Friday, March 30, 2012

Handmade Purse, Part deux

I promised (myself) a re-do, and here it is:

Same bag, same pattern, different fabrics, problem fixed.

Here's what's different:
Flap is sewn onto correct side of bag for closure.
Interfacing is fused to shell fabric, rather than lining.
More pockets added to opposite side of lining.
New pockets are deeper than called for.
Shallow (original) pockets are placed higher up.

The deeper pockets means that I have a handy place for my phone, passport, and bottles of Gluten-Free Salad dressing and GF Tamari sauce that I carry.  Having additional pockets means that I don't loose small items in a large, dark bag.  The only items in the bag's body are wallet, makeup bag, and Kindle.

The bag is made of remnants of sueded Ostrich hide leftover from a suit I made for a class project in College.  The lining is a remnant of the first Maternity dress I made as a grandmother-to-be.  I am certain that someone will recognize it.

I like this re-do very much!
So much, that I have purchased a book on making bags, and am happily planning upcoming projects.

What do you think???

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New skill tackled

I love learning new stuff.
More than that, I love learning how to do new stuff.  Case in point:

I made a purse!!!!

Okay, I'm not putting Kate Spade out of business, here.  This is not a great purse.  It was, however, a great learning experience, and a bit of a personal triumph.  While, I'm not completely satisfied with this purse, I am sufficiently satisfied with the process to assess the attributes and shortcomings of this purse, and apply that knowledge to another one.  Which I have all ready cut out.  Seriously, I won't rest well until I have ironed some things out.  Really.  I can't explain it.  The cans of soup in my pantry are alphabetized, and I can't explain that, either.

The pattern I used is the Verona Bag by Pat Bruno.  I bought the pattern, a few more purse patterns, and the hardware needed at The French Knot, an adorable quilt shop in Nacogdoches.  It's tucked away on Main St., just off Nac's downtown square, and totally worth a visit the next time you find yourself in East Texas.

The fabric was purchased many years ago with the intention of using it to make a vest to go with a coral silk noile dress that I no longer have. [s*i*g*h]  The lining and cording were left over from other projects, long forgotten. (I never throw away scraps larger than 2in. sq.)  The interfacing is from Fashion Sewing Supply.  I must segue a little, here; and offer an unsolicited endorsement.  Pam Erny is wonderful!!!  My daughter asked for her interfacing advice on my purse project's behalf, and Pam contacted me with some great suggestions.  I screwed up and ordered a different interfacing than the one she suggested for my purse, and she sent them both!!!  That high level of customer service would be enough to earn my loyalty, and my praise!  As it happens, this is the best quality interfacing I have ever used.  I also ordered the interfacing sampler set, and I recommend that you do the same.  The website gives excellent descriptions of each interfacing's capabilities, but there is no substitute for holding and feeling.  Plus, I am finding that playing with the samples (generously sized) is serving as a springboard to creativity. I can't wait to use them all!!!

Now: back to the purse.  What would I do different??
Firstly:  I'd fuse the interfacing to the shell fabric, rather than the lining.  Because the pattern piece for the lining and the interfacing are the same, I fused the two.  This was not catastrophic for this bag, as the lining fabric was quite substantial (read: thick), but it won't work for most linings.  That aside, interfacing the lining, instead of the bag results in a floppy bag.  Fine, if that's the look you are going for.  For me  -- it wasn't.

Next:  I'd make more inner pockets, and I'd put one row of them in the correct spot.  I think I skimmed the instructions.  Okay:  I know I skimmed the instructions, and I misunderstood where the line of pockets goes.  Clearly marked on the pattern is a line for pocket placement.  Once I had constructed the pockets, I lined up the top of them with the placement line, putting the bottom at the bottom seam.  This made sense to me at the time.  Once the purse was done, and I started putting things inside, it was obvious that the pockets were too low.  I re-read the instructions (okay: I read the instructions), and discovered that the placement line was for the bottom of the pockets.  This makes more sense.  That said, I have decided that I want even more pockets, so the next purse will have a row of pockets where they are supposed to be, and another row of much deeper pockets on the other side.

And finally:  next time, I shan't screw up the flap/magnet thingy.  I was so proud of the ease, and beauty with which the two sides of the magnet sewed in, and lined up the flap with the body.  If only I had sewn the flap to the correct side of the purse.   Hence:  the button.

And yet, I like it well enough to happily use it, until the next one is done.
Look:  it holds all this!!!

Custom-made purse, part deux, coming soon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Losing control

My life.
I have (had??  --  fingers crossed!) lost control of it.

Since my last post I have managed to start, and finish 1 (count 'em:  one) sewing project.   Finished only last night, I shall blog about  when I can post pictures.  Accomplishing this will require that I either fix my stand-alone camera, or figure out how to post pictures taken with my phone's camera.

Don't hold your breath.

The project was a purse, and it is far from perfect, but I have a lot to say about that, so stay tuned.

My sewing goals for this year are to finish every already started project, before starting a new one.
This includes  (but is not limited to, as I frequently 'find' things about which I had forgotten):
*  Quilt for queen-sized bed to be kept.
*  Quilt to be given away.
*  Blouse for me  -- cut out, interfaced, marked.
*  Quilted wall hangings from kits bought @ Sew Expo 2010 (x2)
*  Knitted cotton shawl
*  Knitted mohair scarf
*  Learning how to use my new knitting board (probably ought be done before the above mentioned        knitting projects.)

Another goal is to not purchase any new fabric or patterns until I have sewn up at least 1/2 of stash on hand.  [It's okay to laugh  --  I was barely able to type that without falling out of my chair]

So:  there are plans, most of them will happen. If anyone is starting a betting pool on this  --  I want in.
Stick around.  Don't give up on me, yet.

I am, bit by bit re-gaining control of my life.

Pictures to follow.