Ok, this was an accomplishment for me. I used a sewing pattern for the first time, and it wasn't a total disaster! I must have bought this pattern about 2 years ago and never got the nerve to actually do it. It's just a bag, so when I brought it home I thought, how hard can this be? I pulled everything out of the package, took one look and put it right back in. It sat in my drawer for all this time. Since I've been sewing more lately, I figured it was about time to give it a try. I took my time (it took all week) and stuck through the frustrating parts. I have to say I'm pleased with the outcome.
I think I had the most trouble with the straps and figuring out the bottom corners of the bag. The straps were a problem because for some reason I can't sew completely straight. So you can clearly see my lack of sewing skills. I'm still happy with the final piece. All I need now is a liner and it is ready to hit the road. I think I will make the inside bright orange. Since it's an afterthought, it won't be as good as if I had sewn it in before, but it will make the inside look much better. Right now I have fraying ends and seams showing on the inside.
I thought the zipper was going to give me problems, but it was surprisingly easy. I did watch a video on zipper foots before I sewed mine. That helped a lot.
I love how the pockets go all the way around in different sections. If I make this again, I might do something different with the straps. Maybe make a long tube, so I don't have that middle (crooked) seam showing all the way through.