Monday, May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012

Hello, Handsome.  
We have lots of cardinals this year, and they never fail to make me excited to see them.  This one was looking for moths to eat.  This is my happy photo of the day.

It occurred to me the other day that I have been sewing for 30 years.  Thirty years!  After that 'wow' moment, it also occurred to me that I really should be better at it.  I have never been one to be careful about sewing; for me the object is just to get finished.  I take short-cuts; I make things up as I go along; I spend a lot of time trying to correct a mistake I made previously without having to take everything apart.    I am more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of seamstress, and that applies to most of my other hobbies as well.  That is probably why my quilt squares never really line up, and the clothes I used to make for myself never really fit that well.  However, I do still really enjoy myself when I'm at the machine, so I imagine I will continue to make things just as I have for the last three decades.
I did resolve to do a REALLY GOOD JOB when I sewed the Tote Bag from the Liberty Book of Home Sewing (mentioned in my last post).  Buoyed by the success of the shopping bags, I attempted the much larger Tote Bag.  I can't really say if it's quick to go together or not, because I could not sit down for any length of time and just work on it.  I also made some changes which added some time as well. 
 For the most part the instructions are good and it is a fairly easy thing to sew.  My biggest complaint is that the bottom is so wide across (7.5 inches) that it really isn't practical for an everyday kind of tote bag, unless you are planning on doing some mega shopping.  I didn't make it any narrower (although you could if you took fabric off the bottom and sides) so a large bag is what I got.  

I used a heavy sage green linen for the bottom, and a rosy, stone coloured drapery fabric for the rest.  I just love this fabric; in fact I have six more meters of it in my closet for the day I can finally have a rosy-girly room and use it for drapes!
I used a very disagreeable fabric for the lining: it's a pink and brown striped nubbly fabric that reminds me of ponchos.  It stretches a lot and was such a pain, but it coordinated with the outer fabric and I was able to use it all up and get it out of my stash.

What caused me to stretch my brain cells was the putting in of a zipper.  I figured a bag this size needed something to keep it closed, but I wasn't sure how I would put one in as the pattern does not call for it.  I finally came up with this solution:

I only attached it at one end, so when it's open I can pull the sides farther apart.

All in all I am happy with it.  When I look at it, I think I succeeded in doing a REALLY GOOD JOB, and think that perhaps I should try to do that with my next project too:)

This is also one of the only bags I have made that had a purpose to it:  such a big bag will work perfectly as a crochet work-in-progress holder, eliminating all those loose balls of yarn from the ottoman and floor of the family room:

Mr. Crafty World will be most impressed with the lack of yarn-mess I think.

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