And now for something
completely a little bit different. I sewed a bag! So…still sewing, but not my normal apparel sewing (although I do get to wear it!).
I’ve seen a lot of cool bag patterns out there, but I never dove in. I almost dipped a toe in years ago, before I sewed regularly, when I bought an Amy Butler diaper bag pattern, but I think it was one of those aspirational projects where you buy the supplies, tell yourself you’re going to do it, but know in your heart that you never really will. Thankfully my best friend saved me from that whole scenario by making the bag for me. Otherwise I guarantee it would still be sitting in my box of patterns, unmade.
That aberration aside, though, no bag has tempted me. Until now. It may be that it was the right bag at the right time. My shoulders were getting sore from carrying my normal messenger-style bag, and I was thinking I needed a change. It was Instagram that did it. I saw this bag in my feed under the hashtag #giucygiucebucketbagsewalong and I got kind of intrigued. I wasn’t really planning on making one, but if I did, I would get the added benefit of learning a few quilting techniques since the designer, Giuseppe (“Giucy Giuce”), is a quilter. I would also have a new bag that would distribute weight equally between my shoulders. And I knew a place where I could get my supplies…
So, I mulled it over, and finally decided to go for it. With help from Maggie at Pintuck & Purl (We all knew that’s where I was going for supplies, right?), I picked out fabric in colors that would be neutrals for me, with a little bit of a surprise on the inside. I found all the directions to make the bag on the Bernina blog. Even if you don’t own a Bernina sewing machine (I don’t), this blog has a lot of good information.
As an apparel sewer, it took me a little while to get my head around the quilting concepts, but I got there. I realized as I went along that my creation wasn’t going to be “perfect”, so I made the important decision to *mostly* let that go. I couldn’t get bogged down in perfectionism if I ever wanted to finish. And guess what? Once I moved on and actually finished the bag, I didn’t even think about the parts that had struck me as imperfect while I was making it.
I was a little skeptical about using quarter-inch seams in a bag that would have to take weight. I know 1/4″ seams are common in quilting. I’m curious about what is standard in bag-making. Is there a standard? Is it 5/8″ like in apparel? One inch? Something completely different? Either way, as my husband pointed out, the lining could carry a lot of the weight, and that wasn’t pieced beyond attaching the bottom to the body of the lining. I like security, so I double stitched the bottoms onto both the inside and the outside for extra security, and it’s never given me any problems. In fact, I’ve used this bag every day since I made it. I felt a little disloyal to my old beloved bag that I had been using, but I haven’t had any sore shoulders due to heavy bags since I switched. I love this bag, and I liked dipping my toe into quilting techniques without having to make a full quilt. It was just enough.
But you know what? I love apparel even more. I don’t think I’m going to become a bag-maker any time soon, but I’m glad I tried because now I know I can do it. I can learn quilting techniques and, if I want to, I can also learn to make any bag that strikes my fancy.
In case you are interested in my fabric choices, here they are, all from Pintuck & Purl:
Outer fabric strips: one fat quarter (I think) of each of these: RJR Supreme Solid Carolina, Cloud9 Cirrus Solid Ocean, Cloud9 Cirrus Solid Sky, RJR Supreme Solid Teal, RJR Supreme Solid Seafoam, RJR Supreme Solid Bowood Green, RJR Supreme Solid Slate
Outer fabric triangles: one fat quarter (I think) of Cotton + Steel Basics XOXO in Ghost
Outer bottom fabric and bottom tabs: 1/3 yard of Cloud9 Rainwalk Ripple Grey Canvas
Inner fabric: 1 yard of Cotton + Steel Mustang Canvas (Oddly enough, this link is the closest I could find on Cotton+ Steel’s website to the cotton/linen canvas I used, so it’s close, but not quite the same.)
- Lately I’ve been listening to C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy on audiobook. I’m currently listening to Perelandra, the second book and probably my favorite of the three. C.S. Lewis always makes me rethink ideas and see things in new ways.
- My Refashioners 2016 skirt was nominated for the Best Skirt Refashion in the Summer Skirt Awards for 2016 on the Skirt Fixation blog. Thanks!
- I love following @wingandaprayerfarm on Instagram. Tammy White gives you a look into her farm in Vermont that is at once honest, loving, and beautiful.
- How about a little ‘Mesmerizing Mass Sheep Herding’ to start your fall off right?