Thursday, February 21, 2008

When a Project Goes Well

I'm thrilled with the way this turned out! Despite winging it without a pattern, improvising all the way, everything still went together perfectly. Many decisions were based solely on supplies at hand.
  • I had all the cotton denim yarn, purchased at a clearance sale months ago.

  • The bright orange acrylic was leftover yarn given to me by my daughter.

  • Who doesn't have a pair of holey old jeans kicking around?

  • I even had leftover thread in the right colours.

  • I had the perfect buttons purchased long ago for a project that I changed my mind about.

  • The inkle band, cut in two, turned out to be exactly the right length to make shoulder straps that place the bag at a comfortable carrying height.

  • The inner pockets were made from a scrap leftover from the main lining.

  • The plastic canvas was in my stash, previously rescued from a thrift store for next to nothing.

  • The bag turned out a nice size and shape simply by cutting the woven yardage exactly in half.

The only things I had to buy specifically for the project were the fusible interfacing (to stablize the weave so it could be cut and sewn), and the bright orange broadcloth for the lining. Both of those I got at a local department store. I didn't even have to set foot into our big (annoying, high priced, slow service) fabric store.

All the details would have taken less time if I had had a commercial pattern to refer to. As it was I had to stop and carefully think about how best to accomplish the features I wanted. The bottom and the narrower sides were given some stability with plastic canvas basted invisibly between the layers. The inside was lined, complete with six customized pockets, four flat ones of various sizes, and two pleated ones for bulkier objects.

With the exception of the inkle bands, I have enough of everything left over to make another whole bag.
I haven't decided yet whether I will do that and sell the extra one, or if I will buy a pattern for some kind of lined purse. Either way it won't be anytime soon. Sewing isn't my favourite hobby. Although I did a fair bit of it years ago, now I only sew when it is a necessary step for finishing some other fibre related project.


kristo said...

Sooooo awesome! The weaving looks amazing and I love the bright orange lining too! Way to go Mom!

Anonymous said...

Marlene that is beautiful. If you ever make the other one, I would love to be given the chance to buy it. It is exactly the kind of thing I use for work and bought ones are so without any character! Let me know! Anne

Nancy said...

This is one of the few totes I have ever seen that really talks to me. Beautiful job!

Marlene said...

Thanks Nancy. I find it's nice to have a tote bag for those times when I will be away from the house long enough to need more than I can carry in my tiny little purse.

Thanks Anne. It will be a long while before the remaining supplies are sewn up into something. Sewing projects around here are well spaced out to allow for recovery time! I also don't have any more inkle band woven to use for handles and I have no yarn left to weave more.

Rabbitch said...

Very nice! Congrats.

Dandy said...

that bag turned out perfect!!

Nicole said...

Great looking bag! And that bright orange is just the thing. Good job.

Maggie Ann said...

I can hardly believe you made this!!! but of course I do...I know how gifted you are =) This is really beautiful!

Carrie said...

Wow. This is stunning, and amazing, and everyone here is completely blown away. You do such beautiful work!

guiltypleasures said...

That is fantastic!! I'm totally impressed by your weaving and sewing skills. I love how the orange plays off the blue. What a great combination.

Jodie said...

What an awesome bag! I always love seeing the weaving projects. My favorite part is how the strap was made by you also!