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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126 Responses to Great Bag, Great Pattern, Great Giveaway!

  1. Shanna says:

    I’ve never made a bag before, but I’d be SO excited to have a pattern to learn how!

  2. Deb McPartland says:

    Christie, I tend to agree with your comments about most bag patterns. This one looks and sounds like a keeper!
    Deb

  3. Darlene Garrity says:

    I am a new 76 year old reader of your Blog. I love it! I have never made a bag but would like to make one. I love the new fabrics at my local quit store and was looking for something to make with them.

  4. Deborah says:

    Hi Christie,

    This bag looks fab! Thanks for all of the views of various fabric types and weights; it’s helpful to actually see how they work! I appreciate your mention of the infallibility of the pattern, too! I’ve had the experience of difficult-to-follow instructions! Bags make perfect gifts…one of my favs…this looks like one that will be great to reproduce!

  5. I sew for World of Charity Stitching and we make bags for the residents of nursing homes and domestic violence shelter as well as Ronald McDonald House. this would make a great bag for them and it can be done in ‘manly’ fabric for the men as I think they would like the cross body bag. I’d love to have one of these patterns to make for them.

  6. carriem says:

    I’ve been thinking of making bags for my sisters and sisters in laws. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Janice says:

    I can think of several people I could make these for. Thanks!

  8. Gill says:

    This looks a great bag!
    I’d love to make one

  9. margery says:

    bags are the new hot thing in our quilt quild, can’t wait to try this one.

  10. kim mcintosh says:

    I would love to try this pattern! I have been eyeing a bag project and have a few friends for whom this would make a fantastic gift.
    mcintosh dot kimberley at gmail to com

  11. Bonnie Yourzak says:

    The bag looks great! I love that home dec fabric on the pink bag.

  12. Chris B says:

    Oh YESSSS. I have been looking for a bag pattern just like this. I hope I win!!

  13. Callie says:

    This would be great for all the extra fabric I have! Great gifts and lots of fun to make!

  14. Mar Johnson says:

    I can’t resist a great bag, and this looks like a good one. Especially the smaller one. Thanks for another great post!

  15. lynn says:

    ooh great bag! i’d love to make this!
    thank you

  16. Shirley Schmeyer says:

    It looks like a really comfortable bag to use. Would love to win the pattern.

  17. Shirley Schmeyer says:

    The bags look really neat. I particularly like the strap as it won’t cut into my shoulder. Many different scrap material can be used to make it.

  18. tracy_a says:

    Lovely bags! Everytime I see one if these, I add this pattern to my cart :) I hope one wings its way to me – or maybe this will be the final push to press “buy”!

  19. Sue says:

    Always on the lookout for my teen DD who has inherited the “must have more bags” gene from both her GMs ! She love the green tropical version. Thanks for the contest !

  20. Sunny says:

    I have this pattern and made two of them — one with green and blue graphic fabrics and the other with pick and green florals. Love the pattern. Foolishly I gave them away before taking pictures. Now I’m thinking it may be time to make another, for me….
    -Sunny

  21. Mona Keegan says:

    Found my way here via the amazing Diane Gaudynski’s blog. This pattern looks wonderful. Would love to make it.

  22. Paula says:

    Would love to try this pattern; thanks for the chance!
    ap_lemos at yahoo dot com

  23. Adore this bag, and the various fabrics are so great…each a personality of it’s own..would love to win a patter, but if I don’t will buy it anyway,…thanks for designing a bag we can all master!!

    • Christie says:

      Dianne,

      I love the design options with different fabric choices. The Mail Sack was designed by Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio. I wish it was mine!

      Christie

  24. I’m a novice sewer and this was my first bag – first big project actually. Verrrrrrry easy to follow, looks great and I love the two bags I have since made. Always looking for fabric to make more. Great pattern, very useful bag. Use as diaper bag often too!

    • Christie says:

      Kerrie,

      Thank you so much for the positive feedback. Welcome to the world of sewing – it’s a wonderful way to express your creativity and you’ll meet some lovely new friends along the way!

      Christie

  25. Judy, SC says:

    Purchased one bag pattern and just reading the instructions got lost. Think I would like to try this pattern with no ‘gotcha moment’. Even have the fabric, a large flower print, so not me, that I purchased with the never used bag pattern. Hope I win if not I’ll order the pattern. Judy, SC

  26. barbnstephen says:

    I just went to the Birmingham Quilt Exhibition in Birmingham (England) that is and was eyeing all the fantastic Rowan fabrics and was thinking about making some bags using such a pattern as this. Would love to keep posted and eventually get a new pattern like yours. Thanks for inspiring us all! Barbara

    • Christie says:

      Barbara,

      You are so welcome! I’m a HUGE fan of Rowan designers – Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably Phillip Jacobs, Amy Butler, Martha Negley, Joel Dewberry. I can’t get enought of their fabrics!

      Christie

  27. WandaFish says:

    I’m over from Pink Chalk’s facebook page – love the look of your blog and am now your latest subscriber :)
    I don’t know how I’ve missed Kathy’s Mail Sack pattern so far. It looks adorable and I’d like to have a go at making one – thanks for the chance to win!

  28. RaeJean says:

    oh boy..what fun. LOVE Kathy Mack patterns and I don’t have this one
    Fingers crssed

  29. Gina S. says:

    Was thinking about ordering this pattern. I have the Des Monies quilt show coming up next month and need a hands free bag with room to carry everything. And the plus is the smaller bag i can make for my granddaughter! Thanks for the chance to win.

  30. mn2nm says:

    I’ve admired that pattern for a while – would love to try it! (Found my way here from Kathy’s FB post!) Thanks!

  31. elsa says:

    this is a great bag and pattern ~ I’ve made it a couple of times and love it!

  32. Kristy says:

    Love all the variations & the chance to win! Thank you! The differing sizes would be nice so the bag could work for both my girls and me!

  33. Lesliebee says:

    Love the bag and the mini version! And it’s great to know that the pattern is easy to follow. those are the best kind of recommendations

  34. Cindy says:

    The bag looks so versatile. I hope I win the pattern!!

  35. I love bags so much that my friends call me the “Bag Lady”. I haven’t made this bag yet, but love the black and white version above.

  36. Sarah Yetter says:

    I LOVE to make bags! I don’t have this pattern yet but would love to try it:)

  37. Sarah Yetter says:

    I LOVE making bags. I have lots of bag patterns but not this on yet:) Would love to try this one!

  38. Beth Curtis says:

    I have made 2 of Kathy Mack’s patterns –both the Mail Sack and her Pencil Roll pattern. Her patterns are always well-written and easy to follow. I love working with them. I was planning to make another Mail Sack and seeing all the samples in your review has inspired me.

  39. Nancy Warner says:

    I have been addicted to making bags for some years. I love this one. It is so different from my usual bags..

  40. t. anne says:

    I’d love to win this pattern. Love Pink Chalk Fabrics.

  41. Lexi says:

    I’ve always wanted to make a bag like this. It looks wonderful. lexilucas@gmail.com

  42. Mareenchen says:

    I sure wouldn’t mind another bag pattern to add to my growing collection, I’ve never put in a zippered pocket before and I love making bags as presents – count me in!

  43. ohangelina says:

    love the skull bag!!
    i like this style, its like my monk bag i made. x

  44. Amy joyce says:

    I also have a bit of a bag obsession and have been eying this pattern.

  45. Janey Millar says:

    Ooh, finally a bag that looks fab and also easy enough for a very rusty seamstress just getting back into sewing, AND I can make mini ones for my girls who love all things Mummy and me! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity and also showcasing the pattern, I’m sure to buy even if I don’t win!

  46. Oh, I was just looking at this pattern the other day! I would love to make it ~ THANKS for the chance!
    ourbusylittlebunch(at)hotmail(dot)com

  47. DeEtte says:

    I love this bag! I would make the first one for my oldest daughter who I am dropping off for her first year of college! So cute and perfect for all the things you need!

  48. Kim R. says:

    I’d love a chance to enter – love the bag!!
    Thanks :)

  49. Debra H says:

    I love this pattern ! I have it and have made at least two mini mail sacks and at least 7 Large ones ! It is my comfort sewing ! like macaroni and cheese is “comfort food” , the Mail Sack is my “comfort sewing” ! Great directions and diagrams ! Love Kathy and her team at Pink Chalk Fabrics ! I only wish I lived on the island too ! Very nice review, and I enjoy seeing all the Mail Sacks in all the fabulous fabric everyone picks out to make them their own !

  50. Rita Goshorn says:

    sure ’nuff … this bag would be really cute for my grandniece as she begins jr high! would love to win a pattern!

  51. Sarah Edmonds says:

    I’ve been eyeing the bag patterns at Pink Chalk. Hadn’t thought about making this one until I saw your photos!

  52. Nancy B from Many LA says:

    They’re so cute – would love to win!

  53. Skooks says:

    What a sweet bag. I love all the different variations!

  54. Amy in VA says:

    I’ve graduated from the diaper bag to one that now needs to fit crayons, sippy’s and maybe a wallet if I can remember. I’ve never tackled making my own bag but I like this one. Thanks for the chance to win.

  55. pam says:

    I love this bag …simplicity and beauty. Thanks for the chance to win!

  56. H. Georg says:

    I got this pattern a couple of years ago when I was a very novice seamster (sewist?), and the pattern was fantastic. The directions on sewing the zipper pocket was fabulous (first time to attempt anything like it on my own), and now I use the same method whenever I’m making a zipper pocket on any tote bag. That Christmas I made 5 of them (2 minis for preschoolers, 3 regular sizes) to give away as gifts, and they were a hit. One of them had a latticework/quilted bottom that came out beautifully. Pics are here: https://picasaweb.google.com/mochi27/MailSackFromPinkChalkStudio?authuser=0&feat=directlink Really great pattern, and I look forward to sewing more of Kathy’s work!

  57. Amy says:

    I have loved every bag I’ve seen from this pattern. Looks perfect!
    Amy

  58. Karen Hrabak says:

    Great pattern! Would love to make one~

  59. Alician says:

    what a cute bag. I just ordered some fabric that would look great with that pattern!

  60. Kathe G says:

    Love this bag and love to win. Thanks.

  61. Jodi says:

    I love over the shoulder/sling type bags – need to have my hands free with the kidlets. Looking forward to trying this out. I just ordered it today!

  62. Kathleen says:

    So many adorable fabrics to make this tote, so little time!

  63. Patsy Desautel says:

    I love that Skull Bag! Great gift for a tween :)

  64. mary gontjes says:

    This bag looks like it will be so much fun to make……all the different ideas you can do with all the super cute fabrics…
    Love it…
    Thanks for sharing,
    Mary

  65. tinasquirrel says:

    How generous of Kathy to donate five patterns! I’ve been eyeing this pattern for quite awhile as I love Pink Chalk but I’m always a bit skeptical about bag patterns too. Thanks for the detailed review and I love seeing all the different fabric combinations, and the little “extras” that different people added.

  66. LeAnn says:

    Love the bag — and the photos with different fabric options were great. This would be perfect for tax season, when I have LOTS of extra stuff to haul around! It would also be a great carry-on when traveling. I’d love to win, but if I don’t, I may need to visit Pink Chalk Fabrics and buy my own.

  67. Christine says:

    Want to make this!!!!!

  68. Becki says:

    I love this bag!

  69. Here from Pink Chalk’s facebook page :) I’ve been meaning to buy this patter for FOREVER. The hands free part of it is appealing and I love the look as well. I love, love the idea of a laminated fabric one too!!! Did it get all crinkly when turning it though?

  70. Tammy says:

    Making wallets and bags has become my lastest addiction. Can’t wait to make this bag.

  71. My first thought was – what a great alternative to the messenger bag! No flaps to get in the way! But plenty of room (esp. depth) to hold on tight to everything you care to tote about! Cool!

  72. Rachel says:

    I also love this pattern. I’ve made two Mail Sacks – one large version in yellow and grey for my school bag, and the small version made with a set of fat quarters my daughter gave me for Christmas last year. I found the pattern easy to follow and the results are wonderful!

  73. mary says:

    Yes! A bag I actually want to make!

  74. Tami says:

    Yes, I’ve made this bag for myself, my sister, and my mom. I love it too! I made the smaller size for all of us, but with the longer strap so we could wear it cross-body. I added a d-ring for keys. It’s hard to tell in pictures, but I also modified the outer bottom part so that there would be exerior pockets (for phone, lists, etc). I posted about them on my blog here: http://ohforpetessake-tami.blogspot.com/2010/09/my-new-bag.html; http://ohforpetessake-tami.blogspot.com/2011/01/bag-for-my-mom.html; http://ohforpetessake-tami.blogspot.com/2010/10/bag-for-my-sister.html

  75. Marjorie bixler says:

    I absolutely love making bags. They are functional but fun…. A good way to use some of my stash. This looks like a great pattern.

  76. Love seeing all the variations. Thanks for the ideas.

  77. Henria O. says:

    Love how functional this bag seems to be. I’ve got two kids and I’m always looking for anything that could make my life easier!

  78. Annie Richardson says:

    I’ve been afraid to make bags–I’ve heard too many “gotcha” stories but this sounds doable for me. Thanks for the blog and the great bag pictures.

  79. Barbara says:

    All those bags look gorgeous. I would love to have this pattern.

  80. Kathie says:

    This pattern is just what I’ve been looking for. I’d love winning this but . . . if not, I’ll definitely be looking into purchasing it.
    Thanks for sharing the great photos!

  81. Marsha says:

    I love the photos. What a versatile bag! Please put me in the drawing for the pattern of the Mail Bag. I can see my niece just falling in love with one of these bags for a gift. Thanks.

  82. Cornelia says:

    I don’t need to win the pattern as I already have it and love it.
    MY criteria for a good pattern is how many swear words come out of my mouth when making it and I can honestly say this was a “no-swear” project! I made this with a longer strap so it could cross my body and it’s perfect for shop-hopping, and vendor malls at quilt shows.
    Incidentally, I’ve made Kathy’s notebook pattern, too, and while it wasn’t quite “no-swear” it was very nearly so.
    Love the blog, too, you all are doing a great job!

  83. Janie says:

    What a gorgeous bag! Thanks for the chance to win!

    Janie
    lady_ponies_23 AT hotmail DOT com

  84. Lori says:

    Really nice design. I’d love to make this bag. Thanks for the chance :-)

  85. Barb says:

    What a darling bag! I see Christmas presents…..

  86. elaine says:

    wow! great bag. doesn’t look like it adds much bulk to a body, AND it might even hide some of the body. just may have to make one!
    elaine

  87. Sally says:

    I’m sure everyone will find my favorite bag as useful as I do. It fits an iPad perfectly! Making the strap a little longer gives you a crossover body bag with that extra security! Nice to see Miranda with a smaller version too! Great gift ideas!

  88. tess says:

    i’d love for my mom to make this for my daughter and me.
    tcogbill at live dot com

  89. Sue Leenders says:

    I am a bag junky! I love making bags!

  90. Debbie says:

    This looks perfect for my daughter going off to college!

  91. Brenda Kroez says:

    I’ve been looking for a bag that doesn’t have a “gotcha!” Thanks.
    Brenda

  92. Cathy says:

    Love the bag and would love the pattern! Sure have enjoyed your blog! -Cathy

  93. Gail Newman says:

    My DD (darling daughter) #3 is currently pregnant with my second (sure to also be darling) grandchild. She recently announced that she really needs a new purse — fairly large, please, Mom — and this would be the perfect gift for her October birthday.

    • Christie says:

      Gail,

      Sounds perfect – plenty of time before October to get it done! There’s lots of room in the bag to stash all the baby stuff. How lucky you are to have a second grandchild coming along! Enjoy!

      Christie

  94. nanyoconn says:

    Christie,
    Thanks for showing such a great bag. I will be making one. :)

    • Christie says:

      Nancy,

      You’re welcome! I’m thinking I should teach it again soon. It’s so interesting to see all the different fabric choices. When Linda made Miranda’s bag I just loved those skulls! It was hard to see in the photo, but the colors were pink, black and white – very cute.

      Christie

  95. Patty says:

    I love to make bags, and this pattern looks perfect for Christmas gifts!

  96. Sally Bauer says:

    I love this bag. I am using one similar to this while in Paris and planned to copy this one but yours has more to offer. The cross body design of this makes it a great hands-free system. Kudos on the choices of colors too.

    • linda says:

      This bag has a beautiful clean, stylish and handy look. I’d LOVE to make it!

    • Christie says:

      Sally,

      Aaah, Paris!! Sounds like a wonderful trip. I haven’t been for quite a few years but still have very fond memories.
      Thanks for your kudos on colors – one of the fun things about this bag is the unlimited design opportunities with interesting fabric combinations.

      Christie

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