Tuesday, March 8, 2011
After waiting until the last minute with last month's Amy Butler Style Stitches sew along bag I decided to keep the sewing momentum going and dove into March's project, the Origami Bags, over the weekend. The book actually has directions for six versions available, each in a different size. I didn't intend to make a full set but figured I'd pick three fabrics and make three bags with different arrangements of those fabrics.
I chose to make the x-small, small, and large bags. I feel a bit like Goldilocks as the x-small bag is a little too small for me to find it useful (although my sunglasses do fit in it almost perfectly), the large bag is huge, but the small bag is just the right size. I wanted something I can carry around in my purse to organize my necessities: coupons, receipts, and my extensive collection of Blistex and lip gloss. The small bag fits the bill.
It's a simple pattern for the most part. I've done a few zippers in the past so there was nothing intimidating about that. The only snafu was when I tried to line up the side and bottom seams to sew the gussets. I had to rip out all of the stitching from my first one even though I'd been careful to try to align them by pinching along the seams. That wasn't a foolproof method but I did get better at it by the time I got through the eighth corner. I wound up giving it my best shot and first sewing a basting stitch where I thought the corner should go, then checking the alignment by pulling the corner out through the gap in the lining. Some I nailed on the first try but many had to be redone. I found I had the most trouble with the interfaced corners of the exterior of the bag as that extra bulk made it even harder to gauge the evenness.
Since I had to wait until Monday to hit the fabric store and purchase a zipper for my last bag, I posted a desperate cry for help in the two Style Stitches sew along Flickr groups to see if there's some fancy tip I'm missing out on. Bree from My Crafty Crap, who's hosting one of the sew alongs I'm participating in, had the brilliant suggestion to stick a pin through the seams after pinching the fabric, making sure the pin goes through both seams. Once I had that information I was able to master those darn gussets. It worked like a charm!
Once again, I made an effort to work with fabrics from my stash and while I'm sure I could have come up with something more dramatic if I'd been able to hit the fabric store for perfectly coordinating fabrics, I'm happy enough with the ones I chose. I especially love the bunny fabric, which I bought because it was a great price on clearance and because I thought the bunnies looked dazed and demented. Incidentally, that was also my sole criterion for choosing a husband. Even better is that I was able to supply two of the zippers from the large stash my mom gave me, left over from her own sewing days. Note that I used quilting cotton fabric instead of home decor and the bags sit up just fine on their own. I'm not sure why the pattern specifies home decor weight unless Ms. Butler's just trying to rustle up a little extra cash for fabric manufacturers.
I'm participating in two different sew alongs for this book since they're both running on the same schedule. Check out both My Crafty Crap and JemJam to join in and become eligible to win some fun prizes. Last month, I won a $50 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop with my Everyday Shopper so I can attest to the fact that the prizes are legit and, of course, wonderful.