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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The 'What the Heck is Going On' Finishing of The Sewing House

I'm not sure how much to preface this post with the FINGER SAGA.  This injury does play into the almost travesty that occurred in finishing up this project.  I transected all the nerves in my right fingertip with a can of diced tomatoes.

 Who knew those little buggers were so dangerous???  

Being in pain and having no feeling in my main finger for doing crafty crap sure didn't help.  Being the brave little soldier  silly dumb git I am, I decided to do this finishing anyway.

Besides the obvious, I made a few more errors in judgement.  I didn't have any music playing during any of this ~ BIG MISTAKE. I just do better with something in the background, hence why The Scorpions are on right now.

I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to do. I  knew I wanted a bag of some sort.  So, this post is about my jumbled, pain filled, not able to use my main finger Creative Process.  You will see a lot of tracing paper and less of my iron. Hey, gotta mix it up and keep things fresh.

Accident or stupidity? Jury is still out. Right before this tragedy occurred it ran through my mind that something could go horribly wrong, DUH.

Day One.

The Sewing House. Our finishing project for this post.  It took four days to finish it.

Fabric choosing time.  Seriously people, I've had these batiks for TWENTY YEARS.  I'm a quilter and you never throw away fabric.  You drag it around the country for all eternity until just the right project comes along.


Make sure you have your Big Girl Panties On and get your area all ready to work in.  This usually means for me getting an empty laundry basket and throwing everything in it I don't need and pushing it into a corner.

Iron Man (his name) needed a fill up.

Ah,  feather weight interfacing, our friend. Except this time, I ended up ripping it off and reapplying later after I cut everything out. 

The Beginning of Tracing Paper Pictures. 

 I taped a few pieces of tracing paper together so I could make a pattern on the fly.  You can see through it. Handy for such occasions when your finished piece shouldn't be shrouded in secrecy.

It is a good idea to anchor your paper to your project so it doesn't shift about.  I prefer a zombie pin I made for the job. 
 I drew lines about two and a quarter inches out from the sides of the house to have a firm reference point on the bag.

Mark the middle of the paper/project.  I also made 3/4 marks just in case. The more reference points you mark down the better, just try to remember what they are all for.

Pretty china comes in handy for many things.  Having a cup of tea or rounding corners in this instance.

I put my dish at the 3/4 mark.

Wait, maybe it should be in the middle.

Nope, moved it back to the 3/4 mark and started drawing.

Messing around with corners. Tracing paper is handy because you can doodle around on it in an uncommitted fashion while looking like you know what you are doing.

I decided that wasn't working for me so I folded the paper in half matching up the lines on the side and made new corners.  WHY I DO THIS ~ I have trouble with drawing the same thing twice on two sides of the paper.  Symmetry is not my strong suit.

Marking the top of the bag. Using my middle finger for emphasis, HAHAHA.

Taking a chance and free handing the sides, it worked out this time!

Ignoring the previous lines I cut out the folded bag pattern.


Looks pretty good.

Making triple sure I am in the middle of the house, I have a reason to be paranoid at this point.

There is too much paper obscuring my view so I cut out the middle extraneous stuff.

I'm tired and frustrated at this point. Hanging it up for the day and I'm not happy about it.

Day Two.

I start cutting out the bag, trying not to get all the lines confused. Mental Note ~ use an eraser next time. 

Well, Heck! I think the top of the bag should be longer so I tape some more paper to the top and start messing around.  This is where it is a good idea to have a firm plan in place before cutting into your project.  Good News, you can salvage just about anything.

Trying to think through what I should do. A ruler helps anchor down random thoughts and make thing more concrete, don't ask me why this happens but for me it does.

Oh, I should put a placket in here! What a great last minute idea. Not really.

Cutting the paper.

Oh Geez.  Committed now, or should be committed?  I'm not sure.

  I started to think about my saggy neck and wondered if Doctor Oz could fix it like Facebook keeps telling me he can.

Left the room.

A few hours of Netflix later I decide to try again and No Kitty has come in to supervise.

I reapplied the interfacing to the stitched piece and my backing fabric. Cut out backing fabric using the stitched piece as a pattern.  

Trying to figure out this placket mess.

It's not working.

Decided to let that idea/disaster breathe and cut out the lining.

Well, tape always comes in handy, maybe I'll bag this whole placket idea.

No, I really wanted it in there and had a half baked plan to fix it.


I stitched the lining and the stitched piece together and made a plackety thing.

OH YEAH BABY! Bigger than I wanted but hey, in this life a little rain must fall.

Sewed the top of the backing fabric and lining together.

LOOKY!  I got something done.  

Left room.

Day Three.

Oh.  How am I going to put this together and have all my inside seams finished like I always think they should be? 

 This line of thinking comes from years of smocking and sewing heirloom dresses. 

 (As I sit here and type I realize that this line of thinking is pretty much crap in this instance. I could have just sewn everything together and left the seam unfinished and who would care or notice?  I could also have just  zigzagged over the whole seam and the proceeding ordeal would never have happened.)

I decide that a French Seam is the answer to all my problems.  It has been many years since I sewed one and I can't remember all details. 

 I google it. 

Left room for a while.


Sew wrong sides together with a 3/8" seam allowance.

Here you go.  All sewed up.  I'm not sure how this is going to go and I'm nervous and tired.

Leave room.

Day Four


Trim down seam allowance to 1/8"

Pretty scraps of material.

Turn bag so right sides are facing.

Iron Man steams away.

Press folded edge really well.

Pin folded edge and sew together making sure to catch raw edge inside the seam.

 There you go. Now pull right sides out.

Giving birth to my bag, hahaha.

All done.  

I won't bore you with the histrionics that went into the handle. 

 A ribbon of crinkled, stained seam tape folded and knotted will do just fine.

Ok, the bottom is whack. But I don't care.

I like the backing fabric.

French Seam Finished.

  Being as anal as I am I'm glad I did it this way. 

 It is a pretty finish but I had too much fabric in it and the bulk was a problem, (I noticed it was cut a bit off in the picture earlier) hence the whacky bottom.

Hmm, I need to snip that thread....


Pattern is available on my etsy store ~ see link above. 

 Correct and less convoluted instructions on making this bag are in the pattern. 

French Seam included for people who are interested and the more sane way to sew it together for those who are not.