I’ve been quite busy for the last few days. We’re working on some home improvement projects (I’ll probably post about them when they’re finished), we have been de-cluttering insane amounts of books and then I have been rediscovering my passion for bags. It all started with the fact that I bought a couple of new chocolate-brown clothes because of the fashion paradigm-shift. And despite just having bought a new purse in 2005 I had to get out and get another one. A black or brown one. Well, that was easily done though I had to settle for something affordable instead of the most beautiful purse I found. 380 € for a purse did seem a little much. So everything would have been well, I have a new purse which I like very much and I’ll still be able to buy groceries for the next weeks, but then I became hooked on a bag-making blog:
The bags are gorgeous, the blog is cheerful and visually stimulating, and best of all blogger Lisa is offering free tutorials on the blog.
So I went a little crazy and thought, why don’t I make myself a bag. An easy one like the big grocery bag with stuff sack. And she said it would take only one hour!
I went up into the attic and spent about an hour unearthing leftover fabric. I found something green and something purple which told me that the last time I sew must have been about twenty years ago. Apart from curtains and such. The next day I went to the local craft supplies shop. Well, I hope I’ll someday remember that it’s never a good idea to just go out and buy local where I live. What I needed was some fleece for padding and a bolt snap. Ha! There was exactly one snap, golden, ugly, heavy, and expensive and they didn’t have the right fleece. I bought some other lining because I didn’t want to leave the shop empty-handed, went home and decided to use what I had on hand. (Later I found a better snap at the hardware store…)
On my so-called “day off”, which means about 90 minutes of free time, I fetched my ironing board, iron (which hadn’t seen daylight for about two years), and sewing stuff.
I used an old newspaper for the pattern and started cutting the pieces out. Two hours later I was the proud owner of this:
Though I had to cut out one piece twice because I had forgotten to add the seam allowance to the top of one of the pieces, I didn’t dawdle. I think I might be what the Austrian author Christine Nöstlinger calls a “Haushaltsschnecke” (that’s household snail). Everything I do that has to do with housework seems to take ages. (On the other hand I think that having better tools might have helped with speed.) And speaking of seaming allowances, if it says, “Add seaming allowance to all pieces” then just add it. Don’t think you’re so clever and can leave it off. You might end up with a cozy that’s just a little too small. Just saying.)
After that day which I had devoted solely to the sewing project I was deeply frustrated and remembered why I had stopped sewing decades ago. I already knew that sewing projects require a lot more time doing things like ironing and pinning and thinking and then cursing because you just can’t figure out how the pieces are supposed to fit together than sewing time, but this was a little disheartening.
Since I absolutely wanted to finish this, though, I pulled everything out again on Sunday plus the sewing machine, and continued. First I finished the cozy. Well, I thought I had finished the cozy before I found out that I had to rip it up again because I had sewn it together wrong (I didn’t take a picture of this). But then I had this:
Progress! Then I tackled the difficult part. This is a picture of the half-finished lining bag (there wasn’t enough of the greenish fabric so I had to make it bi-colored):
And I really should have sewn the lining bag first because now I have an exterior bag with sewn-in folds where there shouldn’t be folds and a lining bag that’s smooth and perfect…
But eventually I was finished. It took about six hours for those of you interested and while having a cheap sewing-machine is better than having none there was a lot of frustration because the machine refuses to sew anything that might be a little thick. It just gets stuck and has to be persuaded by sheer force to transport the fabric. But who cares because now I have this:
Look at the interior:
And while I learned that sewing is something that needs lots of free time, a clear mind, and a room where you can leave the machine and the ironing board for a while, and more patience than I ever thought I might have, I also might be infected with the bag making bug.