Tuesday, October 16, 2007

InStitches September/October: Done+


It is a good thing that all forces conspired for me to sit down and work on this bag because OMG there was a lot of tedious BS that went into it and had I had even one other thing I could have been doing, I probably would have abandoned this project in the bin and just let you all call me a big loser.

For one thing there was all the quilting. I have never used so much thread to make such a small project. I must have used miles of it. And some of it in the form of useful stitches! So much just gets ripped out and wadded up on the floor or left clinging to an inappropriate place on my clothes (thread pasties, anyone?). It is a sad but amusing waste that keeps Bubba entertained while I yell swears at the sewing machine/pattern/rotary cutter.

And oh, COME ON, how many pages of instructions were there? Um, so many. I almost passed away when I turned the page a second time only to find out there were a full two pages of instructions left in the pattern. What tha? Are we sewing housing complex onto this bag or something? So, so many words.

And, oh, last but not least, all the hand-sewing in all the land just waiting all quietly at the end of the pattern like some feral cat ready to spring out and attack your face and infect you with gnarly kitty cat germs. Real nice, people. Go to the trouble of writing ten pages of friggen pattern instructions only to leave attaching the liner to you and your trusty hand-sewing needle. I will put this out there one more time:

This is work a machine should be doing.


Thank you. That is all I ask.

Ironically, I think this is the nicest thing I've ever sewn. Have I said that before? I can't remember. Either way, I'm resetting the clock now because, despite the full-blown hassling of this pattern, the bag turned out pretty nice. Like, to the point where I'm not ashamed to show you pictures of it from all angles, not just the angle that doesn't reveal all my measuring and cutting and sewing mistakes.

Oh, what? Like you just randomly pick an angle from which to shoot your projects because OH they're all so perfect? I don't believe you. No, I choose to believe that everyone, like myself, finds the one angle from which it appears you made zero mistakes instead of showcasing the part of the whatever where the seams don't line up and, damn it, why is the quilt batting sticking out right there?

So, for the first time ever, shots from every angle of this, my most satisfyingly not heinous project to date: (Meanwhile, please don't make mean jokes about the fabric matching. That is not my strength and I readily admit to sucking at it.)

Side 1: Notice the normal rectangular shape.

Side 2: Notice again, the normal rectangular shape.

Side 3: Notice that the zipper seams to be 100% attached with no uneven stitching or errant thread dangling this way or that.
Side 4: Notice again how it all looks according to pattern without any alarming bulges.This is the same as Side 1 and is just a glory shot. Nothing looks fucked up! Woo!

Now, I know that there is a rather obvious lack of patchwork on my Patchwork Bag, but I assure you that I did as much patchworking as is physically possible for me without turning out a big pile of patchworked crap. Ok. I'm just not good at matching fabrics, measuring or cutting to size. I didn't even get to sewing together the original (fugly) patchwork pieces due to the horrible derailment of the project by that point, but I know it would have been awful and just gone on to prove how ill-equipped I am at the patchworking business.

Anyway, since I'm so enlightened about my own lack of talent with patchworking, I decided to simplify the whole thing and take to heart the part in the pattern where she says something to the effect of, "Create your patchwork pattern in whatever way that suits you as long as the final piece measures whatever X whatever."

So I did. I sewed five strips of fabric together and called it patchworking. Call me a loser, but I'm more pleased with this than I was with the patchwork business I tried to create before.

And I did, for the record, sit down and hand-sew (loathe) the lining into the bag. But I set that part aside to do later in the evening while I was desperately searching for a way to distract myself from the pending race. It did the trick for sure - I focused intently on making straight even stitches instead of agonizing over the looming 13 mile run.

Now that this thing is finished and I'm more than mildly pleased with it, I've decided that I can make it, and its awkwardly long and boxy shape, into a perfect something for a birthday coming up in December. The idea came to me as I was stitching in the lining (by hand, remember the pain and sorrow) and trying to figure out for what this bag's bizarre proportions could possibly be used. Bubba suggested I use it with my other fabric shopping bags and just present it at the grocery store as "The Bread Bag and please don't squeeze the bread when you put it in its proper case right here, thank you."

I have decided to go in another direction. When I've created it, I will revisit the topic here and I promise it will be a shorter post.

Anyway, Donk, thank you for talking me through this project (Finny - you will love it, I'm sure of it!), my race (Finny - Stop freaking out - you are going to rock it!) and just life in general.

Wuv you!


P.S. I have an idea for the November/December project.


  1. You crack me up! Excellent Job. Especially for a bread sack. Who knew?

  2. You did an amazing job!! It looks great!

  3. It is stunning! I didn't even open the book to look at this project:):) So HUGE pat on the back for you...I love how you did the patchwork.

  4. OK... you don't know me. but let me tell you this is some of the funniest commentary on sewing i have read today. thanks for your snarky attitude and talent. keep on sewing, but above all... keep on writing about it because you crack me up!

  5. Your bag looks great!! I LOVE your patchwork (5 strips sewn together counts as patchwork!) I haven't started it yet... Looks like I'll be furiously sewing on Halloween...

  6. Um, I have to order that fabric and make myself that bag. I LOVE the way yours came out!
    And if you have a lining, you win. Seriously with the handsewing? Do we live in a house on the prairie?

  7. Ooh! I love it. Great fabric choices.

  8. In the words of Amy Winehouse..."try to make me hand sew, I say "No, no, no!"

  9. Yr project came out great! I love reading yr blog, yr write so well. Always good for a laugh!!!!

  10. this bag... in my in stitches book has been haunting me for some time. i jumped on the internet to find some inspiration for it and landed here... you.are.so.funny. i love it. especially the "near death" part. cheers to your well done bag it's lovely. and cheers to me giving it a try now. thanks!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.