So I decided to come up and stay in the RV to keep him company in the evenings, and of course to walk my some cute petit chien and sew.
Since this was a last minute decision I packed only basic supplies, odd fabric, my Bernina Minamatic 807, which sews through everything, and a few bag patterns that I had bought and never used.
I felt isolation would force me to do something new. I am a garment sewer, or sewist as I am supposed to say.
Whenever I attempt something out of garments it does not go well.
There was the time I was a smocking school drop-out and the time my expert quilter sister and I attempted to jointly make a quilt for our parents - and she sent my half of the squares back.
I am pretty used to fronts and backs, and facings, sleeves and darts. I recognize these things and have been working with them since I was eight.
However there are such as thing as ruts and even when they are comfortable they can still be ruts and that's not something you want to self-identify as is it? Yourself as a rut stuck person?
So I got this idea in my head that I should try making bags since I am noticing some amazingly professional bags out there being made by home sewers - a far cry from the tote bag patterns that were all that was around for say the last 60 years.
I started with a wallet.
My husband lost his over the weekend despite both he and I supposed to be paying attention. He needed a new one. I volunteered on the spur of the moment to make one, and here is how that went.
First I used this pattern from Mrs. H in the UK. I downloaded the pattern a while ago and have noticed that there is also now a free add-on for a zipper pocket addition that I think would be very much worth doing.
I dug around in my scrap box and cut apart some packaging I found in the RV for an identity card window (not ideal but all I could figure out) and used some random heavy duty interfacing that I picked up in a bargain bin in Winnipeg.
What I am getting at here is that this was prototype more than a perfect product.
I learned a few things making this wallet as a garment maker:
- this was a lot of fun. I am so used to garment patterns I always know what is coming next and why. I had no sense of that here and as such was pretty pleased with myself when something actually turned into something it was supposed to. Quite a satisfying project and did jiggle around the brain cells which has to do you some good.
- this is more complicated than it looks, this bag business. I think I remember 40+ steps in the instructions and this unit is only palm sized.
- Some stuff is weird. I added some seam finishing and I struggled a bit with bulk. The instructions call for heavy weight interfacing for the outer piece and I get that but you then have to do some topstitching through it all, many layers. I used a denim needle and the old Bernina is more or less the sewing equivalent of a snow plow, but I am not sure most machines could do it. Particularily for the final part at least when you have essentially two turned wallets that you stitch together at the bottom through all layers.
- there is a good reason why so many bags seem to start from quilting cottons- bulk is such an issue that too heavy a fabric, I used a light weight denim, after all the interfacing would be too hard to stitch. I would go into the next project thinking ahead more about reducing fabric layers.
Finally I enjoyed making something right outside my comfort zone. In fact have cut out a little bag for myself today, took most of the day to cut and fuse, but I am excited to see how it goes tomorrow. This one even has a turn lock.
Long way from facings.
Now tell me what new things have you tried and how did you find that experience?