My Summit Pack by Cloudsplitter Patterns – Review

My daughter looked so darn cute during a recent college visit. She had a neat Kavu Rope Sling Bag slung over her shoulder, and it just made me think, I have to make one. I searched for an over the shoulder bag online and came up with the Summit Pack by Cloudsplitter Patterns. The reviews were good, and at $6, the price for the pattern was right. Sold.

Now, what to make it with. I had 2 22- or 24-inch black zippers that I wanted to use – one I bought from Emmaline Bags; and the other I got at the Houston International Quilt Show from ByAnnie. Both are good quality zippers with wide tape, but the Emmaline Bags zipper had an awesome nickel “handmade” zipper pull. So my bag had to be black in some way.

I had been wanting to try SewSweetness’ faux leather so I bought some in silver and rose gold. Her video tutorial of her free hobo bag in the rose gold made me think sewing with her product would be easy enough, and the end product was too good to resist. I threw in some charcoal gray too. And, while I was buying, I figured, that cork threaded with metallic silver would work! That was by far the most expensive part of my purchase and once I got these luscious sheets of cork and faux pleather, I was afraid to cut them.

Usually, I make a test of a pattern before plunging ahead, but then I have to spend money buying all the materials only to either rip it apart so I can use them again or end up with a not-so-great version I will never use that feels like a waste of money. So I took the plunge and slowly cut into my cork and faux leather.

First, let me say that cutting the leather and cork was a breeze. There’s no fraying. You can’t pin it so I used clips to hold it in place. And you can’t iron the faux leather, although you can iron cork. None of that really mattered. The bag went together pretty simply. The pattern maker has a unique way of attaching each part of the lining during the whole process so if sits really nicely in the bag. The instructions were very clear and I didn’t run into any problems, with one exception. When I was adding the larger zipper, I somehow ended up with more zipper than I needed and started adding the outside of the bag incorrectly. It turned out longer than the rest of the bag which would have set me up for trouble when I sewed everything together. Rather than panic, I simply ripped it apart. The leather and cork are unforgiving when it comes to sewing holes. Once there, they are there to stay. But I was able to cover those holes up so nothing shows when I sewed the bag back together correctly.

The final fear came when I sewed the entire bag together. The entire bag is pulled through a 7-inch opening in the exterior pocket. I was terrified something would happen to the leather or cork when I pulled it through, but it was very sturdy and looks great! I can’t iron out the edges, and I have some tucks where I’d rather not have them, but all in all, I think it came out pretty good and can’t wait to wear it. It has a padded pocket for my iPad, credit card pockets so I don’t have to carry a wallet, and plenty of other pockets for my phone, keys, and sunglasses. it’s perfect for a plane trip or anywhere I want to go where I don’t have to worry about a pocketbook falling off my shoulder.

I want to make another one and am starting to get obsessed with the idea of doing it in waxed canvas and faux leather. Stay tuned for that one!

So much to make, so little time.

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