Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sewing Backwards

It always intrigues me how I can get so much done one day and barely anything another even though I spent the same amount of time in the studio. Some days are productive. Some days aren't. Sometimes it seems like I'm sewing sewing backwards - making something, taking it apart, changing it, making a new version, auditioning. It's good though. In the end, I almost always get the result I worked for and since there's no rush, this works. I certainly learn a lot.





Above are the main parts of the purse - the front, the back, the accent triangle, the side, and the straps. In the pattern, the side is three pieces but I taped the pattern pieces together and cut it as one although...





... I did have to piece the fabric at center bottom. This yardage came from the sleeves of one of the men's shirts. They were badly faded on the outside but on the inside the color was good. The overall feel of this shirt was quite toned down, sedate, and - dare I say - boring so...





... I added lines of variegated thread beside each stripe and WHAT a difference. This is one of the reasons why I love thread so much. The side piece is layered with batting and backing like the front and back pieces.





For the strap, I cut two long sections of the black cotton and then a piece of stiff interfacing twice the finished width of the strap.





Cotton presses beautifully especially against a firm edge like the interfacing. By pressing to the rotary measured and cut and very accurate interfacing, the straps are even end to end.





Once pressed, I folded them in half and matched the pressed edges... and then I top stitched in turquoise thread... and then I decided the straps were too stiff and pulled out the stitching and interfacing and inserted a softer fusi-knit interfacing... and top stitched... and then decided the straps were too flimsy and pulled out the top stitching and reinserted the stiffer interfacing along with the softer one... and repressed... and refolded... and added rows of blue stitching through the middle... and then turquoise top stitching at the edges... again for the third time... and I think I'm happy. We'll see when I sew them on. It's about how they feel when I hold up the purse.





Tomorrow, the flap, the snap, and the button. I chose that big button in the center of the flap. I bought it a few months ago especially to be a feature button for a purse. How fun to use it so soon.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a friend was through town yesterday and had time for a coffee conversation.

8 comments:

  1. This is going to be beautiful! I love the purses you've made. I'm thinking of making a bag next myself— I remember last time I did this I also spent a lot of time trying out different interfacings. I think that's the engineering part of sewing and I haven't figured out a way around it except trial and error.

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    1. Thank you. I think you'd enjoy making a bag. It's a wonderful "blank canvas" to work from and a great way to use up bits & pieces. It is a great combo of creativity and engineering and technique all combined with what you like you in your particular purses. I haven't started on the lining yet but it definitely has to have a large cavity and two pockets, one on each side, on zippered. That's my formula.

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  2. The variegated thread makes such a difference! It's amazing to me (because it would never have occurred to me to try something like that). Very creative and cool.
    (here's hoping that third time's the charm and this comment won't get eaten by Blogger)

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    1. YEAH - the third one was the charm. Thread can making a huge difference even on fabric without batting. It adds a certain something.

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  3. It's very therapeutic to rip and re-sew, I find. Instead of becoming frustrated that a project is not coming together, you can view the process as very freeing when you give yourself permission to "audition" rather than expecting yourself to "produce." It's also therapeutic to take a scissors to a project that is leading you to lunacy, and shred it beyond hope of rescue, and toss it happily into the trash.

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    1. LOL - another form of "cheap" therapy. Good to think of it that way. I do love auditioning. I might not have taken the straps apart so often if I'd had more fabric but that's okay - they are going to work perfectly now. I've never shredded a project but I do cut them up and recycle them if I like the fabric. If it's not as wonderful as I'd hoped, then it does hit the trash.

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  4. Adding the variegated thread made a really remarkable difference and I love the way it transformed the fabric and accents the different pieces and construction of the bag. This looks like a rewarding kind of exploration in the studio: part play and part engineering, which is so rewarding in the long run. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. The thread becomes a blending factor that pulls together different elements that may have seemed incongruous otherwise. It's a great way to play.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.