Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sewing Bag Set

I finally got out my embroidered patches and put them to good use. I have wanted bags to transport my craft projects in. This is what I dreamed up. Again, no pattern here. I just have used the awesome embroidered patches as my basis for inspiration. I wanted a little bag for all the the embroidery thread and then a bigger bag for the pieces that I am working on. So when it is time for a ride in the car everything will be together.

In the small bag I added a piece of red ribbon and added a pin cushion and tie for my ginhger snippers.

Yes, that is me, giggling at my hubby's face when he takes photos. The front of the big bag has a huge pocket for carrying rulers and large hoops.

My Bag

After quilting the Kaffe zig-zags, I pulled out my stash of vinyl that I purchased from a scrap bin at an upholstery shop. This huge piece of mulberry soft backed vinyl  was a whopping $3.00.  I knew it was destined for a bag, rather " My Bag". I want to make more projects for me. This bag I had no pattern for, of course. I basically did what I normally do, I used an existing bag I own as a pattern and alter it for what I really want. I decided to use the quilted Kaffe piece as a "flap" for the top of the bag.  I wanted the vinyl  to be on the bottom since I knew it would hold up best.
I have decided year 2014 is dedicated to perfecting zipper installations. I have not used many zippers in my sewing, mostly because I make quilts. I am trying to branch out in my sewing. I bought about 10 zippers to try with different projects. I always start my zippers by closing the ends up with tabs, as seen below.
Then, I flank the zipper and press and top stitch, as seen below in my lining pieces. I chose light grey lining, so that it would be easier to see way into the bottom of the bag. I ended up machine sewing the bottom and sides of the lining and then hand sewing it in the bag, by tacking in the bottom corners and stitching into the zipper edge along the top.  I debated over this approach to the liner, but ultimately I loved that it looked great!
Most of the time took in this project was determining what I wanted to ultimately get out of it. I spent a lot of time with the lining making sure that I would get the pockets I need for the things I carry. I want to use this bag everyday. I think the vinyl looks nice and sturdy while the Kaffe fabric panel helps make it trendy and adds the detail a signature bag really needs. My beast of a Bernina powered through this project with ease. I really love that it handled the topstitching with such precision. 
Boxing out the bottom corners helps the bag stand up and gives it a better bottom to hold my goodies.
Here this the almost finished bag, sans strap. I made zipper extend a few inches down the side to maximize access to the deep bag. I live in a town that banned plastic shopping bags and taxes paper ones. So I often find myself with out a good bag at the store and shoving groceries into my purse. This bag is perfect, because I can lift up the flap and fill it full. 
The strap was a difficult task. There was blood spilled, cuss words flying and backups brought in. All in all, it was a team effort. Basically, I made the vinyl tube too small and it kept sticking to itself and kind of stalled in the middle, as we tried to turn it. Yes, I say we, it took 3 of us. Lesson learned. Honestly, I learn something every time I set out to make something with out a pattern, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fabric Shopping

Well, Santa knows what I want. At my age, with no kiddos, I get cash. Cash is my favorite, though it is not very Christmasy. Also, I didn't travel for the holidays and checks are easier to mail. I instead stayed home to clean closets, cook yummy meals, plan spring and summer vacations/ projects and participate in some sale shopping.
My favorite sale shopping is done at the fabric stores. The worst is that there is a lovely quilting store store is walking distance from my house and it hasn't been raining much. Ive gotten some great deals from Jo-Ann's as well. So, I started piling the fabric up on the table so I could take an awesome photo. I felt like a bride after getting all my gifts on my wedding day.
I decided it was a good time to try to visit some of the other quilting stores in near by towns.
I ended up going to three different/new to me stores and ordering stuff online. My Kaffe stash on top is my favorite.
I started immediately stitching on a piece that I intend on incorporating into a bag.