Home Needles and Threads The Convertible Bag – Perfect for Any Occasion

The Convertible Bag – Perfect for Any Occasion

- Galaxie 5, a pattern by Jalie-

by Elsa

* Fabric and notions were provided by Mondial Tissus in exchange for this article. This article may contain affiliate links.

The Galaxie 5 pattern

Only available as a PDF, it seems to me it’s the perfect bag for going to the beach, grabbing some lunch, or as a carry-on.

The main feature is its rectagular shape and the versatility of its handles and straps. You can wear it as backpack or messenger-style or using its handles.

Jalie is well-known for its garment patterns, but they also offer a range of accessorie, the Galaxie range. I sewed one of them, GAlaxie 4, which was range for our beloved pets. You can see my cat cavern, Coquette, here.

Galaxie, simili, and questions

First question was about fabrics!

Canva? Faux leather? Corduroy? I probably made a dozen simulations, searching for the perfect pairing between fabric, lining, zipper colors, webbing, hardware, etc.

In the end, I chose some dark grey glitter simili*. Since it was rather sturdy, I had no need for interfacing.

Webbing is black, hardware is metal and the lining is a light grey. Zippers were already mine, hence a light pink and a purple zipper on the inside!

When I got my package, I found the fabric warped. I knew what to do since it had already happened to me with the faux leather I used for my Billie jacket. I steamed the fabric into submission!

Tips for sewing Galaxie

When sewing simili, I always use a denim needle. I only had a size 90 this time and it was enough to go through seams and topstitching.

HP foot and plate for sewing the seams, and walking foot when topstitching made for a very nice bag. I know of a Teflon foot and plate set for my Janome 6700P, but the price is a bit steep at the moment (around $100).

Here are some of my tips when topstitching faux leather/vinyl/etc:

  • I lengthen the straight stitch to its maximum (5).
  • I can lower my pressure foot’spressure so it’s dialed down to 2.5.
  • If my SA is 1 cm, I topstitch at 0.5 cm from the seamline.
  • You can use heavier thread for topstitching, if your machine can handle it.

Always keep your main fabric scraps to experiment your stitch lengths.

Moving Galaxie around

Sewing Galaxie wasn’t a walk in the park.

Label your pieces!

There are things that were not said that I found lacking. Fortunately for me, I have sewn some bags already so :

  • Reflect on how you wear your cross-body bags. It will influence the direction of your zippers.
  • Once the main pocket’s zipper direction is determined, ALL OF YOUR ZIPPERS must be in the same direction.
  • When sewing the inside zippers, mirror them.
  • If sewing faux leather, do not pin, use clips.

Webbing was reinforced with extra stitching. I aslo folded the webbing on the handles for a better grasp (and it’s cuter!).

I used some Jeffytex for the bottom of the bag and I could have added some bag feet.

This pattern is not for a beginner and you’ll need some muscle!

It’s a good basic with plenty of room, but I will modify a few things for my next one.


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