Sunday, 17 August 2008

Making a bag!

I fancied trying something new this weekend, as I've spent a lot of time recently with my embellisher, and I sensed that my sewing machine was feeling a wee bit neglected... .

A while ago I bought some lovely hemp silk herringbone fabric from InfiniteCosmosHemp on Etsy. It has been sitting making friends with the rest of my stash, waiting for the right time to fulfil its potential.
I have also been wanting to try making a bag from scratch (pattern and all) for a while... so everything converged this weekend and I decided to give it a go!

I thought the hemp would make a lovely tote, because it's pretty heavyweight and durable-feeling, but at the same time soft and yummy.

I started sketching out my ideas, thinking about whether I wanted a plain tote shape (i.e. rectangular) or something a bit more interesting. I decided to go for a sort of 'bandeau' look at the top of the bag, with some gathering below to give extra shape. I went for two straps/handles, as I think this is always more comfy when a bag is full, and used other bags I have to give me an idea of how long I wanted to make them - not so long that the bag gives me bruised knees, but definitely long enough so I can comfortably put the bag over my shoulder.
I had made my sketch to scale on the squares in my wee notebook, so then I just scaled it up using graph paper (not too much maths involved thankfully!), and cut out a real-size pattern on bits of stuck-together graph paper.

Next I cut out all the pieces and started sewing them together. Probably should have stopped and thought about it a bit more before starting (!), but it kind of worked out ok in the end!

The hemp fabric was really nice to work with, and cut and sewed pretty smoothly.

Once I had finished the main body of the bag, I decided to embellish her (I think it is a 'she', although I am fighting a strange urge to call her Hamish) with a yo-yo rosette that I made a while ago (planning to make into a brooch which never happened).

I think she looks pretty cute! She feels like a good size when over my shoulder, but I guess the proof will be in the pudding when Hamish gets her maiden voyage fully laden.

I think I might take her with me tomorrow, for my first day of my metalsmithing summer school, and see how she fares :D.

1 comment:

Infinite Cosmos said...

It looks really stunning! I'm so glad you were able to put that fabric to good use, it really came out great!