Not Meant to be a Bag Lady

I feel like I have yet to begin a blog post with “So I did this easy sewing project the other day…”

Sad for me that today is not the day I do it either.

I bought this pattern – Butterick 5741 – during one of the recent $1 per pattern sales at Hancock. I was excited for an easy project – one that would not take me over a month and 20 different sewing sessions to complete. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my Steampunk costume – but it was quite a long project. I found a super cute print I liked for the bag during the same trip to the store, and I was ready to go.

During cutting I discovered I needed some heavy interfacing. Well, the pattern suggested that I use “hair canvas” specifically. I have no clue what that is, and it is not something I had handy. So I used heavy sew-in interfacing. I haven’t actually used the sew-in interfacing before, and I thought this would be a good project to practice on. I also quickly discovered that cutting a bunch of square interfacing pieces would be confusing, so I was sure to mark my pattern pieces with numbers and even the dots and lines. Incidentally, I use chalk for marking things now, at the suggestion of a friend. My “Mark-B-Gone” pen is not the greatest.

I sewed on the interfacing to all the pieces. Well, I basted. I even tried to baste inside the 5/8″ seam line so I wouldn’t have to call on Fred later.

The next thing I had to do was prep the pockets. There were two different types of pockets, a single pocket for the two sides and a double pocket for the front and back. I hemmed the top edge of all the pockets and attached the pockets to their appropriate sides. The double pocket sides required some additional ironing and center stitching.

I loved using the pink contrast thread.  Below is a shot of the completed attached pockets for one side of the bag.

I did wind up having to rip out some of the basting stitches for the pockets.  Fred 2.0 was super handy for this.  Check out that zoom factor!

I did take a picture of one of the pocket instructions because I was amused at how it “dangled”.  You almost lose a step because of the formatting!

The arrow points to a sentence that is at the bottom of Step 8, all by itself.  Really, it belongs as part of Step 9.  I could see people easily missing that little piece.  Sigh.  By the way, in case you couldn’t tell, I decided I did not need a “loop” on my bag.  I completely left this piece off.  Can’t figure out what I would have really used it for.

Once the pockets and ripping out some of the basting were done, I had to attach the four faces of the bag together at the side seams. This wasn’t too bad.

But after that I had to attach the bottom of the bag. This part sucked a LOT.  The corners in particular were tough.  I had to stop at each one, reinforce, and then pick up the presser foot to adjust the bag before continuing the next seam.  I probably should have looked this up on The Google because there must be some trick to it.  Even when I was finished the corner work on the bottom is pretty craptastic.

Once I did all of this, I essentially had to rinse and repeat this for the lining.  Minus the pockets, but plus some facings.  I used the same fabric for the lining.  Nothing fancy.  I don’t even think I have pictures of the lining process, until I got to this step of the instructions.

This image along with the words makes me feel like I was supposed to pin the lining to the bag, right sides together, and then stitch along the upper edge of the bag.  The only opening I see here is at the top of the handles.  And the instructions say to stitch along the sides of the handle.  So I did.  However, when I was done, I had this:

In retrospect, it kinda seems like had I done this step with right sides OUT, I might have been ok.  Or maybe the u-shaped stitching on the handles was just the basting, and I should have left that part open to use for turning the lining?  Who knows?  There was no way I could turn this to the right side through the tiny holes at the top of the handles.  I was sooooo mad.  I decided to rip one of the sides open and do the turning.  After I turned the bag, I was in no way in the mood to slipstitch it closed, so I just machine stitched it close.

I was too mad to figure out how to deal with the handles that were also not correct.  I was supposed to slip stitch those together somehow.  But I was so mad at this point, that this is how I left the bag:

Four tentacles instead of two handles.  Some pretty messy corners and stitching in the lining area.  I am still hoping that Elizabeth, who has made several successful bags, will be able to look at this and give me some magic spell to fix it.  Otherwise, it will probably sit in my house holding all of my patterns, a blatant reminder to myself that I was apparently not meant to sew bags.  In reality, I am not really the kind of girl who has ever been terribly interested in purses or bags.  That clearly also extends into my sewing life.  My only wish is that I had not used such cute fabric for such a failure of a project.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

 

9 comments for “Not Meant to be a Bag Lady

  1. April 26, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I have an idea for this bag when you’re ready to tackle it again. It’s too pretty to give up on it.

     
    • jadesabre9
      April 26, 2012 at 10:04 am

      I was thinking I might cut off the tentacles near the bottom, buy handles, and loop the fabric around the handles like on your bags. But I am still not ready to get to this yet.

       
  2. matt hannen
    April 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    “Heavy sew-in interfacing” sounds like management jargon to me, but I’m jaded by working in odd Industries, like Rodeo Clown and Aerospace. Honestly Jen, you’re the best writer I know, and a really cool Blogger. Really.

     
    • jadesabre9
      April 27, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Thanks, Matt! 🙂

       
  3. matt hannen
    April 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    “Heavy sew-in interfacing” sounds like management jargon to me, but I’m jaded by working in odd Industries, like Rodeo Clown and Aerospace. Honestly Jen, you’re the best writer I know, and a really cool Blogger. Really.

     
    • jadesabre9
      April 27, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Thanks, Matt! 🙂

       
  4. Kim
    May 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    You never cease to amaze me with the projects you have tackled and done so well! When it comes to “patterns”, I have always been of a mind that you have to read them all the way thru, make notes, and then do what makes sense to YOU! As you have experienced, the directions on these patterns leave ALOT to be desired! And YouTube and Google are your best friends…:) In my jewelry making, I seek videos on YouTube all the time to learn new techniques. Much more informative and understandable than printed instructions.

    Keep up the great work! I love reading about your exploits! Oh, and using chalk to mark your fabric is very “old school”. Some things don’t need technology.
    Kim

     
  5. Kim
    May 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    You never cease to amaze me with the projects you have tackled and done so well! When it comes to “patterns”, I have always been of a mind that you have to read them all the way thru, make notes, and then do what makes sense to YOU! As you have experienced, the directions on these patterns leave ALOT to be desired! And YouTube and Google are your best friends…:) In my jewelry making, I seek videos on YouTube all the time to learn new techniques. Much more informative and understandable than printed instructions.

    Keep up the great work! I love reading about your exploits! Oh, and using chalk to mark your fabric is very “old school”. Some things don’t need technology.
    Kim

     

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