Monday, March 3, 2008

The bag from H _ _ _ !

I had high hopes for this bag. I love the lines and size of it. This bag was perfect for me, just big enough, but not too big--loads of possibilities. I began sewing this last Saturday afternoon starting with the lining first, since I had forgotten to buy cording which was needed for the handles and piping around the bottom. The lining went together quite quickly, even with an inside zipper and outside zipper attached to the facings and lining. Then Sunday I ventured back to my machine and all the trouble started. I really did not want to drive to the nearest Joann's which might not even have the cording sizes I needed and would take at least an hour round trip. I improvised and raided the Boy Scout's rope bag and found nylon cords in the sizes I needed. Just snipped off a few inches and I was back in business. I made my piping for the bottom of the purse but had a terrible time trying to get the sides of the bag to attach close enough to the piping. I guess my biggest mistake was in my choice of interfacing. The pattern instructions recommend sew-in hair canvas interfacing, but I thought that fusible stiff Pellon would work just as well. After several tries even though I had marked the stitching lines, I decided that in order to get close enough to the piping, I would have to hand sew the bag. I had a couple rows of stitching on the bottom already, the stitching just needed to be closer to the piping. I must have spent an hour sewing that bottom together, innumerable pin pricks (I don't remember ever bleeding that much on a project) and numb fingers from forcing the needle through all the layers. Thankfully, all my pain and suffering ended in succe ss. Then came the hardest part attaching the facing and lining to the body of the bag. Since I so brilliantly chose a stripe that would show if I venture d out of line when trying to sew parallel to the stripe, lining everything up with all the bulk created by the interfacing was quite a venture. More pin pricks and bleeding on the project. This pattern made it hard to actually sew up to the sides of the bag since not enough room was given between the ends of the zipper and the sides of the bag. the facings could be a little wider too. I decided to treat the intersection of the two pieces like a notched collar and sewed just a stitch away from the intersection. This actually worked and allowed me to turn the bag to the right side with just a moderate amount of bulk. Then the pattern called for edge stitching around the top of the bag. This was not to be since the edge was too thick to fit under my machine's presser foot. I ended up hand tacking along the edge hiding my stitches in the stripes. If I kept up with this hand stitching through all that bulk, I would have developed callouses since the tips of a few fingers are becoming sensitive and hard.

Would I sew this again? Maybe. I still like the lines of this bag, but next time I will make modifications to the pattern. I need to rethink where the facing meets the sides of the bag and reshape the pattern piece. Also, I think if I use a less stiff interfacing on the facings and omit the piping on the bottom of the bag it will be much easier.


Alexandra said...

Such a pretty purse! Too bad it was a pain to make because it really looks like it would be great in many different colors and fabrics.

Clare said...

Very stylish. All the blood sweat and tears were worth it!