I am really wanting to learn how to sew better. I can sew a straight line, most of the time, and I can do the basic functions on my sewing machine. You know, threading the needle, winding the bobbin and loading the bobbin. Things like that. Oh that reminds me of a Scottish kids song. It's called "Wind the Bobbin Up". I'll share it at the end of this post. I'm easily distracted.
So when I was at JoAnn's, one gloriously kid-free afternoon, I came across a section of these Panel Projects by Fabric Editions, LLC. I have always wanted to make my own bag or purse and they had several designs to choose from. I picked out the Abbey Bag. It has the whole project on one big fabric panel. It's all sectioned out for you and shows you what each part is and the directions are printed on the fabric panel also. I thought this might be an easy way for me to get my feet wet, so to speak, and try making my very first bag. If you think it's cheating, I'm sorry. I just feel that, for me, it's a step in a learning process and has boosted my sewing-confidence to make a bag without the extra help. Now it says on the package that you can make it in less than 3 hours. It took me at least 3 hours! I had multiple interruptions in the form of little people. They are really cute interrupters.
There's all the pieces cut out. The directions, a pocket, 2 pieces for the tote part, 2 pieces for the straps and 1 square for the closure flap.
That's the pocket put on. You see the fabric is panelled so it looks like you stitched different pieces of fabric together but really it's all one piece and you just stitch a line between each section. So there are 3 pockets on the front.
There's a corner of my gusset. I guess that's my new vocabulary word for the day!
It did take me a while to turn the straps right-side out but they were easy to sew...straight lines.
There are my straps sewed on and my closure flap. Now, they wanted me to use velcro for the closure but I wanted a button and I had found a really cute button that matched and so I made a loop for the button out of elastic. So that is how my bag closes. I wish I had thinner elastic but I just made do with what I had.
Here's the finished project. I think I won't mind carrying it around! All in all, I think the Tote-n-Go Panel Projects are worth doing and are pretty easy for a sewing novice to accomplish. It was fun and now I have a new bag!
Okay here's the song I promised.
"Wind the bobbin up. Wind the bobbin up.
Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap!" (clap hands when you say 'clap')
"Wind it back again. Wind it back again.
Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap!"
"Point to the ceiling, point to the floor.
Point to the window, point to the door.
Put your hands together. 1, 2, 3." (clap as you say 1, 2, 3)
"Lay them down upon your knee."
I will sometimes do this song before I read a story to the boys and end it with the "lay them down upon your knee" part. That way they get a little movement out of their systems and then they know where their hands should be during the story.
I found the song on youtube but the words differ a little. I learned it when I lived in Glasgow, Scotalnd and took my kids to story time at the Partick Library. Man, I really miss hearing those accents!