Friday, October 1, 2010

The Handbag Experience and Other Ramblings

A couple of weeks ago when I was at my favorite fabric store, Bless My Stitches, I discovered a cute handbag pattern and, you guessed it, fabric with LIME GREEN in it.  Why, you ask, is this such a find?  Because my daughter adores lime green, I love to sew, and her birthday is coming up.  A more perfect situation never cropped up.  Or sew I thought, until I started to make the bag. 

Sew Cool Bag Pattern!

As any garment maker knows, you wash that fabric before you ever pick up a pair of scissors.  So off to the washing machine went my lovely, pre-quilted pink and lime green purse material.  Off the the washing machine went the great polka-dot lime green binding fabric.  And out came a slightly cattywompased piece of quilted material.

No worries, I told myself.  All I've got to do is manage to cut it straight, and all will be well.  Since I couldn't find my rotary cutter, I was off to the dime store in a dash to buy a new one.  See, the last time that I attempted quilting, my children were babies!  Things tend to get lost after moving a few times...

Anyway, I put that sqoozy, movy material on my mat, rotary cutter in hand, ruler on the fabric, and used the time-honored rule of measure several times, cut only once.  And then cut again.  And trim slightly.  And trim some more.  The material just kept growing.  Finally I had it to measurement.  Yes!!

Next it was time to cut the binding.  First I had to cut off all the stringy thingies from the edges.  Then measure, stand on tiptoes, cut.  Fold, iron, and pin in place.  No problems there.  I can manage this!

Next it's off to the sewing machine.  Now the directions for this little bag said something about a walking foot.  What's a walking foot?  No problem, I've got this great new machine.  It should be able to sew anything.  And it does.  Wonderful!  I'm so proud of my stitchery!  Carefully, oh so carefully, I hand stitch the binding to the back of the bag.  We're talking REALLY tiny stitches here!  After all, this is for my darling daughter.  It has to be perfect!

Next, I need to fold the material into a perfect triangle.  NOT!!!  Nothing that I did would force that material into an even-edged triangle.  I tried for days.  I pinned...I stretched...I fussed...ok, I admit it, I cussed!  What to do?  She had already seen the material and pattern, and loved it.  Even gave me some lime green ribbon to add to it...I HAD to make this bag.

So...another trip to Bless My Stitches, where they tell me that my first mistake was washing the fabric.  Next mistake, not having a walking foot.  So armed with new material and a walking foot, back to the drawing board I go...

What did I do with the ruined fabric?  It was still pretty, if crooked.  Makes a great sewing mat for my serger and there's material left over to make a scrap catcher!

Never throw away anything that could possible be used!

The front of the ALMOST finished handbag!

And the back of the Almost finished handbag!
And here are some strange birds that I made.  I was thinking of dragging a tree limb into the sewing room and perching these on limbs.  Oddball decorations to drive the doggies crazy!

No comments:

Post a Comment