I've wanted to make this bag since the pattern came out, but had never made the time. My upcoming trip to Boston and Rhinebeck was the perfect motivation to finally get sewing.
I used my favorite print from Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee line, leaf dot in acid, for the straps, lining, pockets, and accents. The main body of the exterior is Robert Kaufman yarn dyed linen in black. The zippers are coats & clark black with gold metal teeth & pulls, and the d-rings are a dark pewter finish. I couldn't find a decent yellow/green thread to match, so I ended up using black thread - the contrast stitching looks a little wonky in spots up close, but I like the way it looks overall.
Mods to the pattern:
After reading several very helpful pattern reviews, I upped the amount of interfacing used throughout the bag. The exterior body and pockets are backed with craft fuse, which is almost the weight and texture of cardstock. The lining body and straps are backed with fusible fleece, which creates a very comfortable shoulder strap and gives the bag a nice hefty weight. I really like the luggage-like feel of the craft fuse + fusible fleece on the body of the bag - it feels very sturdy and professional. I omitted the bottom layers of heavy weight interfacing from the bag, the existing layers of interfacing are enough that it wouldn't have made much difference. I think it took longer to fuse all the interfacing to the individual pieces than it did to actually sew the bag together.
I love all of the interior pockets, however they are placed so low in the body of the bag that they aren't super convenient if you were to use this as a purse. Anything you would need quickly at hand should probably go in one of the exterior zippered pockets. I made view B, with the extension panel, because I will be using this as a carry-on for my flights. I wanted the option to stuff in as much as possible without worrying it would fall out. It was a little tricky installing the separated zipper, but I'm going to blame that on late night sewing fatigue rather than the pattern instructions. My advice: slow down, read the steps a few times, and turn off netflix if you are having trouble figuring it out.
Overall, I'm super happy with how it turned out. I will definitely be making another for myself and the madre has already requested one for Christmas.