Thursday, June 12, 2014

Stepping Up My Tote Bag Game!

After making like a gazillion tote bags, I decided I can't keep playing in this kiddie pool arena anymore and decided to try to make something harder and more complex. I was looking through the fabric I purchased from the sewing convention and saw some fabric that my mom would love so I decided to try and make The Free Lunch Tote Pattern and Tutorial.
I chose this tutorial to do because the image of the bag seemed really cute and it incorporated quilting. Recently I have been toying around with the idea to do more free motion quilting so I thought I could make my mom something nice and practice my freestyle quilting (Sorry, I know its called free motion quilting but I like freestyle better). Although …………. the free motion quilting didn't go as planned. The test runs sucked because I couldn't move the fabric swiftly enough under the needle to achieve any sort of smaller curves or swirls (Found out I gotta put those dogs down!). What I ended up deciding to do is the scallop quilt pattern. And even though it wasn't what I wanted to do I really REALLY really like how it turned out.

The tutorial was super easy even though I should have followed the instructions are closely on the last step. My mom loved the prints (like I knew she would) and other than the fact that I thought I had two fat quarters of the blue background flower print… turns out I only had one. This is why there are two different prints on the purse, one on each side of the bag. Just another fumble – or as I as I like to call them “establishing my Mother F’ing learning curve”. I'm telling you folks, pre-planning is the key! Double & triple check your work before you start. Anyways that's the last of that fabric I used on the handles, sigh... I loved that print.

With that tote bag/purse under my belt I decided to do something I really wanted to do even though I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it. And that is the Noodlehead Blog Tutorial: Messenger Bag from Cargo Pants. I wanted to make a bag for my best friend now that I made my obligatory gift for my mom. My bestie is the epitome of this style of bag/purse. I've known her since I we were 11 years old and I also know what she likes, I know that she wanted a bag that was functional that she can wear across her chest and I know she wanted to be a little cute and a little butch. So I hacked up my khakis and a pair of cargo shorts and made this!

I messed up on the sewing bias tape, but it was my first time ever doing it so give me a freakin break, JK. Anyways this is really fun, I have been exploring doing piecing work (I don’t know if that is the right word for it though) and you can see some of that here. For example where on the inside the bag, instead of getting a whole piece of fabric, I used a piece of khaki pants that had the exterior pant leg seam on it (also check the strap). The most fun was picking out the cargo pocket. It really ended up dictating the size of the purse. Everything came together really easy over all. This tutorial is so excellent, I cannot stress that enough to try it!!! In fact I have orders on hand to make a few more of these for some of my friends. BTW the binding and the interior for the strap was just made from a jelly roll - I find its good to have some of those around.

What I learned from making my first freaking purses:

  • Go for it go for it go for it go for it!!!!  You have to try to make something that you don't know how to make.
  • Don't be scared to deviate from the instructions. Even though the tutorial for the cargo pants messenger bag was awesome, I had to deviate from the suggested sizes. Gurl you just gotta make it work sometimes.
  • And just like I will always say it like I mean it you should always make it how you want it!