Aye Aye Captain!

Sometimes you just need to stare at something for a few weeks before you actually decide to work on it. I had a stack of Smooth Sailing fat quarters sitting on my desk at home. While lovely as a stack, I just couldn’t help but think of fun projects the fabrics could create. A few weeks ago I decided I was going to cut right into the fabrics and sew up a little something. The project was still undecided at that point, but I started prepping my workspace and racking my brain for a quick and easy idea to make with these beautiful nautical fabrics.

A few years ago, I picked up a sewing pattern for a purse that looked pretty beginner-friendly. I bought some fabric and set off on my first sewing attempt in many years. Back then this project took me a few days to finish, and came complete with frustration and a readied seam ripper. Alas, I finished the purse and was very proud. If you looked up close it wasn’t anything to brag about, but the best thing about it was being able to say that I made it. After a couple years of wear and tear, the holes and bleeding fabric had become too much and I had to retire it. Now, I had the perfect stack of fabric to recreate my favorite bag.

The project was easy enough on its second run through. It’s designed for strips, but my fat quarters worked just fine. The pattern basically entailed sewing together the strips, rounding the bottom, creating a few pleats, inserting the lining and putting it all together. I did make some of the same mistakes as the first time around (like sewing the handle inside of the bag – oops!), but after having a little more practice, the project only took me a few hours, and I’m a slow sewer! I now have a perfect-for-summer bag that I can happily tote around. While the “Anchor’s Aweigh” fabric is definitely my favorite, I still love the way all of Smooth Sailing’s fabrics coordinate together. I apologize for how wrinkly the bag looks. I’ve actually had this finished for a few weeks and have been toting and throwing it around for quite a bit since then!

Since the pattern was an old packet, I am unable to share it with you all, but there are so many beautiful bag patterns out there that Smooth Sailing would work wonderfully with. Connecting Threads has quite a selection of bag patterns available. I personally think Loft Creations’ Oak Park Bag would be especially cute in Smooth Sailing!


  1. Stephanie - July 16, 2012

    Fantastic bag and perfect to show off this super Summery fabric. Now you have me wanting to make an Oak Park Bag out of Smooth Sailing!

  2. Jenni - July 17, 2012

    Nice job Katrina! This is so cute!!!

  3. Helen - July 17, 2012

    I have made many of these bags. I leave off a few rows of strips to make it shallower. I also use a fleece interfacing for a firmer bag. Love the pattern though.

  4. Alisha - July 17, 2012

    Great job, Katrina! I <3 this bag.

  5. Katrina - July 17, 2012

    Thanks guys! 🙂

  6. Jenna Buescher-Hill - July 18, 2012

    beautiful job Katrina! Love, love, love, this.