I finished the bag and delivered it to its new owner! I was a little sad to see it go because I've been working on it so hard, especially for the last few days. I'm thrilled with the results, though! You can see pictures of it here.
The hardest part of making the bag was making sure that the pattern matched AND the measurements came out right. I found that the best thing to do was to hand-baste the critical seams together at the seamline, sew overtop the basting, and take the basting out. This also ensured that the seamlines were straight. I also used larger-than-usual seam allowances so that I could shift the pieces a little bit, if necessary.
For the next one, I need to remember that it always takes longer to finish the bag than I think it should. Once I had everything made, it took me two full days to finish and I thought it would take only a few hours. There's a big difference there :)
I'm very much looking forward to sewing for me starting tomorrow - I've been eying my patterns and fabrics longingly for quite a while.
BTW, we're watching The Andromeda Strain on A&E right now. I wish we had technology like they do in the miniseries - with the paper computers and the clear computer wall screens that users can touch to move or zoom in on. Cooooool.