Sunday, June 19, 2011

Purple Clocks

I had to change my storage "box" system for my sewing machine feet.  I was carting them around with all the spare ones in a small box.  I started using more and more of them, and having to tip the whole box out to search was no longer working.

I ended up with a box as big as the larger one for my serger feet, so my "sewing class bag" is now too small.  I have dithered around thinking about whether to make a larger bag, or use my serger class bag, but it is so huge that I truly dislike using it (although when I go to serger class I fill it completely up because I have more boxes when I use my serger).

I was not going to make this month's sewing class project (yet again... I'm getting a reputation), so I needed something I could work on during class that would allow me to listen and observe what they were working on.  I like to go to class, and normally I pick up several tips (although I have to say I didn't learn anything new last night).  Finally I decided to make a new mesh bag; this time I wanted it to "match" my purple rolling machine luggage/bag.

I browsed my "stash" and one piece of fabric kept coming to my mind.  I had thought I would make my grandson a shirt from it, but as so often happens, when it was washed it was a bit too heavy for a shirt.  Then I thought of making my granddaughter capris but never could quite decided what to do.  I had a piece of green mesh and using the two together just materialized from my muse.

I cut out the mesh bag and (as usual) mulled things around in my head as I was working.  I have been frustrated with having to take a whole purse into class where space is so limited.  All I need is my wallet, cell phone, and keys, etc.  I had purchased a small cloth purse/bag in Hawaii for the purpose of copying it, or varying it at will.  It's not very well made, but could work for flights (ID, wallet, tickets, cell phone).  So I decided this was the time to try copying it.

This is the small purse I purchased.   Front                                                Back
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In this case, I wanted my purse a bit bigger, so I enlarged it slightly.  Here you can see how much I enlarged it (keep in mind that I mitered the corners on mine, so it does not appear quite a much larger as it actually is).
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(Yes, my rolling sewing machine carrier is purple, and although I don't ever wear purple, I wanted my bag and purse to look nice with the carrier, silly...  I chose the purple bag because it is both my daughter and my grandson's favorite color, so for once I didn't choose red.)

To begin, I had to decide what size purse I wanted, then how many pieces were used to create the original purse.  Next I calculated the size for each piece of the fabric and the liner so the final purse would come out the size I wanted.  (And guess what, I did a GOOD job figuring that out, because it seems about perfect and each piece was exactly the right size!)

The real trick was deciding the order in which to put it together.  I cannot tell you how I figured out where to start--it just seemed right, but the answer is:  Start with the TOP zipper and work your way down and around to the back opening, attaching the liner/pocket fabric at each step of the way.

It really isn't too tricky, because in the end after sewing the straps in place and attaching the key holder, you pin down the straps and the key-chain holder, leave the upper zipper partially open, sew around three sides, serge those sides, turn it right side out and it's done!   Pretty amazing.  

I had already cut the pieces and fused light weight Pellon to the back of all the exterior pieces.   I sewed the whole purse during my class (except I had to serge it when I got home), and I still had some time to work on the mesh bag.

Finished bag front  
(Next time I will use the longer zipper (12 inches) for both.  It's easier to install and you don't have that tricky seams at each end.  On this one I used a 7-inch zipper for the upper opening.  A 10-inch might work, but I think it would be a tad too short.)

Back side of the bag with the open pocket

Key-chain holder  
(With a shorter zipper, it is sort of buried, so it should be a tad more to the center of the purse, but with a 12-inch zipper it would have been fine.)

Now for the mesh bag

Filled with my boxes for class

Inner pocket for pen and tissues


All ready for class!

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