Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Trying to make a bag

I attended a workshop at the Embroiderers Guild recently. It was to make a handbag - one that has inside pockets, one of them with a zip closure, an outside pocket (two if you wanted), a zip closure and that will hold A4 folders.
The class was run by one of the members who has experience in the tailoring industry. This meant that she used terms that meant something to her but nothing to me - context and prior knowledge being so important (my teaching of reading coming in here). She was also very strict about being accurate!

The class took two days, a week apart with plenty of homework to do in between. I had to ring her to check some details but successfully made myself a bag. Not that I finished it in the two days, I had to do more once I got home. Unusually for me, I actually went on with the work after the classes. I was determined that this was not going to be yet another UFO.

Having done plenty of quilting classes where you learn a technique while making a block, then go home and make another block by yourself, I realised that this is a very good idea and I should make another bag while it was still fresh(ish) in my mind.
In the meantime, I have attended two other quite demanding workshops that I played around with afterwards also. Therefore it is quite a while since I made the bag.

The teacher has gone overseas, so I couldn't ring her this time! No safety blanket for me.

It took me several days, longer than I had hoped, partly because the sewing machine stopped working and had to go for a service.

One part of the instructions said to do it as the teacher shows us - and she's overseas!!!  And I can't remember what she showed us.  After sewing and unpicking one section FOUR TIMES, I finally gave up in disgust and went to bed.  Just as I got to the bedroom I had the thought that I knew how to do it - but I was strong and didn't go back to try again, I left it till I had had a good night's sleep - and got over my frustration.
Not having much experience with sewing zips, I was very grateful that we still have the manual to show how to attach the zipper foot. It wasn't at all obvious to my inexperienced eyes.

You wouldn't think this little section could have caused me so much trouble.  It took me five goes to get the zip in properly.
I really should try again, see if I can make it in a reasonable amount of time but I can't see myself doing it in the near future.  I had so much trouble with a couple of aspects that I am pretty sure I will remember how to do it properly next time.  I hope so anyway.

The two bags.


mycamerandme365 said...

Well done Mary, the bags look great. Love the fabric too.

Mary said...

Thanks, I have had the blue and yellow fabric for years, I bought it to be in a blue and yellow quilt that depended on the contrasting colours for the pattern but this fabric had too much of both colours to provide a good solid contrast. Finally, I have been able to use it.
I bought the feather fabric because I loved it but have also had it for several years. I am trying to use up what I have, not buy too much new stuff, so I was glad to be able to put it to good use.

theregatha said...

beautiful bags Mary, so handy for carrying all those pesky supplies for tapestry, quilting etc...
I always have trouble adding zips. I remember Pat showed us a way that was so simple, but try as I might I cant remember.

Mary said...

Thanks theregatha, I remember some of Pat's class but it wouldn't have made a huge difference (except I might have known how to put the zipper foot on and which side to have closer to the zip) but this design has a unique (to me, anyway) way of putting the zip in. It turns out that you actually take the zip apart to do the last bit which seemed not to be the instinctive thing to do.