I get a real buzz* out of seeing all the different versions of my wasp bag pattern around the intertubes and flickr.  It’s such a great feeling to have produced something that people can use, modify, and make their own, and there are so many talented sewers and colour-choosers out there.

But sometimes I get a bit worried when people mention that they found the pattern hard to follow.  I’d like to revise the pattern to make it better and easier.  Which is where you come in.

I’d like to invite everyone who’s made a version of the wasp bag to help contribute to a better wasp bag pattern.  And I am offering two bribes: one is a chance to win the bag you see above, and the other is a place in the (soon to be constructed) wasp bag gallery on this site, including a picture of your bag and a link to your blog, if you have one.

If you’d like to take part, here are the questions I would like your feedback on:

  1. How easy to follow were the instructions for the wasp bag?
  2. If you found  the instructions difficult, which parts in particular puzzled you?  How did you solve the problem?
  3. What changes would you make to make it an easier project?
  4. Did you modify the pattern?  if so, what did you do and why?

You can leave your answers in the comments below, or email them to machenmachen@(removebeforesending)  If you’d like to be in the gallery, please email a photo and a link to your blog as well.

I will pick one winner at random for the bag, and the competition closes on 11 April 2009.

*yes, bad pun.  Well spotted.


Working in a field that concerns itself with environmental impacts, I get a lot of re-usable shopping bags. It seems like every conference, seminar, workshop and field day I’ve been to for the last nine years has sent me home with yet another, mostly too small to be useful, or just plain ugly.

I decided to pretty up one of them that was a good size, but not attractive, being plain black polyester with conference logos on it. So I added some Auntie Cookie fabric to the outside to cover the logo, and created a lining in hand-printed fabric from Yoshi Jones, with a drawstring to keep everything in the bag, and a key-clip because I had a clip and some red ribbon handy. It’s a bit wonky because the the original bag was very stiff and hard to sew, not to mention awkward. But it looks a thousand times better, and I think is a thousand times more useful, than it was before.

The good news is I am giving this bag away – go here for the details.

Click through for more pictures.

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