I've not been sewing much over the Summer with my kids at home, so when Jenny Greene of Sincerely Jen Patterns invited me to test her latest bag pattern, I jumped at the chance to challenge my brain cells and make something new! Well, was I glad I did, because I absolutely love her latest pattern, the "How YOU doin?'" bowler bag! You will quickly realise that all her bag patterns are named after the popular Friends TV series, injecting a bit of fun in bagmaking circles! I have also made her "On a Break" crossbody bag below!

As with all of Jenny's patterns, her clear instructions are accompanied by step-by-step colour photos, plus she provides video tutorials of various steps, perfect for the visual learner! My chosen fabrics for the "How YOU Doin'?" bag are "Summer Dreams Ray" and "Bandana Red" from Maureen Cracknell's "Sun Kissed" collection for Art Gallery Fabrics purchased from The Crafty Mastermind, teamed up with faux tan leather accents, base and handles.

The pattern calls for four 3/4" rectangular rings for the handle connectors, but as I didnt have any to hand, I used these fancy Emmaline Diamond Connectors from Sew Hot instead which are installed much in the same way as a magnetic snap. I then riveted the handles onto the connectors at the end. I made my own piping from a tomato red "Twist" cotton which adds an extra pop of colour to my bold bowler!

Probably the most challenging part of this pattern for me personally was adding the oval base, especially getting it neat at the corners with all the layers of foam and faux leather to contend with. I trimmed down my seams as best I could and took my time with this step and it worked just fine first time round. I was surprised my Singer Heavy Duty coped so well with this step! 

The lining goes in 'drop-in' style, which may sound daunting to some bag makers but with this pattern worked a treat! Maybe it's because the zipper opens so far down, but I found it pretty easy to get the bag under my machine to run that final top stitch and I did not need to hand stitch the corner bits afterwards which was a bonus. 

Inside there are two slip pockets and a deep zipped pocket to organise your life! All in all, I loved making this bag and think with the right fabrics, you can really create your own head turner! 

This one will be going into my Shop and I gladly take commissions too so feel free to drop me a message. If you fancy having a go yourself, you can find the How YOU Doin? pattern here and you can join Jenny's "Sincerely Jen Pattern Group" over on Facebook for further bag makes, tips, occasional giveaways and pattern discounts!