Tuesday, June 8, 2010
My sister asked me to make her a bag. She was looking for a tote-like bag that she could take with her on her trip to us and couldn't find a good one. So during her visit, we went to the fabric store so she could show me her vision.
After a little debate with herself, she chose this blue Mariner's Cove print for the bag. I think she pictured the entire bag in that print, but after she showed me a photo of the type of bag she had in mind, I thought it needed some neutral.
I used a natural-colored linen remnant that I found at JoAnn's for the neutral. Actually, I think it's a linen blend, but it has weight and it works. I wanted to incorporate the print on the outside of the bag, so I simply created the outer shell and then top stitched a wide piece of fabric to the front and back. Isn't it hard to get those sides to match up perfectly? It seems like you line it up just so before sewing and then it shifts just enough during sewing to drive you crazy.
I don't know if you can tell, but this bag is shaped more like a trapezoid (you know, with the top wider than the bottom). I like this shape for this bag because the linen and the print remind me of a basket. I've seen plenty of hand-baskets (like handbags, only baskets) that have this shape (but maybe that was back in the 90's?). Maybe you can see it better in this photo . . .
This was the first project for my new little serger. She performed quite well! I serged all the edges of each piece of fabric because that's what everyone says they do. It seems like an unnecessary step to me. Those edges will all be hiding anyway so I don't see the point. It just took up more time. But the serging did serve me well when I went to hand-sew the opening in the lining. Usually I have all kinds of rouge threads trying to escape, but this time the edge was nice and clean and cooperative. I also serged together the three layers for the straps (neutral + print + padding) and I didn't have any loose threads to deal with when turning the straps either.
And because every bag needs a least one pocket (if not ten or twelve), I included an invisible pocket. Is that what it's called? The kind where you can't see the pocket, just the zipper. I like the look of these, but I always have a hard time figuring them out. If my seam ripper was feeling neglected after my last couple of projects, it definitely doesn't now after that step. I guess I just have to do them more often (or write down the instructions, but I'm too excited after I figure it all out to be bothered).
Although I really do like the subtle colors of this bag, I think it needs just a tiny little pop of color. I'll have to remedy that this week before shipping this gift off to her.