Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sewing Project: Tokyo Tie Bag, aka, The Handbag from Hell

This cute, small handbag killed me.  I made it three times. 

The first time I got all the way through it and realized, hey, I never turned this inside out!  You could see everything and there were no seams just top stitching essentially. Plus, I sewed it so the seam that is supposed to run up the middle instead ran up the side which made the bag all wonky.  Wasted some lovely Robert Kaufman fabric.  I will use the rest of on something awesome soon to make up for it. 

Richer in person, this is Joyce McAdams for Robert Kaufman.  Pattern is called "Antique" and is for the Oriental Traditions 8 collection.  Fabric design is fascinating, yet the two fabric designers I've known in real life were both crazypants.

The second time I got all the way through it and realized, hey, it wasn't that I never turned the first one, but that I'm making some sort of grave mistake way earlier then that...because this bag, while properly seamed, was still stitched on the wrong side.  Gumdrops! 

The third time I gave up on the directions I was using in the Sew Everything Workshop (despite my failure here, still a great resource) and hit the web.  That's when I came to Darling Petunia's detailed and fully photographed tutorial for a larger version.  THANK GOD.  Following her directions and using some cheaper Walmart fabric, I was able to figure out that I wasn't sewing the pieces right sides together (rookie mistake, I know) and that I was jacking things up in general.  I am forever indebted to her blog for this save, so check it out.  She has lots of cute projects and a shared passion for plastic Rubbermaid bins so I know she's good people.

Tiny.  More like a large pocket you carry with you.

I'm not sold on the tie as a cute design element.  YMMV.

French seams!  I'm learning!

Notes on the project: 
-this bag is too small to carry anything if you use the measurements in the book.  Make something you'll use and do the bag with Darling Petunia's enlarged directions.  This one is yet another bag for my daughter.  Thank god she's easily pleased.

-French seams are awesome, however if you ever want to incorporate them into your own patterns remember to account for them when determining the measurements as they suck up fabric.

-if you can't figure it out the second time, don't despair, just Google.  Chances are someone else has already sorted it out for you. 

-a better person then me would use cheap fabric every time they sew something new, but I can't do that.  Part of the fun of sewing is all the beautiful fabrics and I'm not going to guard them like precious objects.  It is fabric. Its entire purpose is to be used to make things.  I'm just helping it to fulfill it's destiny, even if I do it poorly.  Right?

-I used Velcro instead of a snap when I realized how small it was and how unlikely I was to use it myself, but if you intend to put stuff in yours I'd use a snap or the button tab that is recommended elsewhere just to make sure nothing falls out.

-Cost for the two failed bags and the one success was probably $6-8 and something ridiculous like 6 hours.

Verdict:  End result was not worth the effort, but the process of making it was good practice.

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