Athens time

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Totes, Tears and in Tatters..

Hi everyone, a quick post to tell you all what I have been up to! I didn't mean to be away for long... But then life took over, as it does..

Firstly it was end of school and we all know how busy that is.. Then both my boys were flying off within a day of each other, and on top of that I had a migraine.. I get those, it's horrible, but luckily all gone now. The boys flown off too, so getting a chance to catch up!

I have not made any progress on the Old Red Barn Co quilt along at all... Mainly because it's been busy (see above) but also because I had this wonderful idea of making a totebag....

I found a tutorial, very easy, just cut off a strip for the handles, fold, fold again, sew, then sew two teatowels together, add handles.. Bob's your uncle.... "I can do that, I thought... easy!" and it did look fairly simple....

Of course you have to take into account that I am beginner... and believe me.. It wasn't easy!!

Added to that the fact I thought I'd have to add some lining , so I doubled the teatowel allowance (I abandonned the inside pocket I was planning after running into trouble after trouble....). Also I had bought good (designer) ones.. so they were thicker than your average towel.. Feel where this is going? Right... exactly!!

I deliberated whether to take the nicely finished edges off. Then thought, better not, this way, they don't fray!! So left them on.... Are you adding with me? One edge folded over and folded over again then stitched onto the towel is a finished edge of 3 layers of fabric. Double that for both sides together is 6 layers of fabric... Then double that again as you have exactly the same for the inside lining... 12 layers of fabric all nicely bunched up! I broke 3 needles..... THREE! and then took it all apart and hacked as much off as I could..

Lesson one: take the selfedges off but also the nicely finished edges... They are too THICK!.. I was speaking about the fabric... ahum....

Then I resolved to not follow the pattern and turn the whole thing 90 degrees so the stripes would go vertically, I thought it looked better 'slimmer' (now how do I know these things... mmm....) and in general a better fit. Well that was ok were it not I had made the applique first and had planned to sew it in the middle of the bag, not round the edges....

Lesson two, don't make the applique first and fit the bag around it, do it the other way around.

Anyhow, got the applique on (quite enjoyed making that! It was the first time ever I appliqued this way, I stitched around every piece. even tried some decorative stitching but decided that maybe that was for another time.... after the one bit....) and made it fit and it didn't even go around the corner.

Still... if you look closely inside the bag and how the lining is finished, you still see a huge bobble... but who lives inside?? you won't see it, will you?

Lesson three, if you must have lining, make it a thin one.. (and cut the bound edges off...).

This bag was not without it's tribulations, and has seen quite a few midnight hours... So if you happen to get a tote in the mail soon.... Don't look inside !!!!

(sorry, it's only one of you... not that my other peeps would want one after this description! I will learn... eventually....) :-)


Megan of Fabric Love said...

Oh you crack me up! I know I've had my fair share of tribulations. My quilt gave me quite a few!

If you want some great bag tutorials, Lisa over at Uhandblog has got some great tutorials:

They're on the right side of the page as you scroll down. I learned how to put in a zippered interior pouch from her easy instructions.

Oh, and the grey bird fabric I used in my quilt is "Livingston Seagull" by Alexander Henry. I sent you an email saying the same. :P

Catherine said...

You are so honest and funny , I love that! I hope you will get great use out of the bag!

Lauranie said...

What? No photos?? I want to see this BEAST of a bag so I can say how fabulous it is, and that no mistakes can be seen! :D

Dana said...

This lucky peep received said tote and LOVES it beyond words!!!!!! Thank you!!!

Has your package arrived yet? I surely hope it isn't caught up in customs.

Rafael's Mum said...

Thank you Dana, I am soooo glad you actually like it, even though it is not perfect. It was made with love and good intentions!

No package yet.... I hope it's not at customs.....