gusset are quilted, contrast binding.
This bag to me is all about proportion, and interplay of pattern and materials. I love the look of the lush floral with the strong punctuation of the black and cream polka dot fabric. I’m currently fixated on linen right now (as are many people, I suppose it’s the Japanese design influence) but I know I had to include it. I felt the addition of the linen keeps the look a little more sober and not so over the top feminine, and the contrast piping highlights the curves and design of the bag. I liked the interplay of the utilitarian grommets with the luxe of the dupioni silk.
  • Lisa adds: Overall, the fabric choices for me were about not so much “matching and coordinating,” but something that might surprise and produce an emotional response. The shape and design of the bag has been bouncing around my head for awhile, and knew that it would be perfect for this contest. I wanted to design something sculptural, as well as practical. There is an interior slip pocket, and magnetic closure. The dupioni silk lacing is raw edge bias cut, so the slight fraying adds an additional design element. It can be removed and swapped out for something more tailored if desired. The body and gusset are quilted. The lining and outside are interfaced and a layer of batting is sandwiched in between. I tapered the gusset for an elegant profile, and the strap is also tapered in the opposite direction to echo the gusset tapering. As mentioned before, the piping highlights the lines of the bag. And the “rings” add a bit of casual novelty.
  • From the judges: Carrie enthusiastically emphasizes our judges’ reactions to Lisa’s bag. She writes, “I love the shape and the fabrics used, but really what sets it apart is the creative use of grommets, plastic rings and silk ribbons. I covet this bag… It’s truly spectacular and I want it!”
  • Lisa wins: A $50 Gift Certificate to Sew,Mama,Sew!
    Find out what Lisa’s up to now (we love each and every one of her bags!) on her blog Pink Lemonade Boutique.


    Second Place Winner:
    Blue and Gray Bag by Debbie, In The Bag
    Debbie hid from terrible weather and five teenagers in the house and created her blue and gray bag! She writes:
    SPECS: Approx. size 11″h x 14″ w. My design. Amy Butler fabrics. Fully quilted and lined. Forever, I’ve had a packet of numerous colors of 4″ squares of suede. I love them. I’ve never used them. You can see by the straps that today was the day to break into the suede. Magnetic snap closure. Pleated inside pocket and key hook.
    • From the judges: Our judges focused in on the fantastic choice of fabrics in this bag. Carrie wrote, “…These are two fabrics that are beautiful together, combined with the unusual shape of the bag. Nice job!”
    • Debbie wins: A Fabric Pack of 10 half yards from the fabulous Mod Girls fabric collection (by our knowledgeable and inspiring judge Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom, of course).
      For more on Debbie’s bags visit her blog, In The Bag.


    Third Place Winner:
    Shoulder Bag by Michelle
    Michelle worked to create the exact bag she hoped for, down to every last detail. She writes:
    I didn’t use a pattern to make my bag. I had a few ideas stored up in my head and just went for it! I loved this fabric as soon as I laid eyes on it; I thought it looked quite classic, but the blockiness of the print and the combination of the brown, blue and white really made it a more modern, striking design. I couldn’t remember having seen a bag made of this type of fabric, in a style I would like to use as a young woman. I thought I’d give it a try! I knew I wanted to make a shoulder bag that was large enough to carry the usuals – wallet, keys, umbrella (!), mobile phone, spare shopping bag, walkman, book, a water bottle and any other thing I deemed necessary that day. But also not so big that it would scrape the ground if it was carried in my hand instead.
    • Michelle adds: I started out with the fabric tucks where the bag joins the zipper, which is a detail I really like. As the fabric has quite a large print, I think it can take the extra detail. This design also allows the bag to appear smaller when you’re not carrying much, but really expand at the bottom when needed. I reinforced the bag with webbing where the handles join on, for that extra bit of strength. I also added a little pocket to the inside of the bag for a mobile phone; I always find myself rummaging around the bottom of a bag searching for the phone when it’s ringing, as if the bag was a bottomless pit! The little pocket is essential for me and I think many women would agree.
    • From the judges: Jennifer said it all, “…I love everything about it!!! It looks clutchy, fun but not formal, easy to get in and out of… I wish I’d thought of it!”
    • Michelle wins: An Amy Butler sewing pattern courtesy of Amy Butler Design.

    Twelve amazing bags… Did you miss any of the other category announcements (Tote, Handbag and “Other“)? For more (and more and more), visit our fantastic Flickr group.