Friday
Jan262018

The Week of Blah Sewing

The Hayden bag is done except for binding the seams on the inside and making the strap. The binding should only take a few minutes but I just didn't have it in me last night. And I haven't decided if I want navy blue webbing or if I want to make a fabric strap:

I am so ambivalent about this bag. The navy blue poplin was a delight to sew with. I did most of the assembly of this bag—all but the last couple of bulky seams—on Vittorio, my Necchi BF.  (The poplin would also work beautifully without interfacing as the lining of a bag.) The rest of the bag I am just "meh" about, which is odd given how excited I was about the overall design. I would change some things in the next iteration. That front pocket gets its volume from a gusset. The gusset is a strip of fabric about 1-3/4" wide. By the time the two 3/8" seams are sewn—the seam sewing the gusset to the front of the pocket and the seam sewing the pocket and lining together—the gusset is really only about 5/8" wide with a whole lot of bulk inside from those two seams, even with trimming. I could never get away with that in a thicker material. If I ever do this in waxed canvas, I am going to try making the front pocket out of one piece of fabric with mitered corners at the bottom to give it the volume it needs. I might also enlarge the whole design by about 50% and perhaps put two pockets on the front instead of one. I don't know. I am not sure I want to spend a lot of time re-engineering this when there are other things I want to make. 

Also, I wasn't planning to use that yellow zipper. The pattern called for a 14" zipper, so I purchased a navy blue and metal Tim Holtz zipper at Jo-Anns the other day. It said "14 inches" on the label. The convention is that zipper length is the measurement from "component to component," or from the end stop to the end stop. The zipper length is not the length of the zipper tape. The 14" Tim Holtz zipper was more than an inch too long for this bag. The length of the zipper gusset pieces in the pattern was only 13.5". I can only assume that the designer therefore meant the zipper TAPE should be 14" long to allow for a quarter of an inch of overhang at each end (which was what the picture showed). The actual zipper length needed for the bag was shorter than 14". I didn't realize that when I was buying the zipper, because I thought I was purchasing the 14" zipper called for in the pattern.  I had the yellow nylon zipper in my stash and it matched the lining fabric. In the interest of getting this bag done, I used it, but I think the Tim Holtz zipper would have been a nicer choice. 

Despite my annoyances with the pattern, I am not quite ready to give up on this designer. She's got some great ideas and I did learn some new techniques with this bag. I got an e-mail notice today that she has three more pattern releases. (Friday seems to be the day that bag patterns get released, which makes sense as most people do their sewing and making on the weekends.) I've also got her Margaret T-shirt pattern. Maybe I'll work on that this weekend as a break from bag-making. 

In other news, the waxed canvas cross-body bag finally has a strap:


I have discovered an appalling lack of consistency when it comes to hardware from big box stores. Dritz, for example, makes a combination hook and D-ring, which would have been perfect for this bag except for the fact that the diameter of the D-ring is 1" and the diameter of the bracket for the hook is 7/8". Who thought that would be a good idea? Most webbing comes in one-inch widths, so a hook with a 7/8" bracket is practically useless. Why not make it 1" to match the width of the D-ring? I used these D-rings because I liked them, but after the bag was done and I tried to put on a 1" webbing strap, I discovered that the hooks with brackets that are 1" wide really didn't fit with these D-rings. I ended up ordering webbing in the 1-1/2" width so I could use the beefier hooks with 1-1/2" wide brackets. 

Stupid stuff like that makes me nuts. The Creative Bag Making list on Facebook has scheduled February as the month to discuss hardware. I guess I am not the only one with these issues. 

Perhaps I'll make another Noodlehead design just so I can feel like I've been successful with something this week. Or I could straighten up the upstairs. I've taken almost everything in my stash out to rummage through it and it looks like a bomb went off up there.

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I am doing a little informal test to see how long I can go without having to make a trip to town. The weather has been so yucky all week—alternating rain and snow, melting and freezing—that I am quite content to stay put. I know I can go a week without a trip to town. Two weeks might be pushing it, although we certainly have enough supplies here to hunker down. And heaven knows I don't need much social interaction beyond what I get with the shiny toy husband. He isn't doing any concrete jobs right now. This is the time of year when he stays home and does maintenance and other stuff around the house and the shop and distracts me while I am working. 

I did talk to my friend Tommy about using his Singer 78-1 with the needle feed for some projects that need a machine with a bit more ooomph. He works from home as a mechanic and said he wouldn't mind if I popped in to use the machine for a bit. His daughter is the one who bought the Singer 185J that I provided the cabinet for a few months ago. He said she is having a lot of fun sewing on it—another convert to the world of vintage sewing machines. 

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Reader Comments (4)

Love the waxed bag....Lovely. I don't mind the yellow zipper since some of the lining is seen. Just find the overall bag meh. I am looking forward to not having to go somewhere every day. Weekends end up being errand days. Oh well....

January 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDoreen

I like the yellow zipper. Gives it a pop of color!

January 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHusband's mom

I admire the workmanship and effort. I like the bag okay, I guess, but I would have to have a specific use in mind before going through the effort. I would not want to just put it aside after making it and try to invent a reason for using it. I find the color combinations attractive enough, (blue fabric + yellow zipper = University of Michigan Wolverines??).

January 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Thomas

John Thomas, see today's blog post. :)

January 28, 2018 | Registered CommenterJanet Szabo

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