Wednesday, 7 September 2016

How I dealt with my post sewing envy disorder

It had to be done. Having made my mother in law her bag, I can't help but feel a little bit envious of it. So I made myself one too. I didn't need one, I simply wanted one ; it's a woman's prerogative. So here it is. A Little Minnie made with this gorgeous Cath Kidston Cowboy oilcloth.  It is really lovely. And shiny. And new. And most importantly,  it's mine. 

This print is just simply divine, isn't it? It is child-like, without being childish. I toyed with the idea of pairing it with red faux leather but decided for the muted dark brown instead, to match my autumn and winter coats. As one does.

I liked the idea of the connectors with the grab handles on my mother in law's bag so I reproduced it on this bag. Again, I handmade both the connectors and the handles and rivet them together. The front of the bag features this handsome cowboy with a red shirt. 

The back of the bag features also a handsome cowboy, with a yellow shirt, looking absolutely dashing on his galloping stallion.

This is the bag, inside out. I always forget to take a proper picture of the lining to show what it looks on the inside of my bag. So here it is. I like the look of the lining with the edge binding to give it that more professional finish.  The lining is made with a neutral-coloured cotton,  for that simple and 'clean' look.

The detachable shoulder strap is a ready made strap by Prym. Given how often the strap is off my bag, I didn't think it was worth making a strap for the sake of it, hence the use of a ready made one.

Now this is quite exciting for me. Since bag tassels have taken the bag world by storm, I thought I should invest my time in learning how to make one (I ended up making 4 in the end). They are so easy to make and so effective without so much effort. A lovely little bag-bling. 

My tassels weren't actually perfect when zoomed in closely but it didn't really matter as these uneven fringe doesn't stand up like a sore thumb on the finished product. Additionally, it it looks really cute clipped on the side D ring.

The addition of the zip tab has also been duplicated on this bag because it really does make it easier to reach for the zipper heads. 

I have carefully chosen some graphics on the print to use on the sides of the bag. One side features a cowboy in a sitting position.

And the other side features an abandoned wagon. It was a shame that the graphic was too big for this piece but I think there was enough colours for it to make a statement.

The addition of these bag feet was not merely for aesthetic purposes. Personally, I am an extremely careless person ; forever putting my  bags on surfaces that can ruin the bottom of my bags. So these are essential to function as protective measure for this bag. 

I took my bag out for its maiden voyage last night and was immensely proud to have this lovely little thing on my arm. Fabulous bag all in all and I for one, am really glad that my post sewing envy disorder has been handled and dealt with.

On that note, hope everyone has a lovely day ahead!

Fely xxx

Sunday, 4 September 2016

In which, I made a bag for my mother in law

This bag is long overdue. I saw this material online and fell in love with it immediately. We see pheasants in our garden quite often, the quirks of living in the countryside. So when I stumbled upon this print one day, imagine my delight at the thought of being able to literally carry in your arms, the beauty of the countryside, everywhere you go. Just perfect!

This bag however is not mine (although I am in the middle of making one for myself now). When this material arrived at the beginning of summer, my mother in law expressed her interest in having a bag made with this material, because like me, she loves pheasants too. But then summer holiday came, and my children had 8 and a half week long summer break, and I put all sewing aside to 'summer' with them. Now that they are back at school, and the autumn wind has filled the air with its chill, I think it's apt for me to start on this overdue project/request.  The loud, vibrant summer shades are slowly replaced by more sedate colours to mark the change of season. And slowly but surely the quilted wax coats and the tweed jackets will make their way out of the wardrobe, and will be perfectly complimented by this Minnie Bag in Sandringham Pheasant Matt oilcloth print.  At 7.5 inches tall, 11.5 inches wide and 4 inches deep, I hope this will make a lovely shopping companion for my mother in law. 

I literally hit the ground running the day my children went back to school. I distracted myself with this project to stop myself from crying at the thought of how quick time flies and how fast my children are growing. I refuse to be in the quiet, empty house and headed straight to the workshop  to edit the pattern for my Minnie bag so it suits my more mature mother in law.  Took me a few days through trials and errors but I am very pleased with the finished product. The bag design in itself remains the same, but I changed the way the handles were placed. I braved making these handles and connectors myself because I know exactly what I wanted, with the faux leather that I have in my stash, and I think the brown complimented the material well. 

I also said a very quiet prayer before sewing the connectors on to the bag because this is the first time I've ever done this. I didn't want it to go wrong, although I was mentally prepared for a disaster (not a pessimist, just a realist). But with lots and lots of green tea sipping in between stitches, they were all placed perfectly. Alleluia!! 

In my semi-professional bag maker's opinion, adding the handles with connectors just add a bit more dimension to a bag. Just an added element to give the bag a lift. The riveting of the handles and connectors aren't just for show, they are actually there because it was physically impossible to sew where they are attached. Heavens bless whoever invented these rivets!

Another addition to the bag were these simple tags to the zipper heads. The zippers functions perfectly without them, but the added tags makes it easier to reach for them. And it looks prettier (of course).

I have also used the faux leather to make the tabs for the D ring, to which the detachable shoulder strap hooks on to.  This was a last minute addition and I think it works brilliantly. If you also make bags, then you'll understand how much this reduces the bulk when joining all the pieces together this way. Makes sewing a breeze.

Ok, this is when I made a boo-boo of the whole thing. When I cut the pieces, I made sure the pheasant was centred on the piece, not thinking about where the handles and connectors would go,  hence the slight covering of the pheasan't head. This irked me to no end! So I suggested that this is the back of the bag. Problem not solved, but if I don't see it, it won't annoy me as much. 

The lining has two pockets so my mother in law can place her phone in it without the risk of it being scratched by the other contents of her bag. The other pocket is for car keys, because we all know that the inside of a woman's bag resembles an abyss where everything is lost and nothing can be found.

And finally, I added feet to protect the bag bottom from the normal wear and tear. But you have to admit, it does make it look nicer too. 

The Minnie bag, made with normal floral print oilcloth is priced at £42 + postage but should I ever need to repeat this pattern with this pheasant print material, this will be priced at £55 + postage instead. The need to centre the main print(s) on the bag pieces was very time consuming and also tricky. Every single element of this bag, apart from the metal hardware, was exclusively handmade by myself, which includes the carry handles and connectors, the strap and the piping.

I absolutely enjoyed making this bag for my mother in law and I hope she loves the bag just as much. Once I finish making one for myself, I'll do another show and tell on here. 

In the meantime, have a lovely and resful Sunday ahead. It sure is good to be back sewing again!

Fely xxx