Some sewing action

I have nearly finished making my new bag, the one I unpicked and remade. I am using it already because it is such a good size and the leather is so nice to touch. But I need to shorten the strap so that it hangs well from the stroller and reinforce the stitching where the handle meets the body of the bag. And alter the phone pocket, for easier to retrieval. All in all though, I am quite pleased with how it turned out. I just wish that I'd tested my ideas on some other fabric before I cut into my one piece of nice leather.
Where I went wrong in the first attempt was thinking that I'd be able to join the handle loop with some nice top stitching. I had tested sewing several thicknesses of leather on my machine, but the reality was much harder. The top stitching was ugly in the extreme, as were some of the critical joins around the handles. I also broke nearly every sewing machine needle I owned and managed to get sewing machine needle pieces caught in the bobbin mechanism. Which I sorted out but was not able to get the machine running smoothly again. Luckily my mum now lives five minutes away and after trying to sort it out on the phone, dashed over to lend her expertise. Thanks mum. I also discovered that the most effective needle wasn't a leather needle but a very fine sharp pointed needle.

It was all a bit traumatic really. Making bags is a lot harder than I realised and I have a new respect for those  who have mastered the art. I have a couple more in mind, but they will not be leather.

After the bag saga, I needed something easy so I attacked the neverending mending and a couple of t-shirt refashions. The first was easy, just some sleeve shortening. The second was a little more challenging. I thought I'd see if I could redeem a boxy mens t-shirt with writing on the front, and a big circle of text on the back. I do not like writing on my clothes, especially advertising. After contemplating various styles of patches, I decided to insert circles of fabric. I quite like how the back turned out, but I feel a little funny with a small circular patch atop my left breast.
To insert the fabric, I pinned a large square to the inside of the t-shirt, traced a circle around the area that I wanted to get rid of and then tacked inside the circle. I then machine stitched around the traced circle twice. After removing the pins and tacking, I then carefully cut out the offending written upon circle, leaving me with my paisley insert.

I am very pleased with how the neckline and banding turned out. I removed the ribbing and widened the neckline. I gathered it front and back and then attached a strip that I'd cut off and topstiched to make it sit flat. So in effect it is edged by a strip of unhemmed material. I have a t-shirt I bought last year that uses this type of finish and it's one that is very achievable for the home sewer. The gathering doesn't look like gathering, it works more as easing but it means that the shoulders sit further up and that the whole neckline sits rather nicely, I think. I shortened the length of the t-shirt quite a bit and scalloped the edge. The sleeves were also shortened. All had the same finishing treatment as the neckline. I can see quite a few t-shirts getting this edge treatment. The next one is green too, but I'll try and think of something other than blue to go with it.


Penni said...

Oh good girl. I love the look of the neckline and arms too - I have a t-shirt that needs something done to it and you've inspired me!
BAg looks amazing, I am very impressed. I am trying to knit (then felt) one at the moment, but I'm beginning to worry it's going to be more like an envelope than a bag. That'll learn me not to use a pattern.

shula said...