Friday, May 25, 2012

Good on the curves, but…

12May25rusty In Canada, we celebrated Victoria Day this week by having a three-day weekend. Normally I work weekends and statutory holidays, but there was nothing happening on May 21 so I got to spend the day at home. Traditionally, this is the 12May25mag day we plant our gardens, but I’ve left the planting and tending in the hands of my partner. And the day was overcast and slightly unpleasant as well, so I spent the day at my sewing machine. What a martyr.

I didn’t have anything scheduled for Tuesday, so I played hooky from work and we drove to the city. I took Miss Bernina in for repairs. They’re going to be a bit on the pricey side, but I didn’t pay much for her, so I can afford to spend a little 12May25welt more. I also bought a quarter-inch walking foot for my Horizon while I was there and it works brilliantly! If only the operator was as smart as her sewing machine…

I decided to do this pattern from a recent Quilt issue. This was a different sort of zipper. I also liked the simple looking strap, and I wanted to try the different style of bag. I also strayed from the pattern in the magazine just a little by including a pocket on the outside, a double welt pocket inside, along with a divided patch pocket on the 12May25patch opposite side. What’s the fun in sticking totally to the pattern? The double-welt was easy, but I need practice to make it look straighter.

I used the heavy brown fabric which had been given to me, and this Japanese-patterned fabric that I bought a couple of years ago. The lining was gifted fabric as well. Who knew there was so much fabric in the world to be had? First I quilted the sides with variegated thread… Darn, it worked last time I used variegated thread, but it disappeared into the brown. You can’t see what I did unless you look at the 12May24brown interface. And you can’t see that now because the bag is sewn together.

Have I mentioned before that I have a hard time following instructions? Probably because so many of them skip a few steps or don’t explain everything you need to know. But that is why I began with a simple tote and worked my way up to this one. Pattern-writers can’t always be re-inventing the wheel. And I’m learning just to follow the pattern and trust that all will work out as described, even when the 12May24white instructions defy the laws of the universe.

I sewed my first real serious curves. Easy! Did the pockets. Not too bad. The zipper… This one was different from the last pattern in that you attach the zipper to strips of fabric on either side of it and then attach the fabric to the body of the purse. The lining doesn’t extend to the zipper, which cuts out a lot of hassle. The zipper is right side up, and it works! We have zipper!

But something happened when I sewed the lining on this morning. First, the pattern didn’t mention leaving that crucial hole in the lining so you could pull the innards of the bag through it. I know, that’s sort of standard, but since the pattern didn’t mention it, I thought we might be going for a different look with this bag. It was different, but not in a good way. I had to get my seam ripper out and unstitch 12May25zip a hole to pull the bag through. That worked and the finished bag looked pretty darn good. The zipper still worked even.

But… Bugger! Where did my beautiful strap go? Somehow it ended up between the bag and the lining. Sigh. So, I’ve unstitched the seams and pulled it out. The pattern instructions were no help at all, but I think I have it figured out. I’ll try it again tomorrow morning and maybe we’ll have a nice-looking bag by Saturday night.

Until next time,


  1. Another bag lover here. Yay for the right-side-up zipper!! Boo for the bad instructions. I've been told that sometimes it's the magazine/book editor who messes up the directions trying to make them fit the page. Boo to them, too. :) I like your bag and I like that you share your successes as well as your (very rare)mishaps.

  2. Hi Wendy, I love the pic of Rusty sitting on top of your sewing machine. He looks like a supervisor. I'm with Grandma Coco "Boo for bad instructions". Sheeesh! Glad to see the zipper is right side up. Your bag is pretty now to just get the handles out.