21 May 2006
two pouches and a gumby bag
This week I've been making bags. Mom had ordered a zipper foot for our little machine, so I went up to the garment district and bought some zippers. The notions shops up there put out huge bins of zippers and other odds and ends on the sidewalks. You have to rummage through the tangle to find the colors and sizes you want—but they're extremely cheap. I brought home a dozen in various colors. Thus my inspiration to make bags.
I started out with a pencil case for Jennie (above, top right). It was surprisingly easy. It was supposed to be rectangular, but it turned out slightly trapezoidal, so it leans a bit to the right. I like the effect—it looks like it's speeding off somewhere.
The second bag actually has right angles for corners and I figured out how to bind the seams inside. A little machine stitching for decoration. Here are the interiors.
Then, with my confidence growing, I knew I was ready for something a bit bigger. As I was browsing through flickr, I saw this amazing bag made by little birds. It looked like my friend Suzanne, and since her birthday was about two weeks ago, it seemed like the perfect (if slightly belated) birthday present.
I'm quite proud I actually figured out how to make the pattern for it. And didn't have to rip out any seams at all! Throughout the entire process, I had that feeling of imminent disaster—just waiting to discover I'd sewn the lining inside out, or forgotten to attach the handles, or left off seam allowances entirely. Imagine my surprise when it was done and all the pieces were in their proper places and all the seams lined up. It wasn't until I turned it right side out that I had one of those slap-your-head-and-yell-d'oh!!! moments. Because the mouth of the bag is tiny! I had imagined it as a tote, but you couldn't possibly get anything wider than about 7 inches into the thing.
But I still think it's pretty, and I hope Suz can use it as a purse—so long as she's only reading a paperback. I embroidered a little tag for it with a black-eyed Susan. Happy birthday to my brown-eyed Suzanne!!