When I found the Coco Bag tutorial by ChrisW Designs, I was excited. Here was one opportunity to learn 3 new techniques: rivets, grommets, and corded handles. I had just enough faux leather left over from sewing the Debbie Shore Faux Leather Handbag to make this project.
The PDF tutorial for this free project is available here:
Note this pattern is for non-commercial use only.
Here are my thoughts on this project.
The tutorial beings with a great photo and instructions for printing out the PDF pattern pieces. The features and finished bag size sections are next. The pattern notes included information about the seam allowances and how to join the PDF pattern pieces. I think it’s important that the seam allowance information be easy to find and it was. The fabric & construction suggestions includes several tips about making the straps and where to get hardware. There is also a photo of the grommets and hooks to help you buy the right size. The You will need: section lists all of the materials that you will need and the Tools section lists the required tools. .I didn’t have any 3/8” inch plastic tubing so I used 3/8” cord.
The first step is cutting the materials. The cutting instructions included 2 notes about fabric pieces without pattern pieces. I highlighted these pieces in the instructions so I won’t forget them when I way laying out the pattern pieces on the fabric.
Nearly every step and sub-step in the tutorial has a photograph. Steps 2 and 3 are making the straps. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to feed my cord through the strap so I sewed the long seam with the cord in place. Having a narrow zipper foot and the ability to offset the sewing machine needle to the left were keys to making this approach successful. If you don’t have a narrow zipper foot, I recommend following the instruction as written.
Step 4 is making the exterior panels. It takes 12 sub-steps top turn 4 pattern pieces into a single exterior panel. Well worth the effort as this finished bag looks amazing. Steps 5 and 6 are making the magnetic snap tabs and adding them to the top band respectively. The extra annotations on the photographs were quite helpful.
Step 7 is assembling the lining and step 8 is assembling the bag. My grommet kit didn’t have a cutting tool and my grommets wouldn’t punch through my faux leather. I used a sharp pair of scissors to cut the grommet holes and then proceeded as per the instruction in my grommet kit.
The 9th and final step is creating the base for the Coco bag. I didn’t have any template plastic, so my base is strengthened with a piece of sturdy cardboard.
Here is a photo of my finished Coco bag:
I really like how it turned out. Carefully cutting out the pattern and carefully pinning the exterior panels together are key to creating a professional looking bag. I would make this pattern again.
Have you tried this pattern?