Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: McCall's 9291

It's been over a year since I last made a bag. Procrastination and a lack of interest of sewing anything that wasn't a dress contributed to my lack in bag making. Oh, I purchased bag patterns...more than I care to acknowledge at the moment. When it came time to make one, I lost interest. Also, I could never decide on a fabric.

Sometimes I feel that I'm too practical for sewing. It was hard to decide on a fabric because I didn't want to make a purse that didn't go with a multitude of outfits. Why do I rationalize my sewing this way? I have no idea. But the same applies to shoe purchases. The Mighty Q had to school me on why having a pair of yellow shoes is a good idea. I thought it wasn't practical enough. I still haven't bought the shoes.

As far as sewing goes, this shouldn't be a problem. I possess the ability to make whatever I want, almost whenever I want. So, if I find an outrageous fabric for a bag, in theory I should be able to create an outfit to go along with it. Or, I could just pair the outrageous fabric bag with whatever I want. Honestly, I feel like it's a waste of time and effort to make something that can't be worn often with multiple items in my closet. Even with sewing, I feel that I should get more bang for my buck.

I am, after all, a cheapskate at heart.

But all that pragmatism goes out the door whenever I stumble upon fabric (or shoes) that strike a chord with my personality. Sometimes fabric just speaks to me. And it's always something that under normal circumstances I would not buy.

I purchased this vintage McCall's 9291 handbag pattern a few months ago after searching almost a year for it. I lucked up and got it on etsy for $6.00. Perfect. Then I spent the next few months agonizing over fabric. Then zippers to match the fabric. It was entirely too tedious a process for such a simple bag.

Last Friday, I stumbled upon some cotton duck canvas at Hobby Lobby. It was on clearance for $5 a yard. The bright ikat pattern would be a bit too garish for me under normal circumstances. Something about it just made me smile. I had to make something with it. I lucked up on a matching (!) metal zipper (which I had to shorten...grrr). I already had matching Kona cotton in my stash for the lining. It was perfect.

This marked my first time making a bag with a zipper closure. The pattern instructions were excellent and the illustrations were quite clear.


I made the larger of the two bags---view A, which is 21 inches wide. The size was right on point for me as I always carry large bags. The only change I made was to add a longer strap. Without it, the drop was much too short for me to put on my shoulder comfortably.

The pockets in this bag are huge, almost too huge. My keys got lost in one of them. I've never had that problem with a purse pattern before. Usually it's the other way around.

All in all, it's a great pattern and fairly easy to construct. If you like making bags and this pattern crosses your path, buy it. I plan on making another but with a leather strap. I'm already searching on etsy for one.



  1. I'm glad you went for it. That bag is really cute and will go with lots of things!!

  2. Yay, you finished the bag! It turned out beautifully.

    I knew in my heart you wouldn't get the shoes, but I live in hope that one day I can convince you to likewise step outside your comfort zone when it comes to footwear.



Thanks for commenting with thoughtfulness and maturity.

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