After last week's high-maintenance sewing schedule, I decided to take a slight break and tend to some more pressing issues. May Fair was well worth the hard work and late hours of sewing -- and the invaluable help from my "staff" of offspring -- but it was time to give back a little this week and evaluate some of their school work as we approach the end of our homeschool year. Still, sewing is a part of learning, and I can't bear to sit so near my machine without giving it some attention, too.
As I perused all of last week's finishes from the other Sew & Tell participants, I was very much inspired by Lauren to try yet another bag project. I ended up combining two separate tutorials and adding a bit of flair from one of my newer sewing books, and I'm rather pleased with the end result.
First, following Lauren's link, I began with the instructions here for a reversible bag. Immediately, before even reading through the instructions, I knew that I'd finally want to put this tutorial for an internal zipper into use with this bag. Finally, since I chose a rather bland neutral fabric for the reverse side, I wanted to spice it up just a tad; so in a moment of impulse, I consulted my Zakka Sewing book, as I recalled the cute pear applique from a bag I made a couple of months ago. (Sidebar note for my homeschool veteran friends out there: Did this paragraph not sound like Shurley English?)
I didn't realize at the time that I was stretching the bag out of shape. Sorry. And the morning sun in these parts can be blinding!
The reverse side
I was apprehensive about using a brown zipper, but my style-conscious eighteen-year-old daughter, Caelyn, encouraged me to go with it. I'm in Africa, so I have to use what I have on-hand. I mean, I can get zippers, but not on a whim -- and I definitely made this bag on a whim.
I really expected this to be more difficult than it was. It ended up being a very fun project. I'm hoping to make another one soon.
I thoroughly enjoyed this project, but I remembered Lauren's words about having to use the seam ripper at one point when I made a terrible mistake. I became so ambitious about progress that I began to just follow my heart instead of the instructions. So, the seam ripper and I had a little one-on-one time. We're actually rather closely acquainted.
One word of caution if you attempt to follow my rabbit trail in making this bag: I didn't take into account the darts in the original bag tutorial before placing my applique on the lining fabric. I had to improvise, but it worked out fine in the end. My seams are a bit shabby, but this entire project was a first for me. So, I won't allow a detail like that to begrudge me a little pat on the back. I'll know better next time. (See, like I said, sewing is a part of learning.)
This is the bag I made a couple of months ago from Zakka Sewing. It's now in the hands of a friend's friend at the Swedish embassy.