Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Another LONG day!

OK - so something has happened to me. Aliens have taken over my body or something. I had another long day in front of the sewing machine. While I try to sew a bit every day - I am never this focused.

A "friend" (and I am using that word loosely now that I have made this pattern) made a beautiful bag. The pattern is called The Weekender by Amy Butler.

The Weekender  travel bag by Amy Butler

Maria and I were admiring the bag and decided that we wanted to make the bag.  Our mutual "friend" who shall remain nameless (right Claudette!!!) had in fact made several of the bags. Yes - she had said that it was a challenge to make but NEVER said that it was a REAL CHALLENGE to make.

She even gave me some pieces of fabric that had been cut out that she ended up not using!  

I went shopping for some similar fabric. OK - what was I THINKING???????   Obviously I was NOT thinking because I ended up with not so good fabric. While the colour was amazing, after getting into the sewing of the bag - I realize that it was TOTALLY wrong for the bag. A bit too heavy, almost canvas and this bag was a challenge without the extra challenge of that fabric type. 
Here is the fabric that I choose - nice and bright BUT not the right type at all!!!

However at one point during the day, Maria pulled out a fabric that she thought she would make her next bag out of and YES - that is a much better fabric. Slightly heavier than quilting fabric, but NOT canvas.   What a dolt!!!!   This just shows you my inexperience as a bag maker!!!!   I should have known better, but without having made the bag - who would have thought it would be that hard?????

I have to say that it was easier to make this bag with someone and thanks to Maria for being my sewing buddy for the day!  It was great fun and we read and reread that pattern to make sure that we were doing it right!!!!

 I went with absolutely everything prepped which is NOT me so I was able to get sewing right away. 

Here is my piping that I made the day before. 

Prepared (by me) piping

So I made the pockets, and the handles.  The edges of those pockets are piped. I HATE piping but I was determined to do a good job. Let's just say that the secret with piping is stitch once, stitch twice and on the third time - just cram that sucker in and stitch. And it worked!!!!!!  

The handles and the outer pockets

I got the two sides made with the handles and the pockets attached.  Now it was time to insert the zipper and I had a bit of a panic attack when I thought I didn't have the right zipper. But nope - all was good. 

Let's just say that pins are not good enough to pin this bag - I had to use clips. Fortunately - I had picked up some the other day and threw them in my project bag. 

Ready to sew

Keep in mind that this edge is PIPED. Oh yes - let's just make the entire thing a HUGE challenge.  The pieces are interfaced some with PELTEX which is stiff as a board!!!   STIFF - STIFF - STIFF!!!!!   Did I say that PELTEX is stiff????

I think this is the first time in my life where I have been physically fighting what I was sewing.  Yes - I had to push that bag so hard into the presser foot to sew that my arm was tired.  It was not fun!!!  Then I decided that was all the work I wanted to do for the day.

Here is the one seam sewed into the bag and the other part is ready to clip in

Well - when I got home - I decided to just keep going. See - something is wrong with me. I am possessed or obsessed!!!

I resewed the first seam at least once more - pushed the piping even closer to the presser foot to get a nice clean edge on that piping.  A very difficult task.

OK - so that wasn't so bad - the second time around is easier than the first. Hmmm - let's just keep going. So I clipped the other side of the bag in place.

See what I mean by stiff?????

The bag pieces all clipped and ready to go
 Hmmmmm - now how exactly am I going to get this under the needle to sew????  Oh yes - that was a bit of a puzzle, but finally I mashed the bag around a bit and finally got it close enough to sew.

Ready to sew
Oh - let's just say that it wasn't pretty!!!!
 Yes - there were are a few tucks but I am just happy that it is together!!!!!   If anyone sees those tucks - they are too close. BACK AWAY from the bag!!!!

Then I attempted to stitch around that second seam trying to get even closer with the piping. No one ever said that when you sew piping, you NEED to be agressive. I am serious - you can't just push that piping up to the edge of the foot - you have to SHOVE it up against the foot like a cop pushes a crook against the wall. Slam that seam into the foot and keep shoving!  It is a tough job!!!!   I broke THREE needles and the sewing machine wasn't happy!!!!

Then the biggest challenge? Trying to turn the bag inside out. Even though there is a big opening through the zipper - it was trying to turn a card board box inside out!!!!!    You think that is easy? Just try it sometime!!!

Oh shoot - I realize I don't have a picture - oh it is on my phone. Let me e-mail it to my computer so I can show you what it looks like.

The almost completed bag - but look at that PIPING!!!!

I have pressed the lining and it is now inserted into the bag. I have to figure out how to hand stitch this canvas type lining to the zipper. Yikes - my fingers are aching at the thought of that one. I might try stitching by machine along the stitching that is holding the zipper in place. I think that might work for the top part. And then by luck????   I used a double sided PELTEX for the bottom of the bag. That means I will be able to fuse the lining to the bottom of the bag so that should help to hold it all together.

OK - so I would like to try this bag again, but I want to try different fabric and different stabilizers. We were discussing the stabilizers at Fabricland the other day and I bought a new product on their recommendation that I didn't use. Now I wish that I had of.  OK - live and learn!!!!!   But for the next bag - I will.  Hmmmm - I wonder if I have any MEDIUM weight stuff around here that I can use????

I didn't sew too late last night - I was exhausted. I am having NO TROUBLE getting to sleep these days.

This morning I was back at it. Remember my poor Chubby Charmer????
Looks pretty sad - BUT
 Look what a bit of pressing and top stitching can do. It has BODY!!!!!!

The finished Chubby Charmer

Oh shoot - then I realized that I haven't made the bottom yet with the election sign material!!!!!    Ooopsy!!!   That is one of the most important parts!!!!   And I think you will be seeing a bit more of this bag next week. Can't tell you why but there is a secret about this bag.

On that note - I am out of here to try and get my TEN things done by midnight tomorrow.

OK - BAD NEWS. Margaret just sent me a message about this web site called SwoonPatterns.  It is all about bag patterns with tutorials for all kinds of bag stuff.  Oh no - HOLD ME BACK!!!!!!!     Some of the bags look amazing - and Margaret wouldn't recommend it on a whim. Hmmm - I need to check out some of the tutorials and see how she makes stuff - then maybe get some of the patterns. My biggest issue with patterns is that so many people design these bags without a LOT of thought to the finished project or the process to get to the finished project. I am always making changes to the patterns.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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