The Sewing Adventures of Someone Who Doesn’t Sew (Part 1 – A Computer Bag)

This post may be slightly more comical than it is helpful!

At the beginning of the last school year, a friend and colleague of mine found this pattern for an adorable computer bag on Pinterest. She sewed her own, and it turned out so cute! I pinned the post, bought this super cute quilted material at JoAnn Fabric, and then it sat there for about 8 months.

That’s pretty much the story of all of my projects.

Since I’m going to be sewing curtains soon, I asked my mom to borrow her sewing machine. She graciously lent it to me, putting her faith in a less-than-mediocre sewing machine operator.

While I am waiting for the curtain fabric to arrive, I decided to take advantage of the sewing machine sitting in our dining room and sew my computer bag for the upcoming school year.

I mean, it’s a rectangle with a zipper and a strap. How difficult could this possibly be??

Well hang onto your hats, folks! It was a bumpy ride!

I bought this pretty lilac thread, and mom told me I would need to wind a bobbin. I know I’ve tried that with my dad’s help once or twice, but I couldn’t really remember much besides “put the pedal to floor and let it do its thing.”

I avoided the issue altogether by finding a bobbin already wound with pink thread that matched the material perfectly. So, my top stitches are purple and the bottom ones are pink. I am ok with that.

Then I had to figure out how to put the bobbin in the machine and get the thread through. I’d estimate that it took me about 15 minutes of trying to figure it out on my own before I consulted the directions. I should’ve done that in the first place, because it was pretty simple after that!

I did remember how to feed the top thread though! That was probably the simplest part of my afternoon!

I began by sewing the straps. I figured it was just a straight line, it’s highly unlikely that I will mess it up.

The sewing of the straps was not difficult. However, when I went to turn them right side out, life got a little harder. Because the straps are about 1 1/4 inches thick, it was tricky to work the ends all the way back through. But with the help of a safety pin and a broken wooden spoon, I got it!

The body of the bag didn’t seem all that difficult at first either. I followed the directions, (or so I thought) and ended up with rough edges sticking out of the zipper.

So I ripped the zipper out.

I read the directions more carefully this time and actually thought about what I was doing. I realized the zipper needed to go between the material. Duh.

So I sewed the zipper between the material. Then I realized that both pieces of material were facing the same direction and the wrong side would be showing on the outside of the bag.

Round two of zipper ripping.

Apparently the third time really is a charm because I sewed the zipper in correctly this time.

After the zipper debacle, things got a little easier. I mean, there was a lot of zipping and unzipping, pinning and turning involved, but it was coming together.

The last issue I had occurred when I was trying to sew the D-ring tabs into the sides of the bag. The material was quite thick. Like, almost didn’t fit under the foot thick. And as I was trying to sew through this mountain, I heard a “clunk” and my thread was no longer where it was supposed to be.

That’s right, I broke a needle. I’ve never done that before, so back to the sewing machine owner’s manual I went.

It was actually very simple to change the needle out. I was just thankful my mom had a spare!

And the best part of this whole ordeal is that my computer fits inside the bag!! I was a little concerned that I would go through all of this and my computer wouldn’t fit. I do have to turn it sideways a bit so the edges of the computer don’t get caught on the zipper, but it is adorable and functional!

In the midst of all of these obstacles, I really do love this computer bag! If you are feeling adventures, I would recommend this pattern! I would caution you to think about the end product while you are following the sewing instructions. I made the mistake of only thinking about the step I was on, when I really needed to think about how it related to the big picture.

I think my favorite part is that it is quilted and lined, so there is extra cushion for the computer.

And did I mention it is so cute??

I have some material left over, so I’m considering using it to sew a crossbody bag that doubles as an iPad case. That project is going to need to wait though because I’ve got curtains lined up next!

Do you have any funny sewing stories? I would love to hear about them!

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3 thoughts on “The Sewing Adventures of Someone Who Doesn’t Sew (Part 1 – A Computer Bag)

  1. I hate zippers! They are a pain.
    I have made so many sewing mistakes over the years. I can remember sewing a sleeve upside down… twice. I have broken a lot of needles. Once a piece of needle hit my eye while hemming jeans so I always use a heavy needle and wear safety goggles when sewing anything thick.
    Your bag looks really cute! Great job!!!

    1. Ah! I didn’t even consider flying needles! Yikes!
      Thank you for the compliment on my bag!!

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