Saturday, April 16, 2011

Barely in the Bag

It's time to get ready to go to the AQS show in Paducah! And what could be better than sewing a new bag to carry. Especially one made from a beautiful fabric I purchased at the Houston IQA show about 9 years ago!
This is batiked handwoven hempcloth from Thailand and (after washing) is not quite 14" wide.
I purchased a commercial pattern (See & Sew..."Yes! It's Easy!" claimed the front) for a teardrop shaped bag. I have always wanted one of those easy-on the-back styles.
It has an outside zippered pocket covered with a flap, a cell-phone size pocket on the side gusset, and a zipper opening to the lined inside.
This time I thought about it, and remembered to choose a light color lining fabric!

Ooooooo! pretty dragonflies in gold! Maybe I'll be able to see inside this bag, as opposed to the ones with dark linings. Sometimes you have to stop and ask yourself what is really practical: a dark lining that will show no a place only you should be looking anyway!....or a light lining that will allow you to find what you are looking for!
There's an inside pocket, which I made from a purple scrap, so I can see that against the lining!
I thought I might like to make this pattern more than one time, so I ironed
the tissue paper pieces onto light-weight interfacing.

After that I rolled the fabric out and pressed it, then proceeded to arrange the pattern sections. It was no good following the pattern layout, due to the narrow width of this wonderful fabric, but of course I paid attention to the grainline arrows. I did decide to give up on some fancy matching-across-the- seams idea...I am not really into haute couture! (Cherry-cherry is the French expert around here...did I get it right?)
The bag and the lining used the same pattern pieces.
So I got them all cut out and ready to go.
All I needed were two 12" zippers, a rectangle ring,and a slider. All items I assumed one would find in the J-A. Big Box store!
Yes, you are luck! All I could get were two 14" zippers, and then found the instructions called for cutting off 2" anyway! And no hardware the size required.
No problem! I was soon to head off on a cross-state trip that would take me right by the Sewing Studio in Maitland (every fabric you could possibly need!) and near to Rainbow's End ( probably the biggest quilt shop in the state).
I was horribly disappointed. Neither had the 1.5" slider or rectangle ring. Both had lots of beautiful bag patterns...but the hardware selection seems to be disappearing.
I came home and used whatever I could find...a slightly too-small D-ring, and a lovely pearlized plastic slider buckle.

By this time I'd stoppped work on the outside until I could get the hardware, and started sewing the lining. Uh oh...that went together like a child's drawing of an ameoba. I was not feeling good about the outside with my fabulous fabric, since I knew the patterns pieces were identical.

Well, let's just say I finally got it made, and it doesn't look too bad. But the side pieces certainly are not the same size as the gusset, and I knew slip-stitching the lining around the zipper opening was not nearly enough to keep it from hanging loose like a limp bag-in-a-bag! That had to be tacked a few plces from the inside.
OK, so I managed, and the bag is fine...except, having carefully followed the picture on the front (as the instructions were so terrible and the markings lacking or useless), I find it is actually is reversed. Meaning I am right handed, so I hang a shoulder strap on my left shoulder, and this bag really goes on the right shoulder, if you want the outside pocket on the outside!
Maybe it's just me.....?
Well, here it is:

Look for me carrying it in Paducah!
If I'm crazy, I may try it again couldn't hurt!
But I won't be buying another big pattern company pattern for a loooooong time.


Pat said...

Sorry you had problems with the pattern. I have also had problems with patterns. That's why I now make a mock-up of a new pattern in some scrap fabric. Especially if the fabric is expensive or if it is a treasured piece. Don't have to construct the whole thing, just the bones of it.
It's a beautiful bag! Hope it serves you well in Paducha.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure that it is big enough....I guess if you unload it enough it will hold at least a days worth. I absolutely love the fabric!