Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Momma and Her Little Black Dress

Anyone who knows my mother is probably all "Whaaaat?" upon reading that title. Because one of the last things my mother would don (and let me post about, nonetheless) is a little black dress. We share the "Are dress pants and flats acceptable?" gene. So what's the dillio then? I made my mother a handbag. Her first. Well, not her first. She still owns her first, from way back in the day (nostalgia and all that jazz). But the first one she's let me make for her. I have pleaded with her since I started churning out handbags to puh-leaze let me make her a bag. She always says something like "No, I don't really need one" or "I have no idea what I'd even want" or "No, I don't want to give you more work." The closest I've gotten is a wristlet that she uses all the time.

However, upon seeing my sister's bag she proclaimed "I want one." And so I made her one this weekend, in Basic Gray for Moda's "Little Black Dress." What a beautiful fabric line! I'm usually all about color, but there was something about this line that caught my eye and held it. And it was perfect for my mother's taste.

I used a charm pack for the patchwork part. I cut each 5 inch square down to a 3 inch square, and stashed the scraps to make a new wristlet for her as well (when I get a mo). I sewed strips of black to the bottom of each panel and boxed the corners so that they would fall precisely on the bottom (so the base of the bag is all black, but you can't tell by looking at it head on). I used each square in the pack (which I was happy about--I don't know what I would have done with a few random squares). I was considering doing some light quilting, but I didn't want it to be too quilty looking, so I stopped at the patchwork.

I found some antique bronze rings that were perfect for the straps, and wanted to find grommets to match. I did and verily skipped out of the store with glee. But when I got them home they were too large for any of the tools I have (including a few sets of those grommet setting plier thingees). So I had to go with the regular brass ones. They're close enough that as they tarnish with time they should match spot on. Hopefully.

 My sewing machine started throwing a miniature fit that had me on the brink of punching a wall. Apparently I had a bit of an icky needle that was protesting the many layers of fleece and fabric it had to punch through. Now would not be a wonderful time to take her to the shop for a look-see. Luckily everything went back to normal. Crisis averted by a quick needle change. Phew.

I used the same lining as I did for my sissie's bag. I absolutely love this gray. Have you seen all of the not-quite-solid solids they've been coming out with? Very subtle characteristics that make it still one color but with a little something extra? Love it! Plain solids can be boring, but solids with a bit o' somethin'-somethin' are fun.

OK, fine. I'll tell you the secret mistake. You dragged it out of me. I sewed it together upside down. You can't really tell, but I can, and I always feel the need to blurt such things out. I was so anal and neurotic about sewing the squares together, that I didn't even notice until I was sewing the straps on that I had made a not-obvious uh-oh. And also? Why are bows so stinkin' hard to tie? I tried absolutely everything and it is beyond me to make a perfect bow. Good thing my mother isn't a fan of perfect.

Wouldn't this fabric be a great quilt? Even if it was just big simple squares with easy quilting? It's so pretty, so classy, so elegant in and of itself that nothing more would need to be done with it. I've fallen in love with fabrics before--for example, Aneela Hoey's "Sherbet Pips" is my all-time favorite. This is my second. Go figure. Two lines that couldn't be more opposite and I adore them both. Kind of like my parents, bwahahahahaha. Happy Monday, kids!

Linking up here:
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  1. You have done a gorgious job!! Well done you. I like it :-) Wish you would live closer so we could swop sewing tips as I would love to know how you sew on those handles so neatly! And so you know: LBD + any mom is a 'MY ESYES< MY EYES!!!!!' moment...
    Have a gooooood week!

  2. Stop telling us about the mistakes! Honestly, nobody would have noticed that it's upside down. Inside out we might have picked up on though... ;-) The bag looks fantastic and the colour combination is perfect for this time of the year and incidentally pretty much the same one as on my blog post today - great minds and all that I guess ;-) Fabulous, beautiful job - I don't know where you get the time and patience from... Have a lovely week xo

  3. Absolutely perfect. Beautiful colour combination. I would never have noticed it was upside down but now you mention it I can see it is LOLLLL. Your mum is really lucky to be receiving this bag. She'll be wanting more in the future.

  4. Gorgeous bag!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  5. I was cracking up at the comments your Mother made (I don't need one, don't want to make you more work) because that is EXACTLY stuff that my Mother says!!

    That fabric really is gorgeous. I am usually drawn to color, but for some reason that fabric just grabs me too!

  6. The fabrics you used are fantastic! I hope she LOVES it!

    hugs x

  7. Yea, that fabric would make a great quilt! I love it in the bag though!!! You do such nice work!!
    And hey, it doesn't bother me a bit that you are crushin' on my husband a bit. He is a fine man! A wonderful husband to me for 33 years. A terrific father to our three kids, and now, the most cherished "Geeps" ever!!! We are having the time of our life, in this season of our living!
    ; ) Kris

  8. I knew exactly what LBD this was going to be from the thumbnail (I really must get out more ;o) ) but it looks great, regardless of if it's 'upside down'!

  9. I love this one! Looks like fabrics I would have picked out. =)

  10. Oh it's so lovely, it looks so sophisticated in black, white and grey!

  11. Beautiful bag -- you did a great job on it! Love the colors and patterns in this!

  12. This is gorgeous! Would love it if you linked up on my blog hop Also let me know if you'd like to follow each other!

  13. I would like to have written instructions for this bag. Is that possible?

    1. Absolutely :) If you look at the top of the page there is a button for 'Sew Alongs.' Click that, and scroll down a little, and you will see all the links for everything you need to know to make this bag.



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