Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Tale of Two Bags

Once there was a girl who loved to sew. Her mostest favoritest thing to make was bags. One summer, a family reunion was planned at her grandma's house. At supper one night {normally I say dinner but supper just seems to fit better in this tale} her father said to her "Are you going to make grandma anything?" Her mother then said "You should make her a handbag." The girl then said "Hey! I've got a great idea! I'm going to make Grandma a handbag!" And off she trotted. She pulled out fabric that she had set aside the year before for a bag for her grandmother (but had sadly never gotten to). She carefully cut the pieces for a small bag with a wavy top and started stitching. She went sloooowly around the curves, and had her trusty ruler by her side the whole time. When she was finished she held the bag up, frowned, and thought "How the #$@% did I manage to do THIS?" For, you see, the bag was riddled with uh-ohs. Not the kind of uh-ohs that are the fault of the instructions, but the kind that can only be explained away by the girl smoking massive amounts of crack prior to sewing (and not by her sometimes being a sewing klutz).

First, she noticed, the fabric was upside down:

  "Subtle," she thought, "but if I hold the bag right side up it is mostest definitelyest upside down."

Then she noticed that she had crossed her eyes whilst sewing the pocket bottom and slitting the fabric to insert the bag feet:

"How else to explain how these feet look so terrible and why that stitch line is an inch too low and crooked?"

Then she noticed that the tabs on the ends of the zipper were different distances from the casing:

  "Curiouser and curiouser," she wondered aloud. "My ruler must be wrong..."

And finally she saw that one of the gremlins from the nearby woods must have been playing with the seam guides on her sewing machine, because there was no explanation for this:

"They must have snuck in and done it when I answered the door." {Yeah, that's my camera strap in there, too}.

The girl showed her mother the bag. "There's nothing wrong with it," said her mother. "But you can't give it to Grandma. She will show her sewing friends and they will know what they are looking at and will wonder why she brags about you. However, I would like to have this bag for myself because I love misfits." {Side note: around here we call 'misfits' those things that don't turn out as intended (y'know - from the Island of Misfit Toys in the Rudolph Christmas show). These are my mom's favorites items}. "That's what I thought, too" said our heroine (tee-hee), and promptly snapped a really bad photograph.

Not to be discouraged, the girl and her mother trotted off into the sunset to obtain more fabric to have another go. Upon their return from that magical place known as Joann's Fabrics, the girl set to once again, but with a different pattern and a different print. And this time, when she was finished, she was delighted with the result. The oolong tea she had consumed prior to stitching must have contained magical properties, for she knew it wasn't elves sneaking in after she went to bed (she had booby trapped the house to alert her to such invaders). She proudly showed this new bag to her mother, who promptly gave the thumbs up.

The zipper tabs were the same at each end:

"My ruler must have realized the error of its ways and corrected itself!" she cried with glee.

  "Those gremlins! They must have snuck back in when I went out and adjusted my seam guides so I could sew straight again! Yippeee!"

 "I wish I hadn't bought that piping online because I don't like the wrinkled look it gives," thought the girl. "But no one will notice," (she hoped with crossed fingers).

"Hmmm...." thought the girl. "Grandma might like a few accessories for her new bag." So she set to and came up with a few cuties.

"Everyone should have nice protected tissues in their bag," thought the girl (who had thrown away many a pack of tissues that ended up ripped and smushed from being in the bottom of her bag).

 "And I need a reason to use my new flower yo-yo maker so I should make a change purse too!"

"Though I DO wish that little bitty flower hadn't taken longer than the whole zippy pouch" grumbled the girl. "And I do wish my button sewing wasn't so odd-looking."

The girl and her mother happily bagged and tagged the present (OK, her mother did it), and trotted off to the reunion, gift in hand. Her grandmother happily clutched the bag to her chest and said "OH! I love it! I can't wait to take it to quilting club and show the girls!" The girl and her mother high-fived and do-si-doed around the kitchen {OK, that part is a lie, but the rest is all true. Pinky swear}. The end.

***OK. I'm done with the silly. I have soooo many things to share with you I can't wait, so check back soon :)


  1. I just know that Grandma was tickled pink!! Great job!!

  2. Oh them rulers are sneaky, yeah. :D

    I had a chuckle at this. And at the image of you and your mom high-fiving. Haha :)

    PS. Tell your brother that he is not alone in his fear of all things covered in feather and armed with beaks ;-)

  3. Im so glad your ruler sorted itself out, naughty thing!
    We all have days like that; at least you are capable of making a good one afterwards, no bag i've ever made looked as good as your wobbly one!
    Kandi x

  4. Great story and the bags are adorable. Sadly most of my 'successes' you'd probably qualify as misfits. That's why I only sew anything remotely complicated for myself. And warn any of my sewing friends that they are not allowed to look at it from closer than 3 feet away. :)

  5. I sew crooked a lot too. I think it's Janome's fault. Once a customer asked me why my sewing was crooked on the zipper tab and I boldly told him it was deliberate to show a bit of quirkiness. And he bought it.

  6. Ha ha aha!.. Love that your narration of this post.. especially the smoking crack part... as I too have suffered from craft related disasters.. however, you definetly saved the day with the NEW grandma bag! I love it!
    Thanks for sharing with the Pink Hippo Party.. can't wait to see what you share next!

  7. I make bags as well, and have run into similar problems. I've sewn dozens of bags with no errors, and just when I start feeling cocky, I am humbled by an upside-down pocket or snaps that don't match up or a wonky seam. Too funny! I loved this post and look forward to going back and reading more of them.
    Your newest follower,
    Rikka J.
    Ricochet and Away!

  8. Well, I think it turned out great. :) Would love to have you link this up to my {wow me} wednesday link party going on right now over on my blog.. if you haven‘t already. Hope to see you there. {I'm a new follower.} :)


  9. wow! this is absolutely gorgeous! I can't wait to try it out for myself! thanks for sharing

  10. I had so much fun reading this post! I'm glad your mom got some use out of the first bag and glad that the gremlins put everything back for your grandmother's bag.

    Following from We Did It! Wed.

  11. Very cute bag! Lovely work! :)

  12. Cute bag! Sounds like my own sewing skills in that story.....

  13. Ha ha, I loved this post from beginning to end!

  14. Great post! And great purses. Even the misfit :) Thanks for sharing them with us and thanks for the chuckles!

  15. Very cute bag! I love your amusing story as well.

  16. I am sure your grandma loved her bag. and we all enjoyed your post. Thanks a lot for sharing this and we hope to see you again at the party this week. have a fab weekend!




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