Thursday, December 16, 2010

What a difference 4 years makes

Nothing like a project you really want to sew to get those other pesky projects out of the way, right?

Christmas is done. It's toast. You can stick a fork in it. The last gift, a Lazy Girl Gracie handbag, was finished earlier this evening. It's a much better version than the ones I made for his mom in 2006, and she liked the first one enough that she literally wore it to pieces. I had some of the same paisley home dec fabric left over, so I used that, since I knew she'd liked it, and this time I found the coordinating fabric that had gone missing last time.

This bag will hold up a lot longer. I added a reinforced bottom so that it doesn't tip over as easily, I used a magnetic closure instead of the recommended Velcro, and I used some big fat upholstery piping that I had (why? why did I have that?) and inserted it into the straps to keep them firm.

There's supposed to be a layer of batting in between the exterior and lining layers, but I didn't have any batting, and this was supposed to be Christmas sewing without having to buy more stuff, so I used several layers of that almost batting-like interfacing for men's jackets, and a layer of old felt that I had around. Basted together, it felt fine, and a little less squashy than batting. I like a bit more structure in a bag.

Even though this bag isn't really my style, there are things I do like about it. Six interior pockets - what's not to like there? They're a little too evenly spaced for my liking, but that's because their seams form part of the bag's construction, and shifting the pockets wouldn't work since all the layers are sewn at the same time.

I like how quickly the pattern goes together, and the fact that there are no pattern pieces, just measurements included on the instruction sheet. If you were feeling adventurous, there's no reason why you couldn't change the size of the bag - so long as you keep a few basic measurements in mind, it's all adjustable. The instructions are really clear, and even in black and white, the photos are clear enough to see what you're supposed to do.

In other words, it makes a great gift. I got it done in 2 nights, taking last night off because it was just painfully cold in the workroom. Tonight I got the temperature up to 65 in there, so I hunkered down and sewed like the wind that whistles in through the ancient bricks on my back wall. (Next year's home improvement project: brick pointing.)


patsijean said...

The dress and jacket are going to be lovely, I can tell. I like that you are making Mario's a nice bag that she will adore. Regarding your back walls. Back in the 70's during the energy crisis one of the tricks mentiones in publications such as Mother Earth News was to hang old quilts along exterior walls, or a wall of heavy drapes to help insulate or stop the wind much the way they used tapestries in old England manors and castles--brick sucks as insulation It is helpful by adding another dead air space. Another thing we do here in my home is to use in the rec-room one of those oil-filled radiator style heaters. There are no flames and no exposed coils but they heat radiate heat like crazy. We even have a cracked open window(with the heater in front )and an exhaust fan running all the time since my husband is a smoker. The room is quite comfey.

patsijean said...

Yes I know I made typing errors and I am embarassed. Please forgive.

Kitty Couture said...

"I used some big fat upholstery piping that I had (why? why did I have that?)"
That really made me chuckle.

This is a great bag for Mario's Mom. I'm sure she'll appreciate the improvements.

Congrats on finishing Christmas sewing!

Myra said...

I love the bag - I have a pattern from Lazy Girl and never used it. Did you know they sell/recommend plastic bottoms that fit the patterns? I have one out of clear plastic for the pattern I have - it was supposed to be a diaper bag. You could get one for the next one and reuse it from bag to bag for her.
I also second the quilt/drapes on the wall idea. Before we painted/recaulked our old house, we hung a blanket on the front windows to keep the front bedroom from being so cold. It does work.

Cennetta said...

This is a great gift idea and all three bags are lovely and custom made. One of the good things about this bag is she love it. Second like you said, "It's roomy and can hold alot of things.