THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

January 15, 2007

Hot Patterns Mega-Shopper

Filed under: Accessories,Leather sewing,Pattern Reviews — phyllisc @ 7:39 pm

HP Urban Girl Mega-Shopper

I didn’t intend to make a piece of luggage when I started the HotPatterns Mega-Shopper, but in the end, that’s pretty much what I got! This is a Very Large Bag – the finished size is 16 x 7 x 12 inches.

Thank goodness for Diva Ann – I had to finish this up on her industrial machine, because my Bernina 180 just didn’t have the horsepower to sew through all the layers. And we still broke a leather needle!  The end result is not even close to perfect, but I like it anyway.

 There are 4 layers to this bag: The red wool twill, a canvas fused to the twill, heavy nonwoven double sided interfacing (thankfully there a use for this stuff 0utside of *gag* fabric bowls) and lightweight cotton fused to the second side of the double fusible. All of this structure the enables the bag to stand upright. The bottom of the bag is upholstery grade leather. Inside, between the leather bottom and the lining, is a piece of 1/8 inch thick Masonite with another piece of the heavy fusible glued on top to soften the surface a bit. The Masonite keeps the bag from falling over.

bag bottom
The inside photo shows you just how large this bag really is – I could easily carry a small dog. The original pattern had some interior pockets, and I added a few more. There is a large zipper pocket all across one interior side, two smaller pockets opposite, a gusset for a wine bottle or other tall item, and a swivel hook for my keys. In a bag this large, without the swivel, my keys would drop to the bottom like an anchor.

swivel hook

Inside bag

Aside from the challenge of such heavy materials, this bag really isn’t hard to put together, and using a lighter weight fashion fabric would make sewing much easier.  One thing I will do, if I ever make something like this again, will be to sew the sides wrong sides together and just bind the edges. I noticed before I turned the bag out (which was quite a wrestling match) that the corners were nice and square. Now I know why big totes are often finished with binding.  That idea, however, will require some nice leather and an industrial grade binding foot to really make it look good – a project for another time.

 Ann and I will be in New York next week (stay tuned for some live blogging from the Garment District!), and I wanted a big tote for shopping. That was definitely achieved with the Mega-Shopper!



  1. Zowie! I have this pattern, it leaped into my cart at HotPatterns one night. I might just have to make it now. >Jealous

    Comment by georgene — January 15, 2007 @ 8:53 pm

  2. I also have this pattern but for the smaller handbag version. I was all for making it till I found a RTW version exactly as I wanted … for a price equal to what I would have paid for the supplies!
    What I want to see is the bag full after shopping … that will be the real test of it’s size!

    Comment by Lorna — January 15, 2007 @ 8:59 pm

  3. Love it. It’s roomy and more importantly, it’s RED. Gorgeous! So what if a few machine needles had to give their lives for it? One thought: if you fill it with fabric, will you be able to lift it, or will you have to remove the small dog and hitch him up to it like an Alaskan Husky in the Iditarod?

    Comment by Karla — January 15, 2007 @ 9:07 pm

  4. I really like this pattern after wrestling with, I mean seeing, Phyllis’ version. I think this would make a great beach bag. What I would do is make a facing on the inside top and put a piece of fabric with a drawstring in it so you can pull it closed and use it for a picnic or similar.

    Comment by gorgeousthings — January 15, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

  5. Hmmm. Is it me or are there no pictures to see? I would LOVE to see this. Sounds great. I’m sure if it really could hold a small dog my daughter will insist I make one for her.

    Comment by Little Miss Sew N Sew — January 15, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

  6. Actually, I think it could hold my Border Collie, Hoover, without any problem!

    Comment by gorgeousthings — January 15, 2007 @ 10:03 pm

  7. Wow, what a boggling bag, Phyllis! Great job and fill ‘er up!

    Comment by Mary Beth — January 15, 2007 @ 10:30 pm

  8. A great looking bag inside and outside. Hope the handles and your shoulders can survive when you are filling the bag with goodies from NY on your next visit.

    Comment by Els — January 16, 2007 @ 6:45 am

  9. Really great looking bag. Love the red and black colors.

    Comment by Linda L — January 16, 2007 @ 6:53 am

  10. Wow, it is perfect. I love it, so much space to carry whatever!


    Greetings from Germany

    Comment by Aud — January 16, 2007 @ 12:15 pm

  11. Okay, now I can see the pictures. Must have been my computer. Wait till I show my daughter. She wants a chihuahua. Bee-yoo-ti-ful bag. I want one too. So, I’ll take my next paycheck and give it to Hot Patterns because there are now several patterns there I want to try. Thanks, Divas!

    Comment by Little Miss Sew N Sew — January 16, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

  12. That is a big bag! I do love the interior pocket with the zip cord – very useful and great idea!

    Comment by Summerset — January 16, 2007 @ 3:58 pm

  13. THAT is one fabulous bag…it actually makes my city-girl heart all giddy and racy, just thinking about the market/shopping day haul I could lug home on the train in it at a single go! I think I’m going to have to make at LEAST one before Farmer’s Market season sets in…Sigh…

    Comment by Terry in Chicago — January 17, 2007 @ 1:47 am

  14. What fabulous execution of that bag. I’m inspired. Great work!

    Comment by Kelly — January 26, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

  15. Wow Phyllis! You did an outstanding job. This looks like a fine handmade (vs. homemade) bag. Bags haven’t interested me too much before because they all look so homemade. Please let me know if you don’t want the shoulderbag pattern from this because I would like to buy it (I just can’t afford the full pattern at $15! – I mainly sew for my kids we don’t have a lot of $). I would like to make the small bag as a swim bag for my kids. They are all small and this would be a little easier for them to handle than a regular swim bag.

    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Page — June 29, 2007 @ 11:46 am

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