Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vogue 1311 - Koos Bag

When this Koos bag pattern came out in late April, I was smitten. I decided it was just the thing to make now that I am replete with red FabMo fabrics.

Auditioning FabMo samples for the sides and straps. The bag bottom, completed, is underneath.

I hoped it would be a quick project but, like all bags, it took longer than I expected.

This bag has some interesting details. First, it is shaped like a squat cylinder, however the location of the straps means that it falls into a spherical shape when held. Top-stitching on both sides of the circular seams at the top and bottom, flatten the seam allowances and further encourage a spherical shape.

Strap Holes:

You might recall when I made the Koos coat that it had wonderful buttonholes. In fact, I recommended that you buy the pattern, if only for the buttonholes.

The bag uses the same design element, except this time they are used for inserting the ends of the straps.

Strap holes, in process.

One thing I did differently from the pattern: it instructs you to fold the raw edges to the insides of the little squares. To reduce bulk, I mitered those corners.


The pattern calls for fusible hair canvas interfacing. I used fusible fleece. Once I applied the fusible fleece to each piece, I stitched in the ditch along the piecing seams to quilt the fleece to the outside layer. This shouldn't be necessary, but I find that fusible fleece peels off fairly easily.


The fabric I used for the straps is double sided. So I pieced the straps to use both sides. Also, the last few bags/totes I've made have had straps that were too short. So I lengthened these by a bit over 3". I used the fusible fleece inside the straps, as well.


The bag calls for a 16" zipper. I started the project last weekend and I was not in the mood to leave the house for a zipper. My zipper box did not have anything appropriate, when I noticed a white zipper, approx 18" long. This was a nice heavy duty separating zipper with metal teeth and two zipper pulls. I bought it, long ago, for a few cents at Fabrix. It had a white cotton tape.

I decided to paint it. (At first I thought I'd dye it, but I had no red dye and did not want to go out to buy that either.) I bought fabric paints a couple years ago when I was experimenting with silk screening, so I painted the zipper with Metallic Crimson Lumiere paint by Jacquard.

I hung it outside to dry...

steam set it with the iron, and shortened it (from both ends) by approx 2".

I was very happy with the new color. There was some paint on the metal teeth, but most of it seems to have rubbed off already. Lumiere adheres to fabric, but not to metal.


This pattern has two views. I made view A. View B is similar, but has overlays and bias binding covering the edges of the overlays, similar to the recent Koos swing coat pattern.

Pattern pieces are provided for the piecing. I used the provided pattern for the top and bottom of the bag, but I was not satisfied with the 5 pieces provided for the side of the cylinder.

I ended up using 10 pieces for the side, instead of 5.

Note that if you wanted to make this without any piecing, it would be easy to do. They provide pattern pieces for the interfacing and lining that are not pieced, so you could use those for the outside, as well.


View A has no pockets. View B has one pocket. I made two pockets, using the pattern from view B. I like these little pleated pockets. They are sewn to the lining so that they extend over the upper seam that attaches the circle to the side.

I did not have any FabMo lining fabrics long enough for the side, so I pieced together five silk samples, changing the direction of the stripe. Hanging off the ironing board is one of the original silk samples.

I finished the bag last night. It's ridiculous. It's big, like an overnight bag, and I love it! It makes me smile. I just need an overnight invitation to use it. ;)

When I did my photo shoot today of the finished bag, I decided that it resembles a pumpkin, so I plopped it into some plants that resemble pumpkin vines. (I'm informed that these are nasturtiums.)


Recently, I've been checking the Vogue website daily, waiting for the Fall patterns to be revealed. When I opened the site this morning, I saw they are featuring this pattern on the front page.