Saturday, December 1, 2012

Simplicity 2617 - The Rooster Bag is Almost Finished!

Well, I was talked out of the buttonhole.  I guess it’s for the best; it gave me an idea for an embellishment I would not have been able to do had it been a working button.  The only thing I don’t like is I am going to have to get a magnetic snap for the closure – argh.

Putting the flap between the lining and bag I thought would be easy, but now that it’s time to do it, I am confusing myself.  I finally just decided to try something and see if it works.  Pinning it together, I realized that the lining is just a little bit bigger than the bag itself, which if I sew it together as is, will leave some puckers around the top.  To solve this, I took up a fraction of each of the seams on the lining and when I repinned it, the fit was much better.

There are a lot of layers to go through when sewing this all together, especially in the area of the sides where the strap tabs are attached.  I am not using my Singer Athena for this bag- I am using a Singer Futura for just plain-sewing for the first time, previously I had only used it for the embroidery functions.  It does seem to have a bit of a hard time feeding all the layers through, where the Athena doesn’t seem to have that problem.  It is doing the work; it just requires some assistance pushing through every once in awhile, especially in the thicker areas.

Once I got the top sewn all the way around, it was the moment of truth- turning it.  I had left a 6” opening in the lining just for that purpose.  It was not easy to turn all those layers through that tiny opening – as Eleanor Burns says when she quick-turns a quilt, it is like giving birth!  With many thoughts to my Angel of Textiles, it finally popped free!  I couldn’t push the lining in fast enough to see if I had puckers or if the flap was right!  Oh my gosh – no puckers, the flap is right and the tabs for the straps stick up so nice and straight!  Woo-hoo!  There were several basting threads I had to pull from the top red band and it needs to be ironed down, but it looks way better than I imagined!  

As difficult as it was to pull through that little hole, believe it or not, I turned the bag inside out again so that I could trim and finish the top edge.  The brocade had really starting raveling, even with stay stitching and basting the interfacing on, so I wanted to trim that off and zigzag over the edge.  Then I turned it again, and found that the 2nd and 3rd turn were still just as difficult as the 1st.

I did not stand on ceremony to stitch up the seam in the lining- I just turned under the edges and put it through the sewing machine.

The directions call for top stitching around the top edge.  I didn’t like the way the invisible thread had looked when I quilted the front and back panels so I did not stitch those.  However, even after ironing down the top seam I could see that I needed something to hold it down.  Then I remembered I have a set of Madeira rayon threads my mom gave me a very long time ago and I have never used – I was always saving them for something special.

The red on the bottom row matches the brocade fabric perfectly.  I am so sad I didn’t think about this when I was doing all the other top stitching – I would have used it!  I like how it looks. This is a good example of why you shouldn't save things for special occasions - use them and get some enjoyment from them now, because true "special" occasions rarely happen!

This is a good sized bag.  It measures 12” tall, 14” across the bottom tapered to 12.5” across the top, and the bottom gusset is a little over 3” but when standing, it expands to about 6” or better.

Finally, I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel!  Just the strap, the magnetic snap, button and some embellishment left to do.

The pattern piece for the strap is just a straight rectangle, 25” x 4”, which I will cut with the rotary cutter.  However, that is just not long enough me.  I really like the length of the strap on the Hippie Bag, so I measured it – it came out to almost 32” finished.  I am again using the material from the sides, so I will have to cut it in two pieces, probably about 18” each to sew together to get the design right side up and to give me some extra length.

I also wound up cutting the width an extra ¼“ – the D rings are 2” and the pattern calls for a 1 ½” finished strap – I think that is too much extra space in the rings. 

I basted the padding onto the back side of the strap and then folded the seam allowances over all around.  Managed to melt one of my favorite butterfly flat head pins in the process...

Then I folded it in half, stitched about ¼” all around the edge, and then took out the basting stitches.  Then I stitched again the length twice down the middle.  No doubt about it – best strap I have ever made! 

I cannot believe I am at this point!  I put the strap ends through the D rings, and as I was pinning them, I thought of yet more ways to embellish.  I am going to stop here, and tomorrow I will have the rooster done in all his glory – I hope he will be crowing!

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