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Great Bag, Great Pattern, Great Giveaway!

The Mail Sack pattern cover

The first time I spotted a sample of this bag hanging in a shop I knew I had to make it. I’m very particular about bags (both shape and functionality) and I loved the look of this one! It’s absolutely my favorite bag pattern – the Mail Sack from Pink Chalk Studio.

The design of this artful, hands-free bag is perfect for combining fabrics in creative ways (one of my favorite activities). It’s amazing how different it looks depending on fabric selection. The bag has two interior pockets (one zippered and the other divided) and has instructions for two sizes: large (16″ x 16″), and mini (12″ x 12″). Following are a few photos of different versions of the Mail Sack.

The pink one is the first one I made using home-dec-weight fabric on the bottom, and quilting-weight cottons for the yoke, strap, and lining.

Mail Sack made with home-dec and quilting-weight cotton

Donna Cummings made the next one using one vinyl-covered cotton fabric for the outside and quilting-weight cottons for the lining. She embellished the bag with two lines of decorative cording couched along the seam dividing the bottom and the yoke – how cute is that? It was a simple way to add her own touch.

Mail Sack made with vinyl-covered cotton fabric

The Mail Sack in the neutral and black geometric print (with different fabrics for bottom, yoke, and straps) was made by my friend Sally, who found the bag very useful on her recent trip to Europe – it was easy to carry and perfect for storing everything needed on a long flight. When she switched to a smaller purse for sight-seeing, the Mail Sack folded up and tucked easily into her luggage. It’s hard to see in the photo, but she added a tab and decorative button across the top to keep it closed.

Mail Sack with tab-and-button closure

Miranda with her "mini" size Mail Sack

The photo on the right is the adorable Miranda, who has the “mini” version of the bag made by her Aunt Linda, featuring Miranda’s favorite skull fabrics. I’m told she’s never without it!

I admit that I’m skeptical of bag patterns – often times either the directions are hard to follow or the diagrams are insufficient. As I follow the steps I wonder when the “gotcha” step is coming – you know the one that stops you cold and the project goes into the “never to be touched again” bin. The Mail Sack isn’t one of those – it goes together beautifully. The instructions are well-written, concise, and easy to follow, with excellent diagrams in every step. I’ve taught it in class a number of times, and every student has been successful in completing the bag in one 6-hour session.

If you’ve made one of these I’d love to hear about it. And if you haven’t made one, you’re in luck – designer Kathy Mack has generously donated a pattern for each of the five winners of this giveaway! Even if you already have the pattern, you can choose another design from Kathy’s “Everyday Art Pattern Collection.”  Post your comment by 9:00pm (PDT) Sunday,  August 28th, and you’ll be entered in the drawing. I’ll announce the five winners on Tuesday, August 30th. I know you’ll enjoy making this bag – give it a try. After all, the holidays are just around the corner – and it makes a wonderful gift for those on your “handmade-worthy” list.

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