I’ll be honest, I’m not one for following instructions, but if there’s anything I’ve learned in my years of sewing and cooking, and understanding the recipe and then breaking the rules is the best way forward. The Manda bag is not an easy sew: there is a lot of technique involved, and there was literal blood (pinning through multiple layers will do that) and sweat and some swearing. Note to self, use Aunt Fran’s thimble. That said, It’s an incredibly practical bag and has many uses.
I hacked this one to make it smaller and add an additional pocket to make the perfect dog walking bag, with room for my phone, keys, other essentials including a poo bag dispenser. I used version A of the crossbody version. This is made with softshell with heavy duty interfacing for more structure.
Things you will need (as well as those listed in the original pattern):
An invisible zipper
An invisible zipper foot
A rubber earphone port hole
Needle and thread for hand basting
To reduce the size, adjust the front and back vertical pieces to be the same measurement as the width (use the back piece as a guide) and then cut out. You will also need to adjust the gussets. The length of the gusset needs to be reduced with the amount that you took out at both sides from the front (or back).
Make up the pocket and zipper pieces as instructed (you will have to adjust size and placement of the back pocket opening and internal pockets). If desired attach reflective webbing under the front pocket.
To make the poo bag dispenser, cut out an extra piece for the vertical side piece in lining fabric, adding about ½” to the non-curved side. This will form your pocket.
Sew the reflective webbing and invisible zip along the straight side of the exterior allowing for the seam allowance, then mark where you want the porthole to be.
Sew in a circle around this point, then cut a hole inside the circle.
Match the port hole opening with this and sew it onto the piece.
Attach the new pocket lining to the main front piece, wrong side to wrong side.
I really recommend hand basting all the layers together, it takes more time but is easier in the long run.
Then sew the invisible zipper onto main piece vertical straight edges, topstitch and flip the new pocket lining over and baste all layers together around the outside edge.
[manda6] This pic is not in dropbox
Trim to make sure that everything lines up and follow the pattern instructions to bring the bag together.
It is really hard sewing through all the layers. I recommend using a heavy duty needle for the sewing machine – such as a top stitching/denim/leather one. Also I personally prefer hand basting the layers rather than using a stapler. I also like to use a small zig zag stitch for the internal binding. Take it slow and be patient.
Because of the new dimensions and the curved corners the bag will be rounder than the other sizes. Happy dog walking!
(Written by: Zoe Ruddock)