Thursday, July 8, 2010

My first bag!

So I finally broke into the Moda Freebird Charm pack I won. I had been planning to use it to make a bag/purse, but just didn't know what I wanted to do. I love following tutorials, and I think it's amazing that people are nice enough to take their time to show beginners like me how to make great things. For a long time, I had this tutorial from MBS open in an extra tab, planning to use the charms to make that bag, but decided that it didn't completely fit what I had in mind... So, while I was debating about it, I happened to find an old purse of mine in the garage:

I bought it in Chinatown in San Francisco back in 2005, and as you can see, it was VERY well loved and well used for a long time! So, without actually FOLLOWING the tutorial, I took ideas from that purse (the pieced top and placement of the straps), and ideas from the Chinatown purse (the solid border and more "rectangle-ish" look) and voila!- this came together:

It is definitely FAR from perfect, but I absolutely love how it came out, and since it is just for me the imperfections are okay. I love tutorials, but sometimes its even better to just sketch out some ideas, work out some measurements, fly by the seat of your pants, and see what comes of it! A very small part of me wishes I had used some.... less loved.... fabric, and not immediately used the charm pack, but there is still about half leftover for something else... Hmm Maybe a matching coupon clutch? Those are so fun to make!

I did learn a few things I will have to remember for the next bag I make, however:
  • I need stronger/thicker interfacing. I thought it would be okay since it worked so well for the coupon clutch, but I guess because of the way it was folded, it already was much thicker than this simple tote.
  • I need a new technique for the straps (probably SHOULD have followed the tutorial for that part, the way it is done there is much easier, and would have come out much nicer, but I wanted to use fewer charms)
  • Stronger fabric for the interior lining. I used a pale yellow from my stash that coordinates with the exterior beautifully, but I am worried that it is so thin, that even my keys might one day poke a hole in the bag.
  • The brown I used for the borders is from Moda Marbles, and I absolutely love it! It came in a box from Heidi (from Handmade by Heidi) when she was giving away loads of fabric and scraps when she was getting ready to move. I only have scraps of the brown left now, but I do have lots of blue on the shelf. I love how great patterned fabrics look mixed with solids, but I just don't like buying solids alot. The marbles, to me, are a great alternative! You still get the one color, but with some illusion of texture!
There were some other things when I was thinking about it in my head last night, but of course I can't remember now! Oh, and -once again- I apologize for the picture quality... Best I can do right now, but SUNDAY Shaine comes home with the new digital camera he bought. Did I mention that he broke my old one (the one who had been through a deployment, a pregnancy, cross country move, and the birth and first 18 months of my sons life). I was quite partial to it, after more than two years, desert, sand, and international trips, it still worked great, held a charge for a long time, and had GREAT picture quality (12MP). Somehow Shaine thought it would be a good idea to put it in his checked baggage-- the big duffel bag with all his shoes, clothes, and random uniform items-- on his way back from Italy. The conversation when he got home and turned it on to try to show me the pictures was actually quite amusing...

Shaine-- "Babe, I think you're going to be mad at me?"
Me-- "Why is that?"
Shaine-- "Because I think I broke your camera..."
Me-- "Oh no, sad, but not mad, because now you get to buy me a new one!"

That was about a month ago, and we would have gotten a new one sooner, but Shaine graciously allowed me to switch around our "wishlist" priorities so that I got my sewing machine sooner. Until he gets home though, we have to settle for iphone pictures. Now, I just have to find some beautifully scenic area in my house/yard that I can display things when I take pictures.... It seems all of you bloggers live in houses that look like they came out of magazines! I see beautiful furniture, hardwood floors, fabulous decorations, amazing patios, green GRASS (we just have weeds. It's green, at least, and better than the dirt patch we had for a back yard a few weeks ago, but still mostly weeds). I'm jealous of you all!

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