Monday, 14 June 2010

It's that bag again...

The sewing machine and I don't talk about the last tote bag incident. We sort of skirt round the issue, laugh nervously then change the subject. There was much thread snapping, much cursing and I still have a half-finished (read: totally destroyed) unevenly stiched mess of inverted seams in my fabric bag. I am going to leave it there as a warning - a bit like the shrunken heads displayed outside scary tribal villages in old movies.

A couple of weeks ago I was out in the styx renewing my first aid certificate at the local St John's ambulance centre, a process which happens every three years. In my lunch hour, I came across a wonderful haberdashery store and pulled a good few metres of really thick cotton out of the remnant bins. Like most haberdashery stores, remnants can't be cut - but unlike most haberdashery stores these remnants were between three and seven metres long, really pretty good quality fabric and amazingly good value.

Like most crafters, I horde fabric. I can't sew for toffee, but I have bags of the stuff. I just get it out every now and again and play with it.

This was one of the larger bits I acquired. It's 6.5 metres in length, bright and stripy. They guy in the store said only a special sort of person buys fabric like that. I'm going to take it as a compliment.

As usual I'm just winging it. It's not too bad with this fabric though, because it's stripy, so easy to cut straight. I'm going to start by cutting a strip of fabric about 80 cm wide and 90 cm long - then folding it in half length ways so the pattern is on the inside. Then I'm going to run the sewing machine down both sides so I get a 35 cm ish by 90 cm tube with two seams.

If I then turn my tube inside out and fold it in on itself, I end up with something that looks like a lined tube but with the side seams hidden. I can pull the bottom of the tube through the top and sew through one layer closing one end of the tube.

Then I can sew the base in place on the inside. This leave me with three hidden seams and the one you can see is at the bottom of the bag on the inside. If I was going to line it - you wouldn't even see that one, but as it's already two layers thick and it's really heavy cotton, I'm going to leave it. It is - suprisingly - a fairly tidy seam, so I'm not even going to tack a ribbon over it. It's hard to show all this, it's a bit like fabric origami.

It's a little taller than I want it - so I'm going to tuck the top over and sew it in place once I've done the handles. If I was going to line it - I'd stitch the lining underneath this strip. It also allows me the opportunity to stitch an inner pocket in place if I want to at a later date.

Handles next - one strip folded at the edges then folded again. I've stitched down both sides to make it even.

I can attach these by running the sewing machine over the ends.

A few buttons to finish off and that's it.

I must admit I really enjoyed making this, the machine behaved perfectly, with no snapping or breaking. So this might be the truce I was looking for :)


SimJaTa said...

Well done, thats great - I love the fabric.

Sugarmice said...

Thank you! I've had many arguements with the sewing machine, so was so pleased it worked :) I can see why people love sewing now!