Monday, June 27, 2016

The Plan B, C, and D Bag

I've been wanting to make myself a new bag, and a few weeks ago the vision popped into my head while I was proof-reading something fairly technical at work. I wanted it to be a ticking stripe, in a faded denim and white pattern, with brown leather handles. Simple enough. Except that I had zero luck finding the fabric. Everything was too blue or too gray or too bright or too dark and just simply too not right. BUT. I did see something in a similar color combination that I liked even more (Plan B). I ordered up some leather handles (I actually found them on Amazon of all places I'd never think to look but for some reason did, so I guess I did think to look) and waited until I was finished hemming five rooms worth of curtains (sewing job for a friend) to buckle down. 

I've made this bag several times before, and I love it. It's roomy but not heavy and fits just right under my arm without being bulky and heavy. It's quite a comfy bag.

The pattern is the 'For Pleats Sake' bag by u-handbag. I had the bag together by Saturday afternoon. It would normally have gone quicker, but it's been so long since I made a proper handbag (not a wee clutch or crossbody) that I had to actually think about what I was doing (I literally talked myself through the steps of inserting the inside zipper pocket). 

I should have thought instead of talked. I placed the zipper a bit too high because I forgot to check the handle tab length, so some creative stitchery had to happen to keep the zipper functional and the straps secure (Plan C). My stitching wasn't marvelous and the thread contrasted dreadfully, so I used some lining scraps to make some little tabs to cover up the stitching (Plan D). It blends in enough that they're not obvious, and I like not having  the dark thread showing with the stitches exposed for wear and tear.

I used jeans top-stitching thread for this, doubled-up. My fingertips are still numb, but those suckers are on there good. I hope. It feels like they are.

There's a zipper pocket and a slip pocket, that I don't love. I underestimated the real estate my cell phone takes up, so I didn't make it as tall as I'd have liked. As I was taking the photos it hit me that I could have tried a welt pocket in the lining that wouldn't pull so much but would be accessible. Maybe next time. 

I'm overly in love with those v-seams. I always stitch that seam in one swoop, all the way around. This time I did it in two parts, and ended up with a bulk-less seam that didn't need trimming and coaxing. I announced this to my brother-in-law Matt and A-train, and they stopped what they were doing to give me a standing ovation in the dining room. True story.

I sprayed this with Scotchgard to hopefully keep it from getting too dingy looking. I guess it's not a terrible thing when Plan A doesn't pan out. What have you been making lately?

Monday, June 20, 2016

'Round Here

If not for some family intervention, it appears that I would have neglected my wee blog for the entire month of June. But! I have an excuse note. I've got some sort of bronchial thing happening for the past few weeks, bad enough that I missed a few days of work, and several other days sitting on the couch feeling quite poorly. I think I'm finally at the end of it, thankfully. A friend of mine moved house, and the windows are all non-standard sized, so she bought curtains and asked me to alter them, which I've been doing since last weekend. I've been knitting a sweater, which I think I'm going to love so much I might marry, and binge-watching 'Peaky Blinders' on Netflix. So unless you wanted to see a pile of tissues, a pile of curtains, or a very unfinished sweater, you can see why I spared you the details.

However--we've had a few little things going on.

This is Warren Gomez. My dad insisted he was in the window well under the living room window, but when I went to explore he was gone, and my dad was absolutely flummoxed. About a week later I overheard him tell my mother he was going to get the turtle (or is this a tortoise because he's on land?) out of the window well, and I went running for my camera, completely forgetting how annoyed I was with him that he was back and he didn't tell me. No idea how he got in and out, though. He was unceremoniously placed on a dirt pile way out back, and would not move while we were standing there staring at him. So we left him alone, and he skedaddled. I put this video on Instagram of him escaping under the fence. Don't ask about the name, because I don't know--these things just pop into my head.

There is this big fat robin hanging out in the backyard. He/she must be aware of what a camera looks like because every time I try to take his picture he flies away. I finally got so fed up trying to take its photo near this little yellow flower patch that I used this substitute bird instead.

I'm not sure what these are, but they are the most delightful shade of pink. I have them on my list of things I want to try to recreate in watercolor. There are a lot of things on that list because the list consists of one item: "Things that look like actual things." Gotta have goals.

The weather has been blissful, but today on this summer solstice it finally got hot. We've had a chilly, wet spring, so I can't complain too much. I love sunshine sparkling through leaves.

And while I've got one nephew graduating middle school on Wednesday (which means high school next year, something this auntie just canNOT deal with right now), the other one turned four. That's not much easier to deal with... I've been working on improving my hand-lettering, and was using some practice sheets, when he asked if he could help me. This video ensued (his little voice slays me, though I hate how my voice sounds in video, haha).

So all that not-much gets us up to date. I've got eleven months until season 4 of 'Peaky Blinders' is released. My hypothetical soulmate Tom Hiddleston is rumored to be with some singer girl person that I hope is really some type of media stunt. I did make a few shirts, so if I remember to I'll take some pictures. Aaaannnddd.....I guess that's it for now.


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