Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Seeing things in black and white

I heart this bag tons. But it had its frustrations with it, that's for sure. I was asked to make this as a gift for a friend's mother. I had made her this bag last year, and she wanted an exact replica. The problem with that ended up being that I had used two different patterns and made some changes and didn't note a single thing. So I took my time and did some careful cutting and tracing. Things were going along so swimmingly that I knew something would go wrong. I hate to be a pessimist like that, but my sewing experiences lead me in this direction--when I haven't touched my seam ripper once it's gonna be a doozy of a problem.

Here's the problem--you see this zipper on this bag? See how it's kind of a boxy top zipper?

 
I got so lucky putting this in that the prospect of doing another this way struck fear into my heart (no lie). I tried to find alternate instructions, but no such luck. After procrastinating as much as I could, I finally had at it. And then again. And again. And one more time. I was afraid if I tried it once more the fabric would be in shreds and I'd have bigger problems. So I went with a trusty old suspension bridge type of zipper that has never failed me.

And now? Well, I almost wanted to tell her that my dog ate it so I could keep it for myself:


I used u-handbag's Highbrow Hobo pattern for most of it, and a Kwik Sew pattern for the gusset and the zipper directions that failed me. I shaped the gusset a bit more this time and it definitely has a nicer look than a straight gusset (which I think gave the bag a barrel-like look):


I had the lining fabric in my stash from a failed bag from last year. I reallllly wanted to use it so when she told me she wanted a black and white bag I knew I would get to use it. You can't look directly at it though or your head will feel swimmy, haha.


I used a turquoise zipper on the inside pocket, just for a splash of fun. After my initial zipper disaster I had to make some adjustments and the inside pockets ended up being a smidgen higher than I had originally planned, but they'll work fine.

If I had just trusted my zipper instincts from the outset this bag would not have taken much time to sew at all. But because I spent hours trying to get that zipper in it took about twice as long. So, note to self: trust thyself. I know my skills and what I'm comfortable doing, and I think at this point I know enough about making bags that I can tell what will work and what won't work. I just reallly hate being defeated by a stupid zipper. Rivets or something? Fine. But a zipper! Pshaw! (And yes. It is 2011 and I just wrote pshaw).

Have a good Wednesday! It's all uphill from here :)

I'm going to link it here:

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16 comments:

  1. This bag is gorgeous! GREAT job :)

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  2. Bethany this is so cute!!! I love the black and white fabric. psawhhhh. haha :) Thanks for linking up girl!!

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  3. PS how long have you had that bee blog button?? just noticed it and made me bust out laugh. love it

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  4. It turned out awesome! I can see why you want to keep it.

    And Rebecca's right, that button is hilarious.

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  5. What an awesome bag! I LOVE it? Wanna make me one...LOL! Love the "splash of color" btw!

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  6. I can see this bag isn't easy to make esp with top zipper and side gusset. I have this obsession with figuring out different ways to insert zipper. I can't say it's easy even tho' I've made many zippered bags. Zippers will always be a challenge, darn it.

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  7. Hi Bethany! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm enjoying looking at yours. I love the bags. I'm wondering which quilt you decided to go with. I've looked at your shop. Cute stuff! I'm a follower. Have a great week!

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  8. Love this bag! And the turquoise zipper is such a fun little surprise.

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  9. You did a great job on this bag. I understand the part about wanting to reproduce something without taking notes. Take lots of photos for your blog then you will have a record of the process.

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  10. LOOVE IT!! Thanks for coming and linking it up :) I hope you have a happy weekend.

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  11. Stopping by from Creation Corner and the Friday Link Party.

    I love the fabrics you chose for this tote!! Absolutely beautiful!

    All my best,
    Alisha

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  12. Oh that is beautiful. I have been wanting a new bag for a while and I should really just make my own. This is right up my alley! I would love to have you share this at my VIP party this weekend =) http://designergarden.blogspot.com/2011/04/vip-party-10.html

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  13. I love this bag - you did a great job. I hear you about being a little pessimistic about sewing. I do the same thing: thinking that it is going to perfect so something will have to go wrong soon! Thanks for sharing this at Fantastic Friday.

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  14. It came out really nice! Featuring this Saturday!

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  15. Oh my1 I wish I could have that bag so you could go on and say your dog ate it, lol ^^) thanks for sharing this beauty!

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  16. This is wonderful, love your choice of fabric....so talented. Wow!

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