What’s your bag, baby?

February 23, 2009 § 4 Comments

There are so many BAG puns and oneliners out there, it’s hard to settle on one for a blog entry pertaining to bags.  I just went with an obvious one since I often am overheard referring to what is or is not “my bag”, or, as a friend of mine’s son said one day “IN MY BAG”. 

I have lofty ambitions that are not matched by my energy level, patience or will to endure.  If I decide one morning that I would like to intricately embroider a tea towel with a zillion tiny flowers, I’ll probably give up around twenty minutes later, decide that six little french knots are probably close to a ‘zillion’ and go watch a Food Network Cake Challenge.  God, I hate fondant.  THAT is a story for another time.

But I’m working on my “immediate girl” nature, trying to take pride in my work, put the effort in to turn out a good product and earn that sense of satisfaction.  That’s probably the problem.  I couldn’t give a rat’s left toe for a sense of satisfaction.  Who cares?  Satisfaction don’t shrink my waist, none, pal. 

Anyway, I have big plans to become, well, a MASTER SEAMSTRESS, but I haven’t sewn anything of consequence since college, when I artfully finagled my way out of sewing a costume shirt for my costuming class, playing the “i’m working so hard on developing my character that I can’t focus on shirt construction” card.  Theatre Major: When You Don’t Really Want to Do A Lot of Assignments. But now I have myself a little daughter, and I want nothing more than to be able to sew her a princess costume, or a sun dress or an art smock or any thing she asks for.  So I’ve got a timeline established, wherein I will work my way up to a very easy Kimono Dress that I have printed out the tutorial for online.

Project ONE is complete.  A lined, interfaced, pocketed tote bag that I can take back and forth to work with my purse, my THREE different listening devices (FM radio walkman,AM radio walkman and iPOD), whatever books I’m reading and my notebook for the books I’m not writing because with al these supplies, I fall asleep on the train nearly EVERY. DAY.

I digress.  The tote is not from a pattern or anything.  I just eyeballed a Whole Foods reusable grocery bag and cut out some butcher paper pieces a couple inches bigger than that all around.  I used a medium weight interfacing to give a little heft, and added a simple accordion sided pocket on the inside to throw my keys and phone in since I hate digging for them.

My biggest challenge was a) the stitching.  I had a lot of problems with the weight and tension of the thread.  So I had to do some seams over again and that enraged me.  You can see below what happens to the BACK of your stitching when you don’t have enough tension on the thread:

But I over came all this and all that I’m angry about now (because God knows I’m never pleased with myself) is that the binding seam/tape/trim thing at the top was sewn on unevenly because of my shaky “Is-that-girl-on-the-pcp” hands and my leadfoot which tends to floor it on the sewing pedal and my fabric and I lurch forward through the feed and I sometimes swerve out of control off the highway of neat stitching.

I’m kind of proud of it.  It’s sturdy, it holds all my stuff, the straps are long, and don’t cut into my shoulder, and by God, I stuck to it.  Next stop: learnin’ zippers and perfecting the binding strips.


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§ 4 Responses to What’s your bag, baby?

  • Allison M says:

    i love it!

    every few months or so, i have a “sewing extravaganza!” and i ask for everyones clothes that need mending. from pockets, holes in crotches of favorite jeans, buttons, patches…the whole gamut. it’s really cathartic, however i rarely MAKE anything new.

    you’ve inspired me to…make a bag!

    ultimate goal: reupholstering a rad craigslist find.

  • Mom says:

    Nice job J. And the best part is when someone asks “where’d you get it” you get to say…”Oh, I made it!”

  • Meredith says:

    I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!! That pear fabric is 100% WIN.

    Go make me one.

  • kcalland says:

    Very nice! I just got a sewing machine as an early birthday gift from Stu and am looking forward to making … well, something anyway.

    Since I too am a Professional Project Starter and not so much a project finisher at all, finishing anything will be a great accomplishment for me!

    Nice job on the bag! 🙂

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