July: The Better Bag

My Better Bag

My Better Bag

Here is the bag I made for my friend’s charity raffle. I used the book, The Better Bag Makerby Nicole Mallalieu. There are a number of reasons I like this book. The first half is filled with great  techniques including excellent ideas for giving your homemade bags a professional finish. The second half is a series of projects that are organized so that you build a new skill with each bag. Remember math? Learn how to add before you multiply. I love math, so this concept was an easy one…..except I didn’t follow it. Went straight to project number 2. I’ve made a few bags in my life, so what could go wrong?

Well, not really understanding the construction as it is a little different from anything I’ve done.  Would have got that down in project 1. Then there was the time I spent redrafting the pattern so that I didn’t have to copy the pattern.  Much easier to use a rotary cutter; and it was.  Problem was that I was on a time crunch and no one would have known if I made the bag bigger or smaller than the pattern called for. (side note: another great thing about this book is that she teaches you how to adjust pattern sizes to your liking/needs/whim/whatever.) Great lesson, but again, if I had done project 1, the bag could have been done in less than a day. A few blunders, but the end result is exactly what I wanted.

Then there was the weather. Living in the Southwest, we are in the middle of Monsoon Season.  Thunder and Lightning almost daily and usually late in the afternoon. I like to sew in the afternoon.  OOOPS; didn’t factor that in and lost an entire afternoon and evening to a storm, which also left me with some extra water in my bathroom.  NOT FUN.

All in all, it was a weekend well spent.  I learned a few techniques, picked up a trick or two, and was able to present my friend with a homemade summery bag, that doesn’t look so homemade. To top that, it’s almost the end of July and I am more than half way to my goal for the year.

Here’s the photo of the top and inside “professional” finishing.

Close up of finishing

 

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