Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Just one more sewing project. Really. Or: how a slipcover became a bag

Is it ok if I show you one more sewing project? Please? Because I’ve already shown it to anyone who didn’t run away quickly enough seemed remotely interested. If you can’t stand anymore sewing projects, come back another day. Like for simple things Sundays, those have been sewing-free. So far.

Just in case five oilcloth baskets and a handful of kids’ hats and scarves weren’t enough, this is one more to prove that I really, really caught the sewing bug. I made this the week before Easter. Not because it was planned or on my to do list. Nope, I had no plans for this at all (gasp! Me! No plan!). I had been meaning to try making a small bag for taking my phone, keys and some tissues with me when I go for a walk with the kids. Usually, I just stuff everything into my coat pockets. While that doesn’t look very pretty during winter, it starts to get really ridiculous once the weather gets warmer.

When I came across this free tutorial I knew I had to make it. As with the Easter baskets, I should have been doing something useful like cleaning windows, weeding the flower beds or at least go and finally purge and clean out that under-the-sink cabinet in my bathroom. All of which actually was on my to do list.

Instead I went looking around my house for some heavier weight fabric. This not being planned, I had no interfacing around, and even if I did, I have no clue how to use it (yeah, I hear it involves ironing it, but that’s about all). Grabbing a bag of extra chair covers to take upstairs with me (never leave a room empty-handed, right?), I looked at one of the slipcovers. It looks like the one on this chair, found ages ago in a certain Swedish store’s As-Is section, except that my cats mistook it for a scratching post. Which it quickly turned into. Now, if my home would really be as organized and decluttered as I’d like it to be, this thing would have long been thrown out. Instead, it turned into my new bag.

The lining is made from one of my all-time favorite fabrics, Proteas by Cloud 9. Now, promise you won’t laugh, but the strap is actually made from two of these fabric things that come with the curtains in order to hold the panels together. I don’t like that look, so my curtains fall straight down and these things (do they have a real name btw?) were sitting in another, not-yet-decluttered pile of no-idea-what-to-do-with-this.

The whole project would have been a lot easier if I had just taken regular fabric, cut out the pattern pieces and sewn them together as per tutorial. But we know by now I’m not good at following directions, right? So in addition to pimping the outside with some mini pompoms I had left over from a failed attempt to make a pompom scarf, I also made an inside pocket and attached a little keychain. Well, actually I made something that sort of serves as an inside pocket, as usually totally eyeballing it and making up my own rules. I do realize this means the finished bag can’t be worn inside out anymore, but I can live with that. Because I do manage to lose my keys in this tiny bag if they’re not attached to anything.

Anyhow. Since I decided to make things complicated take the way more scenic route, it took me an entire morning to get this done. Just as I was having a quick lunch before picking up little brother, I realized something was missing on the outside of the bag. I had twenty minutes left before I needed to leave. Plenty of time to do some quick research on fabric flowers and make something that’s apparently called a fabric yo-yo. I had never heard of it before and this tutorial made me laugh so hard I almost choked on my lunch, but it worked like a charm. One circle of leftover lining, some thread pulled from the sewing machine, a vintage button from my totally professional collection that lives in three empty joghurt jars and no 15 minutes later the bag looked much better.

Did you ever try these yo-yo things? They’re addictive. I’ve since made another one for my regular bag plus one attached to a brooch so I can wear it to work. And I can see these on yarn wreaths, as headbands, on cushions… Someone stop me, please. They are just so easy and since you sew them by hand, you can easily to them in front of the TV. You know, when you’re not busy posting yet another sewing project athough you can almost see your readers roll their eyes.

Actually, I made a f already, for a friend's birthday this Saturday. I'd show you pictures but you'll just have to forgive me here - I'm too tired to even get off the couch to grab the camera and download the photos...

I think I'll better get some sleep now. Goodnight!


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