Bags of fun….

I decided I wanted to use my sewing machine to make a bag for my next project, I thought this maybe easier than jumping to another garment! The results were two very different creations.

For one I followed a pattern (well tried to!) and the other I simply made it up as I went along.

Bag number one was made from fabric I picked up at the Hell’s Kitchen Flee Market in New York. I think I paid about $2 for it. I was drawn to the fabric as it had already clearly been started as a project of some kind but never finished. It was made up of four different colours of the same fabric sewn together, back to back in two pieces. A bag seemed the perfect thing to make. Something to take my lunch in for work.

First I washed the fabric and then began with some simple sewing which I was looking to do, (I’m still getting used to the sewing machine). Once I picked which fabric I liked the best to have on the outside (this wasn’t easy) I pinned it together then the sewing began in earnest.

I found some ribbon in my box of goodies and used another bag I had to work out how long I wanted the straps. I then sewed them together to give the ribbon more strength.

In typical fashion this was when my sewing machine decided to start playing up! The bottom thread wasn’t giving a clean line any more and was almost raised. This resulted in a lot of unpicking and for once it wasn’t because I had done it wrong! I got there in the end but it was a bit painful.

I then used an old headband I have never used and cut it up to add a flower to the bag, mainly because I thought it was work with the colours.

The result was one finished bag. It was simple to make but I really like it. I’m not going to use it for work now but to hold all my off cuts from other projects.

Bag two was part of a Cath Kidston gift set I had been given a while back. It was a collection of 3 ‘how to’ books which also came with a bag all cut out that you just had to sew together. So, fresh from my success with bag number one, I thought I would give this a try.

I didn’t enjoy making this bag at all. I found the step by step points really unclear. It wasn’t until Rosemary (my amazing teacher) explained what some of it meant that I understood. Wrong side and right side? The pictures didn’t match which step I was at and I had to keep going to different pages to see different finishes they wanted me to use.

Also the fabric which came free with the set was thick and almost considerably cheaper than the Cath Kidston fabric they use in the shops so was hard to sew with. I found when I made mistakes on this fabric unpicking it left really big holes!

I did make it in the end and learnt a few finishes along the way that I didn’t know before but it really wasn’t half as much fun as the first bag.

The bag was meant to have straps which I did make but they looked so large compared to the main bag I don’t think I will be using it. Which is a shame as it took me for ever to turn the fabric round! I’ve decided to keep the bag to put my patterns in and from far away it looks ok but there is definitely bags of room for improvement.

Do you prefer to ditch a pattern and go rogue? I am really enjoying making my own creations, Fendi may be safe for now, but just wait……

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