Last week was a big roller coaster of opportunity, excitement, intimidation, self-doubt, disappointment, and when the ride came to a stop, I felt a little overwhelmed with my insecurities.

Most of that was work-related, but coindicentally, the arrival of my Sew Sew Modern swap package contributed to my angst. The construction of the bags made my partner is impeccable. I’ll post pictures later, but I mention this now because I suddenly questioned my own skills – would the items I made be good enough to make my swap partner happy? Nobody wants to be that person who sends a crappy swap package.


I avoided the project and didn’t finish until yesterday afternoon. I think I want to make myself some sort of wall hanging with the words, “Press on,” displayed prominently.  It’s important. Self-doubt can be channeled into self-reflection, and new opportunities will continue to come up as long as I keep moving forward.

I’m glad I did press on, and I’m excited this little package is making its way to my partner as I type!


Each side of this Aeroplane bag (pattern by Sew Sweetness) has a unique personality. My hope is that whenever she wears it, my partner can turn the bag and pick the side she wants to show.

This side has a paper pieced heart surrounded in a solid navy from my stash.

Heart side close

The other side has Bari J’s glorious peacock print fussy cut between the handles.


The handles are a duck cotton canvas. They’re a little stiff now, but the aeroplane bag I made myself last spring has the exact same material, and after a few weeks of wear, my handles are the perfect mix of softness and strength – the cotton canvas smoothed out with use, but they’re so sturdy.

For her small item, (this swap includes one big item and one small item), I made a two-sided pouch using the Sew Can She tutorial.

Two Sided zipper pouch

The tutorial doesn’t call for either, but I used Soft and Stable for the interfacing and I covered the zipper ends. I strongly recommend the Soft and Stable as an interfacing. I strongly discourage covering your zipper ends.  In the Sew Can She tutorial, sewing and top stitching the curved zipper is easier when the zippers separate, and with covered zipper ends (and the bulk of the soft and stable), the sewing and topstitching are really difficult.

One last note about Soft and Stable and the Aeroplane bag: someone recommended that I used two-sided fusible interfacing between my fabric and the soft and stable for the bag panels. The pattern just calls for basting around the edges, pulling slightly to ensure the fabric is smooth.  My assembly could be faulty, but I didn’t find that Wonder Under (the two-sided fusible interfacing that I used) helped smooth my fabric like I wanted it to do.  In fact, when the soft and stable wrinkles a little (post-application), the fabric seems to show wrinkles a little more than if I hadn’t adhered the two together.  The first two aeroplane bags I did just used basting; this is the only one where I’ve tried two-sided fusible.  If you happen to give the Wonder Under a try, please let me know how it works for you (and how your bag wears over time!)


Bag base is Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Denim. Straps are duck cotton canvas.  Solids are from my stash. All other fabrics are from Bari J’s Petal and Plume line from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Linking with Amanda Jean at crazymomquilts.


  1. Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl

    I keep thinking I need to put up some quotes around my work area, too. I am glad to hear that you pressed on and are excited that the package is on its way to your partner. I think your work is beautiful, by the way. It is obvious you put thought and care into your fabric selections, and the fussy cutting is spot on. 

  2. Serena @ Sewgiving

    Self doubt stalls me all the time … I need “Just Do It Already” on my wall … maybe we should have a quilty motivational poster swap – lol 🙂  Lovely bags … I would be thrilled to receive them 🙂

  3. Emily

    I chant ‘good enough, is good enough’ to chase away doubts when I’m making something, I also focus on the enjoyment of making and not the final product (harder to do when it’s a gift). Your things always look fab!! 

  4. Nurdan

    I love the bag! The fussy cut is perfectly placed and the wonky heart is so lovely. I can see you have put so much effort and care into those projects. I am sure your partner will love them both!

  5. Tessa

    I just got a fat quarter pack of Petal and Plume and now I realize I have no idea what to do with it. This is really gorgeous, though. What a great idea for the peacock – it’s such a large print but so pretty!

  6. Sarah

    I can’t imagine anyone being unhappy with that bag — it looks great! My husband went crazy with a label maker last year and labeled my sewing machine “itnotm” which stands for “in the nose, out the mouth. He’s been telling me for years to just breath and at this point will just shout “itnotm” from the other room when he hears me getting frustrated. I might need to jump on this motivational mini bandwagon. 😀 Though, at least others would understand Press on, without a back story…. 🙂

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