Monday, November 11, 2013

Washing Machine & Dryer Sheet Bag

This month's TMS challenge was Something From a Sewing Book, and I have collected a fair few of them over the past two years. I thought I'd have this one aced, no problem. I forgot, again, the paralysis of choice; so I was quite lost until I found a book with instructions on how to make your own dress form! I've been wanting a dress form for a while, so this was great.

Quality Control Inspector approves.

Unfortunately, however, I could not figure out how to do this singlehandedly as, while Himself is fully prepared to put two minutes into helping me with my blog, 2+ hours takes up some serious killing time, and them zombies were calling! Fair enough - I have my interests and he has his - but it did put me in a bit of bind when none of my other friends could be available either. They had reasonable excuses, like being out of the country, for instance. Hard to argue with.

But then I stumbled across this microsuede beauty

From the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook

Sadly it is not beginner level, it has two buttons on the difficulty rating (out of three) but I thought I would give it a go. The Bratness has been searching for a handbag, so I figured I'd make it for her.

Trix was not interested in doing any QC.
Not bad, not bad at all. The pattern is simple and the instructions in the book are clear and illustrated. It was pretty much a cinch to put together.

Nor is Gemma. Sigh.. No QC on this project.

As I am leaving tomorrow for Canberra, I really did not have much time to work on this. Last Sunday I carefully traced and cut out the pattern, ransacked my fabric searching for the perfect piece, and found a blue and yellow delight that just popped! I was in love!

Blue and yellow? Not.

Only I felt that the cotton fabric was way too soft for a handbag. It should be something sturdy and hardwearing! Then this weekend I found some blue and white home decor fabric that I bought to fit into my bedroom color scheme but gave me a headache looking at it in large sizes. Perfect! It's supposed to be dry clean only, but it got wet in the mail, so I washed it and it survived. Terrific - it would now be a handbag you could just throw in the washing machine, and cute to boot!

Next up - lining... rummage rummage rummage and this delightful poinsettia polyester rayon leapt up shouting "pick me, pick me!" A Christmas lining for a Christmas gift, perhaps? And a bright pop of color to lift the prison-mattress-ticking blue and white. I lined all the pockets and created the edging on the outside pocket

And the inside of the bag was done entirely in the rayon - except that I goofed the bottom so it's the same home decor fabric.

Actually, when I sewed the outside of the bag, I felt the bottom was just too flimsy, so I figured it was a "good goof" and decided to quilt the inner "bottom" before I put it into the bag. I used the fun Hawaiian print I lined my cape with and then, because I don't have any batting, I created several layers of used Bounce dryer sheets. The bag smells divine! :) I ran lines of blue stitching down the center of the blue lines of the decor fabric, then serged all the layers together to create a quilted bottom.

The handbag feels a lot sturdier now and has "presence". The bottom holds its shape really well. If I was to do this again, I'd quilt the bottom bottom piece and then just have a standard lining bottom. I think it would be easier.

When I'd finished the outer bag, I thought it looked very plain and boring so I added this front pocket thingy. It was a terrible idea; I couldn't get the sides to bind over properly the way I'd envisioned, and the stress of sewing the pocket to an almost completed bag made me take up some rather rude cuss words (I've learned a few in French now!) but the end result is very fetching, so perhaps it was worth the fuss. ;o)

I couldn't find a button I liked, so I used a plastic one and bound it with the lining fabric. Blue ribbon became the loop to close it.

There were a couple of other errors, but not enough for me to stress over. I managed to hide or fix most of them, so I'm very pleased. I even hid two so well that Himself couldn't find them until he searched very hard! \o/ \o/

Now the only puzzle I have left is whether or not do something about the top. The Bratness has mentioned that she prefers a handbag that has a zipper closure, but if I add a zipper, it will destroy the elasticated effect at the top - as well any other type of entire closure that I've considered. I've thought of non-entire closures such as two button-and-loops such as the one on the pocket, giving a total of three in an upside-down triangle format, or a couple of magnets. They just don't seem right though.

Any ideas for me?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Action Auction Photo

Nothing like standing on a box for four hours yelling out numbers to really make you appreciate a long, cold, drink of water! 

This is me, the Auctioneer, standing on a box so I can actually see the bidder numbers. Sorry for quality, it was a phone pic by a bored colleague, Aibia Mamae, who snapped a couple at the end of the day. By this time, most of the bidders were bored too and made themselves comfortable on the auction merchandise. :)