Can you imagine? – you have an idea and a plan that you’re obsessed about but then certain circumstances interfere your plan and you can’t put it into action. And though you have plenty of other things to do you find yourself stuck in boredom because the alternatives are yet not so cool as the project you’re obsessed about and you end up doing NOTHING? That was me this week! The fabric for my new quilt didn’t arrive yet and since quilting was the only thing I wanted to do in my vacation week I pretty much didn’t do anything spectacular (besides starting a drink-more-water revolution).
On Tuesday my sister-in-law and I went to the little fabric store Stoffwerk (where I bought the fabric for my first quilt) and without intention of buying anything I fell in love with these 3 fat quarters. They’re from Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley collection and they’re in this incredible blue and grey tone I like so much these days.
I remembered this little purse that I’ve seen on the Stitch Magazine Cover Fall 09 and I imagined the Hope Valley fabrics would look nice. And I actually needed a bag where I could slide in the big Nikon when I’m on tour so the idea was SEW A PURSE!
Tuesday night I scribbled a bit – thinking of how the bag should look like. Since I have no pattern (which you actually don’t need for this kind of purse) I thought of how to enhance the fabric. Quilted and patchworked elements and stitches?
Yes… it turned out a little bit different but that’s the fun about it. You have to see the product in order to find the best looking treat.
This is what I cut out: 2 lining pieces, 2 outer fabrics, 2 pieces of interfacing, some stripes for the patchwork elements, a doily, and a stripe for the strap and zipper. The fabrics for lining and outer are all from Ikea. In our closet is a inexhaustible source of this grey fabric I could make another 194 bags from it….
I started with the doily bag in the lining. I cut half of the doily and sewed it onto the fabric. Stitched an additional space for the phone. Done! But I didn’t like this much because then I realized it wouldn’t match the style of the purse at all. THAT’S what I mean by you have to have your project in your hand in order to see if your design makes sense… I’ve put this aside and hoped for another idea later.
The stripes that I’ve cut from the Hope Valley fat quarters were randomly sewn together (I’ve added 2 stripes of plain fabric, too)
After sewing the patchworked part on the outer fabric I’ve drawn some circles and SERENDIPITY on (with a fabric pen that goes away after washing, of course) just to have a lead on where to stitch. On the back I’ve pressed on a piece of interfacing and started to machine stitch. I think as long as the interfacing is not too thick you can easily machine stitch little things with a normal sewing machine. I have a small Pfaff that isn’t a professional quilting machine but still this works pretty good.
I did this on the front an back and while I was stitching I thought of another design that I liked better and ditched the idea to stitch SERENDIPITY on the front. This is the result (and YES I’m too lazy to change my bobbin thread all the time).
Somehow I still wanted my sweet SERENDIPITY to be somewhere so my solution was to stamp it on the side panel of the bag.
After that I pinned the side parts onto the front (and back) and stitched along so that the first part of the bag was done.
Back to the lining bag. I took some of the outer fabric and a scrap from the blue Hope Valley and sew everything together.
Now it came to the tricky part that I’ve feared the whole time. I wanted the bag to have a zipper. But since I have the outer bag and the lining bag I had to think of where to put the zipper. Here’s how I assembled the zipper on 2 stripes of fabric.
The question now was: WHERE to sew this on? Lining or outer bag?? I tell you upfront: my decision was WRONG! I pinned and sew it on the lining bag. Then turned the outer bag on the left and put it INTO the lining bag. I left a bit open in the lining bag for the turn afterwards. After sewing everything together and turning the bag inside out Â it first looked good BUT now the lining bag was outside and Â my outer fabric was inside. Would have been ok if this was the intention. But it wasn’t so I ripped it all open again….
Pinned the zipper on the outer bag and sewed again. YAY. THAT WORKED!! Then I closed the opening in the lining and basically the bag itself was finished.
From the grey fabric I cut a long stripe, folded it right sides together and sewed along. To turn this stripe back to the right was the thing that needed the most time during this whole sewing project…. then pressed and stitched along randomly.
The strap was attached on the sides of the bag and finally – after 5 hours – I was finished. And in love.. I must admit.
I think after my first quilt this was my first BIGGER sewing project. It was not really difficult but without a pattern and with all the ideas what I could stitch on it just takes some time. And it’s so satisfying. A little bit of patchwork and quilting, machine stitching, a zipper… all the good things in one project :-) It’s a GREAT project for those who are not yet experienced with patchwork and quilting. Try small things first and see what happens. It’s fun!!