Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekend Project - Let's get Crafty!

There are just as many Crafters who come into Stonemountain as there are Quilters and Dressmakers. Whether you need a costume fabric, binding or nice pillow fabric, we have something for everyone. We love them all! For a change from our usual garment/wardrobe planning, I thought it might be fun to try one of the more crafty projects I found in our pattern books for spring.

I love this large size bag from Marcy Tilton (Vogue 8843). Laurel and I thought it might be fun to make one for each of us.  I think these bags will make great travel carry-ons.

Laurel had already taken home some gorgeous embellished knit several months ago but had not yet decided what she wanted to make with it. For my own bag,  I chose a lighter weight cotton/linen "canvas - like" fabric with little airplanes all over it and a textured green silk/linen blend.

You know those projects that you want to start NOW even if you have something else (sometimes for someone else) to make? Well, Laurel started on the heavier fabric (her bag!) over the weekend. It probably wasn't a bad idea, given the bulk of the fabric - you know, do the hardest part first! She invited a fellow sewist friend over so they could basically tag team the construction.

There are a lot of small pieces to cut out, as you can see with my fabric choice - fabric, lining and interfacing for some of the sections.  Don't be intimidated and don't rush it. It takes time to make - it's not hard, but there are a lot of steps to complete. That's what a weekend project is all about!

All sections of the bag suggest interfacing. Laurel used a lightweight Pellon for the side sections and a heavyweight Pellon for the bottom section of her bag. She chose a lighter weight interfacing altogether for my bag.

Sewing a heavy fabric and all the layers can be a little challenging. Remember to switch out your sewing machine needle to a size 100/16 needle and take it slow! (This bag can be made out of leather, too.)

She chose a imported printed cotton for the lining fabric. One of the lining sections has a pocket for your cell phone, lipstick, etc.

Laurel and her friend Elizabeth worked on her bag for several hours together, then Laurel finished it off by herself.  It was a great weekend project, and taking your time with the construction means a professional looking bag in the end. It can be a lot of fun to have a sewing partner...that must be how sewing circles came to be as sewing is better with a cup of coffee and a friend.

Elizabeth is hand sewing - she introduced Laurel to Stonemountain last year!
Here is her finished bag - it's going to be great as a travel accessory - that's why I chose mine with the airplane fabric. Its the perfect size to slip it under the seat in front of me!

Laurel used a heavy separating zipper for her bag, but you could probably get away with a simple polyester zipper.  You may even wat to try a "purse" zipper, made exactly for this use.

Laurel finished mine a few weeks later. I love the green lining (it's a silk linen blend). It was definitely easier to sew than the heavier fabric that she used...but again, take your time!

Even thought the pattern does not mention adding an insert into the bottom of the bag for stability, it's easy enough to make one. We used some bag stabilizer, and cut the shape of the bottom panel a little smaller than the pattern. You can cover the stabilizer with your lining fabric and voila! A flat bottom. Laurel made one for each of our bags - if you like the slouchy look, then just remove the insert.

Both bags will be on display at the store to inspire you to try something crafty for your spring wardrobe!

Hope you all have a great weekend! Even though it may rain here, I just love spring!

From our sewing studio to yours,

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