Out of the Sewing Rut!

Since I’ve been SUPER lazy with the sewing since I got back from Spring Break, I signed up for the Bend-the-Rules to Sewing swap. I figure a deadline and well defined project would make for a much needed kick in the butt.

The project for this swap was the Pleated Beauty Bag. Here’s the final product:

The exterior is made of some corduroy I got at Joann’s and some unknown pink flowery fabric I got at the quilt shop. The fat quarter I got didn’t have the part of the nap that would tell me what fabric it was. <sigh> Oh well.

The embroidery is my own design. I’d ask you to guess what it is, but I’ve asked a lot of people while I was making this bag, and no one got it right 😦 Hopefully my swap partner will get it. Yeah, it’s significant.

The interior fabric is Amy Butler Lime/Tree Peony. I picked it up at Flying Geese near home. Aside from adding an ever-so-popular magnetic snap, I made some minor changes to the inside construction.

First, I didn’t do the pleats. Instead, I traced the completed outside pieces to form the appropriate shape. This left me plenty of room to make pockets. So I made a zipper pocket and a big 3-compartment pocket. I figured a big bag needs big pockets. Hm…it’s something I can imagine my cousin saying.

I also made a cute little tag for the inside of the zipper pocket to document the swap. This was super exciting because it’s the first time I really got to play with the satin stitch on my machine.

One other thing I changed was in the final construction. I didn’t want to deal with flipping such a big bag bottom through dinky side hole, so I used an alternate seam method described by here. This way, I didn’t have to flip the bag around after I sewed the interior and exterior together.

For the bag bottom, I’ve come to enjoy using either binder cardboard or two layers of Peltex (yeah, I’m a cheapie and don’t buy Timtex). I have tried using plastic canvas, but I didn’t like the resulting feel as much. So for this bag, I used two layers of Peltex reinforced with zigzag stitching and then sandwiched them between two layers of flannel as instructed by the book. Worked out really nicely. It’s sturdy but not annoyingly hard. Mental note for future bags!

Overall, the project went pretty smoothly, except for the fact that my sewing machine has been acting up. I’m not really sure what’s going on, but she seems very finicky lately. Sometimes the bobbin will jam/catch, sometimes the thread tension doesn’t work right, etc. It seems she needs to be cleaned just about every couple hours or so. I think after I move out I’ll have my machine get a checkup just in case. In the meantime, I’ll probably be cleaning and dusting her every hour or so and crossing my fingers that she doesn’t get mad at me.

So there’s my newly made bag! I hope my swap partner likes it! Now I have to just make a copy of a cookie recipe and drag myself to the post office (any tips on how I should box this thing up for shipping? I don’t know if I want to “fold” the bag bottom…).

Next up on my project list is my graduation dress and a summer skirt (first one of the summer that is). We went to the Material Possessions today and found fabric for both! YAY! Oh, and I got Dickson to sew yesterday. I’ll post about his FIRST SEWING PROJECT EVER when I get pics. 😀

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6 Responses to Out of the Sewing Rut!

  1. Kel says:

    Are they…fish tales?

  2. Kel says:

    Oh geez, fish TAILS.

  3. Lynn says:

    Ninja stars? Just kidding. Fish tails is a good guess though. And close… I’d probably say something like a big bag needs MANY pockets. 🙂 I guess I should get started on mine…

  4. Robyn says:

    I was gonna say fishy tails as well!

  5. Andrea says:

    Fishtails was my first thought too but I am thinking that it is the Sydney opera house. You will have to let us know what it is though because now I am curious.

  6. Nicole says:

    Hi there, I was wondering if you ever got my BTRSswap bag? I hope I got the address correctly!
    Just send me a quick email if you can, thanks, Nicole

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