Sunday, March 10, 2013

You Wouldn't Have Wanted to Be Around Me Today

Dear Self:

It had to happen. If you look back on it there was no other way for it to play out. You set three tasks for yourself for the weekend: sew two purses, buy a gift, do your taxes. But because the sun was shining and the sky was blue you decided to go shopping and then do your taxes so you could get your mitts on that refund, leaving the bags for last. The commitment with the deadline and the pre-payment? You left that until last. And boy did priority karma get you.

You know that when you try to get creative out of nowhere, especially on a commission, it never works out. You know when you cut out ALL the pieces the same way to fit your creative surge that you have historically mucked the whole thing up, thereby wasting fabric and time. And yet you did that, too. You know that you're supposed to walk away when your shoulders are up around your ears and the only words running through your head are naughty ones that would make a sailor blush. And yet, you stayed up way too late, set your alarm, and proceeded to lose an hour of precious sleep. And when you woke up? Everyone around you would have to pay for it.

Future Self

Such was the scene here this weekend, my lovelies. I won't go into the details of the fail as I did finally finish the work, but I will tell you there was some frantic driving around looking for the perfect substitution fabric for what I had goofed up miserably. That ended successfully at Wal-Mart, of all places, luckily saving a thirty-five mile round trip journey to Joann's.

To start from where I should have (but I'm so angry at myself I had to rant--sorry about that! :) a lady at work gave me a bookmark from a breast cancer walk she attended with some purses doodled on it and asked me to make her two of them.

She selected the center two. I was able to scrounge up some pink handles online, as well as some of the fabrics. I could wallpaper my house in interfacing, and I buy mag snaps in bulk so there was very little I had to buy for this. When my heart isn't fully into something it shows in my work, unfortunately, and there was a lot of fixing of mistakes. All came out very well in the end, but I made so many rookie mistakes you would think I had never made a bag before. I guess those moments are inevitable, sometimes. I know I'm not alone in feeling like a decent seamstress most of the time, and an utter fool at others. Anyway, here are the bags:

Making a 3-D bag from a cartoonish doodle isn't exactly easy, so I hope she's ok with these. On the right the light pink is darker in reality. I had to take these photos long after the sun went down and deliver these tomorrow so apologies for the icky lighting. The main print on the left gave me palpitations and ulcers (not really) as that's the fabric I conducted a desperate search for this morning. The leopard/cheetah fabric in the doodle I couldn't find anywhere in a cotton substrate (I found fleece and silky stuff, though), and I'm actually a little glad I goofed the first version--I really like this one better. My mother said "It's MUCH better. It doesn't look like Pepto Bismol anymore."

The handles have a bit of a marbled effect to them, which is fun. On one of these I actually had somehow twisted the handle around itself twice (!!!) without noticing. Which meant lots of seam ripping to fix it. I forgot that the plastic handles are much more difficult to use than the bamboo handles that you simply unscrew and slide in. Lots of things forgotten and relearned, it seems.

My pink ribbon appliques aren't stellar, but as I've never done something like this other than playing around on scraps I'm actually quite pleased with how it came out. I found an image online, traced it onto some Heat-n-Bond, stuck it down on the bag front and sewed around the edges. There are perfectly inserted purse feet on the bottom, but I forgot to take a picture of those. And there are mag snaps under the tabs up there. The insides are plain pink with a slip pocket--kind of boring so I didn't snap a pic of those.

I suppose that's it. If I told you how much time I spent making these (essentially) three purses you might keel over, so I'll keep that to myself. Entirely too long, though. I was going to try and take better pics  in the morning but I don't want to look at these anymore. I am tired of pink, and handbags and sewing. I returned the dining room from sewing room status to its actual intent as I don't feel like sewing a stitch for a few days. But at least when I do it's all whatever I want--these are the last orders I had (except for a kitchen curtain for my sister that we're still trying to find just the right fabric for). I'm thinking I might press out and cut into a fat quarter bundle for a quilt for me. Sometimes there's something so satisfying in not sewing, but in fabric play.

I feel I must say this, however: if you had the misfortune to be in my presence on the downside of one of my mood swings I do apologize. I must now go keep whatever company makes Advil in business, and catch my forty winks. See you soon!


  1. Your bags look lovely. It's always so nice when orders are finished and out of the way so we can do whatever pleases us.

  2. Thank you for the rant. It reminds me why I don't do custom bags.

  3. **hands over glass of wine** (I don't care it it's 9 am)
    The bags are gorgious though, but yeah... we've all been there (I am currently dreading a diaper bag...)

  4. Your bags turned out great! I'm usually not one for leopard/cheetah print, but I really like it in pink :)

  5. Well now no one would now the trouble and strife that accompanied the making of these bags - they look perfectly beautiful. Well done x Jane

  6. You know what they say about more speed and less haste? It always catches me out too! Glad you conquered the bags in the end anyway :o)



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