Friday, November 25, 2011

A Fall bag all my own to Celebrate Color!

A few weeks ago, I thought to myself "self - you should pick a couple of fabrics from your stash and try out that free bag pattern you saw awhile back. The one that's reversible, just 2 pieces kinda dumbell shaped to make the bag and handle all at the same time." The construction intrigued me - so simple, but I couldn't quite picture it until I tried it out.

Well...that simple thought turned into a much bigger process of making a bag that I would actually use myself as a handbag. But first I started with some recycled denim curtains and a bright Valori Wells deco weight cut from my stash as the lining - oranges of course.   What speaks Fall color more than denim and orange with some brown ultrasuede thrown in for good measure (the ultrasuede has a separate story as you'll see).

I used a basic pattern as the springboard that I printed off of All People Quilt (can't seem to find it on their website anymore!)

Then fused some interfacing to the denim and did a little scribble embroidery to echo the orange print.  I chose several vintage buttons to sew onto this weedy flower (my favorite kind of flower!) - most of which came from my grandmother's stash (of which I procured a fraction after her passing a year ago).

My favorite button from her stash on this bag is on the back by my signature - I remember her collecting owls when I was little. Then it was roadrunners...after that who knows. But the 70s Owl collection is still my favorite memory of those little vignettes. And I have proof of the owl collection right there! Because other than stashing fabric (which she did with a hoarders obsessive way), Grandma tended to get rid of stuff rather unceremoniously at random - or at least that's how it felt to a youngster.

Anyway, I added a pocket and a U-ring tab just in case it would ever come in handy to the lining.

And all would have come together peachy except I messed up the final construction steps, boxed my corners on the wrong sides, and had to do a fair amount of ripping back and adding a bit onto the bottom to fix it.  That was where the ultrasuede hit me - not only to extend where I'd cut and messed up, but it would add a nice bottom to the bag. I like it!

Last problem that had to be solved - I didn't like the way the bag gaped open unless it was tucked neatly under my arm (like only happens about 12% of the time). I couldn't find two halves of a sew-in snap in my stash, and so I surgically inserted a magnetic clasp. I would not recommend this method - for a variety of reasons - not the least of which is that the heavier side could probably use more reinforcement behind the prong attachment. But so far so good.

It's fun to pull off a pattern or concept without a hitch - but it is true that you learn more from making mistakes while constructing projects.  And this one was customized every hitch of the way to make it more fun (in my opinion) - and somehow doesn't distract from the overall workmanship impression anyway.  It's a solid bag, and fun to carry!

So, I'm slipping this in last minute to Celebrate Color! for November over at Stitched in Color!

Celebrate Color

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