Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Simplicity 4391 - The first pieces

My apologies, but I find I must start today out with a rant – commercial pattern makers – what are they thinking?  When searching the large sheets of tissue for the pieces I need, all I needed out of this huge sheet was the small missing piece in the center!

I used the rotary cutter to get it out, and then, I had the joy of trying to figure out how to fold the blasted sheet to get it back into the envelope!  ARGH!  And then, you have to iron all the pieces so you will get straight cuts of the fabric.  I appreciate that the patterns come with several options, but they are only good for one or two uses, and yet- have you seen the manufacturers’ prices of them?  This pattern, Simplicity 4391 has the retail price listed as $14.95.  I only buy patterns if they are on sale for $1 or $2 at places like Jo-Ann’s or Hancock’s or $0.25 at a thrift store or rummage sale- many of the ones you can find at thrift stores or rummage sales are unopened. 

Oh, I suppose my rant is not a good thing since I am attempting to get a Simplicity ad for this site right now.  Um, never mind...

Reading through the directions on this pattern, I am confused – it says to make the padding separately and insert it through a small hole in the lining seam once the outside of the bag and the lining are sewn together.  This sounds like a lot of extra work trying to work it in.  I have chosen instead to use fusible fleece on the outside of the purse, and a heavy duty interfacing on the lining.  I can also tell by the size of the pattern pieces that this is going to be too big for Alexis, so I will cut it down as I go- the only piece with a curve is the flap and I don’t think it will be too hard to take that down a bit. 

First off, I cut the fusible fleece pieces for the front and back, and then used a ruler to mark 1” lines all around to cut it down.   Here you can see the pale green lines where I marked it. 

Then I trimmed the bag front and back sections ½”, and will use a ½” seam to sew them together.  To my way of thinking, and I could be way off base here, this is like using a 1” seam instead of the required ½” on the original sized piece. And this way I don’t have the bulk of the fleece in the seam allowance.  I just have to remember to keep correcting for this throughout the process!

So the front and back pieces are interfaced, and I attached one side of the hook and loop tape to the piece that will be the front.  It has been a long time since I bought hook and loop tape – did not know it came in colors now!

Time to sew the side seams.

At this point the directions call for a strip of webbing to be used for the D-ring attachment.  I didn’t want webbing, I am making my own pieces out of the swirl fabric and lining them with heavy duty interfacing.  First I cut 2” strips of the swirls and 1” strips of the interfacing with the rotary cutter and the ruler to make sure I got them straight.

After ironing on the interfacing down the middle on the wrong side, I started folding and ironing the excess over.

I finished only one end on each because it will be up by the D-ring, but the other end I didn’t worry about – it will be sewn into the seam at the bottom.

At this point, Alexis came walking in to check on the progress.  When I showed her the bag, I KNEW she was going to comment on the size.  She said the width was okay, but it was too tall.  I tried to make her understand that when all the seams are sewn, it will lose a bit of the size.  Jeez, she has known me 30-something years- she still doesn’t understand that I am always right.  I figure I will use this if she doesn't like it when it's done - I just love these two fabrics together!

Pinned the webbings over the side seams on the body, hoping I got them straight.

Now comes the fun part – sewing them on, through the tube.  I am going to have to take my machine out of the recess in the sewing table to be able to expose the free arm.  For that reason, I think I will quit for the night.

Did I mention how much I love the way these two fabrics look together?  J

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