Pattern Review ~ Ella Carry-all

on October 13 | in Sewing Inspiration | by | with 11 Comments

Ella Carry-all Annmarie had lots of fun sewing the Ella Carry-all, and has plans to use the pattern for future bags. Visit Annmarie in her creative home on the web: sewzenmama.

Ella Carry-all from Grand Revival

The Ella Carry-all is pretty and practical, the perfect size for a beach bag, diaper bag. Or fill it with PJs and toothbrush for a sleepover at grandma’s. The bag has two exterior open pockets and a third pocket with a velcroed flap. A key tab inside keeps your car keys or baby’s binky handy. With a drawstring and cord stop closure, it’s easy to open and close. (From the pattern envelope.)

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Annmarie’s completed bag.

Quilter’s cotton, upholstery fabric, old or new bark cloth, etc. Nylon could also be used for lining.

This is a great pattern for using up fabric in the stash; a mix and match chart is included with measurement of each cut piece for quick reference when choosing fabrics.

Notions call for twill tape or ribbon for the facing, shoelace, cotton cord, or ribbon for drawstring and 8 1/4″ grommets.

Fabric Recommendations
Anything in your stash really! I think twill and canvas would work for lining, bottom, or outer bottom panel to make the print fabric on the pocket pop. I used a set of fabric from Anna Maria Horner’s Lollipop Shop and flannel for the interfacing. I have a small drawstring bag that I made out of the fabric that I have been using for small knitting projects and when I saw this pattern I knew it would be great for larger knit projects!

Overall Design 5 stars
This is a great functional bag that can hold lots and folds up small. The outer pockets can hold water bottles or a stack of legos. The strap is a great length for carrying on the shoulder or in hand (no dragging the bottom of the bag on the ground).


Written Instructions 4 stars
I am overall very please with the instructions. I often have a habit of deciding the written instructions are lacking or make thing way to difficult and just finishing the project however I decide is easiest. I actually followed all of the directions with this pattern. Most steps were explained clearly; the only part I had a problem with was the attachment of the key tab and the twill tape on the inside rim. The one side of the hook and loop tape would have been covered by the twill tape, making the Velcro feature useless. I just moved the hook and loop tape down on the key tab so it is below the twill tape. Also, the pattern asks for hand basting the interfacing to the main fabric… I am incredibly lazy when it comes to hand basting and machine basted instead.

Diagrams / Images 5 stars
All of the steps are shown clearly.

Pattern Pieces 5 stars
Printed on heavy weight paper and each piece is marked very clearly for cut line, stitch line, attachment of Velcro and grommets, and notches for matching. Each piece is also marked with numbers and cut fabric 1, 2 or lining to make cutting (and mixing and matching fabric) easier.

Overall Level of Difficulty Confident Beginner
The circular bottom can be tricky for beginners but the directions and diagrams are very clear on this step. Pin the heck out of it and be sure to check for puckers when sewing!

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Bag detail.

Modifications + Tips
I had a moment of confusion at the fabric store as the 1/4″ grommets called for in the pattern are called eyelets at the 1/4″ size. I really don’t know why they have a different name as they look and function exactly the same as larger sized grommets.

Be sure to match up the side seams on the top and bottom sections. Use the toe of the iron to open up the seams on the right side of the turned and topstitched straps, then press the strap flat; this makes the seam lay nicely and is much easier to sew when topstitching. If you use a plaid like I did, cut the pieces individually if slightly wonky plaid lines bother you.

I think snaps would also work in place of the Velcro for the key tab and outer pocket closure. A double layer of bias tape made from coordinating fabric would be a nice alternative to face the bag top if twill tape or ribbon isn’t handy. Also, buttonholes might work for the grommets if one doesn’t have grommets on hand. There are no inner pockets, which doesn’t bother me at all, I always forget stuff in pockets on a big bag, but adding pockets might be handy for some.

A fun pattern to sew with a useful and pretty end product. The directions are very simple to follow and the project can be completed in one long sewing session. The carry-all would make a great I-need-something-tomorrow-morning gift. And did I mention that it holds a lot?! In the picture I have 10 skeins of yarn stuff in the carry-all! But it doesn’t have that way too big feeling. This is a pattern I will definitely sew again… I think Isaiah might like a sock monkey bag!

[tags]sewing pattern review, Ella Carry-all pattern review, bag pattern review, carry-all pattern review, Grand Revival pattern, Grand Revival Ella Carry-all pattern, Grand Revival bag pattern review[/tags]

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11 Responses to Pattern Review ~ Ella Carry-all

  1. Lisa says:

    Great bag and what a wonderful review too.

  2. laura says:

    that looks a bit too complicated for me, but I definitely appreciate Annmarie’s evaluation of instructions. I often get so lost when reading patterns, it’s nice to see her opinion of these. Plus, I love her fabric choices.

  3. Jess says:

    So glad to see your review up here! It looks like a cute bag…I bet I could totally boy it up for some Christmas gifts!

  4. Robin says:

    Very cute bag! Thank you for the review. 🙂

  5. Jen B. says:

    Great review! This beginner may have to try it soon!

  6. Trisha says:

    That looks like a fun bag – I’ll have to try it sometime. Thanks for the review!

  7. very cool! i’m curious to try this one.
    Annmarie’s bag came out lovely!! 🙂

  8. April Zderad says:

    Thanks for the review! This is an adorable bag and after reading what you have to say about it I want to make one!

  9. Michelle Day says:

    I just am fascinating by bags. I love looking at the patterns. I especially love looking for fabric to make the perfect bag! I guess you could call me a bag lady!

  10. Anary says:

    Very nice bag…It looks like it could be transformed into a boy bag juat changing the fabrics…Nice pattern. Thanks for the review!

  11. Kristin says:

    Great review! 🙂

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